A quantitative profile of the patent medicine industry in Baltimore from 1863 to 1930.

Michael Torbenson, Jonathon Erlen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

At least 661 unique patent medicine manufacturers promoted their nostrums in Baltimore from 1863 to 1930. The industry saw its greatest growth from 1880 to 1900 and peaked in 1907. Overall, about 7% of these companies were owned by women and 4% by African-Americans. Based on the short life span of most companies, the business environment appears to have been very competitive. The patent medicine industry began a steady decline after 1907 and by 1930 had lost nearly 40% of the companies. The temporal correlation of this decline with the passage of the Food and Drugs Act of 1906 argues strongly that this legislation was an important contributor to the decline of the industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalPharmacy in history
Volume49
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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