Dr. Petzold’s Genuine German Bitters – Patent Medicine

Dr. Petzold’s Genuine German Bitters

01 February 2012 (R•011715) (R•050819)

Apple-Touch-IconAMy friend and Civil War author, Jim Schmidt (see Civil War Medicine) sent me a link today for an eBay listing for a Baltimore Letterhead dated 1887 for a Dr. Petzold’s Genuine German Bitters – Patent Medicine. The listing on eBay reads as follows:

ebaylogoLetterhead from Louis Petzold & Co., Proprietors of Dr. Petzold’s Genuine German Bitters, dated Baltimore, January 28, 1887 to Chas. Yockel. “A Tonic with Unsurpassed Medicinal Virtues – A Great Remedy for Dyspepsia, Malaria, Weakness, & c. & c.” . Illustration of a classic woman standing on a globe. In one hand she has a shield with “The Great Elixir of Life” and in her other hand is a tassel, attached to a Cupid flying above. Contents refer to changing the patent date from 1884 to 1887. [Chas. Yockel was a manufacturer of glass bottles] Measures approx. 8 1/2″ x 11″. Filing punch holes at top, lower right corner missing, edge discoloration.

Letterhead circa 1887 – Dr. Petzold’s Genuine German Bitters – eBay

LETTERHEAD

This got me thinking about Dr. Petzold and some of the bottles and material I possess. I especially wanted to compare my letterhead with the eBay example. I have now updated and included two new letterheads from the Joe Gourd collection. They are in dated order below.

Letterhead dated 1880 – Louis Petzold & Co., Importers, Wholesale Liquor Dealers and Redistillers, Proprietors of Dr. Petzold’s Genuine Imported German Bitters, Nos. 9 & 11 Dover Street, Office and Showroom: 194 W. Lombard St., Baltimore – Gourd Collection

Letterhead dated 1886 – Office of Louis Petzold & Co., Dr. Petzold’s Genuine German Bitters – Meyer Collection

Letterhead dated 1888 – Laboratory of The Dr. Petzold Bitters Co., Dr. Petzold’s Genuine Imported German Bitters, Baltimore – Gourd Collection

LOGO & TRADEMARK

Note the different logo’s and trade-marks. These are really nice illustrations.

DR. PETZOLD

Louis Petzold was born in Brunswick, Germany around 1818. He came to America like many Germans to escape oppression and to start a new life. Settling in Baltimore, he started a family and set up shop as a boot and shoe maker around 1850. He started his company, Louis Petzold & Co. around 1862. They were the proprietors of Dr. Petzold’s Genuine German Bitters, an extremely popular brand favored by collectors. The bitters, also called the “Great Elixir of Life” was first introduced in 1862 from a formula “received from the celebrated Dr. Petzold of Berlin.” It was sold in 50 cent and $1.00 bottles. They also called their bitters a tonic and a remedy so they had all their bases covered.

BITTERS BOTTLES LISTINGS

The Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham listings in Bitters Bottles are as follows:

