Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, March 11, 2007, pg. 11

It’s time for another story about an Albion medicine manufacturer. Charles G. Maywood (1870-1956) was a member of the Albion College Class of 1891, and graduated with a music degree. Originally from Menominee, Charles was a prolific tennis player on the school tennis team. There is a photo of him with a tennis racket in the 1891 College yearbook entitled, “The Symplegades,” pg. 75. In his later years he even served as the College tennis coach in 1921. His wife Rebecca Striker graduated from Albion in 1899, and they were married in 1900. Her father Daniel was an Albion College trustee and endowment secretary for many years. The couple was very active in Methodist circles here and across the state. The family lived just east of town at 1507 Jackson Road, now called E. Michigan Avenue.

Charles became a chemist by profession, and chose to remain in Albion to apply his trade. He established the Maywood Laboratories Inc. here, and invented various medicines which were sold across the country. His medicines were sold by the Zo-Lo-Ta Sales Company distributors in Detroit.

One of his concoctions was the Zolota Oil Drops. This small bottle with eye-dropper contained medicine that was used for eye, ear, nose, and sinus trouble. The medicine came packaged in a small attractive green box, and was stuffed with a full page of advertisement proclaiming the glories of this invention. Although undated, it appears to be from the 1930s, and the label states “Trademark, U.S. Patent Office.”

The small bottle is 1˝” tall. The oil, and eye drops sold for 50˘, while the ointment was $1.00. What were the ingredients of this miracle drug? The box states that the oil drops were made with vegetable oils, while each ounce contained 1 cc. of chloroform, plus a secret ingredient called “Zo-Lo-Ta,” which was touted as “our own discovery” without mentioning the chemical make-up. My bottle still has the oil in it, and it doesn’t look like it’s ever been opened.

The box states, “For use in treating Sinus troubles, colds, difficult breathing. Quickly removes substances which irritate the membranes of the nose and throat. Cleanses, soothes, heals. For preventing children’s sniffles, treat the first symptoms. A few drops of oil in the ear softens wax, relieves ear-ache, helps catarrhal deafness.” The brochure includes the information: “Modern business demands a clear head. That hacking cough may be caused by hardening wax in the ear pressing on a nerve.”

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of the box, which states at the bottom, “Maywood Lab, Inc. Albion, Mich. USA.” How many of our readers have any other medicines from the Maywood Lab?

Zolota Oil Drops Box


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