Martin H. Smith Co.
MARTIN H. SMITH CO. CANCELS
The Martin H. Smith Co, the offshoot of Breitenbach’s operation, outlived Breitenbach as well. Since this company’s genesis lies within the orbit of Breitenbach’s domain, it is convenient to display that cancel as part of this study. Mustacich and Giacomelli give the company two listings and say the cancel has been seen on RB25 and RB28. That company’s principal products were Ergoapiol and Glyco-Heroin.
1904 ERGOAPIOL AD
As with Pepto-Mangan, they were promoted through the same kind of friendly advisories and medical abstracts demonstrating good outcomes that kept appearing in trade and medical journals. Ergoapiol was advertised as treating menstrual disorders, although the AMA suggested its circular promoted “indiscriminate and uncritical use.” Claiming that Ergoapiol was “an unscientific, shot-gun mixture of drugs having widely different therapeutic effects,” the AMA Council, after reciting and demonstrating the conflicting effects of the various listed (post-1906) ingredients, struck it from its recommended List in 1914.
1907 GLYCO-HEROIN AD
Glyco-Heroin was advertised as a treatment for breathing disorders, such as “coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia, laryngitis, pulmonary phthisis, asthma, [and] whooping cough.” Its most obvious ingredient was contained in its name, and it too was “de-Listed” by the AMA’s Council in 1916. Smith, himself, born in 1866, a decade after Breitenbach, similarly lived ten years longer, dying in 1930. The latest internet references to the M H Smith Co are to pamphlets, published in the 1930s and even as late as 1940, still explaining Ergoapiol’s appropriate use and extolling its virtues. Long after Ergoapiol and Glyco-Heroin had passed into history, in 1958, M. H. Smith Co changed its name and began its transformation into the present day Cooper Companies, Inc., headquartered in Pleasanton CA and traded on the New York Stock Exchange, which today produces a variety of healthcare aids as well as soft contact lens through its CooperVision subsidiary.
GLYCO-HEROIN BOX AND BOTTLE
(BOTTLE BEARS 1930S NARCOTIC REVENUE STAMP)
Having told this long and intricate tale concerning M. J. Breitenbach and M. H. Smith, it is time now for this writer to stop in order to take his iron supplement.
© Malcolm A. Goldstein 2014