Cloverine Salve tinsBy

Cloverine Salve tins

Cloverine Salve is a patent remedy for chapped and dry skin. The product is of interest to many depression glass collectors because depression glass was one of the premiums you could receive for selling Cloverine Salve door-to-door.

In the 1944 Cloverine premium catalog shown below, for example, Fire King ovenware is featured in a one-half page layout. The entire 17 piece set, in either blue or green, was offered free to anyone selling 12 boxes of Cloverine Salve (at 25¢ a box). Cherry Blossom by Jeannette Glass Co. was another depression glass pattern available as a premium during the 1930s.

Because of this relationship to depression-era glassware, Cloverine tin containers are considered a "go-with" and included in many depression glass collections. Unfortunately, many buyers of the tins don't realize Cloverine Salve is still being manufactured and sold today in essentially the same tin container. You can frequently find new tins being offered as old in online auctions, malls and shows.

Dating the tins

Once you know that modern versions of the Cloverine tin do exist, separating old from new is relatively easy. Although the brand name Cloverine Salve has remained unchanged for almost 100 years, the names of the companies actually manufacturing the salve has undergone frequent changes.

The original manufacturer was Wilson Chemical Company of Tyrone, Pennsylvania. This name with the Pennsylvania address is printed on the lid of original tins. Sometime in the 1950s or early 1960s, (we couldn't determine exactly when), the brand name was sold to a distributing firm in New York. Tins from this period have the New York address which includes a modern zip code.

The brand name was sold again in the late 1960s or 1970s (exact date not known) and brought back to Tyrone, Pennsylvania by Hillcrest Products. Cloverine Salve is today owned and sold by Medtech Inc. of Jackson, Wyoming.

Tins have always been sold in individual boxes. An original box couldn't be located for this article but a ca. 1960-70s box is shown in Fig. 8. Boxes can be dated by company names the same way as tins.

The main point is that vintage tins sold to receive depression glass as premiums and earlier ALWAYS INCLUDE Wilson Chemical and NEVER INCLUDE a zip code. Most genuinely old tins do not have the salve inside; many new tins sold as old still contain the salve. Prices printed on old tins varies.

Original authentic 1 oz. tins sell for $20-$25. Retail price today for a 1 oz. tin of Gloverine Salve ranges from $4-$7. Cloverine Salve is readily available on internet drugstore sites.

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Fig. 1 1 oz. size tin Left- Modern Cloverine Salve tin, 2 3/4″ dia., yellow flowers blue lettering on bright white background Middle- ca. 1960s 1 oz. tin, 2 5/8″ dia. green flowers, black lettering on off-white ivory background. Right- older ca. 1930s-40s 1 oz. tin, 2 5/8″ dia., green flowers, black lettering on off-white background.

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Fig. 2 Cover of Cloverine Salve premium catalog of 1944, about the top half of the cover shown. Printed in blue ink on pink paper.

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Fig. 3 Half page display in 1944 premium catalog for Fire King ovenware. A free premium for selling 12 boxes of salve.

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Old style: Wilson Chemical Co, Penna.

Fig. 4 Address–The Wilson Chemical Co, Tyrone, Penna. Note that the company address does not include a modern zip code.

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1960-70s: Cloverine Inc, NY

Fig. 5 Address–Cloverine Inc, New York, New York. This modern address includes a zip code.

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Mid 1970s: Hillcrest Products, PA

Fig. 6 Address–Hillcrest Products, Tyrone, PA. The product is moved back to Tyrone, PA; address includes zip code.

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1999: Medtech Inc, WY

Fig. 7 Address–Medtech Inc, Jackson, WY. Metric measurement has been added; address includes zip code. Recent tins also labeled "Medtech Laboratories, Inc. Jackson, WY 83001" or "Medtech Laboratories, Inc. Cody, WY 82414".

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Fig. 8 All tins have always been packaged in cardboard boxes. Date boxes by comparing the printed company address. Boxes are yellow and blue with white lettering. The box shown is ca. 1960-70s.

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Fig. 9 Small 1 1/4″ modern sample size tin, ca. 1975 by Hillcrest Products. No early sample size tins are known.