Dr Williams' 'Pink Pills'

1948-1960 in United States, North America and London
Bottle of Dr Williams "Pink Pills", by G.T. Fulford Co. Ltd

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Bottle of Dr Williams "Pink Pills", by G.T. Fulford Co. Ltd
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Bottle of Dr Williams "Pink Pills", by G.T. Fulford Co. Ltd. (of Canada), proprietors of the Dr. Williams Medicine Co., London, 1948-1960

Dr William’s ‘Pink Pills’ were advertised as an iron rich tonic for the blood and nerves to treat anaemia, clinical depression, poor appetite and lack of energy. The tablets were originally advertised as “Pink Pills for Pale People”. Users of the product claimed the pills could even cure paralysis.

The patent for the pills was bought by George T Fulford (1852-1905) in 1890 after they were developed in Canada in 1886 by a Dr William Jackson. Fulford set up his patent medicine company in 1887 to take advantage of the market for medical products. Due to his marketing campaign, Fulford made the product an international success. Dr William’s Medicine Company was the trading arm of the company, using the pills’ inventor’s name. The pills were available across Europe, North America and China and were eventually withdrawn in the United Kingdom in the 1970s. The ingredients for the pills changed several times, with only the name 'Pink Pills' remaining the same.


Materia Medica & Pharmacology
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
carton, paper, bottle, glass and bottle, plastic
overall: 82 mm x 29 mm x 29 mm, .05kg
bottle: 79 mm 26 mm,
medicinal tonic