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Davenol Cough Linctus

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals promoted their Davenol Cough Linctus in a novel way. They distributed large Happy Families cards (125 x 185 mm) to pharmacists and possibly doctors. They began with one family (the Hacks) and with each bottle of cough syrup they gave away a smaller die-cut strip of the full Hack family.

Reverse of Davenol Cough Linctus Happy Families published by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

Large cards 125 x 185 mm

Davenol Cough Linctus Happy Families published by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

Above: large cards of the Hack family were distributed to pharmacists and possibly doctors. Date of first issue currently unknown, probably 1960s.

Smaller cards 88 x 57 mms

Davenol Cough Linctus Happy Families published by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

Above: a smaller uncut strip of the full Hack Family was included with the bottle of cough syrup.

The backs

The backs of the cards had publicity declarations with the emphasis on the tangerine flavour of the medicine.

Reverse of Davenol Cough Linctus Happy Families published by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

Above: the backs of the large Davenol Cough Linctus cards.

The earliest drawings were inspired by Jaques Happy Families characters.

Jaques Happy Families characters

Above: original Jaques Happy Families cards   more


The promotion must have been popular because they went on further with the idea. Next came the Gasp Family, followed by Bark, Croak, Gruff, Harsh, Hoarse, Grate, Husky, Rasp, Sore, Splutter, Tickle and Wheeze. There are 56 cards in all but sets of only 32 cards are also found.

Davenol Cough Linctus Happy Families published by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

Above: large cards of the Gasp family also inspired by Jaques Happy Families characters.

They may have stopped doing the large cards after the first few sets because they must have been quite expensive and all their pharmacist customers may have had one given to them already, or else run out of shelf space!

Davenol Cough Linctus Happy Families published by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

Above: small sized cards of the Bark and Croak families were included with the bottle of cough syrup. At this point a different artist was involved who chose not to base the characters on Jaques.

More smaller cards

Davenol Cough Linctus Happy Families published by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Davenol Cough Linctus Happy Families published by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Davenol Cough Linctus Happy Families published by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Davenol Cough Linctus Happy Families published by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

CREDITS

All images from the collection of Rex Pitts.

Last Updated August 24, 2018 at 01:26pm

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