Swamp Root Assembly Line | #tbt


Today’s throwback Thursday photograph shows the inside of the Dr. Kilmer & Company factory, circa 1903. The factory was located on the corner of Lewis Street and Chenango Street in Binghamton, NY. Dr. Sylvester Andral Kilmer founded his proprietary medicine company in the late 1870s. He sold a variety of different medicines and “cures.”

In 1892, Andral’s nephew Willis Kilmer took over the advertising department of the family business. Willis turned one of his uncle’s patent medicines, Dr. Kilmer’s Swamp Root Kidney Liver and Bladder Cure, into a household name. Sales from Dr. Kilmer’s Swamp Root made the Kilmer family extremely wealthy.

In 1903, the Kilmer’s built a new six-story building in downtown Binghamton to serve as their manufacturing and business headquarters. Today, a series of photographs preserved at The Broome County Historical Society give a glimpse into the process of bottling and packaging Dr. Kilmer’s Swamp Root at this new factory.

Bottling Swamproot

Bottling Dr. Kilmer’s Swamp Root in Binghamton, circa 1902.


Photographs Courtesy: The Broome County Historical Society.