Trade card advertising Dr. Hand’s Remedies for Children, a line of products prepared by David B. Hand, Scranton, Pa.
David Bishop Hand was a medical doctor who extolled the safety of his patent medicines aimed at the ailments of children. They included a teething lotion, worm elixir, general tonic, a colic cure,cough & croup medicine, and a diarrhea mixture. All were advertised vigorously with the images of winsome children.
Dr. Hand was born was born in Pennsylvania in 1848 and raised on a farm but soon that medicine was his calling. A precocious lad, he graduated from the University of the City of New York at the age of 20 and in the spring of 1880 located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he set up practice, specializing in the diseases of children. A biographer said of him: “He has always been a lover of children and perhaps no physician has labored more earnestly or effectively on their behalf. Early in his career as a physician he was very successful in treating children and for years he closely observed the effects of certain remedies, finally finding just the proper proportions to make them of greatest practical value.”
The good doctor then resigned from the medical societies of which he was a member and in 1885 placed his remedies on the market under the name, “Dr. Hand’s Remedies for Children.” The following year he trademarked them all and advertised widely. The quick success of these nostrums led the pharmaceutical firm of Smith and Kline, later known as Smith, Kline & French, to offer him a contract. In exchange for paying him royalties the company was given the right to market Hands’ products.