Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Seth T. Lyman, Pelham's Own Medicine Man of the Late 19th Century

In March 1895, a man named Seth T. Lyman founded Lyman’s Pharmacy at the corner of today’s Fifth Avenue and First Street. Shortly afterward, the pioneer pharmacy burned. The Lyman Pharmacy Building was quickly rebuilt and still stands at One Fifth Avenue.

Seth Lyman was nothing if not an entrepreneur. His advertisements in the local newspapers show that from the beginning he was making and marketing medicinal concoctions to ease all sorts of ills experienced by Pelham residents. Here are two examples of his advertising copy, both published in 1897:

“One Swallow Does Not Make a Summer but one trial of Lyman’s Cough Balsam will convince you of its curative qualities, in all diseases of throat and lungs. It has cured others. It will cure you.” Source: One Swallow [Advertisement], The Pelham Press, Jan. 2, 1897, Vol. I, No. 35, at p. 5, col. 5.

“Have You That ‘Tired Feeling?’ Unaccustomed languor and disinclination for exertion are among its symptoms. Though not dangerous it is unpleasant. It is NEW BLOOD the system is craving. Lyman’s Compound Syrup of Sarsaparilla will fill your veins with a full tide of fresh vitality. NEW BLOOD means NEW LIFE. NEW LIFE means NEW STRENGTH, New Hope, New Happiness. 69¢” Source: Have You That ‘Tired Feeling?’ [Advertisement], The Pelham Press, May 7, 1897 (Vol. III, No. 7), at 3, col. 5.

To learn more about Seth T. Lyman and his Pharmacy Building, see Bell, Blake A., The Lyman Pharmacy Building At One Fifth Avenue in Downtown Pelham, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No. 19, May 7, 2004, p. 12, col. 1.

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