Lippman’s Great German Bitters – Savannah, Georgia

Lippman’s Great German Bitters

The Standard Bitters of Germany

Savannah, Georgia and New York

11 June 2013 (R•013119)


Apple-Touch-IconAA great square bitters closed Monday on ebay (see top picture and further below) and it also sold for a song. Fortunately, I already have a gorgeous example of the Lippman’s Great German Bitters from Savannah, Georgia so I laid low and watched. Congratulations to the buyer. The ebay listing read:

ebaylogo“Lippman’s Great German Bitters – Savannah, Georgia” Light Amber

“Lippman’s Great German Bitters – Savannah, Georgia” a good shade of golden amber in Mint Condition…except for a small scratch on the plain panel which can be seen in image 9. 10 x 2 3/4″ Square. The Lippman Brothers opened offices in New York in 1871 and closed the same year. They remained in business in Savannah only until 1872. tecumseh43 (100%)

Lippman’s Great German Bitters (L 99) – ebay

Jacob Lippman & Brothers

Jacob Lippman was the second son of Joseph (1808-1876) and Barbette Lippman who were from Reichmansderf, Bavaria which of course is Germany. Joseph and Barbette arrived in Philadelphia in 1838 and shortly thereafter, Jacob was born in 1843. He was preceded by two years by his brother Louis. Another brother Lawrence, was born in 1846 in Savannah, Georgia. Jacob and his brothers constituted Jacob Lippman Wholesale Drug House, Lippman & Bro. and eventually Lippman Brothers at various points in time. Something brought the family to Chatham, Georgia in 1846 or so as Joseph, the father, established himself as a dry goods merchant and druggist according to an 1850 United States Federal Census and other sources. Chatham is the county for Savannah.

Jacob attended Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York from 1858 to 1861 and dips out of sight during the Civil War years. We next see that Lippman & Bros., Drygoods, and Jacob Lippman, Druggist is located at the southwest corner of Congress and Barnard Streets in Savannah, Georgia in 1866. They also established a Laboratory at 71 New Street in New York.

Here is an 1869, Oil of Life advertisement below, “The Greatest Blessing of the Age! Prof. Kayton’s Great Remedy for Pains and Aches” being sold by Jacob’s Lippman’s Wholesale Drug House, Principle Depot corner of Congress and Bernard Streets in Savannah, Georgia. This piece is from the Library of Congress.

Here is another advertisement from The Macon Daily Telegraph from 1869 that shows that Jacob Lippman was Proprietor of Lippman’s Wholesale Drug House in Savannah. Georgia. He was selling Lippman’s Pyrafuge, The Great Chill and Fever Expeller. The Kayton’s Oil of Life is also noted.

The Lippman brothers, under the name “Jacob Lippman & Bro.” briefly manufactured and sold a medicine called Lippman’s Great German Bitters in New York and Savannah from 1870 to 1872 which retailed at a dollar per bottle. Advertising stated that the bitters was “prepared from the original German recipe now in possession of the proprietors and is the same preparation that was used in Germany upwards of a century ago.” Their trademark was an archangel slaying a dragon. There are two different bottles with slightly different embossings. Savannah is noted on both bottles while New York is embossed on the earlier variant, with Savannah.


Apparently in the summer of 1870, very soon after the business was established in New York, as a branch manufactory, the firm inquired about having a private die engraved for their exclusive use for Lippman’s Great German Bitters (Lippman’s Private Die Stamp from The die was engraved by Joseph R. Carpenter & Co. and a proof was approved in the office of the Hon. Columbus Delano, Commissioner of Internal Revenue on September 20, 1870. The first issue on thin old paper was shipped from Philadelphia sometime during November of that year.


The brothers remained in business in Savannah until after the turn of the century. Their building was called Lippman’s Block and is represented on the illustration above which was taken from the post card below. Eventually they evolved into other medicines and the Lippman’s were major druggists of the era.

