[Philadelphia: 1915]. Two small broadsides, each approximately 11 x 8 inches. Previously folded. A few very short closed tears at edges. Light dust soiling and toning. Printed on weak paper and cut somewhat haphazardly. Good plus. Item #1703
A pair of hastily composed, yet fascinating illustrated advertising broadsides for patent medicines and other dodgy products aimed at African-Americans in Philadelphia. The advertiser, E.P. Read, offers a host of concoctions -- "Women's Long Life Female Remedy," "Young-Youth-Nerve and Body Tonic," "Live Forever Tonic," etc. Also promoted is a nascent fraternal society, the "United Beneficial Order Ethiopian," which claims somehow to offer discounts on food and other necessities to its members. Read seems to have operated his own print shop, and here advertises "Read's Encyclopedia Directory" for Black businesses and organizations, a "Life Prosperity Chart," and branded "Reinforced Wall Stickless Publicity Fans." The printing of these sheets, which is rather slapdash and confusingly oriented, does not do much to recommend Read's other printing work, but the broadsides nevertheless provide interesting information on African-American businesses of questionable legitimacy in World War I-era Philadelphia.