Aside from the starfish in this video, Sean’s most unusual find on this dive was a tiny little medicine bottle labelled “PENDLETON’S PANACEA | FRASIER, THORNTON & CO., LIMITED | COOKSHIRE, QUEBEC, CANADA”. According to some internet bottle sleuths, it was a cure-all for all ills or difficulties, and was frequently sold by quack doctors. This all-purpose medicine was frequently laced with narcotics, a surefire way to make you feel better.
In Digby, Nova Scotia, Frasier, Thornton and Company was founded in 1903. Within a year of its formation, it relocated its headquarters to Cookshire, Quebec, a more central location chosen, among other things, for its proximity to the Canadian Pacific Railway.
The factory was nearly demolished by fire in 1904, destroying most of the machinery and stock. Despite the fire, the company grew rapidly during its first decade of existence. The company was formed on January 27th, 1912, under the Companies Act of the Dominion of Canada.
The company grew and established a branch in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Despite its success and profitability, this division closed a few years later. The owners discovered that large quantities of their products contained alcohol and were ordered to extract it. Following the closure of the Saskatoon branch, the company concentrated its sales efforts in Eastern Canada. It later exported to the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe.
Following the death of the original owners, Thornton’s widow took over, followed by his daughter. Carol Smith purchased the company in 1969 and transferred the manufacture of a few products to Dr. A. C. Daniels & Co of Stanstead. Frasier, Thornton & Co. finally closed its doors in 1969.