Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 344

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 344

newspapers and magazines were closing their pages to the advertisements of patent medicines; legislation was appearing in several States; the public had been awakened to the fraud practised upon it, and a Federal Pure Food and Drug Act was beginning to be talked about.

Single-handed, The Ladies’ Home Journal kept up the fight until Mark Sullivan produced an unusually strong article, but too legalistic for the magazine. He called the attention of Norman Hapgood, then editor of Collier’s Weekly, to it, who accepted it at once, and, with Bok’s permission, engaged Sullivan, who later succeeded Hapgood as editor of Collier’s. Robert J. Collier now brought Samuel Hopkins Adams to Bok’s attention and asked the latter if he should object if Collier’s Weekly joined him in his fight. The Philadelphia editor naturally welcomed the help of the weekly, and Adams began his wonderfully effective campaign.

The weekly and the monthly now pounded away together; other periodicals and newspapers, seeing success ahead, and desiring to be part of it and share the glory, came into the conflict, and it was not long before so strong a public sentiment had been created as to bring about the passage of the United States Food and Drug Act, and the patent-medicine business of the United States had received a blow from which it has never recovered. To-day the pages of every newspaper and periodical of recognized standing are closed to the advertisements of patent medicines; the Drug Act regulates the ingredients, and post office officials scan the literature sent through the United States mails.

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