Aumann, James H. S.
Dr. Thomas' Eclectric Oil was first produced by Dr. S.N. Thomas of Phelps, New York, in the late 1840s. While the Eclectric Oil was quite popular in the local markets of the time, the popularity of the product significantly increased when Dr. S.N. Thomas sold the formula to Excelsior Botanical Company in the 1880s. Dr. Thomas' Eclectric Oil became both a domestic and international sensation, and advertisements for the "cure-all" medication can easily be located in family health periodicals published in the late 1800s.
This particular trade card was distributed by James H. S. Aumann, M.D., a druggist and chemist in Wytheville, Virginia. While little evidence has been found to attach a specific date to this trade card, Aumann was in law school at the University of Virginia in 1879, placing the card within a loosely based time frame of circa 1875-1940. The image of a woman dressed in Victorian clothing on the front of the trade card, however, suggests that the card was produced and distributed before the end of the Victorian era in 1901.
External Source: Nickell, Joe, "Snake Oil: A Guide for Connoisseurs", Skeptical Briefs, Vol. 16.3, Sept. 1, 2006, https://skepticalinquirer.org/newsletter/snake-oil-a-guide-for-connoisseurs/, accessed April 10, 2023.
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The Dr. Thomas' Eclectric Oil trade card is an advertisement for a cure-all serum marketed most popularly during the Victorian era. This particular trade card was distributed by James H. S. Aumann, M.D., a druggist and chemist from Wytheville, Virginia.