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The Shaker Digestive Cordial
about 1895-1910

"Recommended for dyspepsia and all diseases arising from deranged digestion"
Members of the United Society of Believers--the "Shakers"--have long been renowned for their skill in the preparation of various types of medicines. The Shaker community of Mount Lebanon, NY, established its first medical garden in 1820. By 1853, Mount Lebanon was producing 42,000 pounds of herbs, bark, and roots and 7,500 pounds of extracts.

In 1875 the Shakers of Mt. Lebanon, NY joined in a business deal with Andrew Judson White, a proprietary medicine maker in New York City. White agreed to buy all his botanical ingredients from the Mt. Lebanon community in exchange for a loan to revitalize his business. White was then able to capitalize on the Shaker reputation for high quality, pure drugs, and so distance his products from some of the shadier aspects of the "patent" medicine business. One of his earlier products, Mother Seigel's Curative Syrup, was renamed Shaker Extract of Roots and became one of the company's most popular medicines. Shaker Digestive Cordial was introduced at the end of the 19th Century. A. J. White's company survived until 1957, when it was bought by Smith, Kline & French Laboratories who sold off the proprietary rights to Mother Seigel's Syrup.

Acquired, 1963
The first Shaker community was established at New Lebanon, NY in 1787.
Web display only

Learn more!
· Letter to Smithsonian from G.W. Damon re: acquisition of Pharmaceutical Antiques, 1962
· Selected Items from G.W. Damon's Patent Medicine Collection
· 19th-Century Patent Medicines

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