A charming chromolithographic poster promoting the virtues of International Poultry Food, an avian superfood that “makes chicks grow rapidly and prevents disease” and is “the greatest known egg producer.” The image features a content and robust hen surrounded by dozens of healthy-looking chicks and a cheerfully-packaged box of the product.
International Poultry Food was a product of the International Stock Food Company, which was established by Marion Willis Savage in 1886 and remains in business to this day. The firm produced and marketed animal feed and veterinary medicines at its headquarters in Minneapolis and also had plants in Memphis and several European countries. Its advertising campaigns produced dozens, possibly hundreds of charming and colorful envelopes, letterheads and posters featuring farm animals thriving on its products. These promotions often included exuberant assertions and impressive statistics regarding the efficacy of the firm’s products, such as the following gem:
“3000 Eggs Laid in 120 Days. Is the record of 25 hens by feeding International Poultry Food. Used and endorsed by over 600,000 poultry raisers. Makes bone muscle and feathers and is very beneficial during the moulting season. Invigorates the egg producing organs so that the hens will lay more eggs and it keeps them laying. One extra egg per month will pay the cost of feeding “International Poultry Food” and it usually makes hens lay every day. One acre of hens fed “International Poultry Food” will equal the cash product of 200 acres of wheat.
“Positively Guaranteed to CURE OR PREVENT CHICKEN CHOLERA. Your money will be refunded if it ever fails for any use and you are to be sold judge of results. It is a safe vegetable, stimulating tonic and blood purifier and makes chickens healthy, quick growers and fat. Invigorates the digestive organs, strengthens the entire system and gives glossy plumage.” (ad in The Poultry Herald for August 1900, p. 291)
The poster bears the ink stamp of “F.H. Elliott, Agent, West Running,” a location I have been unable to identify.