Newbro's Herpicide

Newbro's Herpicide

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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
place made
United States: New York, New York City
Physical Description
glass (container material)
cardboard (packaging material)
paper (container material)
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
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Mario Cassinelli, Jr.
Hair Care Products
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
Beauty and Health
Beauty and Hygiene Products: Hair Care and Enhancement
Hair Care Products
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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Still used in my family in 2020--(the slogan, not the Herpicide)! My great Aunt Evelyn Haffner, b.1895 in Coon Rapids, Iowa, used to say this. She lived with us late in her life, d.1978, I still think about her a lot, she being my role model as a childless aunt. I loved to hear her talk. So the still useful Herpicide slogan is heard pretty often in my immediate family. "ain't we got fun kid?"

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