Antikamnia Chemical Company

The Antikamnia Chemical Company made its appearance around 1890 in Saint Louis, Missouri. The trademark was registered that year, but the medicine was never patented. It was described as a coal-tar derivitave, but it was half or more acetanilid, a somewhat dangerous and habit-forming compound. The company also offered it mixed with codeine, which is addictive, quinine, and several other items either singly or in combination. A typical recommended dosage for Antikamnia with Codeine for treating "Worry (nervousness: 'the Blues')" was one or two every three hours.

The Antikamnia stamp was not produced until 1900, and would not have been needed after June 30, 1901. No record of the number printed is available.

Due to the short time between passage of the War Revenue Law of 1898 and its effective date some companies, mainly in Saint Louis, were given permission to use privately printed stamps on their products until general issue revenues could be obtained. Antikamnia was one of these, and had three different types of provisional stamps printed. Holcombe gives the number of two-and-a-half cent ones printed as 9,000. They were cancelled with the Antikamnia trademark and the first day of the tax, July 1, 1898.

A further look at the Antikamnia provisional stamps.

General issue proprietary stamps were also given a first-day cancel. In all there are six recorded types of Antikamnia cancels on battleship revenues, some printed and some hand-stamped.

A contemporary advertisement stating that Antikamnia did not raise the cost of their preparations to charge for the tax - it was unlikely that anyone did.

Antikamnia was a junk mail pioneer. The company sent advertisements and samples to its distributors, doctors, and possible customers like lawyers and businessmen. They distributed their advertisements internationally as well - this one went to a police hospital in India in 1898.

A reply card, still attached, sent to New Zealand in 1899.

The text side of a card mailed to notify someone to expect their sample. Antikamnia kept promoting its name to the market.

Antikamnia was still riding high in 1904, but was to virtually collapse with passage of the Pure Food and Drugs Bill in 1906.