Edward Wilder and his Building Bottles

Wilder bottle sizes ranged from 10 ½ inches down to 4 ¾ inches. Photo above of all three bottles courtesy Bottle Pickers

Edward Wilder and his Building Bottles

12 February 2012 (R•012614)

Wilder’s Bitters

Apple-Touch-IconAThis weekend I was cataloging a bottle from Edward Wilder, who was a Wholesale Druggist in Louisville, Kentucky. I purchased the bottle from John Pastor at the Yankee Bottle Show in Keene, New Hampshire this past October 2011. Typically I would pass up on a bottle like this except for the fact that this bottle is related to a Edward Wilder Bitters bottle that I own, and I AM A BITTERS Collector.

This bottle was embossed as follows,

EDWARD WILDER’S / SARSAPARILLA & POTASH //  (Motif of Building) // EDWARD WILDER & CO.  / WHOLESALE DRUGGISTS / LOUISVILLE, KY.

This a smaller version (8 3/4 x 2 1/4 square) of the famous clear Bitters bottle of the same (almost) shape and form. The glass is heavy and the bottle is highly detailed with a strong 5-story building embossing, which is not typical of the Bitters bottle. This bottle also does not have the ‘hob-nailed’ corner bumps as the Bitters bottle has (see pictures further below).

EDWARD WILDER’S SARSAPARILLA & POTASH – Meyer Collection

EDWARD WILDER’S SARSAPARILLA & POTASH detail picture – Meyer Collection

Now to my Bitters bottles from Mr. Edward Wilder that was one of my first bottle purchases back in October 2002 from James Chebalo on eBay as medflask.

W 116  EDW WILDER’S STOMACH BITTERS

EDW WILDER’S / STOMACH BITTERS // motif five story house // EDW WILDER & CO / WHOLESALE DRUGGISTS / LOUISVILLE. KY // sp // // s // sp // PATENTED // sp // sp //10 1/2 x 2 3/4 (7)
Square, Clear, LTC, Tooled lip, 4 sp, Very Scarce
16 bumps on each corner “hob nailed”. Bottle usually weekly embossed. Strip under the mortar has 5 circles with vertical lines between the circles. Mortar & pestle over window with abarasque on each side.

Trade Mark No. 21263 Stomach Bitters and Compound of Sarsaparilla and Potash. Renz and Henry, Louisville, Ky. Filed April 29, 1892. Registered June 7, 1892.

Edward Wilder’s Sarsaparilla and Potash bottle is the same as the bitters bottle, only difference is the wording STOMACH BITTERS.

Tr-Weekly Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) February 10, 1869

Resembles Dr. DeGurley’s Bitters (look for a future PRG post)

Propriety Stamps: 1 cent green, 4 cent black, 4 cent red, Edward Wilder, Sole proprietor.

W116.1 and W116.2 are variants with deviations primarily in building architural detail.

W 116.5  EDW WILDER’S BOURBON BITTERS

EDW WILDER’S / BOURBON BITTERS // motif five story house // EDW WILDER & CO / WHOLESALE DRUGGISTS / LOUISVILLE. KY // sp // // s // sp // PATENTED // sp // sp //10 1/4 x 2 3/4 (7)
Square, Clear, LTC, Applied mouth, 4 sp, Extremely rare
16 bumps on each corner “hob nailed”.

EDW WILDER’S STOMACH BITTERS – Meyer Collection

EDW WILDER’S STOMACH BITTERS – Meyer Collection

EDW WILDER’S STOMACH BITTERS top shoulder detail – Meyer Collection

Edward Wilder’s original receipt – Meyer Collection

Wilder1857

Edward Wilder’s Four Great Health Restoring Remedies – Debow’s Review: Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial Progress and Resources – J. D. B. DeBow., 1867

Noted Bitters collector Brian Shultis contacted me after a facebook post on PRG today and stated that “there are several different mold variants of the STOMACH Bitters (some have PATENT on the shoulder), and of course the ultra rare BOURBON BITTERS. There is also a COMPOUND OF WILD CHERRY bottle, and also a smaller variant with MOTHER’S WORM SYRUP. I have always liked the WILDER’S bottles ! Very cool!”

Brian was kind enough to send me a link to a past issue of the New Orleans Commercial Bulletin on 22 August 1870 where the following advertisement was placed. Obviously Edward Wilder had a number of products placed in these similar bottles.

Edward Wilder Wholesale Druggist Advertisement – New Orleans Commercial Bulletin

EDWARD WILDER’S CHILL TONIC – photo courtesy Brian Shultis

EDWARD WILDER’S CHILL TONIC – photo courtesy Brian Shultis

EdwardWildersStampPair

One Cent and Four Cents U.S. Internal Revenue Stamps for Edward Wilder products.

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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