Ayer's Hair Vigor

Made by J. C. Ayer and Company, Practical and Analytical Chemists, Lowell, Mass., in the 1860s, Ayer’s Hair Vigor "Restores grey hair to its natural vitality and color," but "does not color the hair." Advertisements pronounced that it was "free from uncleanly dangerous or injurious substances" and that it would cure dandruff and stop falling hair. Patented in 1868, this was the only Ayer product to have a patent, although the company sold a variety of health-related products popularly known as "patent medicines."
Along with these other medicines, Ayer’s Hair Vigor was advertised in Ayer’s American Almanac, which was first published in the mid-19th century and continued into the 1920s. The almanac featured astronomical, astrological, and weather information for the year, as well as medical advice promoting the company’s products.
The indications or uses for this product as provided by the manufacturer are:
For Restoring the Natural Vitality and Color of the Hair
Currently not on view
Object Name
hair tonic
hair care product
date made
ca 1867
associated date
Dr. J. C. Ayer and Company
Physical Description
glass (container material)
paper (container material)
overall: 19 cm x 8 cm x 3.7 cm; 7 1/2 in x 3 1/8 in x 1 7/16 in
overall: 7 1/2 in x 3 1/4 in x 1 1/2 in; 19.05 cm x 8.255 cm x 3.81 cm
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Lowell
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Hair Care Products
Health & Medicine
Hair Care Products
Beauty and Hygiene Products: Hair Care and Enhancement
Beauty and Health
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 Gary P. and Sandra Baden
Additional Media

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