RS42d Dr. John Bull, Louisville, Kentucky, Revenue Stamp


Dr. John Bull’s Preparations, Louisville, Kentucky, RS42d Proprietary Die Medicine Revenue Stamp. Dr. Bull marketed Sarsaparilla, Cedron Bitter, Worm Destroyer and Smith’s Tonic Syrup. This stamp on watermarked paper has a small hinge thin.


As early as 1843, John Bull, apothecary, was practicing in Louisville, Kentucky, and was affiliated with J. B. Wilder & Company, drug and patent medicine manufacturers. By 1865, John Bull was himself a patent medi­cine manufacturer with offices in Louisville producing Bull’s Sarsapar­illa, Cedron Bitters, Bull’s worm Destroyer and Smith’s Tonic Syrup. Smith’s Tonic Syrup contained quinine sulfate, podophyllum, cardamom, citrate of iron and syrup while Bull’s Cough Syrup contained 1/4 grain of morphine per oz. of syrup. John Bull died in 1881 and William Cromey continued the business as a executor of the estate at least until 1883. In 1890 Dr. Bull’s Cough Syrup was being manufactured by A. C. Meyer and Company of Baltimore, Maryland, and was still on the market – minus the morphine – in the early 20th century.

(Holcombe, Henry W. weekly Philatelic Gossip, 28: 145-146, April 22, 1939; see also o. H. Schrader, “A Study of Dr. John Bull Private Pro­prietary Stamps”, S.P.A. Journal, 367-374, February, 1947)

Additional information

Catalog Number



F with small hinge thin




Watermarked Paper

Number Issued



First issued April 1866. Last issued February 19, 1883



Catalog Value


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