Dr. Larzetti’s Juno Cordial or Procreative Elixir. New York: Judson & Co., 1844. Uncut engraved label. Gift of William H. Helfand.
Popular medicine manufacturers were not the first to employ labels on products, but were some of the earliest in the 19th century to use signed, decorative ones as a mark of authenticity. For Judson & Co., the signature belied the complicated and contentious history with its associated firm Comstock & Co. Over a period of almost twenty years (1850-1866), the ever-changing members of each firm sued, countersued, and filed injunctions for control of the rights and revenues of “Comstock” medicines.