Fleury’s Wa-Hoo Tonic and the Mad Chinaman
I do not know what would possess a merchant or doctor to opt for putting a mean Oriental midget, chop sticks, a rat and a cat eating a rat on any advertising to market their product. This totally escapes me. Another great reason to collect trade cards and to be part of this great hobby. Where else would you see stuff like this?
Frank Fleury, M. D.
Dr. Frank Fleury was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania on 28 September 1841. He was the son of Jacob and Margaret (Hamilton) Fleury. He served three years at the drug business of Carter & Brothers in Erie, Pennsylvania before moving westward. In 1865, Dr. Fleury established himself in the drug business in Springfield, Illinois, which he conducted for some years. He was located at 505 Washington Street, on the north side of the square. He was noted as having a fine store that carried a large stock of drugs and toilet goods, and having an extensive trade. His prescription business was a special feature of the house and was noted as being exceptionally large.
In 1881, Dr. Fleury began the manufacture of the “Wa-Hoo Tonic” and won a wide reputation for this medicine. Fleury’s Wa-Hoo Tonic was made at the Fleury Medicine Company in Springfield, Illinois where he was chief proprietor. They manufactured several valuable medicinal remedies of tried and valuable merit among them are “Indian Herbs of Joy“, a remedy for diseases, arising from impurities of the blood of which four thousand bottles were sold in Springfield, and Fleury’s Tasteless Cascarine, a remedy for biliousness, headache and torpid liver. Later studies actually said this concoction was put up in a small wooden cylinder, which contained 45 grains of yellowish-white powder. Examination proved it to be subnitrate of bismuth and calomel, triturated through powdered cane sugar. Dr. Fleury also manufactured DuFay’s Magic Fluids which was noted as selling ten thousand bottles at one time.
Dr. Fluery was married on June 25, 1868 to Miss Annie M. Herndon, of Springfield and they became the parents of one daughter. Dr. Fleury died on August 28, 1910 in Springfield.
I could find images for two trade cards that are represented in this post. A third trade card was described as a rectangular card, horizontal display, showing a little girl holding a large bowl in her lap with “Fleury’s/ Wa-Hoo/ Tonic” across the front; she holds her spoon up at begging dog to her right, as if scolding; back is vertical, details uses for this “great blood purifier & system renovator”. It is held at the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.
I could find no pictures of bottles of this brand.
References: History of Sangamon County, Illinois: Together with Sketches of Its Cities … By Inter-state Publishing Company (Chicago, Ill.)