The principal manufacturing firms of these substances, between 1851 and 1859, are recorded as follows: [Some of these firms prepared concentrations, such as the true resins, etc., for a greater or less period before the list was advertised as a class. Others did not publish a list until some time following the use of the typical resins. For example, although Mr. Wm. S. Merrell introduced the first specimens to the trade, Keith was perhaps the first to make them a commercial feature. We include quotations from the text of some of the prices current.]
F. D. Hill & Co., Cincinnati, 1852. "From a continued series of experiments, we have no hesitancy in saying that by the improvements made in the mode of preparing the following list of Concentrated Medicines, we can offer these preparations to the public, containing all the medical virtues possible to be obtained from the different native substances, and of a finer quality than ever before manufactured."
LISTS Podophyllin, Leptandrin, Macrotin, Myricin, Sanguinarin, Hydrastin. "This article, (Hydrastin), introduced by us (in 1851), is one of the finest extant among Botanic Medicines. In fact, it is the QUININE OF AMERICA." To this list was added, in 1856, Caulophyllin, Cornin, Geranin, and Prunin.
American Chemical Institute, B. Keith & Co., 1854. "The object of this Institute is to prepare the active principles of indigenous and foreign medical Plants." "One great and principal objection to the use of many vegetable remedies has been that it required such large doses of the article in a crude state, to accomplish the desired effect, that the bulk alone would defeat the entire purpose for which the remedy was administered." Then follows a list of thirty-one "Concentrations," the special claim being that they were in the form of powders.
Union Drug Store, Vine and Pearl Sts., (W. S. Merrell & Co.), Cincinnati, 1854. "The Resinoid and other Active Principles of our native plants are of a quality unsurpassed, if not unequaled, by others who have engaged in their manufacture."
Wm. H. Baker & Co., St. Louis, 1854. "New Concentrated Medicines." "Their uses, doses, etc., together with a manual on Resinoids, will be mailed free to those who desire it."
T. C. Thorpe, [(Afterward, H. M. Merrell & Co. Now Lloyd Brothers.)] Cincinnati, (Court and Plum Streets), 1854. "Manufactures and keeps constantly on hand all the Concentrated Agents peculiar to the Eclectic Practice."
Dr. I. Wilson, Cincinnati, 1854, "dealer in Essential Oils, Gums, Extracts, and CONCENTRATED PREPARATIONS." (No list published.)
Tilden & Co., New York, 1856. "Concentrated Preparations, Resinoids, or Oleo-Resins. We add to our own list some of the most important articles of this class of preparations, and shall extend the number as fast as we are able to do so, to embrace all that may be deemed of importance to the practitioners."
LISTS Asclepin, Cimicifugin, or Macrotin, Cypripedin, Geranin, Hydrastin, Leptandrin, Podophyllin, Sanguinarin, Senecin, Scutellarin, Stillingin, Xanthoxylin, [In 1859, this list had increased to forty-eight items.—L.]
Geo. M. Dixon, Cincinnati, 1856. "We beg leave to call the special attention of the medical profession to our extensive and complete assortment of CONCENTRATED MEDICINES, which are warranted to be as represented, pure and fresh."
H. H. Hill & Co., (successors to F. D. Hill & Co.), Cincinnati, 1862. "This house was one of the first to introduce the NEW CONCENTRATED REMEDIES. We offer a full assortment of our own articles."
T. L. A. Greve, Cincinnati, 1862. "I keep on hand a full supply of 'CONCENTRATED MEDICINES' "(No list at that date.)
These firms listed their products under titles, such as Alkaloids, Resinoids, Resins, and Concentrated Medicines, some even attempting to group or classify the various substances. But, as a rule, no attempt was made to distinguish between useful agents and those questionable, or between the unworthy and those entitled to a systematic position, by legitimate scientific nomenclature. Through journals and circular prints the physicians of America were now flooded with literature more or less extravagant concerning the marvelous alkaloidal and resinoidal remedies, the outcome being that the few worthy members of the group were soon overshadowed by others either unworthy of the name or entitled to no legitimate home anywhere. A heterogeneous collection was that which was finally included in the commercial lists of resins, resinoids, alkaloids, and concentrations, a list that stands yet in current catalogues. But, as has been said, the odium of it all rested, unfortunately, on the Eclectic school of medicine, by reason of the origin of the first of these products, the Resin of Podophyllum, and a few other worthy members introduced by Dr. King, as well as from the fact that many overenthusiastic Eclectic physicians had been entrapped in the craze.
After the method of American business rivals of that date, the foregoing manufacturers became bitterly antagonistic, and too often were viciously personal. Uncertain products, illogical processes, extravagant claims concerning the "Concentrations and Alkaloids" prevailed to such an extent as to place all who made them on the defensive. The legitimate use, as well as the misuse of the resinoids, crept gradually into print. Outsiders became involved, antagonistically and otherwise, friends were arrayed against each other, and at last the turmoil centered upon and came near disrupting the Eclectic School of Medicine. In it all, as has been said, very different substances masqueraded under the same name in the various published lists. The differences, and the reasons for the differences, may best be explained by a consideration of their position in pharmacy, and the problems that confronted the overly enthusiastic manufacturers.
The Lloyd Libary Bulletin # 12: The Eclectic Alkaloids, 1910, was written by J. U. & C. G. Lloyd.