SUFFOLK BITTERS | PHILBROOK & TUCKER | BOSTON
Figural Pig Series | Suffolk Bitters
13 May 2012 (R•090614) (R•090218)
A popular and favorite figural bitters to many collectors is the Suffolk Bitters put out by Philbrook & Tucker in Boston, Massachusetts. Perfectly proportioned and detailed, the pigs usually come in an exciting range of ambers and yellows with some having a definite olive tone. The glass usually has color variations depending on looking at different areas of the pig form and glass thickness. The examples with applied double collar mouths complete the bottle from snout to tail. What a great bottle!
Carlyn Ring & W.C. Ham in Bitters Bottles note the following:
S 217 SUFFOLK BITTERS
SUFFOLK BITTERS // PHILBROOK & TUCKER / BOSTON // c //
10 1/8 x 3 3/4 (10 1/8 diameter behind front legs)
Pig, DC, NSC, and Ground lip
Amber, Common; Yellow, Scarce; Yellow with olive tone, Very rare
Philbrook, Tucker & Blanchard, Sole Proprietors for the U.S. (Philbrook & Tucker, grocers, 103 & 105 Blackstone)
63 & 108 Blackstone St., Boston, Massachusetts,
Label: In introducing these bitters to the American public we do not claim that they will cure every ill that man is heir to. They are the production of a celebrated English chemist, are purely vegetable and are composed of roots and herbs of forest growth. To the dyspeptic, the bilious, and debilitated they have no equal. As an appetizer the invigorating of this tonic are unsurpassed. Address dates label to 1870.
Boston Directory: 1840 Philbrook, Jas.; 1849-50, Philbrook, Geo.; 1870-74 Philbrook & Tucker (Joseph W. Philbrook & Herman Tucker); 1875 Philbrook & Co. (J.W. Philbrook); 1880 Philbrook & Co. (Thomas G. Anderson)
Joseph W. Philbrook was born in Bradford, Vermont on 12 November 1836. His father was Alfred S. Philbrook and his mother was named Susan. Philbrook married Emma C. Bacon on 15 December 1863 in Boston, Massachusetts. They had two Children, Charles (or Clark) and Anna. Charles would later clerk for his father.
J. W. Philbrook surfaces first as a junk dealer in Boston in 1859-60 at 275 Causeway. During the Civil War, he was listed as a Private in 1863 with the Massachusetts Volunteers, Company F.
From 1865-74 or so, we see Joseph W. Philbrook & Herman Tucker partnering as Philbrook & Tucker grocers at 103 and 105 Blackstone in Boston. This partnership and locale is embossed on the Suffolk Bitters figural pig. The “Suffolk” in this case means Suffulk County, Massachusetts and not Suffolk, Virginia as one might first guess.
By 1874, Tucker is gone and we see Joseph W. Philbrook listed as selling groceries and liquors at 103 and 105 Blackstone. His son, Charles C. Philbrook was a clerk.
Joseph W. Philbrook filed for bankruptcy 0n 03 April 1874 and died on 15 May 1875 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was only 38 years old.
It is interesting that Ring & Ham note a surviving label reading,
In introducing these bitters to the American public we do not claim that they will cure every ill that man is heir to. They are the production of a celebrated English chemist, are purely vegetable and are composed of roots and herbs of forest growth. To the dyspeptic, the bilious, and debilitated they have no equal. As an appetizer the invigorating of this tonic are unsurpassed.
Has anyone seen this label from 1870? I sure have not. I also have seen no advertising or reference to the product in my searches. I have put some pictures of pigs in the pen below for your enjoyment. These are awesome figural bitters bottles!
Reproduction bottles were also made. Read: 1970’s Suffolk Pig reproductions, but way cool…
1837: Joseph W. Philbrook birth on 12 November 1836, Bradford, Vermont, Father: Alfred S. Philbrook, Mother: Susan Philbrook
1859-60: J. Philbrook, junk dealer, 275 Causeway – Boston Massachusetts City Directory
1863: Joseph W. Philbrook marriage to Emma C. Bacon, 15 December 1863, Boston, Massachusetts
1863: Joseph W. Philbrook, Massachusetts Volunteers, Company F, Private – Boston Massachusetts City Directory
1865: J W Philbrook, Married, Birth Year: abt 1834, Birth Place: Vermont, Residence: Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, Enumeration Year: 1865, Age: 31, Ward: 8, Household Members: E C Bacon 59, Lillian C Bacon 15, J W Philbrook 31, E C Philbrook 28 – Massachusetts State Census
1865-70: Philbrook & Tucker (Joseph W. Philbrook & Herman Tucker), grocers, 103 and 105 Blackstone – Boston Massachusetts City Directory
1870: J W Philbrook, grocer, Age in 1870: 32, Birth Year: abt 1838, Birthplace: Massachusetts, Dwelling Number: 82, Home in 1870: Boston Ward 5, Suffolk, Massachusetts, Inferred Spouse: Emma Philbrook, Inferred Children: Clark Philbrook, Household Members: J W Philbrook 32, Emma Philbrook 34, Clark Philbrook 3, Ann Philbrook 4 – United States Federal Census
1874: Joseph W. Philbrook, grocers and liquors,103 and 105 Blackstone, Charles C. Philbrook, clerk – Boston Massachusetts City Directory
1874: Notice (below) Bankruptcy of Joseph W. Philbrook – The Boston Globe, Tuesday, April 7 1874
1875: Joseph W. Philbrook death 15 May 1875, Boston, Massachusetts