Here’s another big-business remedy, this time originating in Canada. “Dr Williams” was a brand name, and the pills were manufactured by George T. Fulford of Brockville, Ontario. Born in 1852, Fulford went into the patent medicine business in 1886 and four years later bought the rights to the Pink Pills recipe from Dr William Jackson for $53.01. The Pills arrived in Britain by 1893, and the company had premises on Holborn Viaduct, London.
The Pink Pills included ferrous sulphate, so they would have had a geniune effect against anaemia, but they were weaker and far more expensive than the ordinary iron pills commonly prescribed by physicians.
Fulford, who was appointed to the Senate in 1900, used an “advertorial” style to promote his products. The ads, like the one below, appeared to be news stories reporting a miracle in some distant town – the miracle always turning out to be a result of someone taking Dr Williams’ Pink Pills.
In 1905, Senator Fulford had the dubious honour of becoming the first Canadian to be killed in an automobile accident, but his company remained in business until 1989.
REMARKABLE AFFAIR IN YORKSHIRE.–The daugh-
ter of Mr. J. Bridges, 42, Foljambe-road, Eastwood
View, Rotherham, has been the theme of a well-
authenticated report in the Yorkshire papers, the facts
having been investigated, and the lady and her parents
seen, by press representatives. Miss Bridges at seven-
teen was described by her parents as “prematurely old.”
She could not eat, had no strength, and was nearly
copper-coloured, suffering severely from palpitation of
the heart. But when seen by the reporter she was in
the bloom of health, eating and sleeping well and quite
free from heart-trouble, with complexion like the rose
—a recovery entirely due to the now famous remedy,
Dr. Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People. When
a girl is pale, weak, easily “tired out,” trou-
bled with headache, backache, pain in the
side; when her temper is fitful and her appetite
poor—she is in a condition of extreme peril, a fit
subject for the development of the most dreaded of
all diseases—consumption. Dr. Williams’ Pink Pills
will assist the patient to develop properly and regu-
larly; they will enrich the blood, and danger of con-
sumption and premature death will be averted. Pru-
dent mothers will insist upon their daughters taking
Dr. Williams’ Pink Pills upon the approach of the
period of womanhood and thus avoid all chances of
disease or early decay. The same medicine cures
rheumatism, sciatica, neuralgia, paralysis, locomotor
ataxy, nervous headache, scrofula, chronic erysipelas,
and influenza. A specific for the female sex.
In men they cure all cases from worry, over-
work, or excesses. Sold by Dr. Williams’ Medicine
Company, 46, Holborn Viaduct, London, and by
chemists, at 2s. 9d. a box, or six boxes 13s. 9d., post
free. Only genuine in pink wrapper with full name,
Dr. Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People.
Source: The Derby Mercury, Wednesday 10 April 1895