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 Lydia <I>Estes</I> Pinkham

Lydia Estes Pinkham

Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 17 May 1883 (aged 64)
Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Plot Within sight of the Maintenance Garage
Memorial ID 818 · View Source
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Manufacturer of Home Remedy Medicine. Her motives were somewhat self-serving, but she is admired by many modern-day feminists for distributing information on women's reproductive issues and is considered to be a crusader for women's health issues in a time when women were ill-served by the medical profession. She was born Lydia Estes in Lynn, Massachusetts, to an established Quaker family. Her father, William Estes, had become fairly wealthy in the real estate business at the time of her birth. The family was strongly abolitionist and anti-segregation and their home was a frequent gathering place for local and visiting abolitionists, such as William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass. Her family broke from the Quakers over the issue of slavery in the 1830s and at the age of 16, she joined the Lynn Female Anti-slavery Society. In 1843, she married Isaac Pinkham, who was a shoe manufacturer, but found little success in any of his business ventures. She soon started collecting and brewing home remedies, and her remedy for "female complaints" became popular with her neighbors which she gave away without charge. The Panic of 1873 ruined her husband finances and health, and he barely avoided arrest for his debt. In 1875, at the suggestion of her son, Daniel (according to the story), she engaged in the business of selling her home remedies. She began manufacturing them in her kitchen but soon relocated to a factory. Her Lydia E. Pinkham's Vegetable Compound used for the treatment of menopausal symptoms was mass marketed starting in 1876 and became one of the best known patent medicines of the 19th century. She skillfully marketed her product directly to women and her company continued her shrewd marketing tactics long after her death. She died in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 818
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lydia Estes Pinkham (9 Feb 1819–17 May 1883), Find A Grave Memorial no. 818, citing Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .