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Letter from an antique pharmaceutical collector

Wright's Indian Vegetable Pills

"North American College of Health"
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, images of Native Americans were often used to promote patent or proprietary medicines. The scene engraved on the package of Wright's Indian Vegetable Pills features a romanticized Native American seated against a tree on the bank of a river and gazing toward a city--symbol of civilization--on the opposite bank. In his hand he holds a banner with the words "Wright's Pills." The pills were developed by Philadelphia doctor William Wright in 1837. As with many other "Indian Remedies," neither Wright's Pills nor their creator had any connection to Native Americans nor to Native American medicine.

Manufactured by Wright's Indian Vegetable Pill Co., Inc., 372 Pearl St., NY, NY
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Learn more!
· The North American College of Health
· 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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