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This maltine product was first produced by John Carnrick of The Reed & Carnrick Drug Manufacturing Company. The Reed, Carnrick & Andrus was established in 1860. The firm would change the name to Reed & Carnrick in the 1870s.

John Carnrick was a pharmacologist who invented this product called maltine along with other elixers with names as Lactopeptine, Peptenzyme and Kumysgen.

Below are photos of just one of many of their bottled products. This one is embossed REED & CARNRICK / NEW YORK // PEPTENZYME.

REED & CARNRICK 1.reed & carnrick 2

Maltine is an extract of malted barley, wheat and oats which is blended with high amounts of alcohol. This drink was to improve digestion and stomach ailments.

maltine ad

In 1875 a spin-off company was formed called Maltine Manufacturing Company of Brooklyn, New York. This product was heavily promoted to doctors and surgeons though an advertising campaign in medical journals and trade cards. The company would take maltine extract and mix it with Peptones, Iron Phosphate, Quinine and even Strychnine along with other ingredients. Today Iron Phosphate is used to kill slugs in your garden.

Below are photos of this bottle.


Below are some trade cards.

maltine trade card

maltine trade card 2

Their best selling product was their Maltine with Coca Wine. You were instructed to take a full glass during and after meals. Children were recommended to take a half of glass full. The company was selling over 10,000 bottles per year.

Below are photos of these bottles.

maltine 4.maltine 5

This product was thought to contribute to the cocaine addiction in the country at that time. In 1907 the company lawyers stated that the company would drop cocaine from their product but chemists still was able to find traces in the product but not enough to lead to an addiction. By 1914 congress made it illegal nationwide to put cocaine in a consumer product.

The Maltine product would disappear in the 1930s during the prohibition years. The company was sold to Chilcott Laboratories which was acquired by Warmer Lambert, and now is known by the name Pfizer Inc.


Bottle, Booze and Back Stories by Jack Sullivan.

History of Drug Containers and Their Labels by George Griffenhagen & Mary Bogard 1999.

reed & carnrick a..reed & carnrick b

maltine a

maltine b

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