A.B. & D. Sands
M., P.J. & H.M. Sands

Abraham B. and David Sands began their proprietary medicine business in New York in 1863. Their chief nostrum was McMunn's Elixir of Opium, recommended for cases of whooping cough, tetanus, epilepsy, hysteria, tic douloureux and convulsions in hydrophobia. It apparently did not include opium in the formula. Other products such as Clove Anodyne Toothache Drops and Sand's Sarsaparilla were also sold.

As David Sands died in 1860, the firm was renamed A.B. Sands & Company. Abraham followed him in death in 1862, but the firm name remained for some twelve years and the products were still marketed using the A.B. & D. Sands name. The company's private die stamps were ordered by an agent, E. Ferret, who also represented Wright's Indian Vegetable Pills. They were issued from January of 1863 until May of 1876. 3,937,157 were printed on old paper and 1,815,009 on silk paper. This one is on silk paper.

Mahlon D., Philip J. and Henry M. Sands were involved in the company in years following. The company name was changed to reflect the new initials, and in 1875 the private die stamp was changed to reflect this and a higher price of the medicine. (Interestingly enough, none of the early writers appear to have picked up the comma between the M. and the P.J., but it is clearly present on the stamp.) It was last issued on April 6, 1883. 1,044,015 were printed on silk, pink and watermarked papers. The one above is on pink paper, but the color is very pale and is not apparent on the scan.

A plate proof of the A.B. & D. Sands stamp on card.

A pre-printing paper fold running up through two one-cent Sands stamps. These were discovered in two different collections purchased by Tom Carson in 1982, and reunited. This story is told in more detail in the September 1982 issue of The American Revenuer, which can be downloaded from the American Revenue Association website.