Manhattan Medicine Company

Attwood's Quinine Tonic Bitters was originated in 1840 by Moses Attwood and sold to Alvah Littlefield about fifteen years later. The product was distributed by Demas Barnes, among others, and later by John Henry. In 1877 Henry bought the rights to the product and began to manufacture it in the new firm he set up, the Manhattan Medicine Company. He also moved the manufacture of Dr. Roger's Compound Syrup of Liverwort, Tar & Canchalagua, which he had purchased from A.L. Scovill & Company, to Manhattan Medicine.

The two-cent black stamp was issued first, from 1877 until June 14, 1881. 210,500 were printed on silk, pink and watermarked papers. The copy shown is printed on silk paper.

The one-cent violet stamp was issued from 1878 until May 31, 1883. 686,171 were printed, all on watermarked paper.

The John Henry facsimile stamp must have appeared in 1883, as this Manhattan Medicine Company magazine cover bears that date and a picture of the stamp. The preface to the magazine states, "A sincere aspiration to counteract, in a measure, the baneful influences of the trashy cheap literature of the day, and a heartfelt desire to scatter crumbs of comfort and rays of sunshine to those needing moral sustenance and examples of noble and heroic self-sacrifice, have prompted the compiling and free distribution of this little book...."