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Here is a short, brief and to the point article about a man that started with nothing, claimed to be a medical doctor, who became very wealthy and ended up in prison for defrauding a small community which he started.

Thomas W. Dyott was born in 1757 in England. He would immigrate to the United States at a young age. As a young man he would polish shoes and mix up his own black shoe polish for use and for resale. Eventfully he would call himself a doctor which he was not and started selling medical cures. Some of his elixirs were called Vegetable Nervous Cordial, Infallible Toothache Drops and Stomatic Bitters.

dyott drug storeHistorical Society of Philadelphia1821.

Thomas would eventually start a drug store which was located at 2nd and Race Street. At that time his business would become the largest Patent Medicines Business in the United States.

dyott drug store 2.Philadelphia Directory 1820

In time he would purchase the old Kensington Glass Works in the 1820s which was located along the Gunners Run Creek so he could produce bottles for his own ventures along with his competitor's needs.

dyott glassworks.Historical Society of Philadelphia 1832

dyott factory ad.Desilver's Philadelphia Directory 1833.

By the 1830s his 350 to 400 acre Farm and Glass Works (town of Dyottville) would employ around 300 to 400 workers. Half of the workers were apprentices some as young as 8 years old. Dyott initiated a new system of moral and mental labor. He would provide housing, health care, education, recreation, religion and rules. He basically built a company town of quality glass makers. In the glass works hay days it would produce 8000 to 10,000 pounds of glass daily. The company would make normal common bottles along with embossed images of the American flag, Cornucopia along with portraits of presidents Washington, Franklin and Swedish singer Jenny Lind and even portraits of himself.

In Time Dyott would become a very wealthy Business man. He would start his own private bank which he called The Manual Labor Bank. With his marketing and manipulating skills he would get the poorer class of people to deposit their earning in his bank. He would issue paper money with presidential portraits with his own signature assurance each note was secured in trust.

dyott note.From 1836

In 1837 the economic depression hit which many of the best banks collapsed as did The Dyott's Manual Labor Bank. The commonwealth charged Dyott with defrauding the community and fraudulent insolvency. The 70 year old man was sentenced to the Eastern State Penitentiary. His Glass Works Factory would close and the small town of Dyottville which he created would become a ghost town.

In 1840 Eugene Roussel ( The soda bottler king. ) purchases the Dyott Glass Works. For more about Eugene Roussel refer to article # 272: Eugene Roussel: Soda & Mineral Water Manufacture.


Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Helen Mckearlin Bottles, Flasks and Dr. Dyott 1970.

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