I came across this rather amazing tin of unopened roach killer in a local antique store.
That’s some label!
Though the can is itself cryptic, this was produced by B. Heller & Company, doing business as the Chicago Insecticide Laboratory, located at S. Calumet Ave. and E. 40th St., Chicago, IL.
Though the can offered a $1000 guarantee, it listed no ingredients, suggesting it was made before, or just shortly after, the Caustic Poison Act of 1927 forced companies to list dangerous chemicals on their labels, as well as antidotes and treatments.
The “$1,000.00 Guarantee” was slapped on a large swath of Chicago Insecticide Laboratory products, but no detail as to what it meant. Afterall, I am pretty sure if you slammed this can down on a roach, it would kill it — guaranteed!
One of the Heller company’s products was the “Freezine,” milk and cream additive which guaranteed that “the Milk and Cream will remain perfectly sweet and fresh regardless of the temperature of the room they are kept in.”
Not said: Freezine was actually a 7 percent solution of embalming fluid (formaldehyde) which resulted in the poisoning death of over 1,000 Chicago infants. Freezine and its analog competitors were banned by the U. S. Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.