Dr. Flint’s Rhode Island Bitters Products

Try this and thou shalt be benefitted!!

DrFlintsBitters1_Heckler102c

Dr. Flint’s Rhode Island Bitters Products

09 February 2013 (R•061914)

Apple-Touch-IconANorman Heckler had a stellar example of a labeled Dr. Flint’s Stomach Bitters in his Auction 102 that closed earlier in the week. Actually it had a label over a label (see above). This prompted me to pull out my files for the Flint products that are grouped in at least three areas in the Ring and Ham Bitters Bottles books. In the alphabetically grouped “Q” section you have Quaker Bitters, in the “W” section you will find Old Dr. Warrens Root & Herb Bitters and in the “F” section you will find a grouping of Dr. Flint’s Quaker Bitters.

The bottle boxes, labels, advertising, advertising currency and postal history is wonderful with the Quaker man and the bottle. There are also some pretty cool trade cards.

The Flint Name

FlintsQuakerTallFlint & Co. (Henry S. & Ezra H. Flint) were involved in all sorts of housewares such as furniture, stoves, crockery, glassware, etc. at 102 Broadway in Providence, Rhode Island in 1864.

In 1868, Alonzo Flint, another partner at 124 Broad St., claimed to have the largest junk store in R.I. at 134-138 Dorrance St.

When Ezra died in 1867 there were three stores in operation. Harvey Flint, a cashier for Flint & Co., quit in 1872 and started putting up Quaker Bitters at 197 Broad St. with his two sons, Geo. H. and Harvey J. as clerks. They retained the name Flint & Co. with Henry and Alonzo as partners.

In 1876, Henry, who was by then a physician, became proprietor of Old Dr. Warren’s Herb & Root Bitters which was made from choice roots and herbs. Henry changed the name of the product to Dr. H.S. Flint & Co. Quaker Bitters and was located at 197 Broad St.

The bitters, sold by the leading druggists of the time, purified the blood, took care of dyspepsia, jaundice, loss of appetite, headache, back pains, dizziness, fevers, liver ailments, and practically all ailments which existed.

In 1881, the Dr. H.S. Flint & Co. was out of business and all of the Flint names were back in the furniture business.

Harvey died a year later and Henry acquired the Providence Furniture Co. at 189 Weybosset St. He retired in 1887.

Flint & Co. Furniture remained in business and by 1920 had become the Flint-Adaskin Furniture Co. located at 245 Weybosset. They were considered the largest of their kind in R.I. until the 1930′s. [source Little Rhody Bottle Club]

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Dr. Flint’s Quaker Bitters. Wonderful illustration of man with flask of bitters on Dec. 1873 1c Postal Card to New York City – Robert A Siegel Auction Galleries

DR. FLINT’S STOMACH BITTERS

R/H #F-60.3 This extremely rare bottle has interesting labels. On one large embossed panel the label is marked, “Dr. Flint’s / Celebrated / Bitters.” etc., on the opposite side are two labels, one laid over a second one, the top label reads, “Dr. Flint’s / Stomach Bitters”, the earlier label underneath reads in part, “Pawtucket, RI” giving rise to the thought that the Quaker Stomach Bitters came from an earlier location than the Flint’s Celebrated Quaker Bitters. [Norman Heckler]

DrFlintsBitters1_Heckler102

Dr. Flint’s” – “Stomach Bitters” Bottle, America, 1860-1880. Rectangular with beveled corners, aquamarine, applied square collared mouth – smooth base, ht. 8 5/8 inches; (the interior appears to be oil coated). Extremely rare, one of five known examples. – Heckler Auction 102

DrFlintsBitters2_Heckler102

Dr. Flint’s” – “Stomach Bitters” Bottle, America, 1860-1880. Rectangular with beveled corners, aquamarine, applied square collared mouth – smooth base, ht. 8 5/8 inches; (the interior appears to be oil coated). R/H #F-60.3 This extremely rare bottle has interesting labels. On one large embossed panel the label is marked, “Dr. Flint’s / Celebrated / Bitters.” etc., on the opposite side are two labels, one laid over a second one, the top label reads, “Dr. Flint’s / Stomach Bitters”, the earlier label underneath reads in part, “Pawtucket, RI” giving rise to the thought that the Quaker Stomach Bitters came from an earlier location than the Flint’s Celebrated Quaker Bitters. Extremely rare, one of five known examples. – Heckler Auction 102

