Dr. Von Cort’s Restorative Bitters (and his Segars for Asthma)
06 December 2014
With this series of Restorative Bitters posts of late, I can not but feel that they are all connected. The brands all contain the word “Restorative”, “Health” or “Bitters” and they were all sold in New York City around 1840 to 1855. At that time, herb remedies were in vogue and prescriptions were unknown. This was not the era of bitters loaded with alcohol. These guys were also German.
Knapp’s Health Restorative Bitters – New York City
Restorative Bitters – Charles H. Ring (Unlisted)
C. Brinckerhoff’s Health Restorative New York
He prepares the following medicines by himself: Life Pills, Life Elixir, Restorative Bitters, Cure for Piles, Hair Restorative, Segars for Asthma, and a Preventative for Small Pox.
The advertisement at the top of the post is from the New York Tribune on Monday, November 10, 1845. It says that Dr. C. I. Von Cort is moving his office and German Dispensary from the corner of Nassau and Pearl streets in Brooklyn to 418 1/2 Broadway in New York City. He prepares the following medicines by himself: Life Pills, Life Elixir, Restorative Bitters, Cure for Piles, Hair Restorative, Segars for Asthma, and a Preventative for Small Pox. All his medicines were purely vegetable. He also sold Von Cort’s Patent Galvanic Bands with Magnetic Power. The Restorative Bitters is unlisted.
Dr. Charles *J. Von Cort
(some listings say his middle initial is “I”)
I believe that Charles J. Von Cort was born in Bremen, Germany. He arrives on the ship Republic in 1839. He declares by oath to become a citizen of United States in 1843 and is granted citizenship on December 29, 1847. He sets up shop selling medicines in Brooklyn in 1842 and relocates to New York City in 1845. He is advertising his Von Cort’s Restorative Bitters the same year. He remains a physician at the Broadway address and “continues to give free advice to the poor as he has done the last three years in Brooklyn”. His office hours are from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. I trust he sold his remedies during the other hours (or chased skirt). Dr. Von Cort dies a rather young man of heart disease in January 1866. Maybe from smoking too many segars for asthma.
Dr. Von Cort boasted that he had the peculiar power to win the affections of any woman, married or unmarried.
Was Von Cort really a doctor? I see no evidence of Von Cort attending a medical college. As a matter of fact, he is fined in 1843 as an “Illegal Practitioner”.
Dr. Von Cort also gets in trouble with his wife as she files for divorce on the grounds of him committing adultery. It seems that old Charles, who lived in a corner room above his drug store in Brooklyn also had an eye for the ladies. Testimony stated that Dr. Von Cort boasted that he had the peculiar power to win the affections of any woman, married or unmarried. He was probably using his Life Pills and a Love Elixir.
Had found the Doctor sitting in Mrs. Osborne’s lap; has seen them together in the office back of the drug store, the door shut and locked.
1827: birth C. I. Von Cort (doubtful)
1839: C. I. Von Cort, arrives on 18 October 1839 in New York from Bremen, Germany on the Republic.
1843: C. I. Von Cort, New York Naturalization Petition, 28 June 1843 in the Court of Common Pleas City and County of NY (1-801), Kings, New York (see above)
1843: C. J. Von Cort fined for saying he was a doctor (see further above) – The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Thursday February 2, 1843
1844: Divorce proceedings between Mrs. Von Cort and Dr. Charles Von Cort (see below) – The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 15th, 1844.
1845: Notice at the top of the post from the New York Tribune on Monday, November 10, 1845. It says that Dr. C. I. Von Cort is moving his office from Brooklyn to 418 1/2 Broadway in New York City.
1847: New York, Naturalization Petitions, C. I. Von Cort, 29 December 1847, Common Pleas City and County of NY (1-801), New York, New York
1851: Broadway in 1851, Dr. C. I. Von Cort, physician, 438 Broadway
1866: Death of Dr. C. J. Von Cort of Heart Disease at Morrisania. Funeral services will be held at his late residence, corner of Fordam-ave. and Eighth st., on Sunday, January 14, at 3 o’clock. The relatives and friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend. Members of the Third Hussars please take notice. – New York Daily Tribune, January 13, 1866