Marshall’s Tested Pickle Recipes

An obscure brand of a popular sugar substitute.

We’ll have to have a proper post about the history of saccharin at some point, but there’s too much to talk about tonight, so here’s an abridged version of how saccharin came into being.

In the 1870s, Russian-born chemist Constantin Fahlberg was working in Ira Remsen’s lab at Johns Hopkins University, where the two were exploring coal tar derivatives. One night, depending on which version of the story you believe, Fahlberg ate a roll or smoked a cigarette that tasted sweet and metallic; he realized that he hadn’t washed his hands after work and he was tasting benzoic sulfilimine, created by heating a mixture of a benzene derivative, an acid, and a few other compounds. Fahlberg and Remsen co-authored papers on the substance, but Fahlberg patented and manufactured it alone, selling it as a substitute for sugar.

So on to the real subject of these recipes, H.G. Marshall.

Harry Griffin Marshall was a character, from what old newspapers can tell us. He started as a door-to-door salesman selling patent medicine. From the July 6, 1901 edition of the Newark Advocate:

Mr. H. G. Marshall of this city, is distributing from house to house, and in fact, trying to place in the hands of every man and woman in Newark, postal cards addressed to Dr. David Kennedy of Rondout, N.Y. These cards entitle our readers to a free trial bottle of that great Kidney, Liver and Blood medicine, Dr. David Kennedy’s Favorite Remedy.

This is a genuine offer and a very liberal one, as it gives our townspeople a chance to try Favorite Remedy with absolutely no expense to themselves.

We have known Dr. David Kennedy’s Favorite Remedy for years and constantly hear of its marvelous cures so we advise all our readers to take advantage of this liberal offer to try this great remedy free.

Mmph. Well, 15 years later, the Dr. David Kennedy Company pled guilty to mislabeling their bottles (the company was owned by the sons at that point, and the product sold for a dollar a bottle). You see, they claimed the remedies contained medicine. Instead, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

At 18% alcohol, Dr. Kennedy’s remedy was about the same proof as highly fortified wine, like Thunderbird’s higher-alcohol version–but to be fair, the dose was three teaspoons a day.

Marshall’s door-to-door career ended in 1910 when he took a job at Erman & Son’s pharmacy. In 1912, he opened his own shop on East Main Street. (It’s likely the street numbers have changed since; as it is now, the businesses closest to the numbered location are a drive-through liquor store and a hunting supply store.)

While he might’ve left knocking on doors behind, patent medicines remained his trade. Consider his offering from the March 21, 1913 edition of the Newark Advocate:

Avoid Dangerous Operations For Appendicitis, Gall Stones and Stomach TroubleOne Dose of Mayr’s Wonderful Stomach Remedy Will Bring Quick Relief and Convince You of a Cure.

If you suffer with stomach, Liver and Intestinal Ailments, Gastritis, Indigestion, Dyspepsia, Pressure of Gas around the Heart, Sour Stomach, Sick Headache, Fainting Spells, Constipation, Congested and Torpid Liver, Yellow Jaundice, Appendicitis, and Gall Stones, obtain a bottle of this Wonderful Remedy and put it to a test at once.


Avoid the Knife

One dose will positively prove its great powers to cure. Over one hundred thousand sufferers have taken it; some had undergone dangerous surgical operations but with temporary relief, who now state that Mayr’s Wonderful Stomach Remedy completely cured them. It is the most widely known and successful remedy for all Stomach, Liver and intestinal ailments.

Ask H. G. Marshall, Druggist, for interesting literature and convincing testimonials regarding the remarkable remedy. Give it a trial today. You will be convinced of its great curative powers no matter how skeptical you may be now. [Prepared?] by Geo H. Mayr Mfg. Chemist, 134-135 Whiting St. Chicago.

For sale in Newark by H.G. Marshall, Druggist, 318 East Main St. and druggists everywhere.

On December 15, 1915, George H. Mayr pled guilty to misbranding his stomach remedy by claiming it contained medicine of any kind. The package was actually a combination of oils and salts that, when combined in the digestive system, solidified–and the result was the the “kidney stones” and “toxins” that the product was supposedly flushing out.

But onward, if not upward. As a man with a shaved skull described as a “gleaming beacon of hope,” I’m not even going to comment on the trade Marshall offered in the August 14, 1916 edition of the Newark Advocate:

With such wonderful medicine, surely he’d succeed, right?

H.G. Marshall’s time as a shop owner ended in 1917, when he sold the business to a competitor and became an employee at the new owner’s store. And to explain what happened next, we need to stop and talk briefly about what happened in the years following saccharin’s invention.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, saccharin was much cheaper than sugar, both because it was 300 times sweeter and because sugar involved a lot of shipping, while you could produce saccharin more or less anywhere. Around the turn of the century, some beverage-makers started using saccharin instead of sugar and not telling anyone, strictly as a cost-control measure.

As the public became aware of “adulterated” foods in the first decade of the 20th century, saccharin’s supporters (the business world) and detractors (nervous chemists who didn’t have any particular hard evidence, but felt that coal tar extracts couldn’t possibly be good for you) pushed back and forth politically.

