Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound

What's does this have to do with Bovina?  In the course of doing full text researching on-line through old newspapers, I've come across this ad numerous times:

Mother So Poorly – Could Hardly Care for Children – Finds Health in Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound
Bovina Center, N.Y. - “For six years I have not had as good health as I have now. I was very young when my first baby was born and my health was very bad after that. I was not regular and I had pains in my back and was so poorly that I could hardly take care of my two children. I doctored with several doctors but got no better. They told me there was no help without an operation. I have used Lydia E. Pinkham's Vegetable Compound and it has helped me wonderfully.  I do most of my own work now and take care of my children.  I recommend your remedies to all suffering women.” – Mrs. Willard A. Graham, Care of Elsworth Tuttle, Bovina Center, N.Y.
I've tried to track down Mrs. Willard A. Graham, but so far, I've had no luck in finding anything about her.  It's not totally clear to me that she lived in Bovina.  Her story was passed on by someone from Bovina, however and I did find some information about Ellsworth Tuttle.  Born in 1882, Ellsworth was the son of Benjamin and Jane Tuttle.  Married to Elizabeth C. (Nellie) Kinch, he died in 1959 and is buried in the Bovina Cemetery. 

What about Lydia E. Pinkham?  What about her product?  You can find more information on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydia_Pinkham.  Lydia Pinkham (1819 – 1883), as noted in Wikipedia, was an iconic concocter and shrewd marketer of a commercially successful herbal-alcoholic "women's tonic" meant to relieve menstrual and menopausal pains.  Variations of Lydia's compound still exist today, though not including the alcohol that was the main ingredient of the original product.

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