Birds-Eye View of San Francisco
- Alternate Title:
- Birds-Eye View of San Francisco - Peruvian Bitters
- Birds-Eye View of San Francisco
- Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection
- Peruvian Bitters
- Posted Date:
- ID Number:
- File Name:
- 1870 - 1899
- Advertising & Promotion
- 7.5 x 26, on sheet 21 x 26 (centimeters, height x width)
- A remarkable promotional map on a broadside for the patent medicine "Peruvian Bitters." The verso makes clear the many benefits of this medicine: "CONQUERS Death-Dealing Malaria. KILLS Dyspepsia by Removing its Cause. DESTROYS A Morbid Appetite for Stimulants. RESTORES Health and Consequent Happiness. NONE CAN AFFORD TO BE WITHOUT IT! For Sale By ALL DRUGGISTS and WINE MERCHANTS."
This remedy dates to the story of the beautiful young wife of Count Cinchon, the representative in Peru of Philip IV of Spain. When the Countess was near death in 1630, the "monks of the Mission . . . advised the use of Peruvian bark, or, as it was then called in the language of the country, Quinquinia." She immediately "rallied from the deadly langour which had so long possessed her, her appetite and her strength were restored," and she recovered completely. When the Count and Countess returned to Spain, they introduced the remedy to in Europe, and "a celebrated scientist designated it Cinchona, in honor of the lady who had brought it to the knowledge of the civilized world." O'Connell 1891, 63-64. "Peruvian Bitters" first appeared in the U.S. in 1871, produced by the San Francisco firm Wilmerding-Kellogg, which became Wilmerding and Co. in 1877. Ketcham 8. In 1891, O'Connell (1891, 64) identified Wilmerding & Co. as "the proprietors of Peruvian Bitters," adding that "the reputation of this old firm is the best guarantee of the purity of this popular and healthful concoction."
On this broadside, a pigeon flies over a bird's-eye view of San Francisco, carrying in its beak an image of "two monks on a rainy city street, presumably in Lima. A woman in Peruvian costume and carrying an umbrella kisses the hand of one monk, while the other monk bears a large bag which clearly contains the ingredients for the bitters, the name of which is carved above a doorway behind him." Barry Ruderman, https://www.raremaps.com/gallery/archivedetail/17801/Birdseye_View_of_San_Francisco_Promotional_Advertisement_for_Peruvian_Bitters/Bancroft%20&%20Co..html, accessed September 14, 2014. Based on "the extent of the metropolis and the steamers and sailing ships that crowd the Bay and the City's wharves," Ruderman dates this advertisement to "the prosperous 1880's," which accords with O'Connell's description.
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- Private Collection of PJ Mode
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