Antique Bottle and Glass News

Peaches on CrateThis site is presented and hosted by Ferdinand and Elizabeth Meyer. We hope to share our passion for collecting and dealing in Early American Antique Bottles and Glass. Please contact us for any information and or bottle and glass news for post consideration. I am also looking for guest authors as I shift to the Virtual Museum project. Thanks!


Dr. Varena’s Japan Bitters – From Tokyo to Peoria

Dr. Varena’s Japan Bitters was made by Lion Manufacturing Company in 1887 in Peoria, Illinois. Originally the company was called the Lion Vinegar Company. They filled a Trademark Application on October 1, 1887 and noted that the product had been used since March 1887. The Trademark consisted of the the words ‘DR. VARENA’S JAPAN BITTERS’ with a representation of Japanese landscape. Unfortunately I can not find a labeled example or any color advertising.


Dr. Hills Restorative Strengthening Bitters – Farmer N.Y.

“I was tired and in a hurry, and took a drink of water out of a graduated glass in which I had dissolved strychnine. The water was bitter, but not much so. I can’t have taken very much. I shall soon be over it; don’t you think so?”


Looking at the Morning Star Bitters – Baltimore

The first proprietor of Morning Star Bitters was John Burns located at 100 South Charles Street in Baltimore, Maryland in 1866. He created a company called Morning Star Bitters Company to market and sell his product locally and across the state line in West Virginia. He said it was the Greatest Tonic of the Ages. By 1868, it was Burns & Weigley (John B. Burns and O.C. Weigley) who were selling Morning Star Bitters at the same address, same company. This era would be the first pontiled bottles. They would patent the brand and bottle in 1869.


Caldwell’s Wine & Iron Bitters – Medina NY

The other day I did a post on the triangular Caldwell’s Herb Bitters which was centered around York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It reminded me of another Caldwell named product from Medina, New York called Caldwell’s Wine & Iron Bitters. That is a pretty strange ingredient combination that just underscores the intent to sell alcohol as medicine. I quickly confirmed that there is no relationship between the Caldwell brands mentioned above.


Looking at the two Caldwell’s Herb Bitters lattice variants

I thought I would circle back to two tall triangular bitters bottles I picked up in 2002 when I first started collecting bitters. I’m talking about the Caldwell’s Herb Bitters with the 16 lattice grid and the Dr. Caldwell’s Herb Bitters with the 24 lattice grid. Note the addition of “Dr.” in the second example. Both are pictured below from my collection. Also, notice the different mouths. Bitters authority Frank Wicker has written about this brand before on Bottlepickers.com and done a fine job. I just wanted to retrace his steps and fill in a few gaps in my mind.


Post Update: Looking closer at the Brown’s Celebrated Indian Herb Bitters

Not much is known about the proprietor, Neal N. Brown (also spelled Neall and Neill in historical documents) other than he lived and operated in Philadelphia and took out a couple of patents for his famous figural bottle in 1867 and 1868. I suspect he was an Irishman. We first see him as an innkeeper and tavern owner in 1863 and 1864. In 1866 he has some legal problems as he is charged by the United States government for transporting unsealed whiskey. Next Brown is into Patent Medicines and puts out his Indian Queen bitters. In the mid 1870s, he is listed as a liquor dealer…


Former FOHBC President Ralph Van Brocklin Dies Suddenly

The FOHBC is getting sad news today that our fellow collector and past FOHBC president Ralph Van Brocklin died suddenly last evening in Johnson City, Tennessee as he apparently suffered a heart attack while running on a local trail. Read Local News. More information will be provided once known.


2019 FOHBC 50th Anniversary National Antique Bottle Convention | Augusta, Georgia Hotel Information

Here are the reservation links your guests can use to make online and phone reservations. Augusta Convention Center bookended by two Marriott Hotels in historic downtown on the river. Book your group rate for The Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors National Convention and Expo. Here is the information to make telephone reservations: Call the hotel direct 706-722-8900 and ask to be connected to reservations. Then, they would need to let the representative know that it’s under The Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors National Convention and Expo group rate of $127 per night.


New information from bitters ephemera authorities Joe Gourd and Ben Swanson added to Geo C Hubbel & Co. Golden Bitters post.

During that period they have not only pursued a most liberal system or newspaper advertising; but every vacant fence curbstone, ferry-landing, even the rocks on the highway, have been embellished with large placards, “G — 1863 — B.”, “Hubbel’s Golden Bitters,” and hundreds of others, which have become to New-Yorkers as familiar as household words.


