The History of Rosebud Perfume Co.
His Early Years and Family - Dr. Smith was born near Woodsboro, Maryland, on March 25, 1865. He was the son of Solomon and Adeline Locke Smith and the grandson of John and Susan Earnst Smith. He grew up on a farm near Woodsboro but soon realized his ambition went far beyond the plow. After receiving his preliminary education in Woodsboro, he attended and graduated from Shenandoah Normal College in Harrisonburg, Virginia. After receiving a teaching degree, Dr. Smith moved to Utica, Maryland, where he taught school and married local resident, Minnie F. Baer. He taught school in Frederick County, Maryland, for five years before realizing his desire to become a druggist. He entered the proprietary drug and medicine field and was registered by the Maryland Board of Pharmacy in 1902.
Dr. Smith and Minnie had eight children:Mamie Irene, Lillian Mae, Raymond Lee, Henry Ward, Allen Reno, Alta La Rue, Mabel Pauline, and Mildred Naomi. All of Dr. Smith's and Minnie's children are deceased, but their heirs live on to own and run the family business. Dr. Smith was president of the Commercial State Bank in Frederick, Maryland, from 1925 to 1930. From 1937 until his death in 1952, he held an office in the Woodsboro Savings Bank (now known as the Woodsboro Bank) in Woodsboro, Maryland. He served as the mayor of Woodsboro for 19 years. He was a life long lover of music, giving band concerts on the upstairs porch of the Rosebud Building. He loved to race bicycles and collect automobiles. During his life, he owned more than 80 cars. His favorite car was the Packard. Dr. Smith loved to attend the annual Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and seldom missed a judging.
Today, the Rosebud Building is much the same as it was when Dr. Smith operated the business. Smith's old drugstore bottles and preparations are still housed in his pharmacy room. It is like a trip back in time to see the many items left from his multifaceted life. One can almost hear the chatter of the Heidelburg Workers, ladies affectionately so named who created hundreds of beautiful quilts in the building. The fragrances of the rose oils that have permeated the walls and halls for over a century are evident still. You can relive the drama of the Civil War where meetings were held on this same site to resolve the backing of Governor Hicks and to express the citizens' determination to remain in the Union. G. F. Smith was one of the first druggists to sell fountain Coca Cola and was even visited once by the originator of the beverage. Dr. Smith was an agent for Columbia Records and frequently gave musicals by playing old cylinder recordings on the Edison phonograph. The Business Years Dr. George F. Smith founded the Rosebud Perfume Company in 1895.
The business began in a small drugstore located across the street from what is now known as the Rosebud Building in Woodsboro, Maryland. Friends and customers suggested that he prepare for them a family salve that could be used for various minor skin irritations. With this as a challenge, Dr. Smith formulated a product known as Smith's "Balsam of Rosebuds" which was later renamed Smith's "Rosebud Salve." Realizing its local popularity, Dr. Smith decided to advertise his product in country tabloids, and within a few years he had organized one of the most unique mail order businesses in the United States. Several years later, Dr. Smith purchased the old Smith Hotel. He sold his drugstore and moved into the imposing brick building which has served as the home of Rosebud products for over 100 years.
The mail order business offered four major brands for agents to sell door to door. They sold Rosebud Salve, Tholene Mentholated Salve, Rosebud Perfume, and Vivian Perfume named for the founder's granddaughter and current president of Rosebud Perfume Company, Vivian Smith Pruitt Clipp. Later, two aftershaves for men were created: Poke of Limes and Tobacco Five Cologne, both of which were sold in specialty shops. Over 70,000 agents sold Rosebud products in hopes of getting a premium for their sales efforts.The Rosebud Perfume Company Building was filled with "premiums" or "rewards" for the young and old alike. Curtains, BB guns, silverware, phonographs, and old cylinder records were among the rewards one could aspire to receive as a result of outstanding sales. Mail order catalogs were sent all over the United States to advertise the premiums.
The effort and hard work of door to door sales insured the salesman a valued prize. Today G.F. Smith, the Rosebud Perfume Company, and the Rosebud Building have all stood the test of time. Fine Rosebud products are still being sold locally, nationally, and internationally. Rosebud Perfume Company's, Inc. success is due to selling quality products at reasonable prices for well over 100 years!