W.H. Comstock & Company, Limited

William Henry Comstock's father and uncles were in the patent remedy business as early as 1833 or thereabouts. As the result of disagreements and lawsuits concerning this business and its offshoots, a new firm headed by William Henry, an uncle, George Wells Comstock, and an uncle by marriage, Baldwin L. Judson, was, formed. In 1855 Andrew Moore approached the firm to sell them the rights to Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills, "a general corrective for people who eat too much and drink too much," even though there was some doubt concerning his right to do so. This led to further lawsuits, eventually settled in favor of the Comstock firm.

By 1859 or 1860 George Wells was no longer with the company, and most manufacture of the Comstock medicines, now including Dr. McKenzie's Worm Tablets, was being done in Brockville, Ontario. By 1867 the firm was headquartered in Morristown, New York, across the Saint Lawrence River from Brockville, and William Henry was the sole proprietor.

Private die stamps featuring the likeness of the magnificently sideburned William Henry Comstock were issued from mid-1880 through February of 1883. 2,578,000 were issued on watermarked paper.

A trade card for Dr. Morse's Compound Syrup of Yellow Dock Root.

An innovative use for Confederate fifty cent notes. The comment that Indian Root Pills "have been before the public for more than sixty years" would place the use of this advertisement in the 1880's.

The Comstock firm was finally liquidated in 1960. A detailed look at the company and its products can be found at HISTORY of the COMSTOCK PATENT MEDICINE BUSINESS and Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills by Robert B. Shaw.