Greeley’s Bourbon Bitters Stamp Question



25 December 2012

Hi Ferdinand and Elizabeth.

I have been enjoying your Peachridge site ever since finding this item and looking for information. The basics are: It appears to be a stamp for Greeley’s Bourbon Bitters. I would assume a wax seal marking. Appears to be lead block and copper stamp top. Approximately nickle sized. Found by myself in my home town of Shasta, California. Gold Rush era community in the woods. I am sending a cell phone picture, but would love to talk more about this. Let me know if you would like me to send you better pictures. I ]would love your advice. I am going to be leaning towards selling this item at some time, but also might like to collect Greeley’s bottles to display with this! They are beautiful! I have not found any yet however. Something tells me I might be warm though. Thanks, Jon K.

Hi Ferdinand.

I did clean it up a little, but won’t be doing anything else to it. It’s a sturdy little slug and there are no nicks or dings in the face. So I’m wondering if Greeley’s used sealing wax and stamped their bottles?

Thanks and Happy Holidays,

Jon K.

Jon: I am not familiar with a wax stamp for Greeley’s but I bet someone out there is. I do know that some of the medicinal products related to bitters such as Roback’s Blood Pills were sold in a box with wrappers sealed in wax.

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G101 | GREELEY'S BOURBON BITTERS Color Run - Meyer Collection

G101 | GREELEY’S BOURBON BITTERS Color Run – Meyer Collection

Greeley's Bourbon Bitters Label

Greeley’s Bourbon Bitters Label


Greeley’s Bourbon Bitters advertisement noting on bottom that the GWB’s were “Put up in Quart Bottles, in cases of one and two dozen and for sale by Druggists and Grocers everywhere. GEO. W. SNELL, Sole Agent for California and Oregon, 130 Washington Street, San Francisco. – The Golden Era – San Francisco, California – Sunday, February 24, 1861

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.
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4 Responses to Greeley’s Bourbon Bitters Stamp Question

  1. tigue710 says:

    corks on most bottles at the time were sealed with wax or lead seals, often with the product name pressed into them, my bet is that this seal has something to do with that… how it ended up in Shasta is my question?

    • jonshasta says:

      It was a metal detector find I dug out of the dirt. The history of the town of Shasta includes a bustling collection of saloons, provisioners, hotels, a brewery, a jail and a pharmacy. Bitters fit right in. Makes me wonder if they were bottling here in some form. I think I have found part of a W.B. Shasta Mineral Water bottle, but no others bottles yet.

    • One of the Greeley’s Bourbon Bitters advertisements that I have found state that the GWB’s were “Put up in Quart Bottles, in cases of one and two dozen and for sale by Druggists and Grocers everywhere. GEO. W. SNELL, Sole Agent for California and Oregon, 130 Washington Street, San Francisco.

  2. tigue710 says:

    What I mean is that it seems odd to me the stamp turned up in Shasta, the product is from Massachusetts and was bottled there I thought? Possibly they sold stamps to their agents for refilling bottles, or its a counterfeit… maybe it just ended up there along with other personal effects?

    Maybe it has nothing to do with bottling and was a letter head stamp used by an agent?

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