The shipment of hair products salvaged from the SS Republic wreck site included two sterling examples of Heimstreet's Inimitable Hair Restorative, notable for its uniquely shaped octagonal bottle of cobalt blue.
Advertisements of the period claimed Heimstreet's formula "does not act as a dye, but stimulates the natural secretion of coloring at the roots and thus restores its natural color." It was also said to eradicate dandruff, as well as promote hair growth and prevent it from falling out. Targeting both men and women, despondent customers were promised hope for their sickly hair. "All persons troubled with premature baldness, or hair turning gray should not despair until they have tried Heimstreet."
Charles Heimstreet was listed as a druggist in Troy, New York from 1835 until his death in 1855. His brother Stephen joined the company in 1838 to manage the bottled-medicine line. By 1845, the business was called Heimstreet and Bigelow, and a few years later, was assumed by William E. Hagan, a former clerk in Heimstreet's store.
At some point in the 1860s, the New York wholesale druggist Demas Barnes became sole proprietor of Hagan's articles, and served as the commercial agent for Heimstreet's famous formula. Available in two bottle sizes, for 50 cents and one dollar, the product was sold by all "respectable dealers."