OLD DR. WARREN’S HERB AND ROOT BITTERS

W47_OldDrWarrensDetail

OLD DR. WARREN’S HERB AND ROOT BITTERS detail – Meyer Collection

W 47  OLD DR. WARREN’S HERB AND ROOT BITTERS

f // OLD DR. WARREN’S // HERB AND ROOT / BITTERS // FLINT & CO.
PROV. R.I. //
9 1/2 x 3 1/4 x 2
Rectangular, Aqua, NSC, Scarce

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OLD DR. WARREN’S HERB AND ROOT BITTERS detail – Meyer Collection

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Label only (front and back) Old Dr. Warren’s Root & Herb Bitters – Blake Dehler Collection

DR. FLINT’S QUAKER BITTERS

Q 1  QUAKER BITTERS, Circa 1870’s

QUAKER BITTERS // DR. FLINT’S // PROVIDENCE, R.I. // f //
L…Dr. Flint’s Quaker Bitters Providence, Rhode Island
9 1/8 x 3 1/4 x 2 1/4 (7 5/8) 5/8
Rectangular, Aqua, NSC, Applied mouth, Common
The Evening Register October 21, 1873

QuakerBittersAd2

Dr. Flint’s Celebrated Quaker Bitters advertisement – Lewiston Evening Journal – June 10, 1884

F 58  DR. FLINT’S QUAKER BITTERS

*see also F 59,  F 60 and F 60.3

f // DR FLINT’S // QUAKER BITTERS // PROVIDENCE, R.I. //
Prepared by Dr. H. S. Flint & Company, Medical Depot, 195-7 Broad Street
9 1/2 x 3 1/4 x 2 1/4 (7 5/8) 5/8
Rectangular, Aqua, NSC, Applied mouth, Common

Label: Try this and thou shalt be benefitted!! Patented 1872.

Providence Directory: 1864, Flint & Company first listed. 1872 Harvey Flint of the same firm, listed as Manufacturer of Quaker Bitters. 1885 last mention as Dr. H. S. Flint & Co. 1886, first mention of Flint & Co. as Manufacturer,

Trade Mark 846, date June 1872, Used since 1869.

FlintsQuakerBitters1875_RocklandCountyJournal

Advertisement, Dr. Flint’s Quacker Bitters – 1875 Rockland County Journal

A stomach tonic. For nervousness, catarrh of the head and stomach, scrofulous humor, canker, pimples and humors on the face, summer complaints, female weaknesses. Restores the appetite, purifies the blood. For dyspepsia, constipation, sick headache, dizziness, low spirits caused by disordered stomach, rheumatism, neuralgia, kidney and liver complaints, bilious attacks, piles, malaria, torpidity of the system, languor, general debility, fever and ague.

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Dr. Flint’s Quaker Bitters packaging box and labeled bottle – National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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Dr Flint’s Quaker Bitters bottle in aquamarine with four labels featuring Dr. Flint in full color; image courtesy of Norman C. Heckler & Company

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Q1 DR. FLINT’S QUAKER BITTERS, PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Meyer Collection

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Label only (front and back) Dr. H. S. Flint & Co. Celebrated Quaker Bitters - Danny Cathreno Collection

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“Girl in Barrel” Take Quaker Bitters trade card

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Advertisement for Quaker Bitters depicting an adorable girl in a wooden barrel. In the bottom left corner are the words, “Rustic Beauty”. The heading is: “Standard Family Medicine of New England In Constant Use Past 25 Yrs.” The words on the barrel are “Take Quaker Bitters for Dyspepsia & Blood”. The reverse of the card states “If at any time you feel the least unwell begin immediately a course of diet and regulate your Stomach by the use of Quaker Bitters. Give nature a chance and you may dispense with a Doctor almost entirely”. Donaldson Brothers, Five Points, N.Y.

QuakerBitters_TCF

“The Brighton Belle” Quaker Bitters trade card – Meyer Collection

DrFlintsCurrencyFront

{Front) Providence, RI. Dr. Flint’s Quaker Bitters. $500. Ad Note. Printed in green and black, this ad note offers a $500 reward “for any Medicine equal to Quaker Bitters for all internal difficulties and derangements.” Dr. Flint’s visage appears fashionably attired at center, while a Quaker gentleman looks on at left and a bust of Columbia, quite similar to that found on the Fourth Issue 15 Cents Fractional Currency. – Stacks Bowers

DrFlintsCurrencyBack

(Reverse) Providence, RI. Dr. Flint’s Quaker Bitters. $500. Ad Note. Printed in green and black, this ad note offers a $500 reward “for any Medicine equal to Quaker Bitters for all internal difficulties and derangements.” Dr. Flint’s visage appears fashionably attired at center, while a Quaker gentleman looks on at left and a bust of Columbia, quite similar to that found on the Fourth Issue 15 Cents Fractional Currency. – Stacks Bowers

QuakerBittersAd

This 4.75″ x 7″ paper advertising item is unusual in that it contains a double jugate. The Presidential and Vice-presidential candidates from both major parties appear on it; democrats Grover Cleveland and Thomas Hendricks on one side; republicans James Blaine and John Logan on the other. Couple this with great advertising for bitters, (a collecting category of its own), locals, (Phillips, Me.), and with it’s excellent condition, (merely a fold across the middle), you have one great item for anybody’s collection. – Cube Cart

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.
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One Response to Dr. Flint’s Rhode Island Bitters Products

  1. More on Dr. Flint’s Stomach Bitters

    I am a history teacher and professor from Coventry, Rhode Island, and have been a member of the Little Rhody Bottle Club since 1978. I was president of the LRBC for 8 years, and as show chairman moved the annual Little Rhody Bottle Show to its present location in 1981.

    I saw your excellent article on this one-of-a-kind Dr. Flint’s Stomach Bitters (Read: Dr. Flint’s Rhode Island Bitters Products), which I sold through Norm Heckler (Heckler Auctions) last spring. It was in my collection for the past 25 years. I purchased it from a founding member of the Little Rhody Bottle Club and dear friend, Ted Baldwin, who acquired it over 50 years ago. The Dr. Flint’s Stomach Bitters is extremely rare and since I started collecting in 1978, I’ve only seen 1 other example and it was chipped and quite sick, with no label. My example has not only the front and back label, but as you noted, a label over label. There is no record that I’ve been able to find of Flint producing any bitters product at a Pawtucket, Rhode Island address. Pawtucket is 4.5 miles from Flint’s Broad Street address in Providence, Rhode Island. Additionally, the label on this stomach bitters is the only one featuring both a Quaker man and a Quaker woman.

    A little historical background

    The Quakers were not tolerated in most of the American colonies. A ship carrying Quakers had been turned away from New York harbor and sailed to Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in the late 1600s.

    “Friends were welcomed in Rhode Island which was founded as a haven from the intolerance of Puritan Massachusetts. So overwhelming was the response there that at one time, half of the population were Friends, and the colony elected Quaker governors for thirty-six consecutive terms, more than a century.” – from Early Quaker History

    Rhode Island’s founder, Roger Williams, loved to irritate Puritan Massachusetts, from which he was exiled, by allowing the Society of Friends to settle in Rhode Island, and use it as a base from which to cross into Massachusetts to proselytize, only to enrage the Puritans and retreat back into Rhode Island.

    The Rhode Island Friends conducted business with their brethren in Barbados (West Indies), trading cloth, beans, and other goods for molasses, which they distilled into rum, which was then sold in England and other European countries, after which they sailed for Africa to purchase slaves, which were then sold in the West Indies, or brought to the American colonies. Thus, the infamous and lucrative Triangle Trade was established.

    “When Friends came on the scene in the England of the mid-1600s, it was the common practice to bargain for goods in the shops. The potential buyer would name a price far below that he expected to pay for the item. The shopkeeper would state a price far above what he anticipated receiving. From then on it would be a battle of wits to see who could get the best of whom. Friends felt that this practice was not Christian in the sense that it made people try to cheat one another. Quaker shopkeepers began to put what they believed were fair prices on all of the items in their stores and would not budge a bit on the downward or upward side. At first people avoided the Quaker shops like the plague. After all, what fun was it to go shopping if you could not try to outwit the shopkeeper? Later, people came to realize that they could send even their six-year-old child on an errand to a Quaker store and he or she would be treated just as fairly and charged the same price as any adult. As this awareness grew the Quaker shopkeepers got much more than their share of the business. Eventually other establishments began to follow the Quaker way.” – from Early Quaker History

    Hope this is helpful. Please feel free to contact me. Keep up the good work!

    Sincerely,
    Charlie Blanchette

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