Two Exceptional Western New York Bitters
Dr. Hill’s Restorative Strengthening Bitters & Dr. Mavor’s Stomach Bitters
24 March 2012 (R•010514)
It was fun meeting up with you again at the Baltimore show. As mentioned, I am sending you some info on a couple hard to find local bitters. Research didn’t produce much, but the following might be of some interest (also see attached photos).
Dr. Hill’s Restorative Strengthening Bitters Farmer N.Y.
My H 122, Dr. Hill’s/Restorative/Strengthening Bitters/Farmer NY is in an “old amber” coloration and has a dcm, as shown. Ring/Ham pictures an applied mouth, like the #248 example sold in the Sam Greer pontiled med collection/auction back in 1988. I have only seen three of these bitters bottles over the years; this one, a deep amethyst specimen that surfaced in the Ithaca, NY area (near Candor, NY), and an aqua, ip example, which was displayed in a bottle display case in the Corning Museum several years ago. I personally know of no others.
I tracked the amethyst one through a collector/antique dealer in Auburn, NY back in the early 80s, but lost track and didn’t know where it went afterward. Joe Baldwin’s book, Patent and Proprietary Medicine Bottles, 1973, lists several of Dr. Hill’s other medicinal preparations, (C.H. Gardner, mfg., Candor, NY), such as, cordial, cough syrup, fever and ague mix, pain killer, and pulmonary syrup. Farmer, NY, was also called Farmer Village; it became Interlaken, NY in 1904, its current name. Interlaken, NY, is a village positioned between two Finger Lakes in upstate NY. I’ve not been able to locate any historical record of Dr. Hill, from Candor or from Farmer, NY.
Dr. Mavor’s Stomach Bitters
Schermerhorn & Co.
The semi-cabin, Dr. Mavor’s/Stomach Bitters/Schermerhorn & Co., M 51, is from Rochester, NY, although not embossed as such. What the monogram A&C and letters in shoulder panels, B/A/&/C stand for, I have no idea. Suggestions are welcome. I found in the Rochester city directories listings from 1869 through 1879 for Schermerhorn & Co and Josiah Newman (employed by and succeeded Schermerhorn in 1877). They were local rectifiers and dealers in wines and liquors; no surprise there. However, no ads were found for the “bitters” in all those directory years. The applied ring mouth of the bitters and its deep amber color suggest manufacture in the early 1870s. Like the Dr. Hill’s, this bottle is also quite rare. I was fortunate to acquire mine about 10 years ago from eBay. – Jack (Stecher)