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.
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