[Parkersburg, Iowa and St. Louis, Missouri]: [ca.1907-1945]. Oblong 8vo, pebbled leather ring-binder notebook, with a metal spine. "No. 7" stamped in gilt on front cover. Wear and rubbing to leather, cracking along front joint and chipping to corners of covers. A record book containing approximately 110 manuscript formulas for patent medicines, in alphabetical order, and an additional ten typed formulas, all developed by Dr. Thomas A. Hobson, of Parkersburg, Iowa, each recipe signed by him, plus 18 leaves of typed formulas, unsigned. Each formula is named and the ingredients and proportions for most are listed. Examples include: almond cream, bronchial lozenges, rheumatic oil, witch hazel salve, worm syrup, hog cholera cure, etc. Ingredients including boric acid, corn starch, glycerin, were combined with chloral hydrate, opium, belladonna, paraffin, carbolic acid and the like to formulate his compounds.
Accompanied by another leather-bound ring binder notebook, 4to. "Standard Laboratories Inc." stamped in gilt on the front cover. A loose-leaf notebook of 82 patent medicine labels, most mounted on buff paper, some labels printed directly on the sheets, some laid down over partially printed images of the bottles or packaging. Most labels list ingredients and proportions. [Passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act likely affected package labeling]. A 3-leaf typed table of contents is inserted in the notebook. Included are many Hobson brand patent medicines, manufactured by Pfeiffer Chemical Company of New York and St. Louis, or distributed by Standard Laboratories, along with other patent medicine brands such as Haywood's, Pitcher's, King's, Bucklen's, Sloan's, etc. Most were produced for human consumption, a few intended for veterinary use.
Laid in are three typed documents. Two are on the letterhead stationery of the Pfeiffer Chemical Company of St. Louis, one a duplicate of the other, a "memorandum of agreement" between Pfeiffer and Dr. J.G. Haywood who was paid ten dollars for the use of his name "as long as the said company may desire... on preparations made by said company according to the formulas submitted and approved by him," dated 1907, and signed in type by the Pfeiffer Chemical Co. The third document is an oath, sworn before a notary public, stating that G.A. Pfeiffer was personally acquainted with Dr. T.A. Hobson, deceased, and that he "voluntarily signed formulas No. 1 to 121 inclusive in his presence." Signed by G.A. Pfeiffer on Oct. 26, 1927, in New York County, New York State. All items in very good condition. Item #62188
Dr. Thomas Hobson (1864-1924) was a graduate of the University of Iowa's College of Medicine in 1889. He set up a general practice in the town of Parkersburg, Iowa shortly thereafter. According to his short biography in the "History of Butler County, Iowa," by Irving Hart [Chicago: 1914, pp.97-8] Dr. Hobson was highly respected: "He conducts a private hospital, well appointed and equipped for all emergencies that may arise. He is deeply interested in his profession and keeps well in touch with the latest discoveries in scientific research."
Gustavus A. Pfeiffer (1872-1953), also a resident of Parkersburg founded a drug store in the town in the 1890s, along with his brother Paul. By 1901, G.A. Pfeiffer had moved to St. Louis and established the Pfeiffer Chemical Company, a drug manufacturing business, with another brother, Henry. They purchased the William R. Warner Drug Company of Philadelphia in 1908, retaining its name, and several other companies over the years. By 1945, Standard Laboratories was formed to handle the manufacturing of patent medicines. Many of Hobson's formulas were part of their portfolio. Pfeiffer, a philanthropist and multi-millionaire died in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1953.