Cornet Aspirin Vendor

J. L. Cornet Co., Inc., St. Louis, MO, c. 1932, 10". I first saw one of these in another collector's house in the mid- to late 1990s. I'd been intrigued by the picture of this model in Silent Salesmen Too since I first saw it, but hadn't seen an example in person before then. I wasn't disappointed. When I asked the owner if he wanted to sell it he smiled politely and said "no." So I grabbed it and ran like hell, and this is that machine!

I'm kidding, of course.....or am I? Yes, I am. I kept my eyes open for several years after that, and when this one appeared on ebay I pounced. Since buying this one I've had the chance to buy several others, but they weren't any better than this one, and some were worse.

It's a diminuative machine that sold an aspirin 'Handy Pack' for 5 cents. The front graphics list headaches, colds, pains, and neuralgia as maladies the Handy Pack would help relieve. The machine has a cast iron base and mechanism, and a pretty sturdy sheet metal 'globe' and lid. The lid is actually a slip-cover over another piece that's secured by a small Eagle lock. From the outside the machine appears to be unlocked, filled with aspirin free for the taking, but it's not. It's teasing you.

Two comments about the 'globe:'

This example is 100% original. The graphics on this example are faded but still quite readable. This one has better paint on the lid than do most examples; for some reason, it's often peeled off in large swaths, leaving a shiny (chromed or nickeled?) metal surface showing through.



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