H.H. Warner & Company
Warner's Safe Cure Company
Hubert H. Warner, founder of the Warner Observatory for the study of astronomy, was the founder of Warner's Safe Remedies of Rochester, New York. The office building which it occupied was shared with a business selling fire and burglar proof safes. Mr. Warner surely had a sense of humor.
Warner's Safe Kidney & Liver Cure sold for $1.50 a bottle, and the six-cent private die stamps were produced for use with it. The small stamp was issued first, with one delivery of 340,000 on June 14, 1881. The large stamp was first issued November 16, 1881 and last delivered on May 19, 1883. 3,260,000 were printed. All of the Warner stamps are on watermarked paper.
Warner's Safe Rheumatic Cure and Warner's Safe Nervine were introduced a bit later, and sold for prices that required stamps of one, two and four cents. The one-cent stamp was first issued September 20, 1882 and last issued May 1, 1883. 2,651,810 were printed, all on watermarked paper.
The two-cent stamp was issued from September 30, 1882 until September 21, 1883 according to the Boston Revenue Book. This does not make sense, as the taxes had been repealed as of July 1, 1883. 102,000 were issued on watermarked paper.
The four-cent stamp appears to have had two deliveries, on September 28 and September 30, 1882, which is also a bit odd. 60,000 were issued, all on watermarked paper.
Warner used facsimile labels on his products after the tax on proprietary medicines was repealed. There are versions datelined October 1, 1883 from Toronto, Ontario and August 1, 1887 from Rochester.
Around 1886 Warner organized a new company to market Warner's Safe Yeast. The other remedies remained in the parent company.
These facsimile labels were first used about 1887.
A cover used by Warner's Safe Remedies in 1888.
This trade card dates prior to 1890, when the name of the parent company was changed to Warner Safe Cure Company.
A facsimile label used after the name change of 1890.
A trade card promoting samples of the Warner Safe Cures.
Warner used private die stamps once more to pay the Spanish American War proprietary tax. 64,000 stamps were printed. The first delivery had rouletted perforations, and the second, hyphen-hole perforations. An example of each is shown, the rouletted variety on top.
Investigations preceding the passage of the Food & Drugs Act of 1906 were very critical of Warner's products. Samuel Hopkins Adams, writing for Collier's in 1905 said that Warner's Safe Cure had enough alcoholic content to serve as a 'booze' and that it was managed and controlled by the New York and Kentucky Distilling Companies, "...which do not pretend to remedy anything but thirst."