“the happy result of intelligent research, coupled with the extensive practice of Dr. Christoph Wilhelm Hueflin of Gena, Germany.”
Jan Ratushny had this larger Dr. Hoofland’s German Bitters at the Heckler Hayfield event this past weekend in Woodstock Valley, Connecticut. This is a common bottle as I have two of the smaller examples (see below). I just have not seen this larger size. This prompted a search for a little more information on the brand and bottle.
First of all, the Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles is as follows:
H 168 DR. HOOFLAND’S GERMAN BITTERS, Circa 1860 – 1870
DR. HOOFLAND’S / GERMAN BITTERS // LIVER COMPLAINT // C.M. JACKSON / PHILADELPHIA // DYSPEPSIA & C //
9 1/2 x 2 5/8 x 1 3/4 (7 3/8) 1/4 Bottle 1
8 1/2 x 2 1/8 x 1 3/4 (6 3/16) 3/8 Bottle 2
7 1/8 x 2 5/8 x 1 3/4 (5 3/8) 1/4 Bottle 3
7 1/8 x 2 5/8 x 1 3/4 (5) 1/4 Bottle 4
Rectangular, Aqua, CM, Applied mouth, With and without rough pontil mark, 4 sp, Common
Bottles 1 & 3 same Dyspepsia & C
Bottle 3 Rough pontil mark,
Label: A sovereign remedy for liver complaint, jaundice, dyspepsia, nervous debility, asthma, disease of the kidneys, and all diseases arising from a disordered liver or stomach. Paper seal over cork: intertwined M H G.
Charles M. Evans manufactured Dr. Hoofland’s Celebrated German Bitters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Christolph Wilheim Hoofland invented the eponymous bitters in Germany in the 1840s and the product was introduced in America in 1850 by Charles M. Jackson. C.M. Jackson was among the many 19th-century distributors peddling bitters to a receptive U.S. market. The product had been introduced much earlier, its formula developed by a German doctor.
By 1863, the product was sold to Charles Evans and R.S. Jones. C.M. Evans was a clerk in Jackson’s firm, and by 1867, the business directories list Evans as the sole proprietor of Hoofland’s German Bitters. A decade later, the proprietors of Hoofland’s German Bitters were Johnston, Holloway & Company of Philadelphia.
According to the Hoofland’s Almanacs, the product was “the happy result of intelligent research, coupled with the extensive practice of Dr. Christoph Wilhelm Hueflin (Hoofland) of Gena, Germany.”
“It is for him to say whether he will continue to endure a living death or to put himself in a position to render life enjoyable.”
As noted on the embossed bottles, Hoofland’s Bitters were marketed as a remedy for ‘Dyspepsia’ and ‘Liver Complaint.’ An advertisement proclaiming the benefits of Hoofland’s put it simply, “It is for him [the potential customer] to say whether he will continue to endure a living death or to put himself in a position to render life enjoyable.”
I also found that there was a quantity of Dr. Hoofland’s German Bitters recovered from the SS Republic (see picture below), a mere 11 bottles, which pales in contrast to some of the other bitters brands found at the wreck site.
“flavored so that the extreme bitterness of the bitters is overcome.”
There was also a Hoofland’s German Tonic which consisted of Hoofland’s German Bitters (a non-alcoholic herbal mixture) combined with Santa Cruz Rum and “flavored so that the extreme bitterness of the bitters is overcome.” It was supposed to cure dyspepsia, liver ailments and general “debility” (i.e., everything else). This information is from a 1872 ad in Potter’s American Monthly.
However, in 1887 the Chicago Medical Times published a study of tonic medicines and stated that the German Tonic was just over 29% alcohol, which may explain the look in the drummer’s eye.
The 1872 advertisement states that it cost $1.50 a bottle, which some people thought was too expensive – but that was because everything in it was pure and of a good quality. And it was recommended by “the Whole Supreme Court of Pennsylvania,” too – Hoofland’s was manufactured by Jones and Evans in Philadelphia.
Methodist ministers approved of the alcohol-free German Bitters. In an 1862 ad, in a Methodist journal, Hoofland’s lists a number of specific symptoms the Tonic cured, including “Constant Imaginings of Evil” and “Depression of Spirits.” (Reference: The Virtual Dime Museum)