Warner’s Safe Diabetes Remedy Rochester N.Y. 16 OZ (Embossed Safe)
Warner’s Safe Diabetes Remedy
Warner’s Safe Remedies Co., Rochester, N.Y.
Two Tone Oval Medicine
Provenance: Michael and Kathie Craig Collection
When the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 came into being, the quality of medicine was abysmal. Quack medicine dominated the marketplace, and many drugs were addictive or dangerous without actually providing a curative effect. In many cases opium and alcohol were chief ingredients, even in infant medicines.
Warner’s Safe Cure Co. initially used this new Act to its advantage as they were now required to state the percentage of alcohol in their products. The company made labels that read “Guaranteed under the FDA to be 12% Alcohol” and made claims like “Guaranteed under the FDA.” They either had it on their labels or placed extra labels on bottles that did not change, like the Tippecanoe figural log bottle.
Around 1907, Warner’s Safe Cure Co. was forced to remove the word “Cure” from embossed copy on bottles and bottle labels. This was true for all patent medicine proprietors and companies. Once Warner used up their stock of bottles, they purchased new bottles with the word “Cure” changed to “Remedy.” This happened around 1908. Warner Safe Remedies Co. would be the new name of the business in Rochester, New York.
Eventually, the company was forced to remove the word “Safe” from embossed and labeled bottles and to make the Diabetes Remedy “non-alcoholic.” Warner Safe Remedies Co. also changed its name in 1916 to Warner Remedies Co.
Since H. H. Warner was no longer involved in the Warner empire and the Dr. Craig trademark war requiring amber bottles was no longer in effect, some of these Warner’s Safe Diabetes Remedy bottles were made in other colors of glass.
Most likely, glass companies were allowed to fill the order with whatever glass colors they wanted. We find amber, clear, and green Warner’s Safe Kidney & Liver Remedy bottles and Warner’s Safe Diabetes Remedy bottles. There was a rather large market for the Diabetes Remedy, and several different shades of green glass can be found. All are considered very rare.
Our subject 16-ounce two-tone Warner’s Safe Diabetes Remedy bottle was made when a gaffer grabbed two different batches of glass to make the bottle. We also see this characteristic in later Warner’s Safe Remedy Co. bottles produced around 1911.
When looking at the face of the bottle there are six centered lines of stacked embossed sans serif copy. At the top near the shoulder is ’16 OZ’ (the “Oz” is smaller than the “16” and the copy is slightly curved downward.) The second line reads ‘WARNER’S’ (The “W” and “S” are much larger capital letters. The third line reads ‘SAFE’ in horizontal straightline letters. (The “S” is a much larger capital letter.) The fourth line reads “DIABETES’ in uniform large capital letters. The word ‘REMEDY’ is centered beneath. The “R” is enlarged. A faintly embossed pictorial safe takes up much of the bottle face. Along the base of the bottle is embossed copy reading ‘ROCHESTER, N.Y.’ again with a larger initial capital letter “R” and last letter “Y.” The top of the bottle has olive glass coloration on what appears to be an aquamarine glass bottle.
Warner collectors wonder if a pure aquamarine Diabetes Remedy bottle exists based on the primary glass color in the two-tone bottle. Also, there is an aqua Warner’s Safe Rheumatic Remedy bottle. These Remedy bottles were transition bottles to fill out an order and only existed from 1908 to 1910. The non-amber bottles are really rare. This two-tone glass example is truly one of a kind.
Primary Image: Two-tone 16-ounce Warner’s Safe Diabetes Remedy imaged by Alan DeMaison at the FOHBC Reno 2022 National Antique Bottle Convention mobile imaging station.
Support Image: Warner’s Safe Diabetes Remedy box and labeled bottle. Warner’s Safe Remedies Co. Rochester, N.Y. The indications or uses for this product as provided by the manufacturer are for Diabetes Mellitus or sugar in the urine. The box measures 9 5/8 in x 3 5/8 in x 1 3/4 in. The bottle is 9 in x 3 1/8 in x 1 5/8 in, Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Support: Reference to H. H. Warner His Company & His Bottles 2.0, Michael Seeliger, 2016. Assistance from Mr. Seeliger in the museum write-up.
Support: Reference to The amazing, two-tone Warner’s Safe Diabetes Remedy, Peachridgeglass.com, August 2013
Join the FOHBC: The Virtual Museum is a project of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors (FOHBC). To become a member.