Medicine Bottle

Medicine Bottle

Perry Davis Painkiller bottle

Small rectangular glass bottle with light green tint, raised lettering on one side: "Vegetable"; on the other side: "Painkiller"; and on the front: "Davis". Reproduction label attached for exhibit.

Perry Davis was 47 years old when he invented his pain killer. He fell ill and devised a medicine that he claimed saved him from the brink of death. Its ingredients consisted of mainly opiates and ethyl alcohol and true to its claim they are entirely natural. He first peddled the elixir at outdoor markets but as the demand quickly rose, he sold the medicine in bulk. In 1850 Perry's son Edmund joined him in the business and the company became Davis & Son. When Perry Davis passed away in 1862, his son took over the business. A few decades later, Perry Davis's name was widely known and his face was familiar throughout the world.

Sourdough Thermometer: Other then its medicinal purpose, prospector Ray Stewart had another use for the elixir. He used it as a part of a makeshift thermometer. Stewart built the traveling thermometer with things he had purchased from the McQuestern and Mayo Trading post. Quicksilver froze at -40 F (-40°C), Coal Oil would freeze at -50 F (-46°C), Jamaica Ginger froze at -55 F (-48°C), Perry Davis Pain Killer -72 F (-58°C) and the St. Jacobs oil never froze.


Dawson City Museum, Dawson City

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