The medicine Peddlers


The medicine peddlers came to town in their house wagons drawn by two horses with bight flashy harnesses The small house had double doors and a narrow platform on the back and small windows on each side. The house was painted a bright red with black ornate trim around the top. It had a high red seat in front where the driver sat.

The peddlers would pay Amos Smith , our neighbor, a small fee to let them set up on a piece of his land that bordered the town. Each afternoon ,for two days the back doors of the house would open wide and the barker would step out onto the platform. There were shelves on the inside of the doors, filled with all sizes of colored bottles.. A blanket hung behind the salesman so we couldnít see into their living quarters.

When a small crowd gathered a barker (salesman) would come out and greet the people, tell an few jokes and then start to tell everyone what kind of medicines he had for sale. He seemed to have a medicine for all kinds of ailments. He had something for bunions on the feet, sour stomach ,linament for arthritis and even a salve for bald heads. There were usually ten to fifteen men ,women and children around the wagon. I remember the salesman holding up different colored bottles and the customers asking questions about the different things the medicine would heal. Some of the medicine would cure almost everything. I donít think our family ever bought any of the medicine, but everybody did seem to have a good time seeing all their neighbors and hearing a few good jokes.

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