Newbro's Herpicide

Newbro’s Herpicide was developed at the end of the 19th century by Dupont M. Newbro, owner of Newbro Drug Company, a wholesale drug business in Butte, Mont. Mr. Newbro promoted the theory that a bacterium or parasite was the cause of dandruff, which then led to baldness. He claimed to have worked with a bacteriologist to create a formula that would kill the "dandruff germ." Hence the name Herpicide: Herpes (from the Latin "to creep") and cide ("to kill"). Newbro trademarked the word in 1899. By 1902 he sold his Montana drug business to focus on his new product and company, the Herpicide Company, established in Detroit, Mich. The formula proved very successful, and Newbro’s Herpicide was sold nationwide and in Europe through the 1930s.
The Herpicide advertising slogan, accompanied by drawings of a man’s balding head, was "Going (Herpicide will save it)...going (Herpicide will save it)...gone! (Too late for Herpicide)." The phrase "Too late for Herpicide" became a popular catch phrase of the 1920s and remained popular into the 1950s, long after Newbro’s Herpicide was being sold.
Currently not on view
Object Name
hair care product
scalp treatment
Object Type
date made
Herpicide Company
Physical Description
glass (container material)
cardboard (packaging material)
paper (container material)
overall: 17 cm x 5.25 cm x 5.25 cm; 6 11/16 in x 2 1/16 in x 2 1/16 in
overall, box: 6 3/4 in x 2 in x 2 in; 17.145 cm x 5.08 cm x 5.08 cm
overall, bottle: 6 5/8 in x 2 in; 16.8275 cm x 5.08 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Hair Care Products
Health & Medicine
Hair Care Products
Beauty and Health
Beauty and Hygiene Products: Hair Care and Enhancement
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Hair Care Products
Beauty and Hygiene Products: Hair Care and Enhancement
Beauty and Health
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Mario Casinelli
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.