Monday, August 13, 2012
A Picture Puzzle / Vexierbild Advertisement
Recently donated to the MKI's library is this advertisement for Dr. August König's Hamburger Tropfen, a patent medicine said to be effective against “all sicknesses of the stomach, liver, and abdomen." The picture on one side is an image puzzle [Vexierbild in German] titled "Das Picnic," with the words "Wo ist der Mann, welcher stets Dr. August König's Hamburger Tropfen gebraucht?" ["Where is the man who always needs Dr. August König's Hamburg Drops?"] in old German script below.
The images of the picnic-goers can be seen to form a much larger image of a man pouring a bottle of the nostrum (it may help to view the picture sideways).
The reverse side describes the product and provides directions and cautions for its use. The elixir was manufactured and sold by A. Vogeler & Co., of Baltimore Md. Online searching shows that August Vogeler was born in Minden, Germany, in 1819, and emigrated to the United States in his twenties. In the 1850s or early 1860s he established a drug business in Baltimore, Maryland, which came to sell a range of patent medicines under the name Dr. August König, including Hamburger Tropfen, Hamburger Brustthee [breast tea], and Hamburger Kräuterpflaster [herbal plaster], as well as St. Jacob's Oil and Dr. Bull's Cough Syrup. Like many such products of the time, their ability to influence one's health is questionable, and their contents may actually have contained harmful ingredients. August died in 1908.
At the bottom of this side of the card is printed: F. M. Findeisen, New Cassel (Fond du Lac County), Wis. Internet searches show that Frederick Maximilian Findeisen was born around 1836/1837 in Prussia and arrived in New York in 1862. That same year he married Ernestina in Fond du Lac. He naturalized as an American citizen in 1865. He owned a grocery store ("Dealer in Dry Goods, Boots & Shoes, Hardware & Groceries") in New Cassel, which may have been built in 1874, and he served as the New Cassel postmaster in 1868. F. M. Findeisen died in 1905, and is buried in Campbellsport, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin.