Father John's Medicine - Lowell, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Team Farkle 7
N 42° 38.670 W 071° 18.624
19T E 310596 N 4723926
Quick Description: 'A product of Divine Inspiration'
Location: Michigan, United States
Date Posted: 2/4/2009 9:17:23 PM
Waymark Code: WM5R2G
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 13

Long Description:

The story according to one source is that Father John O’Brien, invented his prescription which he gave to two local druggist in Lowell. George Carlton and Charles Hovey ran a drugstore in town around 1850. Supposedly they gave the prescription to local church members and later bottled it for retail sale. (The Bottle Book, Fike 1987)

Another source indicates the Lowell apothecary of Carleton and Hovey, began in 1860s to market a cough medicine developed by a local Catholic priest - Father John O'Brien. When the medicine became popular the apothecary reorganized as the Father John's Medicine Company.

A third source which claims to be the true story says, “Tradition has it that Father John O'Brien was taken ill in 1855. He made his way to the pharmacy of Carleton and Hovey on Merrimack Street to get something for relief. He was given a tonic that was composed of cod liver oil and had a licorice taste. Unlike many other medicines of its time, the prescription contained no alcohol. It worked so well for the priest that he began recommending folks to visit the apothecary and ask for "Father John's Medicine" - a legend was born.”( University of Massachusetts Lowell Center for Lowell History )

The exact details are obscure but the business was owned and operated by the Carleton and Hovey until both died in the 1880s. Popular as it was under their auspices, the real growth came close to the turn of the century.

Whatever the truth, whether Father O’Brien or Carleton and Hovey invented the mixture, the use of Father John O’Brien’s name and picture along with a plausible product created a sales empire which lasted over 150 years. The company may have invented the product in the mid 1800s, but it was not until about 1900 that the sales began to grow to a national distribution. Extensive advertising campaigns helped drive the effort. They created posters, advertised in many newspapers and even had films promoting their products in the later years.

In the early 1980s the company was sold and moved it's manufacturing plant to Cody, Wyoming. Link

If you get a chance check out this Link.
From local singer/songwriter Frank Morey's album titled Father John's Medicine, the last track is "Snowing In Lowell".

Name of publication (required):
Unknown


Date of Publication (required):
circa 1880's


Web URL to additional proof of location or additional information.: [Web Link]

Does the ad identify the location of the company?: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
Share your thoughts or memories of the location. You must have visited this location in person to post a visit.

Search for...
Geocaching.com Google Map
Google Maps
MapQuest
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Vintage Ad Locations
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log  
Facedances visited Father John's Medicine - Lowell, MA 10/5/2011 Facedances visited it