Advertisement for the medicine 'Dr Pierce's Golden Medical Discovery'
Colour lithograph by EC Pease, 1910
'Dr Pierce's Golden Medical Discovery' was the name of a
medicine created by the pharmaceutical entrepreneur Dr Ray Vaughn
Pierce (1840-1914), and first sold by him when he arrived in
Buffalo, New York, in 1866.
There were many medicines at that time (and since) named after
their inventor rather than after their contents: Beecham's Pills is
a well-known example. It was a marketing technique designed to give
the purchaser a feeling of responsibility and reliability. This
poster advertising Dr Pierce's medicine suggests that anyone who
had a bottle of Pierce's remedy in their house had the equivalent
of access to this exemplary American doctor. The medicine would
save the doctor's fee and pay for itself, and for those living in
isolated areas without access to a doctor, the medicine would be
their best or only resort. Dr Pierce's organization was also active
outside the United States; it had an active branch in London at 3
New Oxford Street.