Dr. Kilmer's Swamp Root Kidney Liver and Bladder Cure

Title

Dr. Kilmer's Swamp Root Kidney Liver and Bladder Cure

Subject

Medicine
Internal Medicine

Description

From eighteen years old, Dr. Sylvester Andral Kilmer studied homeopathic remedies before opening a practice in Binghamton, New York. The Swamp Root Kidney Liver and Bladder cure was a kidney diuretic and mild laxative.

From Medicinal Vessels of the First Gilded Age:
The indications or uses for this product as provided by the manufacturer are: A diuretic for the kidneys and a mild laxative. "Swamp-Root" tends to promote the flow of urine thereby aiding the kidneys in their necessary work of eliminating waste matter.
By 1930 the official ingredients list was: alcohol 10%, buchu leaves, scullcap leaves, golden seal root, colombo root, valerian root, cinnamon, oil of juniper, oil of birch, balsam copaiba, balsam tolu, venice turpentine, peppermint herb, rhubarb root, mandrake root, sassafras, cape aloes.
Kilmer’s Swamp Root was introduced in 1879 by Dr. Sylvester Andral Kilmer of Binghamton, NY. The bottles in the MARTA collection were all found at 9Fu91 with three different embossed labels. Six of them refer to the product as a “cure”. The 1906 PFDA made that claim illegal, suggesting that these bottles were manufactured before that date. One vessel uses the word “remedy” in place of “cure” signaling that its production was post-1906. Oddly, this particular vessel was also the only sample size of Kilmer’s Swamp-Root in the collection as well.
While the swamp-root nostrum was invented and first produced by S. Andral Kilmer in 1879, his brother Jonas joined him and eventually bought out Andral. Jonas continued to maintain operations until his death in 1912. At that point Jonas’ son Willis Kilmer took the helm of his uncle’s “great cure”. Willis Kilmer was a savvy businessman and made a small fortune
producing Swamp-Root.

Source

Cook, David L., "Medicinal Vessels of the First Gilded Age (1870-1929): Properties of Promise or Hokum of False Hope?." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2014.
doi: https://doi.org/10.57709/6430686

Third image: https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_714581

Fourth Image: https://www.nps.gov/articles/dr-kilmer-s-medicine-bottle.htm

Publisher

Phoenix Project

Date

1880-1912

Contributor

HIP-SI 2023
Lauren Cook

Format

Weight: 276.5g
W: 60.6mm
H:18.2cm
L:35.8mm

Type

Glass
Bottle

Identifier

p1842, ACC 170

Coverage

9FU91

Collection

Citation

“Dr. Kilmer's Swamp Root Kidney Liver and Bladder Cure,” The Phoenix Project , accessed May 29, 2024, http://martaphoenixproject.gsuanthropology.com/items/show/90.

Output Formats

Geolocation