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.

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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

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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