Heidelberg Bitters – L. Eppstein & Son – Fort Worth, Texas


Heidelberg Phosphine Magenbitters

L. Eppstein & Son

Fort Worth, Texas

Apple-Touch-IconAHere is another bitters that long time Texas bottle collector Doyle Bailey turned me on to.

Heidelberg Phosphine Magenbitters was put out by L. Eppstein & Son, Fort Worth, Texas. The amber bottle is 9 x 4 1/2″ with a paper label only. These are the only pictures that were provided and I could not find any others.

The patent for the bitters was filed on 24 June 1905. The product was used for ten years. The Carlyn Ring and W. C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles is as follows:

H 76 L…Heidelberg Phosphine & Magen Bitters (Magenbitters)
L. Eppstein & Son   Fort Worth, Texas
9 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 (6 3/4)
Rectangular, Amber, DCM

Label: For nerves, stomach and brain. Creates appetite, promotes digestion, stimulates the system. Mild and safe invigorant. Cures disorders of the stomach. Entirely free from all injurious ingredients.

The brand mark consists of the word “Heidelberg” associated with the representation of an oval panel with which appear the figures of a man and woman sitting on clouds with the rays of the sun forming a background. Est. 1873.

Rumored: Phosphine Magenbitters, L. Epstein & Co., paper label, Same shape as Royal Pepsin Bitters,  Fort Worth


Heidelberg Bitters brandOfficial Gazette of the United States Patent Office – 1907


Front Label detail Heidelberg Phosphine Magenbitters, L. Eppstein & Son, Fort Worth, Texas


Reverse Label detail Heidelberg Phosphine Magenbitters, L. Eppstein & Son, Fort Worth, Texas

Leopold & Milton L. Eppstein

Leopold Eppstein

Leopold was born in Augsberg, Bavaria, Germany, on April 14, 1828. He lived in Missouri in 1863. He married Henrietta Westheimer. Their children included Rosa (born 1864), Milton Leopold (see below), Fannie (born 1866), Louis B. (born 1869), and Yettche (born 1874).


M. L. Eppstein – Newspaper Artists’ Association, Forth Worth.. Makers of Fort Worth, Book, 1914

Milton L. Eppstein

Milton L. Eppstein, lawyer, banker and merchant, was born at St. Joseph, Missouri, November 30, 1866, son of Leopold Eppstein, and his mother, Henrietta Westheimer Eppstein. The family later moved to Texas, settling at Denison, where the elder Eppstein established the business which is now known in almost every part of the State — that of L. Eppstein & Sons.

Milton Eppstein is a trained lawyer as well as a successful merchant and banker. However, he follows the legal profession no longer, devoting his time entirely to his Fort Worth business interests and to his noted hobby – Jersey cows. Speaking of the latter, he owns one of the finest stock farms in the Southwest, where he spends most of his time after business hours.

Milton Eppstein came to Fort Worth in January, 1904, moving here from Denison. Besides being president of the big wholesale liquor business on Throckmorton Street, he is also the Kentucky distiller of the famous brand of Jersey Cream Whiskey. He is a member of the Elks and other clubs and lodges. He is a high school and law graduate. He is unmarried.


Left: A clear miniature flask with full paper labels and seals showing that it once contained “Jersey Cream 1873” Whiskey, from L Eppstein & Son of Ft. Worth, TX. It stands 3-3/4″ tall and has a capacity of 1/10th pint. The neck seal suggests that the whiskey was made in the Spring of 1909 and bottled in Fall 1915. Right: A clear miniature bottle with a full paper labels and seals showing that it once contained “Jersey Cream 1873” Whiskey, from L Eppstein & Son of Ft. Worth, TX. It stands 4-5/8″ tall and has a capacity of 1/10th pint. The neck seal suggests that the whiskey was made in the Fall of 1913 and bottled in Fall 1918. – Pre-pro.com

Besides the raising of fine Jersey cows, the Eppstein farm is noted for its blooded hogs. In addition to the flesh and blood Jersey cows, for which his stock farm is noted, Mr. Eppstein is the owner of the famous Jersey Cream herd of iron cows which furnished the sacred bovines that accompanied the member of the Forth Worth Ad Club to Toronto upon the occasion of the national convention of advertising men held in that city in 1914. He is known everywhere as a genial companion and good fellow and has a large host of friends.


April 24, 1874: Denison Daily NewsLos Angeles Wine. A superior article of Los Angeles (California) wine, warranted the pure juice of the grape, for sale in any quantity by Eppstein Bro.’s, Main street.

The Great Liquor House: Eppstein Bros., at the Kentucky Whiskey Depot, keep a large stock of their celebrated whisky’s always on hand for the trade. Their Paris Bourbon is very choice. Prices to suit the times. Store on Main street.

September 23, 1876: “The Old Reliable. At the old reliable wholesale liquor house of Eppstein Bros. is a complete stock of choice wines of all kinds, brandies, and whiskies. This house still makes a specialty of the old and popular Kentucky whisky, which has had a steadily increasing sale since the opening of the house in the spring of 1873. They also keep a full line of Key West and Havana cigars, as well as the best native brands.” [Source: Denison Daily News, September 23, 1876]

November 19, 1896: “L. Eppstein & Son. Wholesale Liquors and Cigars.” [Source: Program, Denison Opera House, November 19, 1896]

1899-1900: L. Eppstein & Son Wholesale Liquors, wines, and cigars. Owned by Leopold Eppstein and his son Milton. [Source: Denison City Directory]

September 1904: Reportedly moved to Fort Worth, Texas.

April 20, 1925: Milton L. Eppstein died in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas.

Jersey Cream was distilled in Midway, KY. by the Glenarme Distillery (RD #7, 9th District) and also by R E Wathen (RD #19 of the 5th District of KY?).

The company used the brand names: “Honeysuckle”, “Jersey Cream”, “Myrtle Springs”, “Old Royalty”, “Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam”, and “Tarpon Club.”

Address timeline: 1404 Main (1904), 1010-1012 Houston (1905), 812-814 Throckmorton (1907-1916)

Reference Pre-pro.com and other historical documents and directories.

Source: “Makers of Fort Worth” (Fort Worth Newspaper Artists Association, 1914).

Read: Milton Eppstein’s Texas Cocktail Was Whiskey and Cream


JERSEY CREAM / 1873 / WHISKEY (text is tsp and etched on a picture of a cow) / PURE AND (slanted) RICH (tsp text etched on a frosted calf standing at the side of the cow). / L EPPSTEIN & SON-FT.WORTHTEX / KENTUCKY DISTILLERS (final lines are enclosed within a rectangular frame outline) – Pre-pro.com


Milton Eppstein patent dates for three Whiskies and one Bitters. – Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office – 1906. Note a New Orleans patent date.


Milton Eppstein patent dates for sixWhiskies and one Bitters. – Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office – 1908. Includes New Orleans listing.


Milton L. Eppsten & Son Address


A print from a cigar box advertising “Jersey Cream” Cigars from L Eppstein & Son of Ft. Worth, TX. It features a cow and calf. The text below the cow reads “L. EPPSTEIN & SON. FORT WORTH, TEXAS / OWNERS & DISTRIBUTORS.” – Pre-pro.com

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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