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Lucius Wood papers

Identifier: MSS 2/318

Scope and Contents

The collection contains seventy-nine letters and postal cards received, 1883-1893, nine diaries, 1890-1899, two account books, 1886-1891, one recipe book, [n.d.], and miscellaneous items, [n.d.], documenting the personal life and patent medicine business of Lucius F. Wood in West Townsend, Mass. and the surrounding area. The series of letter and postal cards received, 1883-1893, is divided into two subseries: personal and business. Both subseries are arranged chronologically. An alphabetical index of the correspondence is available. The small subseries of personal letters, 1887-1890, consists of five letters received by Mr. and Mrs. Wood from family members. Three of the four letters include requests for medicine sold by Mr. Wood. The second subseries consists of seventy-four letters and postal cards, 1883-1893, requesting patent medicine sold by Mr. Wood.

The second series consists of nine diaries spanning 1890-1891. The diaries document Mr. Wood’s personal life and business dealings. Some diaries contain lists of names and addresses of relatives and other individuals. Series three contains two account books, 1886-1890 and 1889-1891. Entries in the first account book are by customer name, while entries in the second are by location (city or town) of the customer.

The account books list the products sold and their cost and payments made. Besides monetary reimbursement, means of payment included goods (usually food) and services provided to Mr. Wood.

The recipe book is in series four. Included are recipes for medications for rheumatism, sore eyes, toothaches, diarrhea, and other ailments. In addition, there are recipes for curing a sick horse and making perfumes, and the book contains two testimonials. The miscellaneous items consist of container labels for Dr. Wood’s cough syrup and peppermint and a calling card for Mr. and Mrs. Lucius F. Wood. The labels for the cough syrup indicate the medicine’s intended use and the suggested dose to be taken.


  • 1883 - 1891


Biographical / Historical

Mr. Lucius F. Wood operated a patent medicine business in West Townsend, Mass. In addition to his medicine mail order business, he travelled the area surrounding West Townsend selling his products. Mr. Wood was married and had at least one child and grandchild.


.8 Linear feet (2 document boxes)

Language of Materials


Lucius Wood papers
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Repository

19 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia PA 19103 United States