From a 1912 issue of American Druggist:
To Lower the Death Rate
The number of accidental deaths in the United States from poisoning in the course of five consecutive years amounted to 8,441 in four states alone, the remaining states have no statistics of this kind. These figures show that something out to be done to prevent the possibility of such accidents. The Hall Red-Devil-Skull Company, 115 Nassau street, have brought out a unique preventive of such poisoning, which consists of a Red-Devil Skull in the shape of a corkscrew, made of a composition, colored a deep red. The little sharp horns of the “Red Devil” project above the rest of the skull, thus preventing anyone from pulling the cork of the bottle thus protected without a prick from these horns. In daylight the shape the color of the corkscrew protect and warn. The advantage of this little device is that it can be applied by any one to the cork of any bottle when care must be used when taking its contents. The skulls are inexpensive and there is room on the back for the name of the druggist, so that it becomes a valuable advertisement as well as a most useful article. We understand that the company, which owns the patent rights and manufactures these skulls, will send free samples with full information to any druggist.
Also, within the issue:
Poison Bottle Indicator
Retail druggists all over the world are buying Hall’s Red-Devil-Skull corkscrew, an invention to safeguard their patrons. Projecting devil horns on the handle warn the user at night by sense of touch. Many deaths have been caused through picking up bottles in the dark. This will prevent that. Any druggist that orders a quantity may have his name put on the corkscrew. Prices, samples, and information may be had by sending to the Hall Red-Devil-Skull Company, Danville, Ill.
We know that the HRDS stands for the Hall’s Red Devil Skull, as Don Bull published on his website a few years ago having found a box for the little Skulls on eBay. And, we know that there are two sizes.
But, from these two brief articles, now we know that the little horns were intentionally sharp. And, that they little skulls had the possibility of serving as an advertising vehicle.
Have an you you found a Hall’s Red Devil Skull with advertising?
Moreover, the article explains that the company has the patent rights. Is there a patent for this little guy?
The digging will continue, but thus far no patent has been discovered. Still, we have found the inventor! Mr. Edward Leverich Hall, who according to the University of Illinois Directory as of 1910, was listed as Gen. Mngr., Red Devil Skull Co., Danville, ILL. Invented the Red-Devil-Skull, a device to prevent accidental poisoning, now being sold extensively across the U.S.