RS34b Brandreth Pills 1c Black VF


Dr. William Brandreth of Liverpool, England, discovered a combination of herbs in 1752 which he offered for public sale starting in 1759 as a cure for constipation and biliousness. But it was Dr. Brandreth’s sixth and youngest grandson, Benjamin, who capitalized on hisgrandfather’ssecret formula. Benjamin began manufacturing Brandreth’s Universal Vege­table Pills soon after he arrived in New York City in 1835, and within 5 years he was wealthy on the pills which contained aloes, colocynth, and gamboge – all potent cathartics. In 1848 he purchased Allcock’s Porous Plasters to add to his wealth. With his fortune, Brandreth built a mas­sive hotel on Broadway in New York City and helped establish the New York Eclectic Medical College. Brandreth died in 1880 and he bequeathed his large family the factory which continued to manufacture pills and plasters. Both products are still being manufactured (mainly for export} by Allcock’s Manufacturing Company of Ossining, New York. (Holcombe, Henry w., Scott’s Monthly Journal, 20: 120-125, 163-165, June-July, 1939; see also James Harvey Young, pp. 75-89; Gerald Carson, pp. 80, 102}


Size of engraving 41 x 60mm. Design the same as for the first one cent stamp excepting that it is larger and the colorless circular band is inscribed “Allcock’s” above and “Porous Plaster.” below, in colored, Roman capitals. There is a small, colored, five-pointed star between these inscriptions at sides.
It was at first intended that this stamp should be identical with its smaller predecessor except in the matter of size. The Bureau, however, refused to approve the model so long as it bore the inscription “United States Certificate of Genuineness.” The next proposition was to insert “Guaranteed Genuine”, but this also failed to obtain the approval of the Bureau and ** Allcock’s Porous Plaster.” was finally substituted and approved.
On Jan. 9, 1875, Mr. Brandreth wrote to Mr. Carpenter as follows : “We intend using the small stamp (the one we have been using) for the fills and the large one for the plasters.” And, on March 6, 1875, he wrote: “The large one is inconvenient to handle and does not look well on the goods.” One lot of this stamp was ever ordered.

An Historical Reference List of the Revenue Stamps of the United Stamps: Including the Private Die Proprietary Stamps

Boston Philatelic Society
Salem, Press of Newcomb & Gauss, 1899

Additional information

Scott Number



VF, shallow thins




Silk Paper

Number Issued



First issued Jan., 1875. Last issued Jan., 1875.



2014 Scott Catalog Value


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