Free from all the Vulgar Accompaniments— Hamlin’s Wizard Oil Concert Company is Coming to Town




August 20 1886 The Almonte Gazette

Open-air Concerts.— Hamlin’s Wizard Oil Concert Company No. 6, now engaged in giving open air advertising concerts on the streets of Almonte, will remain some days longer. We desire to call our readers’ attention to what we have to say regarding this company in another part of this issue of the Gazette.

The Wizard Oil people are endorsed by the press of Perth, Smith’s Falls, Carleton Place, Ottawa and other towns and cities of Canada, and it is well worth your time and trouble to attend these entertainments, which are free from all the vulgar accompaniments usually attendant upon open air street performances. The concerts begin at 8 o’clock p.m., and will be continued until furthur notice.

Hamlin’s Wizard Oil Co. was a patent medicine manufacturer and distributor, founded in 1862 by John A. Hamlin and Lysander B. Hamlin as “J. A. Hamlin & Bro”, and reorganized in 1881 as “Hamlin’s Wizard Oil Co.” They were most well-known for the product their company was named for, “Hamlin’s Wizard Oil”, which they promoted with travelling sales troupes who performed medicine shows across North America.

Drawn by four white stallions, it served as a mobile performance stage, with a built-in parlour organ and lockers crammed with Hamlin’s medicines. Wizard Oil was emblazoned in gigantic letters across the sides. The troupe consisted of a driver, a lecturer and a male quartet. Hamlin enforced a rigid dress code. Some competitors posed as Indians, Quakers or mysterious healers from distant lands, but Wizard Oil president John Hamlin wanted his wagons and employees to project an image of professionalism. All employees were contractually bound to dress identically in high silk hats, frock coats, gray vests, striped trousers, spats and glossy patent-leather shoes.

Constipation Guaranteed to be Cured in Almonte

We’re Off to See the Wizard — The Poisoner’s Handbook?

Hell on Wheels at Lady Chatterton’s Hotel in Carleton Place


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News


About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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