Durham, North Carolina: circa 1878. Envelope or Cover. This quack medicine advertising grouping consists of a one-page promotional handbill, an 8-page accordion-fold pamphlet, and an illustrated advertising envelope for “Barham’s Infallible Pile Cure.” The envelope is franked with a cork-canceled 1-cent gray blue stamp (Scott #156) with no town markings. It was sent to South Boston, Virginia.The promotional handbill is targeted to druggists announcing that the “Manufacturers of Genuine Durham Smoking Tobacco” had purchased this pile cure from Mr. C. A. W. Barham and includes retail and wholesale pricing information.The eight-page folding brochure is filled with testimonials about the products effectiveness and a special not from Barham explaining that he sold the rights to his product to Durham Tobacco “in the interest of suffering humanity,” because he “lack[ed] the capital to properly place [it] before the public.”The illustrated cover features the company’s trademark illustration of a bull which is repeated on the folding brochure and promotional handbill. Very good. Item #009668
The recipe for “Barham's Pile Cure was obtained by a Durham tobacco auctioneer, Claudius Augustin Winfield Barham, in 1876. His “malodorous Salve . . . was packed in a separable tin box [and] sold entirely by mail. . .. There was no advertising but by one user telling another. . ..” After discussing the salve with W. T. Blackwell and Julian S. Carr, the owners of Bull Durham Tobacco and the Durham Hosiery Mills, he sold the cure to them in the fall of 1877. After an energetic start, the pair appears to have abandoned the project in 1879 and returned the formula to Barham. Private die, match & medicine revenue stamps [Scott # RS14] were issued for the company for sealing the product cannisters. A total of 2,500 stamps were printed, however few were ever actually used. (See “Barham Pile Cure Co.” in Holcombe’s Patent Medicine Tax Stamps.) No stamps are included in this lot.