The September 22 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this patent medicine ad:
As usual with patent medicine ads that contained a Toronto name and address, I looked in the Toronto city directories to check whether this was a real person. I discovered that the 1926 directory listed Edson Bradshaw at 413 Wellesley, so he actually existed.
However, Mr. Bradshaw might have just had a change of fortune. The 1925 directory lists him as a painter and decorator at 159 Bleecker, but the 1926 directory lists him with no occupation. Either the directory compiler didn’t record his job, or he was now out of work; if the latter, he might have been more likely to offer a paid endorsement to Tanlac.
I tracked Mr. Bradshaw for a bit:
- In 1927, he was still listed at 413 Wellesley with no recorded occupation.
- In 1928, he wasn’t listed at all, which appears ominous, but he reappears in the 1929 directory at 419 Leslie, still with no occupation.
- In 1932, he was at 60 Saulter without an occupation, but the 1935 directory lists him as a painter and decorator again, at 26 Walpole.
I hope this meant that his misfortunes were now behind him, and that he was in good health, with or without Tanlac.
The Weird Universe site has an entry on Tanlac. Apparently, it had been exposed as a fraud in 1915, but continued to be sold for at least another 30 years.