The Original Dr. Craig’s Kidney Cure, Rochester NY
The Original Dr. Craig’s Kidney Cure
An Absolute Specific for Bright’s Disease
Hulbert H. Warner, Rochester, New York
Labeled Amber Medicine
Provenance: Michael & Kathie Craig Collection
The labeled 9 ½ inches-tall amber strap-sided bottle is somewhat like the original Dr. Craig’s Kidney Cure that Dr. Craig was selling from 1874 to 1879. The embossing is on the reverse side of the label side and reads ‘THE ORIGINAL DR. CRAIG’S KIDNEY CURE’ and ‘ROCHESTER, N Y.’ There is a number “1” embossed on the base along with the remnants of a 1 cent revenue stamp. It is thought this is the first Warner bottle, not the shoulder embossed “Warner’s Safe Cure” as so often is professed.
The bottle was used between March and June 1879 when Dr. Craig and Warner were working together and is one of only two with an almost complete label. The bottle was labeled as such to take advantage of Dr. Craig’s notoriety, though the label clearly states Hulbert Warner put it up in Rochester, New York. Also, it was just a “Kidney Cure for Bright’s Disease;” the “Liver,” as in “Kidney and Liver,” part of the product name was added later when Warner began producing his own bottles.
It is significant enough to note that Warner credits Dr. Craig in only his earliest almanacs, 1879 and 1880. Local newspapers reported that Warner, recognizing the potential for supplying every man his Cure, purchased the rights to produce the Cure from the New York syndicate that purchased the rights from Dr. Craig in 1878. They never produced the Cure and sold the rights to H. H. Warner in early 1879 or late 1878.
Dr. Craig’s product was marketed by Warner with much fanfare and initially offered to the public under the label “The Original Dr. Craig’s Kidney Cure – An Absolute Specific for Bright’s Disease – Hulbert H. Warner.” His trademark then was a “four-leaf clover,” as evidenced by the bottle label. The clover use would become valuable in his patent fight with Dr. Craig. Later the clover trademark was changed to the “safe” most collectors are familiar with.
All did not go well between Dr. Craig and H. H. Warner in the ensuing years when the pair separated. In 1882, Craig, the inventor of the “Original” formula was in business again, along with his son and two other partners. The problem was that Craig’s group was selling a product remarkably like the Cure, which was the exclusive property of Hulbert H. Warner.
Primary Image: The Original Dr. Craig’s Kidney Cure bottle imaged by Alan DeMaison at the FOHBC Reno 2022 National Antique Bottle Convention mobile imaging station.
Support: Reference to Warner History Update by Michael Seeliger, Bottles and Extras, September-October 2020.
Support: Reference to H. H. Warner His Company & His Bottles 2.0, Michael Seeliger, 2016.
Support: Reference to Collecting All Cures, Bill Agee, 1973.
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