P 74. DR. PETZOLD’S ( au ) / GENUINE / GERMAN / BITTERS / INCPT. 1862 /
lower panel unlettered // c // s // PATENTED 1884 // c //
The Dr. Petzold’s German Bitters Co., Proprietors, Baltimore, Maryland
10 5/8 x  4 x 2 1/8 (7 1/4) 9/16
Oval 20 ribs, Amber, LTCR, Applied mouth and Tooled lip, Common
Widest bevel, flat panels
Both the P of Patented and the 4 of 1884 are on the bevel
P 75  DR. PETZOLD’S ( au ) / GENUINE / GERMAN / BITTERS / INCPT. 1862 /
lower panel unlettered // c // s // PAT’D 1884 // c //
10 1/8 x 4 x 2 (7) 1/4
Oval 21 ribs, Amber, LTCR, Applied mouth and Tooled lip, Common
Small bevel, flat panels, unbroken rib over panels
P76  DR. PETZOLD’S ( au ) / GENUINE / GERMAN / BITTERS / INCPT. 1862 /
lower panel unlettered // c // // PAT’D 1884 // c //
7 7/8 x 3 1/16 x 1 13/16 (6 3/4) 5/16
Oval 17 ribs, Amber, LTCR, Tooled lip, Scarce
Small bevel, flat panels, unbroken rib over panels
P 77  DR. PETZOLD’S ( au ) / GENUINE / GERMAN / BITTERS / INCPT. 1862 /
THE ( au ) / GREAT / ELIXIR / OF LIFE // c //
7 x 2 5/8 x 1 1/2 (4 3/4) 3/8
Oval 19 ribs, Amber, Yellow olive, LTCR, Applied mouth and Tooled lip, Rare
Small bevel, flat panels, unbroken rib over panels
P 78  DR. PETZOLD’S ( au ) / GENUINE / GERMAN / BITTERS / INCPT. 1862 / lower panel unlettered // s // PATENDED 1884 // c //
10 5/8 x4x 2 1/8 (7 1/4)
Oval 21 ribs, Amber, LTCR, Applied mouth and Tooled lip, Common
No bevel, sunken panels, unbroken rib over panels
P 78.5  DR. PETZOLD’S ( au ) / GENUINE / GERMAN / BITTERS / INCPT. 1862 /
lower panel unlettered / // s // PATENTED 1887 // c //
10 1/4 x 4 x 2 1/8
Oval 21 ribs, Amber, LTCR, Applied mouth, Rare
No bevel, sunken panels, unbroken rib over panels
P 79  DR. PETZOLD’S ( au ) / GENUINE / GERMAN / BITTERS / INCPT. 1862 /
lower panel unlettered // c //
10 3/4 x 4 x 2 1/8 (7 1/4)
Oval 21 ribs, Amber, LTCR, Applied mouth, Common
Shoulder unlettered, no bevel, sunken panels, unbroken rib over panels

PAMPHLET COVER & PAGE

This wonderful piece is from the Joe Gourd collection.

THE BOTTLES

P 76 Dr. Petzold’s Genuine German Bitters (small size) – Meyer Collection

“PAT’D 1884 (on the shoulder) / DR. PETZOLD’S / GENUINE / GERMAN / BITTERS / INCPT. 1862 / THE / GREAT / ELIXIR / OF LIFE”, (Ring/Ham, P-77), Maryland, ca. 1885 – 1895, yellow olive, 7”h, smooth base, tooled lip. Perfect condition. Extremely rare in this unlisted color. Tired of looking at those plain amber Petzold’s Bitters? This one could change that view! Sidney Genius Collection. – Glass Works Auctions | Auction #130

P 78.5 Dr. Petzold’s Genuine German Bitters (large size) – Meyer Collection

P 78.5 & P 76 – Dr. Petzold’s Genuine German Bitters (large and small size) – Meyer Collection

PetzoldHeckler

“Dr. Petzold’s / Genuine / German / Bitters / Incpt. 1862” Figural Bitters Bottle, America, 1860-1880. Oval form with twenty one horizontal log type ribs, brilliant yellow amber, applied sloping collared mouth with ring – smooth base, ht. 10 1/2 inches; (front label appears to have been coated). R/H #P-79 Retains 99% front label and 60% rear label. The front label is particularly colorful and detailed. Fine condition. Property of The Strong, sold to benefit the museum’s collections fund. – Norman C. Heckler & Company

STONEWARE

Dr. Petzold’s Genuine German Bitters Stoneware Jug – Meyer Collection

PETZOLD VEGETABLE PEOPLE

We’ll start out with some absolutely fantastic trade cards affectionately called the “Petzold Vegetable People” These trade cards are from the Joe Gourd Collection. The Petzold Co. said that their bitters was not prepared with Alcohol or Impure Spirits and relied on vegetables. I wonder why they sold their bitters at saloons?