Post Update with early use info: Log Cabin Series – Drake’s Plantation Bitters

This medicinal make-up was unknown until the middle of the seventeenth century. The natives of Peru were generally supposed to have been long previously acquainted with its most wonderful medicinal qualities. Humbboldt makes favorable mention of the febrifuge qualities of this article as an antidote to Fever and Ague, Intermittent and Malarious Fevers, in his extensive South American travels. The Countess, wife of the Viceroy of Peru, having in her own person experienced the beneficial effects of the bark, is said, on her return to Spain …


New information on Charles C.Jerome and his many inventions related to National Bitters C.C. Jerome & Co. Detroit

Charles C. Jerome was best known in railway circles as the inventor of Jerome Metallic Packing. Jerome was born in 1833 in Canada, and in his early days studied medicine in Toronto. He practiced medicine for a time at Port Huron, Michigan and entered the Civil War as surgeon in a Michigan regimen. In Detroit in 1865, Jerome was located at 32 Woodward Avenue where he put out his National Bitters in two different bottles…


Looking at Dr. Gottlieb Fisch’s Bitters and The Fish Bitters

I can not believe that I have not definitively written about the original figural fish bitters bottles before so I thought I would dust off my laptop and put something together. There are three variants worth noting and that includes Dr. Gottlieb Fisch’s Bitters and The Fish Bitters (centered and off-centered mouth versions). There are also later 20th century bottles.


Edward H. Hartshorn – Hartshorn’s Family Medicines

Recently, I saw a Dr. Hartshorn’s Jaundice Bitters bottle on eBay and liked the color and label which features a key. I don’t have an example in my collection as they are fairly common so I figured I would add one somewhere down the road. In the meantime, I thought it might be nice to pull together some information and support imagery as Dr. Hartshorn was rather well-known and put out a lot of products and advertising like these Dr. Hartshorn’s Jaundice Bitters “Key to Health” advertising trade cards to support his brand.


The September October 2018 issue of Bottles and Extras mailed to members!

Vol. 29 No. 5 | September – October 2018 | No. 239 (Mailed 15 August) Features: When a Digging Permission becomes a Golf Outing Jeff Mihalik, No Fizz Less Bizz! Ken Previtali, W.C. Peacock: The Whiskey Man who made Waikiki Jack Sullivan, Walter Smith was bitten early by the collecting bug Bill Baab, Prized Midwestern Flasks Mark Vuono, Ebner Brothers Steve Abbott, Vignettes: Shards of Wisdom, History’s Corner, Washington-Taylor Flasks from River Bridge Paul Vincent, Holey Holey Hoely Bill Baab, Lost & Found, Virtual Museum News, Member Photo Gallery and smooch more! Become a FOHBC Member and get BOTTLES and EXTRAS

Goldheim Bitters featured in Bottles and Extras

The July | August 2018 issue of Bottles and Extras has a super article on the extremely rare, Goldheim Celebrated Swiss Stomach Bitters from Baltimore. The article was written by Susan Helen Adler. This is a pretty tough-to-get Baltimore bitters square.


FOHBC 2018 Cleveland National Souvenir Program


2019 FOHBC 50th Anniversary National Antique Bottle Convention | Augusta, Georgia | Info & Contract Packet Online

Per FOHBC convention guidelines, we are posting the first online draft of the 2019 Augusta National Info & Contract Packet. We do this one week before the current year national which of course is the 2018 Cleveland National which starts a week from today. You can reserve tables and advertising space as of today. First come – first served. Packets will be available in Cleveland.  See Packet

July August 2018 issue of Bottles and Extras mailed 14 June 2018

Features: The Arcade Hotel Shoofly Steve Abbott 16 The Rat Steve Abbott 18 A Look Into Cleveland Elizabeth Lacy 22 From Goldheim’s Bitters to Phillip Lobe & Son, Three Generations of a Jewish family in the Liquor Business Susan Helen Adler 28 Digging in Ohio Eric McGuire 38 Zack Baer Interview Jeff Mihalik 43 History of Killing Worms: McLane Zack Baer 43 Obsessed with Arkansas Saloons James Childers 50 Vignettes: Shards of Wisdom History’s CornerReview: New Mexico soda bottler’s life is detailed in historical book Bill Baab 10 Review: New Mexico Hutchinsons not just another book Bill Baab 11 Review: Collectors won’t believe numbers of ‘Show Me’ State’s bottles, jugs Bill Baab 12 Augusta Brewing Company’s Flagship Beers: Belles of Georgia, Carolina, Florida Bill Baab 13 Sealed with a Kiss British bottle Reviewb 42 Lost & Found 60 Virtual Museum News 63 Member Photo Gallery 64 Departments: Table of Contents 1 FOHBC Officer Listing 2016-2018 2 President’s Message 3 FOHBC News, From and For Our Members 6 Classified Ads & Ad Rate Info 66 Membership Directory 67 FOHBC Show-Biz, Show Calendar Listings 68 Membership Application 72 SUBSCRIBE

RENO announced for the 2020 National Antique Bottle Show & Expo

After an extensive search, negotiations, presentations and FOHBC board approval, Reno has be selected as the location for the FOHBC 2020 National Antique Bottle Show & Expo. The event will be held at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino. Richard Siri will act as Show Chair. Team Reno at this point will also include Warren Friedrich, Eric McGuire and Ferdinand Meyer V. Essentially the same team as the very successful 2016 Sacramento National.

Golden Gate Historical Bottle Society and Sale

The 52nd GGHBS show and sale of April 14 is now history. Beautiful Spring weather greeted all attendees who made the trip to Antioch, California. Attendance held steady as it has for many years at this show. The usual mix of bottles were presented for sale but, as usual, very few newly dug bottles made their way to the tables. This is a trend I have noticed for a number of years now and one that will probably not reverse.


Moses Atwood – Atwood’s Jaundice Bitters – Georgetown, Massachusetts

I was going through some material the other day that I gathered for the recent Dr. Henry Baxter’s Mandrake Bitters post which referenced the Atwood’s Jaundice Bitters bottle. You see, both bottle shapes are similar. I was curious, who was Moses Atwood? It turns out that there were two primary Moses Atwoods operating about the same time in New England. Both were in medicine and started out in New Hampshire. This was confusing at first and I wanted to sort it out.


Dr. Henry Baxter’s Mandrake Bitters – Vermont

I’ve had a Dr. Baxter’s Mandrake Bitters tucked away in my collection for many years. The bottle is from Burlington, Vermont and is kind of cool because it has 12 sides! It is pretty common though so it doesn’t get much attention. I like it anyway and it remains a favorite.


Minerva Bitters – Aussie or American?

I’ve had a folder on my laptop set within my ‘t0-do’ list for some time for Minerva Bitters. The bottle is extremely rare. I can account for only two examples. My example is pictured above. The other was dug in Australia 40 years ago or so. It sure looks like an American bottle but there is strong evidence that it is from Australia around 1899. What do you think?


An extremely rare Newman’s Golden Fruit Bitters

An extremely rare Newman’s Golden Fruit Bitters sold on the recent Glass Works Auctions | Auction 119 that closed last Monday night. I’ve only seen the example above with the Carlyn Ring collection sticker. The example that sold looks to be a more ‘golden’ color (pictured below). Could be just the photography though.


Looking at some French Bitters

A really cool French Bitters (pictured above) put out by Morse & Williams showed up on the Glass Works Auctions | Auction 119 that closed this past Monday night. I wasn’t familiar with the bottle and see that it is rated ‘extremely rare’ in Bitters Bottles. The listing even notes “dug near Torch Lake, Michigan“. So I wonder, is this a second example? Where is the bottle from? Who is Morse & Williams UPDATED


A nice labeled Hindu Tonic Stomach Bitters

In the current Glass Works Auctions, Auction 119 there is an excellent example of a labeled Hindu Tonic Stomach Bitters prepared by liquor dealers Williams & Newman of Chicago, Illinois. The bottle appears to be unlisted. The example is clear with a fluted neck like a Dr. Loew’s Stomach Bitters. The bottle has some nice tax stamps and an image of the Minots Ledge Light or Cohasset Massachusetts Lighthouse on the front label. More on that later.


Roger’s Specific Bitters – Moundsville, West Virginia

It’s alway nice to hear from bitters trade card, advertising and ephemera collector Joe Gourd up Chi-town way. Quite often he includes some rare paper items that I have not seen before. In this case a reference to Roger’s Specific Bitters. This brand appears to be unlisted. I am not aware of any bottles. The bitters was invented by Dr. Timothy Ross Rogers.


Connecticut Yankees’ sodas documented in new book

After penning a number of articles about 19th century soda water manufacturers and their bottles of his home state in Antique Bottle & Glass Collector magazine, William G. (Bill) Beckett decided to share his knowledge in a book. He self-published “Early Connecticut Soda Proprietors & Their Bottles” earlier this year and the writer purchased a copy, mainly because there is an Augusta, Georgia connection to one of those Yankee soda water manufacturers. Uriah Clinton, of Woodbridge, Connecticut, was the father of Henry Clinton, who established his “Model Soda Water Establishment of the South” in Augusta in the late 1870s. My story about Henry appeared in the January 2018 issue of Antique Bottle & Glass Collector. 

On January 15, 2018 The Journey begins to view 85 years of Western Brewer Journals!

The Western Brewer Journals from 1876 to 1880 will be available on the American Breweriana Association website on January 15, 2018. This resource would not be available without the Beer Institute in Washington, D.C. allowing us to archive their rare collection of the Western Brewer Journals. I want to thank Sandra Castro at the Beer Institute, ABA members Tim Bowers, John Dutcher, Dave Hayden, Bob Pirie, Darrell Smith, Jeff Scholz and Rich Wagner for all their help. Special thanks goes to the ABA members that made a contribution to the Western Brewer Journals to make this historic resource available to ABA members. Want a preview? Click Here to view Volume 1 from 1880.
Posted by Richard Kramerich (ABA Member)

Second Annual South Lake Tahoe, Back Yard Show & Sale

For this event, show goers were treated to fresh, pine scented, morning air, towering trees and sparkling, azure-blue skies in one of the most majestic high country destinations that California has to offer: George & Judy Klingler’s back yard! This show was a big hit in its first year and we were all very gratified to see such a great turn-out this year. After doing their homework, the Klinglers were able to find a weekend that fit pretty well into the western region show-scape. Our gracious and experienced hosts were completely prepared for the early arrival of dealers and collectors. Coffee, fresh fruit and pastries were tastefully presented amongst Judy’s wonderfully arranged, fresh cut flowers in collector jars and vases of all shapes and sizes. My faves were the lavender and golden mixed Iris’ in the battery jar. Gorgeous!


Herkules Bitters – Now in Three Sizes

In bitters collecting, we have the Herkules Bitter. Note the use of a “k” in Herkules and the absence of an “s” in Bitter. I added a quart example from the Stuart Elman collection to my collection back in 2002. I had not thought about this bottle in years until I saw three different sizes show up in a recent American Bottle Auctions Auction #64. The middle size is unlisted. Each is represented in this post. Pretty amazing that the concoction was 40% alcohol.


Panama Bitters – Meeting of the Atlantic & Pacific

Recently I watched a neat documentary on the Panama Canal on Netflix (Panama Canal: Prized Possession). A few days later I found a bitters advertisement for Panama Bitters and liked the momentary connection. To start off, I lead with the art card above labeled, “Meeting of the Atlantic & Pacific, The Kiss of the Oceans, 1915“. Pretty sensual.


Dr. Jaffe’s Celebrated Cinchona Bitters Trademark Letter

I came across this 1880 Dr. Jaffe’s Celebrated Cinchona Bitters advertisement above while searching for support material for another post. The brand was advertised, using pretty much the same small advertisement up until 1883 in Sacramento, California. A quick search led me to this letter from Wm. Price & Co. from the California Secretary of State’s Office, “Old Series Trademark No. 0234. Just so cool. William Price and Co. were the sole manufacturers and proprietors. They filed for the Cinchona Bitters trademark in Sacramento, California on 12 September 1872. I am not aware of any bottles.


Dr. Maton’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters

I decided to pull the trigger on the damaged Dr. Maton’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters on eBay as it is just so darn rare and I have only seen one other example. It is pictured above. Not in pristine shape and described as “Here’s a rare 1870s bitters bottle from Lancaster, Pa….unfortunately, it was broken at some point in the past and glued back together. However, the bottle actually displays pretty decent from a couple sides so I thought someone might want it.”


Two incredibly tall G. N. Morison Wholesale Druggist Ads

I’ve written about George Noble Morison of New Orleans before, specifically his extremely rare G. N. Morison’s Invigorating Bitters. Here are two really interesting vertical advertisements from Morison who was a wholesale druggist in the 1850s and 1860s. If you click and enlarge the ads, there are some fascinating items that he advertises as being in stock. His warehouse must have really been something. Here is what specifically caught my eye…


Dr. Herrick’s Standard Family Medicine

Within this post is reference to two early bitters from 1846 and 1847 that seem to be unlisted. The Strengthening Bitters and Vegetable Tonic Bitters (probably the same bitters with flexible names) are from a Dr. Herrick who is probably Dr. Lewis R. Herrick of Albany, New York. Dr. Herrick was born in Malden, New York on March 10, 1816 and was a noted physician of his day. Dr. Herrick, a patent medicine man, acquired considerable fame, and a large fortune in that business. His Sugar Coated Vegetable Pills and Dr. Herrick’s Kid Strengthening Plasters had a world-wide reputation, at least according to advertising and write-ups on the man. He called himself “The great Healer of Mankind!”


4 Responses to Antique Bottle and Glass News

  1. Warren Friedrich says:

    I’ve just spent several hours perusing this website for Antique Bottle Collectors, I have to say this is the most comprehensive internet site ever developed for the antique bottle enthusiast. It is destined to be the GO TO site for all those interested in the antique bottle hobby.

  2. FinBotClub says:

    This is a great looking website — well done! Love all the pix of the beautiful bottles. Looking forward to watching this site grow. All the best wishes from the Findlay Bottle Club! –Marianne Dow

  3. Mike Dolcini says:

    Well done, Ferd. Lots of great info and destined to be a favorite of a bunch of collectors.

  4. dale says:

    Great job Ferd ! The information and enjoyment of your site is a huge asset to the bottle and glass collecting community not to mention the history buff ! My enjoyment of collecting has just increased 10 fold thanks to your efforts !

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