The Neal Institute, was founded in 1892, Des Moines, Iowa, and franchised in 63 cities. From the research that I did, the institute was in business, at one address or another, in Portland from 1911-1921. The original address of 68 Deering St, then 147 Pleasant Ave, and finally 166 Pleasant Ave.

Nationwide prohibition started in 1920, and had a major impact on businesses such as The Neal Institute, The Keeley Institute and The Gatlin Institute, three of the larger alcohol and drug treatment franchises. By 1922, only two of the Neal Institutes remained open in the country.

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This page is taken from the 1920 Portland Directory.  It shows 166 Pleasant Ave, the original address of the Osteopathic Hospital
of Maine, being listed as
The Neal Institute.

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These ads are found in the1919
and 1920 Portland Directory


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This ad ran for several years on the back page of the Portland Directory

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But The Neal Institute was also listed in
at least two other addresses in Portland.
From the 1911 Portland Directory, this ad,
along with another ad for Dr. Messer's Sanatorium, can be found listed
at 68 Deering Street.

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68 Deering Street is still an address that can be found today, and here is the building that housed the Neal Institute

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Another view of the twin buildings
at 68 Deering

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This ad is from the 1912 Portland Directory.  It shows the Neal Institute located at 147 Pleasant Ave.  This address is almost directly across the street from 166 Pleasant Ave, where OHM once was

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And today, this is how 147 Pleasant Ave looks.  Compared to the previous newspaper photo, you can see it looks just about the same as back in 1912


~The following article retyped from a newspaper article dated December 30, 1910~

Portland Branch of the Neal Institute Opens at 68 Deering Street.

The Neal Institute, which has gained a marvelous record for curing the drink habit in three days, and for all time, has established a Portland branch at 68 Deering street.

This grand work of freeing victims from the bondage of desire, craving and appetite for drink began in Iowa years ago and the parent institute is in Des Moines.

Now, this work is National in its scope.  Portland is one of 57 cities and towns where the Neal Institute has taken its field in the cause of happier homes, normal appetites and steady nerves regained.

Thousands of American business and professional men rejoice today because of the opportunity given them to successfully rid themselves of an appetite that handicapped them and was wrecking their health and happiness.

The Neal Treatment is now being administered in Canada and Australia; hence it is an international factor in the cause of a happier life for the victims of the drink habit.

Every Neal Institute in the Country looms like a beacon light of hope to such victims and those who have loved ones whom they want to save from the clutches of a consuming appetite for liquor.

Some of these stories from the Neal Institutes are in reality Twentieth Century versions of Paradise Regained - stories of the reincarnation of joy in homes from which the shadows of intemperance have been lifted.

The Neal Three-day Drink Habit Cure is entirely different from any other.  It is purely vegetable.  The medicine, which is perfectly harmless, is administered by a regularly licensed physician and one who has an unusually wide and varied experience in the treatment of alcoholism.  There are no hypodermic injections used in this treatment.  The medicine is taken internally, during the daytime only.

The Neal Cure has revolutionized old methods of dealing with the drink habit.  A bond and contract is given each patient, guaranteeing a perfect cure in Three Days, or the return of the full coast of the treatment at the end of the third day.

Confidence born of overwhelming success in dealing with cases given up as hopelessly incurable is back of the Neal Cure.

The idea of taking a drinking man - regular of periodical - and within Three Days ridding him of the desire which has held him in slavery for years will appeal strongly to those interested in the uplift of humanity and will bring the sunshine of hope into many a family circle.  So many seemingly hopeless human wrecks have been regenerated - returned to their families clean, healthy men and women - that from a purely local Iowa concern the Neal Institute has gained international prominence and prestige.

Portland's new branch of the Neal Institute affords a pleasant haven - a real harbor of refuge - for victims of the drink habit who can not afford to spend 28 to 180 (?) days away from their business - the period required by the old hypodermic injection treatment.

Three days is the limit of the Neal Treatment.  Three Days at the Neal Institute can always be arranged by the busiest man.  On the fourth day he can return to his duties, and the greatest comment his absence will create will be one of surprise at the improvement in his looks.

The Neal Cure is thorough in its work of elimination.  It neutralizes and eradicates every trace of alcoholic poison from the system.  The patient, strengthened and invigorated in both body and mind, with brain clear, eyes bright, step elastic and feeling fine, can at the end of three days return to his occupation, a New Man, with no craving or desire for drink.

Scientists have agreed that alcoholism is not a disease, but a poisoning that creates an appetite for more liquor.

The man who requires just one drink a day to keep from becoming nervous, is just as much in need of the Neal Treatment as the man who drinks a quart a day.  The man who has to take a drink before breakfast, two or three after breakfast, and several during the day to 'steady his nerves', finds that the Neal Cure will give him steady nerves without drink.  The Neal Treatment supplies the nerve centers with that vital force which rebuilds the whole nervous system.  It puts the digestive organs into proper shape, purifies the blood and in three days puts the drinking man in a normally mental and physical condition.

The comforts of a refined home, the personal services of a regular physician and the utmost privacy are afforded to all the patients at 68 Deering street, Portland, Maine.

The Neal Cure can be taken in the privacy of your own home.  The treatment, with directions for using, sent to you by express.

The Boston Neal Institute is located at 304 Newbury street, Boston, Mass.  Telephone Back Bay 3970.

Write, wire or telephone the Neal Institute, 68 Deering street, Portland, telephone 4216 for further particulars and booklet.  Take any Congress street car from depot in Portland and get off at Mellen street.

I tried to figure out where the name of 'Neal' came from. In my search, I discovered two local prominent names from the 1800's, John Neal and Neal Dow. Neither of which, however, seem to be directly associated with the Neal Institute. Here's a brief bio on each of these men...

Portland's John Neal (1793-1876) epitomized the spirit of 19th century Maine. In his long life he was a boxer, novelist, gymnast, publisher, architect, quarryman, attorney, phrenologist, pro-feminist and America's first art critic. In 1827, after living in England, Neal settled in his hometown, founded the brilliant, but short-lived, literary magazine, The "Yankee", and helped stimulate an artistic climate that flourished through the Civil War. In 1829, John Neal began to support the efforts of Edgar Allan Poe to attain literary prominence. Neal's autobiography "Wandering recollections of a somewhat busy life" (1869) provides a fascinating view of 19th century cultural life.

Neal Dow (1804-1897) was a zealous crusader for the cause of temperance and prohibition, both in Maine and throughout the country. He formed the Maine Temperance Union in 1838, an organization that advocated total abstinence from drinking alcohol. Dow lobbied the state legislature for the passage of a prohibition law, and in 1851, after he was elected Mayor of Portland, he succeeded. The Maine Law remained in effect, except for a lapse of three years, until the repeal of National Prohibition in 1933. It made liquor manufacture, trade and use illegal in Maine, except for medicinal or mechanical purposes.

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This building is on 173-175 State St.,
across from Mercy Hospital.  John Neal
built, lived, and I believe died, here.

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Here is the Neal Dow House on
Congress St.  Tours available


Looks like I went off on a tangent!  Oh well...

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