Tuesday, February 12, 2013

J. E. Jackson and his Pleasant Diarrhea Cure

Apparently the Green family wasn't the only ones in on the patent medicine trade in Woodbury, NJ. Although Lewis Green started his interest in the trade sometime before 1872, the earliest date I could uncover for Jackson was April 1st, 1884 when he patented his Dr. L. Burdick's Never-Failing Kidney Cure, after he secured rights to Dr. Burdick's formula. On October 5th 1886 J. E. Jackson filed for a U.S. Patent for his Pleasant Diarrhea Cure. He was also listed as having lived in Mullica Hill, but must have relocated to Woodbury at some point, and after that, Asbury Park, NJ. He also manufactured what appears to have been a fairly popular cough syrup called Magnum Bonum. It was reported that he ran his patent medicine business and laboratory out of the old Woodbury Town Hall, which was located on the SE corner of Broad and German (now Barber). His storefront was located along the Barber Avenue side. I can only speculate that he had his bottles made at Green's glass works, the source of Green's own patent medicine bottles. They do appear very similar in color and style.

The title "Doctor" is often associated with Jackson, the Green's, and in fact, most patent medicine vendors at the time, but most likely this was completely honorary. It is no wonder the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was passed as it mandated proper labeling forcing companies to expose the many times secret ingredients that were previously not labeled in their formulas; ingredients such as alcohol, cocaine, heroin, morphine, and cannabis. In many cases these medicines were often some form of herbalized laudanum.

Mysteriously on February 25th, 1895, Dr. Jackson was reported missing. Perhaps he went on some sort of laudanum fueled bender having tasted a bit too much of his own medicine, we may never know. This is all I could find on the matter:

Eventually he popped back up however when and why he left his satchel and overcoat behind must remain a mystery. After his time in Woodbury, the Jackson family relocated to Asbury Park sometime prior to 1905 and purchased the brick block of three stores and apartments, 620 to 628 along Mattison Avenue.

On June 5th, 1918 Jackson's death was reported in the Woodbury Daily Times: