Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
C.C. Bristol Collection, 1865-1870

Finding aid created by
Barbara DeWolfe, August 2006

Summary Information
Title: C.C. Bristol collection
Creator: Bristol, C. C. (Cyrenius C.)
Inclusive dates: 1865-1870
Extent: 6 items
This collection documents the business ventures of Cyrenius C. Bristol, inventor of the patent medicine Bristol's Sugar Coated Pills.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1993. M-4168.1.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


No copyright restrictions.

Preferred Citation:

C.C. Bristol collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Cyrenius C. Bristol of Buffalo, N.Y., had a varied career. He was a newspaper editor, justice of the peace, and druggist, among other occupations. In the early 1860s, he created a recipe for a patent medicine called Bristol's Sugar Coated Pills. Soon after, he decided to open a drug store to sell pills and patent medicines in the oil boom town of Pit Hole City, Pennsylvania. Pit Hole City was "about 8 weeks old and...over 7000 inhabitants already in the town." He failed at this venture, and several others, and two years later became a land sales agent for the Manchester Land Company in Manchester, New Jersey. The drug company of Lanman and Kemp of New York City manufactured and sold his Bristol's Pills, and sent him regular royalty checks.

Collection Scope and Content Note

C. C. Bristol wrote 5 of the letters in this small collection to Lanman and Kemp. His correspondence touches on his Pit Hole City venture, his job selling land in New Jersey, and the manufacture of Bristol's Pills by Lanman and Kemp. Bristol's daughter wrote one letter to Lanman and Kemp in 1867, asking if they could help her father by manufacturing his medicines. Between January and July of 1870, Lanman and Kemp paid Bristol $1152 in royalties, indicating that they were turning quite a profit on his sugar-coated pills. These are not substantive letters, but they do provide some insight into the experience of a patent medicine inventor.

Subject Terms

    • Lanman and Kemp - New York City (N.Y.)
    • Manchester Land Company - Manchester (N.J.)
    • Patent medicines.
    • Pit Hole City (Pa.)
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Box   2 American Science and Medicine  
    C.C. Bristol collection,  1865 August 28-1870 July 13 [series]: