This advertisement showcases Imperial Granum, a food intended to offset some of the negative effects of sickness, and ageing. It was featured in the Orange County Observer in 1895. At the bottom of the advert, the food is sold by “druggists”, which were pharmacists, and manufactured by John Carle & Sons from New York [1]. In a book of the structures of Franklin Street, there was a druggist, Clyde Eubanks [3]. It is reasonable to assume that the Clyde could have sold granum as part of his products to the public of Chapel Hill.

Under the title, there are a few crests. With further inspection, the left crest has the words “DIEU ET MON DROIT”, which is a motto of British royalty [4]. The crest next to it is similar to the contemporary United States flag, but has 13 stars to represent 13 colonies. This is presumably to highlight ‘imperial’ ties with the name of the food. The diction of the advert utilizes words such as dyspeptic, invalids, convalescents, and digestive organs. Words such as these indicate the intended audience was very literate and understood the effects of the illnesses mentioned. Literacy points to a higher-class audience that can afford to spend time learning complex words, and afford to pay for what is seemingly non-necessary illness-relieving food.

Although this advertisement focuses on sickness, Imperial Granum’s prevalence underpins a narrative of expansion and increasing mass manufacture. New York is a significant distance from North Carolina, especially when cars and transportation were not in use. This company has enough capacity to operate across multiple states, and serve small businesses with their product regularly. Eating food that is mass manufactured for non-basic needs implies an attention to indulgence that was not possible in earlier eras. This transition is important to understand societal trends related to food consumption and the increasing audience for non-necessary foods in Chapel Hill today.

-Nicholas Day

Works Cited

  1. John Carle & Sons. “Imperial Granum Advert.”, Orange County Observer, 23 Mar. 1895,
  2. “Druggist Definition.” Home : Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford English Dictionary,
  3. Bryant, Bernard Lee. “Occupants and Structures of Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, North Carolina at 5-Year Intervals, 1793-1998 : Bryant, Bernard Lee .” Internet Archive, [Chapel Hill, N.C. : Chapel Hill Historical Society], 1 Jan. 1999, Page 160
  4. “Definition of ‘Dieu Et Mon Droit’.” Dieu Et Mon Droit Definition and Meaning | Collins English Dictionary,