For a long period of time, including the time when Marshall started making his saccharin, it was legal to sell saccharin to consumers for use, but illegal to use it in any manufactured product, because doing so would reduce the “food value” of the product. “Food value” means calories–it’s precisely the lack of “food value” that would lead some doctors to prescribe saccharin, including Teddy Roosevelt’s, at least according to one anecdote.

So in 1919, Marshall started selling his saccharin, and in 1923, he registered the label with the Patent and Trademark Office. This was the insert from the package. And for the first time in his adult life, Marshall was engaged in the sale of a chemical compound that did exactly what the label promised.

So how much should you use? Generally speaking, a saccharin pickles recipe would call for a tablespoon of saccharin to a gallon of vinegar, so I’m guessing each “package” of Marshall’s product was a tablespoon.

Oh, one last thing. “Mangoes.” In Ohio and other parts of the Midwest, that’s a term that was used to bell peppers. The only explanation I’ve found is that early Americans received pickled mangoes; the name mango came to mean anything pickled; and bell peppers were pickled, too. Plausible.

That said, I’m sure the recipe would be lovely with actual mangoes in it, too.

From the box of A.D. from Lutz, Florida, by way of Pennsylvania in the 1940s, and originating in Ohio in the 1920s.

Marshall’s Tested Pickle Recipes

Delicious Pickle Recipe
For Canning

2 oz. Ground Mustard
1/2 cup Common Salt
1/2 cup Sugar
1 package Marshall’s Saccharine
1 gal. Cider Vinegar

Mix and put pickles in the liquid, then heat until about ready to boil. Then put pickles in jars, cover with liquid and seal air tight.

Cold Pickle Recipe

1 oz. Whole Black Pepper
1 oz. White Mustard Seed
1 oz. Ground Mustard
1 oz. Ginger Root
1 oz. Cinnamon Bark
1 package Marshall’s Saccharine
1/2 cup Common Salt
1 gal. Cider Vinegar

Mix cold and pour over pickles. Do not seal. Can be eaten in from 3 to 4 days.

Mixed Pickle Recipe
For Canning

1/2 peck (7 lbs.) Green Tomatoes
1 medium sized (3 lbs.) Head Cabbage
1 large ripe Cucumber
1/2 doz. small Cucumbers
5 Mangoes [read the post, however] (3 red, 2 yellow)
1/2 doz. Small Carrots
1 small head Cauliflower
1 bunch celery
1 pint small White Onions
2 small green Muskmelons
1/2 cup Common Salt
1 package Marshall’s Saccharine
1 pound sugar
1 oz. Ground Mustard
1 oz. White Mustard Seed
1 oz. Celery Seed
1 oz. Whole Black Pepper
1 gallon Cider Vinegar

After you have washed and prepared the vegetables, chop all together, with exception of the carrots; cover with the salt and let stand over night. Drain off liquor in the morning, then add to the mixture the vinegar to which has been added the Marshall’s Saccharine, sugar, ground mustard, white mustard seed, celery seed and whole black pepper, then heat until about ready to boil. Slice carrots and cook till tender, then mix these with other vegetables and seal while hot. This recipe makes 6 quarts.

Pointers in Pickle Making

Always use cider vinegar when possible. Poor vinegar often spoils what otherwise would have been delicious pickles.

Strong vinegar should always be weakened with water, if it is not, the vinegar will cause pickles to become soft, and eventually eat them up. One pint of water to a gallon of vinegar is about right.

To insure best results always use Marshall’s Saccharine which is of the finest grade and guaranteed neither to ferment or turn sour.

One gallon vinegar will cover 100 small or medium sized pickles. A three gallon jar is just a nice size to hold these.

When making pickles by cold process always press a plate or round piece of wood on top of pickles to keep them under vinegar, using a stone weight to hold it down.

Be sure and use good spices. Mustard, cinnamon and other spices when kept in containers that are open to the air soon lose their strength and are worthless.

If sweeter pickles are desired than what recipes make, use two packages of Marshall’s Saccarine [sic] instead of one.

Keep pickles in a cool place.

Marshall’s Saccharine
is never sold in bulk, but only in original packages.Put Up By H.G. Marshall, Registered Pharmacist, Newark, Ohio.

Sold By Grocers Everywhere.

“Copyright H.G. Marshall 1923” All Rights Reserved


  1. Lise Murphy

    Thank goodness! I’m going through handwritten recipe books of my family from the 1920s-30s, and was surprised to see saccharine in multiple pickle recipes. But even more surprising were pickle and sandwich spread recipes including “mangoes”, sometimes specifying red, green or yellow. I couldn’t imagine they had access to mangoes… Now I understand! Thank you!

  2. Cecelia Amos

    I am currently working on a thesis for my undergraduate degree in History about the use of artificial sweeteners in foods and beverages. I came across your site in a Google Search and I am quite interested in “Marshall’s Saccharin for Pickling”. Where did you find this information so I may go there? Please respond.

    • Howdy! Yeah, this “older-style” CSS in this post is a little bit of a pain when it comes to seeing the sources. If you click on the newspaper clippings, they’ll pop-up with attribution below them. I found them on

      The insert itself was from a recipe box from Lutz, Florida–but how it got into there, I don’t know!

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