A Nice SWheat Girl

A Cotton Ball

A Good Smoking Leaf

A Flat Dutch Cabbage

A Corned Indian

A Potato Faced Man

OTHER TRADE CARDS

Petzolds_GrandpasDarling

Dr. Petzold’s Genuine German Bitters “Grandpas Darling” Trade Card – Meyer Collection

Dr. Petzold’s Genuine German Bitters “1893 World’s Columbian Exposition” Trade Card – Gourd Collection

TESTIMONIALS

Dr. Petzold’s German Bitters – The Record Union, Wednesday, June 29, 1898

Select Listings:

1850: Louis Petzold, Storekeeper, Age: 32, Birth Year: abt 1818, Birthplace: Germany, Home in 1850: Baltimore Ward 16, Baltimore, Maryland, Household Members: Louis Petzold 32, Anna Petzold 29, Henry W Petzold 6, Louis W Petzold 4, William H Petzold 2, Charles Petzold 66 – 1850 United States Federal Census
1860: Louis Petzold, Age: 40, Boot & Shoe Maker, Birth Year: abt 1820, Birth Place: Brunswick, Germany, Home in 1860: Baltimore Ward 16, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland, Post Office: Baltimore, Personal Estate Value: 500, Household Members: Louis Petzold 40, Annie Petzold 40, Henry Petzold 16, Louis Petzold 14, William Petzold 12, Annie Petzold 7, Edwin Petzold 4/12 – 1860 United States Federal Census
1864: Resolution in favor of Louis Petzold. Resolved by the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, That permission be and the same is hereby given to Louis Petzold to erect a small frame bath house in the rear of his premises, No. 109 Sharp street, the same to be removed, however, after three months’ notice to that effect by the Mayor. – The Ordinances of the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, 1864
1880: Letterhead dated 1880 (above) – Louis Petzold & Co., Importers, Wholesale Liquor Dealers and Redistillers, Proprietors of Dr. Petzold’s Genuine Imported German Bitters, Nos. 9 & 11 Dover Street, Office and Showroom: 194 W. Lombard St., Baltimore
1885: Louis Petzold & Co. (Louis Petzold), importers and rectifiers of liquor, 140 W. Lombard and 9 Dover, Baltimore, Maryland – Baltimore, Maryland, City Directory, 1885
1887: Louis Petzold & Co. (Louis Petzold), importers and rectifiers of liquors, 10 w Lombard 140, and props Dr. Petzold’s German Bitters, laboratory 117 w Pratt 215, Baltimore, Maryland – Baltimore, Maryland, City Directory, 1887
1887: Letterhead circa 1887 (above) Dr. Petzold’s Genuine German Bitters, Office of Louis Petzold & Co., No. 40 W. Lombard St., Baltimore
1887: The Dr. Petzold Bitters Co. (Louis Petzold), 115 w. Pratt, Baltimore, Maryland – Baltimore, Maryland, City Directory, 1887
1888: Letterhead dated 1888 (above) – Laboratory of The Dr. Petzold Bitters Co., Dr. Petzold’s Genuine Imported German Bitters, No.115. W. Pratt St.,Baltimore
1897: Louis Petzold & Co. (Louis Petzold), liquors, 121 Hanover, Baltimore, Maryland – Baltimore, Maryland, City Directory, 1897
1898: Newspaper advertisement (above): Testimonials for Dr. Petzold’s German Bitters –  The Record Union, Wednesday, June 29, 1898

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V 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. He 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. Ferdinand is the past 6-year President of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors and is one of the founding members of the FOHBC Virtual Museum.
This entry was posted in Advertising, Bitters, Collectors & Collections, eBay, Ephemera, History, Liquor Merchant, Medicines & Cures, Stoneware, Tonics, Trade Cards and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Dr. Petzold’s Genuine German Bitters – Patent Medicine

  1. JimSchmidt says:

    Thanks for the shout out, Ferdinand! Great post! Love the bottle photos and that letter is terrific! Was it to a bottle-maker? I’ll always keep my eye out for you! Jim

Leave a Reply