Dyott begins to manufacture Boot Blackening and Patent Medicines
Thomas set up a small boot blackening business, manufacturing the product himself in the cellar below his small shop on south Second Street. He had apparently been a druggist’s apprentice in England,and soon expanded his business to include patent medicines, which he sold under the brand name of “Robertson’s Family Medicines.” By 1808, he added the title M.D. onto his name for what appears to be promotional reasons. By the year 1819 “Dr. Dyott” had grown into the largest patent medicine supplier in the country.
In both the boot polish and patent medicine businesses, Dyott had relied heavily on glass bottles from the New Jersey Glass works he was part owner of. In 1817 he added the Kensington Glass works to his empire of glass work's he was now controlling. Dyott was always able to sell his point of view and products to various business associates he either had direct dealings with or simply knew them from the community.
Wealthy Financiers kept his various ever expanding businesses in the black. Dyott used the print media to get the message out to the public that he was the king of patent medicines. It was not uncommon for Dyott to take up an entire page of a newspaper with various ads and testimonials. He advertised in every major city in the United States from 1806-1836. He also had agents in every major city selling his products.
As stated above and seen in this ad below Dyott was the sole agent for the following Glass Factories in New Jersey. The Union,The Olive,and The Gloucester.This ad was from May 6 1818.
Dr. Robertson’s genuine patent and family medicines
Dr. Robertson’s genuine patent and family medicines which are celebrated for the cure of most diseases to which the human body is liable, prepared only by the sale proprietor, T.W. Dyott, M.D., grandson of the late celebrated Dr. Robertson, of Edinburgh, and to be had wholesale and retail at the proprietor’s Medical Dispensary, No. 116 North Second-Street, second door above Race-Street, Philadelphia, and by retail, of the agents in every principal town in the United States . Dyotts favorite ad he ran through out the United States for over 25 years.
This bottle is quite rare and there are less then 5 examples known in collections at this time. It was first made in 1806 and was advertised for sale through 1830. The earliest examples of this flask which have been located were manufactured at the Olive glass works in present day Glassboro New Jersey. The bottle is embossed on a narrow side panel Dr ROBERTSON'S,on the front panel FAMILY MEDICINE,on the other narrow side panel PREPARED and on the back panel it is embossed ONLY BY T. W. DYOTT. The color of this bottle is pale green and it does have high lead content cosistent with which Dyott stated they were made from. The mold used was a cross hinged type very typical of the early British medicines at the same time.
Dyott was part owner and the sole agent for the Olive glass works as shown in the ad below advertised in the Aurora General Advertiser
Dyott was about to begin to do business with the Kensington Glass Factory of James Rowland in August of 1819.
Dyott was about to move his Patented Medicine warehouse from number 57 South Second Street two blocks north in June of 1808 to the more famous location No. 11 North Second Street. An ad shown below placed in the Aurora General Advertiser shows the date of the placement of of the ad as June 9 1808. This would mean the business had already been relocated.
Dyotts Ifallible Tooth Ache Drops were listed below in this 1817 ad in the Aurora General advertiser.
It is quite likely that this small 3 inch tall Medicine vial below embossed simply T. W. DYOTT held the Tooth ache Drops listed in the middle of above ad. This bottle was dug by Chris Rowell of Baltimore Maryland. He repaired the flared lip on this bottle and it turned out great. Chris recalls seeing a second one a few years ago but that one and this one pictured below are the only two known examples ever recorded.
Dyott when he first began to patent his medicine he described squared flint bottle which held his patent medicines. From his wholesale and retail Medicine warehouse in Philadelphia,Dyott had began to launch a national advertising campaign in the daily newspapers of the eastern United States Including Pittsburgh and Wheeling Virginia.
Dyott had stated as early 1806 for the first time that my Dr Robertsons Family Medicine." is put up in square flint glass bottles American Manufactured with these words impressed on the glass DR ROBERTSON'S /FAMILY MEDICINE/PREPARED/ ONLY BY T.W.DYOTT. The wrapper around each bottle of medicine was signed with the statement : " Observe that none are genuine without the signature of T.W. Dyott,M.D". These square flint glass bottles were superseded by the flat,green glass bottles with essentially the same lettering by 1809.
A bottle in my collection which was found in a basement in Fishtown which is located near Kensington and Center City Philadelphia has the remains of a partial label with the words Approved Family Medicine T W DYOTT M. D.Family medicine clearly visible. It is square it is flint glass and it is old at between 1805 and 1815. It is a pretty bright green color and has a large flared lip.
Two more examples of early T W DYOTT vial type bottles which were listed on ebay.