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| Soon the shop was packaging the medicine
for sale. Father John was given a small stipend for using his name
and picture. It was agreed that anyone Father John sent
to the shop personally would not have to pay for the medicine. The pastor was always looking after his flock.
|For many years the company was overseen by the Donehue family.
The generosity of the management to its employees was well known, even
so far as keeping workers long past
the need to, just so an employee could have a job. In the
|Within 50 years the medicine was known far and wide.
Early literature claimed it worked on "consumption, grip,
croup, whooping cough, and other diseases of the throat."
Pamphlets given to customers stated, "All disease is due
to a run-down condition of the body, unhealthy tissue,
blood poisoned with impurities, and general weakness."
Guarantees were made by the manufacturer of its
restorative powers. The potion was pedaled in
numerous countries. Pharmacies built huge displays in
their windows advertising the product.
The factory building, which still stand on Market
Street, was a model of production. Every process from
manufacturing, to bottling, to packaging, to advertising
was done in that one spot. Freight cars pulled in back of
the building to ship cartons to parts unknown. A second
factory was built in Montreal, Canada.
|he 1970s the company was sold. The building was made
into an elderly housing complex, and the product no longer
made its home in Lowell. This was not the end of the medicine
It is still produced today by the Oakhurst Company in New
York, and can be found on drugstore shelves in the local area.
The recipe remains the same except for one ingredient the
government said must be included. The brown-orange bottle
with the trusting face of Father John O'Brien has been a sign
of assurance to people for 140 years.
The ARCHIVES of St. Patrick Parish gratefully acknowledges
George Merrit, Director St.Patrick Cemetery for his
contribution towards the erection of the O'Brien Plaque
"Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam"