Baltimore’s Iron Bitters – Brown Chemical Company

IRON BITTERS (left) and a BROWN’S IRON BITTERS (right) – Meyer Collection

Baltimore’s Iron Bitters – Brown Chemical Company

30 June 2012 (R•052914)

Apple-Touch-IconAI like the embossing “BROWN CHEMICAL COMPANY” and the word ‘IRON” on the BROWN’S IRON BITTERS and IRON BITTERS from Baltimore, Maryland. These, smaller squares look good together in this mighty-strong pair I have elected to photograph as 99 out of a 100 times, you will find the Brown’s in a rather drab shade of brown amber. Just recently, I was able to obtain a nice example of the IRON BITTERS that prompted the pair photography and this post.

Both the BROWN’S and IRON BITTERS come with an entire field of other exciting and well designed collateral material such as trade cards, games, advertising etc., some of which I have pictured below.

The thing that gets me again, is the BROWN CHEMICAL COMPANY name. What a yummy message to emblazen on bottles where the advertising shows mothers giving heaping spoonfuls of this “iron-like” concoction to their children. Much of the advertising is also addressed to women. A few of my favorite quotes are represented below:

“If you are Weak, Languid, Nervous or Suffer From Dyspepsia or Indigestion, take IRON BITTERS – They will Cure You”

“If you want your Children to be Healthy & Strong, give them BROWN’S IRON BITTERS”

“Cures Malaria, Dyspepsia & Female Infirmities”

“A Prominent Washingtonian Cured of Dizziness, Etc.”

“The Workingman’s Friend – Strengthens and Heals”

“A Lady Cured of Rheumatism”

B231wrapper_BBS

Brown’s Iron Bitters wrapper – Bitters Bottles Supplement

In 1879, the Brown Chemical Co. began marketing Brown’s Iron Bitters. The company was located in Baltimore, Maryland. The product was 39% proof alcohol and by the 1890s it was one of the top selling bitters. The formula was targeted for female infirmities. The main ingredients were Iron Phosphate, Calisaya Bark, Phosphorus, Vibernum Prowifolium and Coca.

Queen Dollalingo of Perpetual Bloom Island came ill with Dysentery. Jeff Gordon who was a top salesman for Brown’s Iron Bitters just happened to be at Bloom Island and gave the Queen some Brown’s Iron Bitters. Queen Dollalingo recovered from her illness and would marry Jeff Gordon and made him the King of the Island. (Source Bottle Pickers)

IronBittersBrownsSign_C

1800s Drugstore Advertising Sign Browns Iron Bitters Malaria Cure: Lean on Glass – Dave’s Great Cards – eBay

The Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles is as follows:

B 231 BROWN’S IRON BITTERS, Circa 1878,
BROWN’S IRON BITTERS // sp // BROWN CHEMICAL CO. // f //
Brown Chemical Co.   Baltimore, Maryland
8 5/8 x 2 1/4 (6) 1/2
Square, LTCR, Applied mouth and Tooled lip, 3 sp, Greenish yellow and Yellow, Rare; Amber, Common.
I 27  IRON BITTERS, Circa
IRON BITTERS // sp // BROWN CHEMICAL CO. // f //
Brown Chemical Co.   Baltimore, Maryland
8 3/4 x 2 3/8 (6 3/8) 3/16
Square, Amber and Yellow, LTCR, Tooled lip and Applied mouth, Common
See: Brown’s Iron Bitters. Pamphlet available.

Read Further: Brown Chemical Co. v. Meyer – 139 U.S. 540 (1891) – U.S. Supreme Court – Argued March 18, 1891 – Decided April 8, 1891 This was a suit in equity instituted by the Brown Chemical Company, a corporation organized under the laws of Maryland, against the firm of Meyer Brothers and Co., of St. Louis, in the State of Missouri, to restrain an unfair competition in trade.

