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Day book


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Thomas E. Potter was one of five children born to William Woodburn Potter (1786-1832) and his first wife Margaretta Wright in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. William W. Potter was the creator of Potter's Catholicon, a purely vegetable panacea; a cure-all for nearly every ailment. Thomas E. Potter became an agent and druggist for W. W. Potter's Catholicon beginning around 1826. Thomas Potter married Mary Reigart Baker in June 1836. The couple had five children.

This worn marble paper-covered volume comprises daily transactions of the sales and expenses of Potter's Catholicon created by W. W. Potter. The daily accounting in the volume spans the years from 1826 to 1839. The universal curative known as Potter's vegetable catholicon claimed to be a remedy for a myriad of ailments and afflictions. Potter's catholicon was made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The daily sales of the remedy were recorded in the volume along with the clients name and number of bottles procured. Some clients of the universal remedy included the Philadelphia Prison, individuals, doctors, and drug stores. The Catholicon was advertised and sold throughout the United States. In addition to the Catholicon sales are transactions for Potter's eye water. Expenses for the company included boxes, postage, newspaper advertisements, and returns. Some items noted in the volume concern expenses during 1832 to 1833 for the funeral of W. W. Potter and groceries for Henrietta Potter, William Potter's second wife. The covers of the volume are detached and most of the spine is lacking. Some leaves are loose. Thomas E. Potter is written on the inside front cover and throughout the volume. There are thirty-two additional leaves laid in the volume, chiefly medicinal recipes such as for liniments, pills, and eye water, many with citations. One recipe is titled Potter's universal plaster. Two leaves are written in French. Two items are addressed to William Hembel. There are some clippings and testimonials concerning Potter's products.

Sold by Palinurus Antiquarian Books (Jenkintown, Pa.), 2017.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Donna Brandolisio
Finding Aid Date
October 2017
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