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Burnett's Cocoaine Bottle

$950.00 (excluding tax)

Product Description

Set includes:

  • Certificate of Authenticity
  • National Geographic's Civil War Gold DVD
  • Museum style display case with acrylic cover
  • Copy of Bottles from the Deep book

Size: 11.00cm

Among the many claims of the nostrum maker was a promise to restore lost hair or prevent it from falling out. “The Inventors of Burnett’s Cocoaine,” testimonials claimed, relied on “pharmaceutical science” to produce “the most desirable [hair] preparation ever offered to the public.” Through “careful research and reiterated experiment,” the makers discovered that coconut oil, with other “scientifically selected” ingredients, created the ideal compound to stimulate “healthy and vigorous hair growth.”

When Joseph Burnett of Southborough, Massachusetts, named his “Cocoaine” in 1856, he may have intended to play off the public’s attraction to the many cocaine-laced patent medicines being sold to treat other ailments. Burnett, however, stands out as one of the few proprietors to have been a fully qualified pharmacist, having graduated from the Worcester College of Pharmacy. Burnett first went to work for Theodore Metcalf, a Boston dealer of drugs and toilet articles. In 1847, the young pharmacist opened his own apothecary in Boston. Ten years later, Burnett partnered with William G. Edmonds, and the business became Joseph Burnett & Co.

The company boasted a number of products including “Jonas Whitcomb’s Asthma Remedy,” a cologne water, flavoring extracts, a freckle remover, and its most lucrative preparation, Burnett’s Cocoaine. This last item was one of the most popular hair treatments of the era. More than 40 bottles of Burnett’s prized hair formula were salvaged from the wreck site. Two of the bottles contain a clear liquid that may be the remnants of the original product.

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