This past summer while walking our dog along an old footpath that straddles our farm and a nearby village, I discovered a small antique bottle protruding from the earth. I noticed the words, “Hinds Honey and Almond Cream” embossed on its weathered face. Inwardly I smiled at the happenstance of my finding such a treasure. I never realized a honey cream had been mass marketed in the United States so long ago. I set about doing some online research and was surprised at what I learned.
The A. S. Hinds Co. was a family business started in 1875 in Portland, Maine. It was famous for various creams for the face, hands, and skin. They were bought out in 1907 by Lehn & Fink, maker of Lysol. The honey almond cream product was still available in 1948.
Hinds Honey and Almond Cream was formulated and marketed by Aurelius Stone Hinds. He moved to Portland in 1862 and worked in a drugstore, which he bought in 1870. He worked on the formulation of the cream for a number of years, and began selling it from the drugstore in the latter part of the 1870’s. It was such a huge success that he put it into commercial production, first in Portland, and at some point distribution was shifted to a company in New Jersey. There was a Hinds Honey & Almond Cream radio program on CBS, starring George Burns and Gracie Allen from 1939 to 1940 on CBS radio. The products were very common and widely used well into the 1940’s. Below are a few ads from the company.
In my research, I discovered the original formula was very similar to the first cream I created, quit by coincidence. It was a formula conceived in an era when commercial preservatives, emulsifiers and fragrances had not been invented. I couldn’t help but ponder the many hours I spent creating something free of these substances in an era when everything contained them. I can only view finding this bottle, learning about Hinds cream and its success as an odyssey and come to one conclusion.