Dr. Pierces-Photo Print

Dr. Pierces-Photo Print


Dr. Pierce’s “miracle” elixir sold for 90 or more years during the 19th and early 20th centuries and many old barns carried advertisements for his products; a few are still standing to give us a glimpse into our the history.


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Finished and framed images will be shipped in approximately 10 days.

During the 19th century the business of Proprietary Medicines thrived.  With little to no federal regulation, just about anybody could call themselves a "doctor".  There were hundreds manufacturer's of elixirs, blood purifiers, medicinals salves, and balms that cured every ailment under the sun.


These medicines frequently bore the name of the inventor, fostering a sense of legitimacy, and reliability.  Having a bottle in your cabinet was like "have a doctor in the house".  Most claimed to contain rare herbs, or roots from the Middle East or Orient, but usually only contained alcohol, or if your were lucky, an opium product.


They brought the product to you via traveling road shows.  A horse and wagon would roll into town with much fanfare.  Towns people, who were mostly deprived of entertainment, got to see singers, freaks and magicians.  In between acts, a physician would make an appearance and push his medical miracle.  A "plant" in the audience would falsely testify how the medicine saved their life. Then "hawkes" would walk through the crowd selling bottles for 1-2 dollars.  Each sales person would only carry 2-3 bottles, and would yell out "Sold out doctor", creating a buying frenzy at the front of the stage where the price was driven up a few more dollars.


When automobiles became popular, and road became mainstream, entrepreneurs would buy advertising space on downtown brick buildings and, in the rural areas, on the sides of barns. Selling these medicines in rural area proved to be highly successful for several reasons:


  • The population tended to be less sophisticated
  • The distance one had to travel to see a real physician could be long if not impossible
  • Less likely the population heard testimony from previous victims of these scammers


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8"X10" Print – 13"X15" Finish Size, 16"X20" Print – 24"X28" Finish Size, 16"X20" Acrylic Mount, 20"X24" Print – 24"X28" Finish Size, 20"X24" Acrylic Mount, 24"X30" Print – 32"X38" Finish Size, 24"X30" Acrylic Mount, 30"X40" Print – 38"X48" Finish Size, 30"X40" Acrylic Mount, 15"X40" Print – 23"X48" Finish Size, 15"X40" Acrylic Mount, 23"X60" Print – 31"X68" Finish Size, 23"X60" Acrylic Mount