Charles Came (1806-1881) was born in Henrietta, New York. Came did not attend school, but held work as both a cabinetmaker and a carver of gravestones. He had a strong interest in astronomy and electricity and during the late 1840s and 1850s, he traveled through upstate New York demonstrating the marvels of science, with an emphasis on electricity. Came discovered that he could make money on his own by traveling from town to town, presenting basic science to the people in a dramatic, entertaining style, or enlightening them about recent discoveries. Came began calling himself "Dr." Came and also prescribed medical remedies. The handbills in the collection note Dr. Came's Cough Balsam, Magnetic Stimulating Drops, Magnetic Vermifuge, Volatile Liniment, Vegetable Cathartric Powder, and Easy Emetic Tincture to name a few. The collection represents the popularization of science and its role in American culture.
Sherman, Roger. "Charles Came, Itinerant Science Lecturer, and His Splendid Apparatus," Journal of the American Scientific Instrument Enterprise, Vol. 5, No. 4, August 1991, p. 120.