Artifact of the Month: Goody’s Headache Powder store poster

It’s hard to believe that, in more than thirteen years of this blog, we haven’t once mentioned Goody’s Headache Powders. But a search through our archive suggests that may well be true. We’ll remedy that [pun sheepishly intended] with our December Artifact of the Month, a Goody’s Headache Powder store poster.

Goody's Headache Powders sign

According to NCPedia, headache powders have traditionally been popular in North Carolina and throughout the South. Marketed as fast-acting because there’s no pill to dissolve, these remedies were originally formulated as powders because they were cheaper to produce than pills.

The Goody’s brand was born in Winston-Salem in 1932 when tobacco and candy wholesaler A. Thad Lewallen bought the formula from pharmacist Martin C. (Goody) Goodman.

This sign was part of a donation brought to us by retired journalist and frequent Miscellany contributor Lew Powell, who visits the Gallery every December with a delightful aggregation of North Carolina ephemera.

He shared our amusement at the slogan “They are good,” which its creators considered so profound they rendered it in quotation marks.

Lew Powell
Lew Powell lays out his amazing finds.

Based on the price — 2 powders for a nickel, 12 for a quarter — Powell’s educated guess is that the sign dates from 1932 to 1950. We’d welcome comments from any readers in the know who could narrow that down further.

We’re grateful to Lew for another fantastic trove of North Caroliniana. Readers who are interested in seeing more can view the Lew Powell digital collection. It contains only a fraction of the huge collection, but we’ll continue adding to it!