Beautiful certificate from the Smith Brothers
issued in 1926. This historic document was printed by Broun-Green Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an eagle and an under print of a box of Smith Brother Cough Drops. This item has the signatures of the Company's President, Arthur G. Smith and Secretary, R.L. Smith and is over 81 years old.
The Smith Brothers were makers of cough drops.
William Wallace Smith I (1830-1913) and Andrew Smith (1836-1894) were the sons of James Smith (c1800-1866) of Poughkeepsie, New York. James' family had emigrated from Fifeshire, Scotland, in 1831, and James had emigrated from St. Armand, Quebec in 1847. In New York, he opened a small restaurant, ice-cream parlor, and candy business, called "James Smith and Son". James Smith bought a cough drop recipe from a peddler named Sly Hawkins.
In 1852, James developed lozenges and advertised them in the Poughkeepsie paper selling them to those "afflicted with hoarseness, cough or colds". William and Andrew inherited the business after their father died in 1866. The brand was then named "Smith Brothers Cough Drop". In 1872, to prevent drug stores from selling generic lozenges, they developed one of the first factory filled packages with trademark branding. On the packaging the word "Trade" appeared under the picture of William and the word "Mark" under that of Andrew, they were then incorrectly referred to as Trade Smith and Mark Smith. Andrew died in 1895, and William continued as president of the company almost up to his death in 1913.
William was succeeded by his son, Arthur G. Smith
(c1875-1936), who continued to expand the company by adding menthol drops (1922), cough syrup (1926) and wild cherry drops (1948). Arthur G. Smith had two sons: William Wallace Smith II (1888-1955) and Robert Lansing Smith
(1891-1962). The trust funds that owned Smith Brothers stock in 1963 mergered their company with Warner-Lambert. The last Smith Brothers Cough Drop manufactured in Poughkeepsie was made in 1972. They were then after manufactured by F&F Laboratories in Rockford, Illinois.
1830 Birth of William Wallace Smith I
1831 Emigration from Scotland
1836 Birth of Andrew Smith
1847 Emigration from Canada to Poughkeepsie, New York
1852 Cough drops advertised in newspapers
1866 Death of James Smith
1870 Trademark bill defeated
1872 Prepackaged cough drops introduced
1876 Trademarks recognized
1877 Smith Brothers trademark registered
1888 William Wallace Smith II born
1891 Birth of Robert Lansing Smith
1894 Death of Andrew Smith
1913 Death of William Wallace Smith I
1922 Menthol drops introduced
1926 Cough syrup introduced
1936 Death of Arthur G. Smith
1948 Wild cherry drops introduced
1955 Death of William Wallace Smith II
1962 Death of Robert Lansing Smith
1964 Brand is sold to Warner-Lambert
1972 Manufacturing moved to Illinois