Welcome to Boston & Company - Purveyors of drugs, household items, sundries & confections (and the Mercantile)!
The following artifacts (or similar ones) can be seen in the shop windows. The numbers associated with the artifacts in the text below are tied to the image gallery key at the bottom of this page.
10 Dalley's Magical Pain Extractor - This product was widely advertised and sold during much of the 19th century. It was a topical salve or ointment that was purported to relieve pain.
An ad in the Stroudsburg, PA Jeffersonian from January 13, 1859 describes this product in this way - "In all diseases inflammation more of less predominates - now to allay inflammation strkes [sic] at the root of disease - hence an immediate cure. Dalley's Magical Pain Extractor, and nothing else, will allay inflammation at once, and make a certain cure. Dalley's Magical Pain Extractor will cure the following among a catalogue of diseases; burns, scalds, cuts, chafes, sore nipples, corns, bunions, strains, bites, poison, chilblains, biles, scrofula, ulcers, fever sores, felons, ear ache, piles, sore eyes, gout, swellings, rheumatism, scald head, salt rheum, baldness, erysipelas, ringworm, barber's itch, small pox, measles, rash, &c., &c. To some it may appear incredulous that so many diseases should be reached by one article; such an idea will vanish when reflection points to the fact that the salve is a combination of ingredients, each and every one applying a perfect antidote to its opposite disorder. Dalley's Magical Pain Extractor in its effects is magical, because the time is so short between disease and a permanent cure; and it is an extractor because it draws all disease out of the affected part, leaving nature as perfect as before the injury. It is scarcely necessary to say that no house, workshop or manufactory should be without it."Read More
11 The Prairie Traveler - Soldier and explorer of the American West, Randolph Barnes Marcy was born in Greenwich, Massachusetts, on April 9, 1812. He graduated from West Point in 1832.
Assigned to the Fifth Infantry as a brevet second lieutenant, he advanced to the substantive rank of second lieutenant in 1835 and rose to first lieutenant in 1837 and to captain in 1846. In 1848 he was given the command of Fort Towson in the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. With the discovery of gold in California, he was ordered to provide protection for emigrants moving west through Indian Territory and to survey a potential railroad route from the Mississippi River to California. In April 1849 he departed from Fort Smith for Santa Fe, laying out the Marcy Trail, a route later adopted by the Butterfield Overland Mail. Promoted to acting inspector general of the Department of Utah, Marcy was recalled to Washington, D.C., to prepare a guidebook for emigrants heading west. The result was The Prairie Traveler: A Handbook for Overland Expeditions (1859). This book can be viewed and read for free at Project Gutenberg. You may also be able to purchase a copy in the CTIC gift shop.Read More
17 Toothbrushes - These were rare in the 19th century and even by the early 20th century less than 20% of the American population owned or used one. The handles were generally made from cow bone, and the bristles from boar hairs. They were mostly imported from Europe. It wasn't until 1857 that the first U.S. patent appeared for a toothbrush.
27 Scissors - During the 19th century, scissors were hand-forged, often with elaborately decorated handles. They were made by hammering steel on indented surfaces known as 'bosses' to form the blades. The rings in the handles, known as bows, were made by punching a hole in the steel and enlarging it with the pointed end of an anvil.
35 & 43 Fans
The fans of the early nineteenth century were generally fairly small and plain, with leaves of thin silk spangled and lightly painted; their sticks, also, compared with those of earlier fans, were plain and unornamented. There were also small brise fans—fans without a leaf—whose sticks, of thin ivory or wood, pierced, carved and linked together with ribbon, extended to form the whole fan. These, also, were sometimes painted, either in small motifs on each stick or with a single motif over the open fan.
Learn more about Victorian hand fan history at https://vintagedancer.com/victorian/victorian-hand-fans/
38 & 39 & 40 Hair ornaments, pins, and combs
18th century hairstyles utilized several methods of decoration and ornamentation. You can read a nice summary blog about these at
47 Dental Tooth Extractor - Also known as a toothkey, this device was used from about 1740 to about 1860. It changed style over the years, evolving from a straight shaft to a curved shaft to lessen pressure on adjacent teeth. The rotating claw on some models could be removed and exchanged with other shapes and sizes. It fell into disuse after the invention of a pair of forceps for the same procedure. If you'd like additional information this informative website provides details on the history of this device.
57 Canvas Wagon Cover - The white canvas cover called a bonnet, that was stretched across arched wooden bows of the wagon, was meant to protect the contents of the wagon from rain and dust. Westward travelers used a 10-ounce canvas made of cotton duck fabric. To make it waterproof, the canvas was coated with linseed oil. Drawstrings on either end allowed the bonnet to be closed at least part of the way if a storm came up.