On May 3rd I did a post called You'll Make a Million Kid about the ads that used to run in comic books for kids to sell stationary or salve. Sell enough and they could get cash or "prizes." One of the companies was Wilson Chemical Company located in Tyrone, Pennsylvania. They manufactured a salve called White Cloverine. Wellllllllllll...my best friend sent me what she called a "Summer Fun Box" that arrived yesterday. No, it wasn't a case of salve. Much better. It's a box full of ephemera. Old photos, TV Guides, clippings, and a periodical called Comfort published in Augusta, Maine in November 1931. Ohhhhhhh, heart be still...it's a treasure trove and over time I'll feature a lot of the ads within. But first I give you the Wilson Chemical Company redux.

White Cloverine salve_1931_tatteredandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

Now remember, this is during the Depression so kids and adults were looking for anyway possible to make money. This wasn't some snot nosed kid in a stripped t-shirt in the 50s or 60s with time on their hands wanting a Roy Rogers Flash Camera or thinking if they knocked on enough doors they'd get a free pony. This was far more serious business. 

Lindy Flyer_White Cloverine Salve_tattereandlost
Click on image to see it larger.

You know, someone must have been able to get these prizes or this company couldn't have stayed in business for so long pushing the same idea to kids. I still keep hoping someday someone out there in the net world will find this post and give us a story about what it was like to actually collect on this.

UPDATE: Reader Dave Williams has provided the following interesting link with more information about the Wilson Chemical Companies sales practices, especially during the Depression:


Thanks Dave!


  1. Even in the Thirties, I'dabeen angling for pullin' the trigger on the 22...

  2. Keep your eyes open at garage sales. Surely somebody somewhere got some of these goodies. Especially since the Cloverine salve is no longer made.

  3. Anonymous4/16/2012

    Cloverine Salve is still being made but by another company in Dobbs Ferry NY.
    I have one of those .22 rifles but I did not get it from selling the Salve, I did sell Cloverine back in 1947-48 but when I ran out of relatives my selling days were over. I bought the .22 rifle three years ago for $10.
    It was made in Plymouth Michigan,(where I was born) and when I did the research on that little gun I found out that one of it's customers was the Williams Chemical Co. RPH

  4. This is wonderful to hear of someone actually selling this stuff. Glad you stopped by and posted. Great information!

  5. So, this is a really old post, but it showed up along with this one, in which several people say a few words about selling this salve: http://www.appalachianhistory.net/2012/05/kids-get-rich-selling-cloverline-salve.html

    1. Thank you! I'll post the link as an update.