A vital message

Here’s another ad for a patent medicine offered by the Tamblyn drug store chain, this time from the March 2 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star.

A search for Nu-Erb turned up a Federal Trade Commission decision from 1936 in which a seller was forced to admit that it wasn’t anything other than a laxative and mild tonic.

While this advertiser may have stretched the truth about the wondrous healing properties of Nu-Erb, the testimonials for the product appear to be genuine. Or, at least, the people in the ads were real: the 1932 Toronto city directory lists Sehon Scott at 511 Ontario Street (Adelaide was presumably his wife) and Charles W. Deviney at 63 Annette Street. Mr. Scott worked as a train man on the Canadian National Railroad, and Mr. Deviney worked as a laborer at the Laidlaw Lumber Company. Three other Devineys are listed at 63 Annette Street, so it was a busy family!

Going forward: Mr. Deviney is listed in the 1937 directory, but not the 1942 one. Mr. Scott is listed as late as 1948, but is not in the 1949 directory. His wife, the Madame Adelaide Scott of the ad, also isn’t listed; either they moved somewhere or she predeceased him.

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