Francis Newbery & Sons Brain Salt – London


Francis Newbery & Sons, London

Apple-Touch-IconACruising around the Internet and world wide web, I jump across the pond today to look at F. Newbery & Sons Brain Salt from London. Yes you heard me right, Brain Salt. Certain words do not sound right together. In Houston there is a Thai restaurant next to a donut shop. The sign on the street says Thai Food & Donuts. Kind of like that. When I think of brain salt I think of putting salt on slugs. All bad kids heard of that right? Well salt on a brain? Doesn’t paint a very good picture.


Francis Newbery and Sons Warehouse – Warehouse for Dr. Jame’s Powder – 1779 (Pharmaceutical Journal: A Weekly Record of Pharmacy and Allied Sciences)

The origin of the firm of Francis Newbery and Sons, Limited goes back to 1746 when Mr. John Newbery. “the philanthropic publisher of St. Paul’s Churchyard,” settled in London at the corner of Ludgate Hill as a publisher and patent medicine vendor. Prior to this, Mr. John Newbery had been in business at Reading. At this time the company was an agent for Hooper’s Pills and sold the famous Dr. Jame’s Fever Powder.

Francis Newbery, who, on the death of his father in 1767, left Sidney-Sussex College, Cambridge, and gave up the prospects of a medical career to carry on the business of publisher and patent medical vendor. His shop was situated on No. 45 St. Paul’s Churchyard which is illustrated above. Francis Newbery died in 1818 and his eldest son, Colonel John Newberry, succeeded him; at the death of the latter in 1854, Mr. Arthur Le Blanc Newbery and Mr. Lionel Newbery took over the business, which was removed in 1869 to 46 St. Paul’s Churchyard, again, in 1872, to Newgate Street, in 1888.


Francis Newbery and Sons Warehouse – 1903 – (Pharmaceutical Journal: A Weekly Record of Pharmacy and Allied Sciences)

Shortly after the move (in 1904) the old house turned their business into a private limited company. As time went on and competition increased it was found necessary to meet the wants of the trade to add druggist’s sundries, photographic, and perfumery departments. To such an extent have these departments grown that they now take the premier place in the firm’s illustrated catalogue and occupy a major portion of the building (see above).

Reference: Pharmaceutical Journal: A Weekly Record of Pharmacy and Allied Sciences – J. Churchill, 1906

Francis Newbery and Sons testimonial – The Lancet London: A Journal of British and Foreign Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics, Physiology, Chemistry, Pharmacology, Public Health and News, Volume 1 – 1861


F. Newbery & Sons Effervescent brain Salt


Cures headaches and indigestion

A POSITIVE RELIEF AND CURE FOR Brain Troubles, Headaches, Sea Sickness, Nervous Debility, Sleeplessness, Excessive Study, Mania, Over Brainwork, etc. etc.

1 and 3 King Edward St., London, E.C.

FEB. 10, 1888


Later Brain Salt advertisement when F, Newbery was on Newgate Street


A rather well done Brain Salt bottle illustration


Newbery & Sons Brain Salt advertisement – The Twentieth Century, A Monthly Review –  1894

 Other Newbery Products


Sailing Boat Pictorial F. Newberry & Sons Cherry Tooth Paste Pot Lid & Base, London c1890s – ebay


Cuticura ointment made in London, Cardiff and Liverpool, F. Newbery and Sons January 1899.

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has a BFA in Fine Art and Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. Ferdinand is the founding Principal of FMG Design, a nationally recognized design consultation firm. Ferdinand is a passionate collector of American historical glass specializing in bitters bottles, color runs and related classic figural bottles. He is married to Elizabeth Jane Meyer and lives in Houston, Texas with their daughter and three wonderful grandchildren. The Meyers are also very involved in Quarter Horses, antiques and early United States postage stamps. Ferdinand is the past 6-year President of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors and is one of the founding members of the FOHBC Virtual Museum.
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