Breathing Easier

La Cañada resident Alex Taylor has written a new book, "Amazing Mentholatum and the Commerce of Curing the Common Cold 1889-1955," about the company his great-grandfather, A. A. Hyde, founded. The 242-page volume printed by Angeles Crest Publications is priced at $34.

Book review columnist Jonathan Kirsch had this to say about the book: "By focusing on the intersection between the pharmaceutical industry and popular culture, Alex Taylor succeeds in telling one of the great tales of American civilization—the heroic effort to conquer the common cold. Both scholarly and entertaining, crammed full with colorful and exotic detail, 'Amazing Mentholatum' is an amazing achievement."

Taylor spent five years researching, writing and illustrating this coffee table size book. He collected many of the hundreds of nostalgic images that decorate each page from eBay auctions. La Cañada postal carrier Paul Anderson delivered to Taylor's house the more than 1,000 parcels it took to do the job.

'Amazing Mentholatum' contains a CD-ROM with a 198-page catalog of advertising and packaging art that was produced by the company during the period covered by the book. Even those who are not stuents of business or advertising history will marvel at the beautiful artwork that was produced for this product, which is truly an American original.

The book is available at Once Upon a Time, 2284 Honolulu Ave., Montrose Shopping Park.

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