Lillybeck Drug's "Germ Destroyer"

Ad courtesy Memphis Evening Scimitar

Just last night, I was looking through a 1905 issue of the Memphis Evening Scimitar — who among us hasn't done the same on their Saturday evenings at home? — and found this rather amusing ad from the Lillybeck Drug Company. I've got more to say about that firm in an upcoming column, but wanted to mention just one of their many remarkable products.

For what ails you, there was obviously nothing better than a heaping tablespoon — or maybe you just swigged the whole dang bottle — of Creolin-Pearson's "Germ Destroyer and Deodorant." That covers quite a lot of territory, don't you agree?

Not only is it good for YOU, but look — it's good for the bathroom and the cellar and the cuspidor and the garbage barrel (the GARBAGE BARREL!) and even the stable. Now I'm not clear if that meant you gave it to your horses or ponies or donkeys, or if you just sprinkled this amazing concoction around their stalls, but clearly this is what you needed for just about anything.

Perhaps you are a cynical type, and doubt the effectiveness of this product? Why, the ad says right here that it is the "best, safest, and cheapest." What more could you want? Still not certain? Well, good grief, it's even "powerful, yet agreeable."

Many ladies and gentlemen have said the same thing about me.

And a bargain at either 50 cents or a buck.

It's a shame that Walgreens or Rite-Aid no longer stocks this fine product. And I'd sure love to get my hands on a copy of their valuable free booklet, "Health Hints." You just know there's some good tips inside that.

Okay, I guess it's time to go swish out the cuspidors. If only I had a 50-cent bottle of Creolin-Pearson ...

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Ask Vance is the blog of Vance Lauderdale, the award-winning columnist of Memphis magazine and Inside Memphis Business. Vance is the author of three books: Ask Vance: The Best Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History and Trivia Expert (2003), as well as Ask Vance: More Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History Expert (2011) and Vance Lauderdale's Lost Memphis (2013). He is also the recipient of quite a few nice awards, the creator of several eye-catching wall calendars, and the only person we know with a vintage shock-treatment machine in his den. 

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