Luden's Cough Drops
Luden's is the inventor of the mentholated cough drop. Today they are called throat drops.
William H. Luden was a successful confectioner. He invented the menthol cough drop. At 15 William quit school and became an apprentice candy maker. It was only five years before he left his job to start his own company in 1879.
Luden set up his candy business in his father's old jeweler shop and used his mother's 5 by 6 foot kitchen as his "factory." There, he had all he needed: a coal burning stove and 30 lbs. of sugar. With that he began making candy that he sold door to door.
Within a short time he was able to convince Reading shopkeepers to display and sell his products and it wasn't long before he had enough capital to develop his most inspired invention.
Luden had noticed that cold sufferers at that time carried vials of menthol with them to relieve their symptoms. So he got together with a local pharmacist and created the first menthol cough drop.
But his business acumen didn't stop there. He knew that to realize his dream his wonderful new throat drop would have to be popular beyond the confines of eastern Pennsylvania. Knowing the power of word of mouth advertising, Luden gave away free samples of his product to railroad men. In time, the entire country had heard the name Luden's®.
From there the company grew so quickly it had to be moved three times between 1882 and 1900 finally settling on Eighth and Walnut streets in Reading. He built a four-story building there which had to be expanded only a few years later.
But success didn't make William Luden sit back and relax. He kept innovating with new products and new packaging eventually coming up with the wax paper inner wrapping that preserved freshness and flavor.
Generations of families have trusted the Luden's® name because the throat drops that bear the name have always brought soothing relief for young and old. Many people today have fond childhood memories of mom giving them a Luden's® Wild Cherry throat drop when they had a scratchy throat.
Much has happened since William H. Luden began his quest. The brand was marketed around the world. In 1936 the company created the 5th Ave. bar. And during WWII the Luden's® factory worked overtime to supply troops with their favorite throat drops from back home.
With all the change, one thing has stayed the same. People still count on the simply delicious taste and surprisingly soothing relief of Luden's® throat drops for everyday throat irritation.