Dr. Kilmers Swamp Root Cure - Patent Medicine Bottle
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Thread: Dr. Kilmers Swamp Root Cure - Patent Medicine Bottle

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  1. #1
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    The Urban Pirate

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    Dr. Kilmer's Swamp Root Cure - Patent Medicine Bottle

    Found this old pre-1906 patent medicine bottle in the low tide mud of The Bronx today.
    It is Dr. Kilmer's Swamp Root Kidney Liver and Bladder Cure. The medicine was formulated by Dr. S. Andral Kilmer in 1878 but was predominantly sold by Dr. Willis Sharpe Kilmer, his nephew.
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    According to Dr. Kilmer's advertisements this Swamp Root stuff bassically cured everything. It didn't actually cure anything but that didn't stop Willis Kilmer from makeing a personal fortune of close to 15 million dollars selling it. The medicine fell out of favor begining in 1906 when the Pure Food and Drug Act required medicine to be tested to see if it actually worked or not, the test results for the Swamp Root Cure were needless to say not too convincing.
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    Let history be your treasure map .

  2. #2
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    Randy

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    Nice!!! Congrats!!!
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  3. #3
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    An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

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    Great save--and history.
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  4. #4

    Mar 2003
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    This is one of my favorite quack medicine bottles. I'm sure the magic ingredient wasn't a swamp root - it was probably 50 % alcohol.

    Go to church on Sunday and preach temperance... then come home and take your dose of Dr. Kilmer's. Doctor's orders!

    When I lived in Lubbock, TX, one of my neighbors showed me her antique bottles. To my surprise, this exact bottle was in there. It turns out that it migrated all the way across the country with her family as they moved from the northeast to Arkansas, and eventually, west Texas. I really got a kick out of it because it originated in the Binghamton, NY area, not too far from where I grew up.
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  5. #5
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    dan

    May 2011
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    nice find !! i have the sample bottle of that one
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  6. #6
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    Ethan

    Apr 2019
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    That's awesome! I'm going mud hunting myself later today.
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  7. #7
    us
    Oct 2014
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    it was also in 1906 that the FDA made them change the wording from cure to remedy if the contents could not be proved to be a true cure.
    UnderMiner and fistfulladirt like this.

  8. #8
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    Flawda
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    I have 2 later editionsClick image for larger version. 

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ID:	1850191. They were still producing this stuff after going to screw top bottles.
    UnderMiner and Blak bart like this.

  9. #9
    Nice bottle recovery, great post with the history of Dr. Kilmer, and respect for searching in a river off the Bronx in New York City. Is that the East River?
    UnderMiner likes this.
    got Mass Silver?

  10. #10
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    Jul 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhedden View Post
    This is one of my favorite quack medicine bottles. I'm sure the magic ingredient wasn't a swamp root - it was probably 50 % alcohol.

    Go to church on Sunday and preach temperance... then come home and take your dose of Dr. Kilmer's. Doctor's orders!

    When I lived in Lubbock, TX, one of my neighbors showed me her antique bottles. To my surprise, this exact bottle was in there. It turns out that it migrated all the way across the country with her family as they moved from the northeast to Arkansas, and eventually, west Texas. I really got a kick out of it because it originated in the Binghamton, NY area, not too far from where I grew up.
    I have done a large amount of research on my family history and their journey from Europe to middle America Many came here in the name of religious freedom .But for some that only applied when it was to their benefit
    UnderMiner likes this.

  11. #11
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    The Urban Pirate

    Jul 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Tree Chaser View Post
    Nice bottle recovery, great post with the history of Dr. Kilmer, and respect for searching in a river off the Bronx in New York City. Is that the East River?
    It was in the Hutchinson River. My grandpa used to live there when the Bronx was mostly rural farm land. He told me stories about the area so I decided to investigate it for myself. I found a few broken bottles and crocks from the late 1800's along with the quak Swamp Root Cure bottle which was the only intact vintage bottle I found that day.
    Let history be your treasure map .

  12. #12

    Mar 2020
    Omaha
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    That just may be the coolest bottle I have seen yet. Probably sold at the back of a horse drawn caravan too lol. Great find !
    UnderMiner likes this.

  13. #13
    Charter Member
    us
    Oct 2014
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    Thank you for sharing, congrats!
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