UDHCMH

Like a trip to the antique store. Images, artifacts, and stories of life in the University District in Columbus, Ohio from the past 150 years and much, much more.

Dr. Samuel B. Hartman’s Town St. mansion and Peruna Lucky Day Almanac for 1906.

Peruna was a patent medicine bottled here in in Columbus by Dr. Samuel B. Hartman. Advertised prodigiously and claiming to cure almost everything at a time when medical science was in its infancy, Peruna made a fortune. The doctor built a mansion, a surgical hotel and sanitarium, a huge model farm south of town (with its own streetcar line), and a theater for his daughter. His businesses occupied a good chunk of downtown.

1906 wasn’t such a lucky year for Hartman. Exposés had revealed Peruna was 28% alcohol by volume—almost as much as whiskey—with less than 0.5% of anything that could be called a medicine. The Pure Food and Drug Act also came into force.

Peruna slowly faded before closing in the 1920s. The doctor died in 1918.

Today, all that remains is the old Hartman Surgical Hotel building (shown on this cover) at S. 4th & E. Main downtown. The mansion was torn down in the 1960s and replaced with apartments.

  • 4 March 2014
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