BROWN’S IRON BITTERS & IRON BITTERS

Framed  chromolithograph print for BROWN’S IRON BITTERS – Publication Information: 
Baltimore: A. Hoen & Co., Lith., 188 – 
This product contained cocaine. Caption states that it “cures malaria, dyspepsia & female infirmities.” Visual motif: Shows a woman behind broken glass. – History of Medicine

IRON BITTERS (left) and a BROWN’S IRON BITTERS (right) – Meyer Collection

BROWN’S IRON BITTERS, mint bottle both labels, original contents, huge bubbles – eBay (flyingfrog99)

1881 Brown Chemical Co., Baltimore Billhead – eBay (carolinapaperseller)

IRON BITTERS Trade Card – Baltimore City Sesquicentennial Celebration – October 1880 – AntiqueBottles.com

If you want your Children to be Healthy & Strong, Give Them BROWN’S IRON Bitters Trade Card – Meyer Collection

BROWN’S IRON BITTERS, The Best Tonic Trade Card – Meyer Collection

BROWN’S IRON BITTERS The Best Tonic Trade Card “MRS LANGTRY, THE JERSEY LILY” – Meyer Collection

BROWN’S IRON BITTERS, Brown Chemical Co., Balto., MD. Cures Malaria Trade Card – eBay

Advertising Trade Card featuring BROWN’S IRON BITTERS, CURES WEAKNESS, from the Brown Chemical Co., Baltimore, MD. – eBay (botlmole)

Advertising Trade Card featuring BROWN’S IRON BITTERS, Cures Dyspepsia, from the Brown Chemical Co., Baltimore, MD. – eBay (botlmole)

IRON BITTERS Medical Cure All Trade Card – eBay (screenheads)

IRON BITTERS A True Tonic Trade Card – Meyer Collection

Brown’s Iron Bitters advertising blotter R. H. Foster Lanesville, MA, This blotter has a great Victorian family scene with the mother writing, and the children playing. The Brown’s Bitters was made in Baltimore, MD. This blotter includes a ruler printed on the bottom edge. It is unusual for an advertising blotter to have printing on the reverse, the blotter side. This one has extensive advertising on the back. The local seller listed with extensive details to what he sold is R. H. Foster, a druggist in Lanesville, MA. – eBay (kitbarryephemera9)

Reverse: Brown’s Iron Bitters advertising blotter R. H. Foster Lanesville, MA, – eBay (kitbarryephemera9)

BROWN’S IRON BITTERS – Large mechanical card with picture of Jester sitting on box of product with bottle nearby. Wheel in back rotates to show a different picture each month. – AntiqueBottles.com

Advertisement for IRON BITTERS and the Brown Chemical Co., Baltimore, Md. – Documenting the American South

IRON BITTERS (left) and a BROWN’S IRON BITTERS (right) – Meyer Collection

IRON BITTERS (left) and a BROWN’S IRON BITTERS (right) – Meyer Collection

Brown Chemical Co. advertisement The Deseret News – Salt Lake City – Wednesday, March 28, 1883

BrownsIronTCBaby_Gourd

Extremely rare Brown’s Iron Bitters trade card – Gourd Collection

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V, President, Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors, is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has a BFA in Fine Art and Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. Ferdinand is the founding Principal of FMG Design, a nationally recognized design consultation firm. Ferdinand is a passionate collector of American historical glass specializing in bitters bottles, color runs and related classic figural bottles. Ferdinand is married to Elizabeth Jane Meyer and lives in Houston, Texas with their daughter and three wonderful grandchildren. The Meyers are also very involved in Quarter Horses, antiques and early United States postage stamps.

This entry was posted in Advertising, Bitters, Collectors & Collections, Druggist & Drugstore, Ephemera, Glass Companies & Works, Medicines & Cures, Tonics, Trade Cards and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Baltimore’s Iron Bitters – Brown Chemical Company

  1. Froggy says:

    NICE! Which is the most recent addn…the lighter example?

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