Frank Weston, the Wizard Oil Prince

18 Jul

The figure of Frank Weston is everywhere in those 1860-80s papers I was reading in Mitchell: Weston, ‘the Wizard Oil Prince’ from America, as he dubbed himself. He advertised his Wizard Oil and Magic Pill panaceas everywhere in the theatrical journals, and ended up with his own theatrical company in Melbourne. Everything he did was infused with a Yankee genius for self-promotion. Augustus Baker Peirce even worked for Weston for a while, spruiking his cure-all Wizard Oil, before unsuccessfully trying to replicate Weston’s success by promoting a panacea of his own.

Weston claims to have been the first to bring the travelling medicine show from America to Australia: wonder how true that is?

frank-weston.jpg

From a pamphlet held by the State Library of Victoria, entitled:

Frank Weston’s Australian companion : a selection of valuable recipes for cooking, &c., with much information about horses, cattle, social, witty, and other important subjects.

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One Response to “Frank Weston, the Wizard Oil Prince”

  1. Terry Foenander 14 March 2011 at 7:05 am #

    Weston was a Civil War veteran who came to Australia towards the end of the war, and eventually settled and died in South Australia. I am involved in extensive research on this gentleman. His father was a famous planter of Louisiana.

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