Their primary product was called P.P.P. which stands for Prickly Ash, Poke Root and Potassium. It was also called Lippman’s Great Remedy and touted as “The Best Blood Purifier in the World.” They were also involved in the turpentine business having access to the vast forests of pine trees in north Florida and Georgia. One of their last advertisements in 1902 was for Racine Launches (16 foot, one-H.P. six-seater boats they were selling for $275. Go figure.


The Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles is as follows:

L 99  Lippman’s Great German Bitters
10 x 2 3/4 (7 1/4) 3/8
Square, Amber, LTCR, Applied mouth and Tooled lip, 3 sp, Rare
Note: The Lippman brothers, Lewis, Jacob and Lawrence (revised from Jacob & Lewis) opened offices at 71 New St. in New York, in 1871 and closed the same year. The remained in business in Savannah only until 1875.

There is also an earlier variant with “New York” embossed on it:

L 98  Lippman’s Great German Bitters
9 3/4 x 2 3/4 (7 1/4) 1/2
Square, Amber and Puce, LTCR, Applied mouth, 2 sp, Rare
Southern Banner (Athens, Ga) June 5, 1872
New York Directory 1871-1872, 1873: S. Lippman & Bros.
The Plantation (Atlanta, Ga.) Sept. 4, 1872 and Sept. 18, 1872, “The Standard Bitters of Germany. Physicians there prescribe it in their practice.”

Lippman’s Great German Bitters (L 99) – Savannah, Georgia – Meyer Collection (Pacific Glass Auction #30, March 2003)


Lippman’s Great German Bitters (L 99) – Savannah, Georgia – American Glass Gallery Auction #13

Lippman’s Great German Bitters (L 98) – New York and Savannah, Georgia – American Glass Gallery Auction #13

Read about another Savanna bitters: Arabian Bitters – One Thousand and One Nights

Select Listings:

1843: Jacob Lippman birth 1843, Pennsylvania – U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current
1850: Joseph LippmanMerchant, Age: 45, Birth Year: abt 1805, Birthplace: Germany, Home in 1850: District 13, Chatham, Georgia, Household Members: Joseph Lippman 45, Barbet Lippman 40, Louis Lippman 11, Jacob Lippman 9, Lawrence Lippman 6 – 1850 United States Federal Census
1858-1861: Jacob Lippman, Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York, Residence Place: Savannah, Georgia – U.S., School Catalogs, 1765-1935
1860: Jacob Lippman, Age: 17, Birth Year: abt 1843, Birth Place: Pennsylvania, Home in 1860: Savannah District 2, Chatham, Georgia, Post Office: Savannah, Dwelling Number: 1415, Family Number: 1413, Attended School: Yes, Household Members: Joseph Lippman (Dry Goods Merchant) 52, Barbette Lippman 48, Lewis Lippman 20, Jacob Lippman 17, Lawrence Lippman 15 – 1860 United States Federal Census
1866: Lippman & Bros., Drygoods, Jacob Lippman, Druggist., S.W. corner of Congress and Barnard Streets, Savannah, Georgia – Savannah, Georgia, City Directory, 1866
1867: Jacob Lippman, Dealer in Drugs & Chemicals etc., S.W. corner of Congress and Barnard Streets, Savannah, Georgia – Savannah, Georgia, City Directory, 1867
1870: Jacob Lippman, Wholesale Druggist, Age in 1870: 27, Birth Year: abt 1843, Birthplace: Pennsylvania, Dwelling Number: 1985, Home in 1870: Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, Personal Estate Value: 25000, Household Members: Lewis Lippman 30, Emma Lippman 22, Leonhard Lippman 5, Henrietta Lippman 3, Jacob Lippman 27, Julia Lippman 18, Lawrence Lippman 25 – 1870 United States Federal Census
1870: Newspaper Advertisement (below) – Use Only Lippman’s Great German Bitters, The Standard Bitters of Germany – Hartford Courant, Tuesday, November 8, 1870

1871: Newspaper Advertisement (below) – Ask for and Use Only Lippman’s Great German Bitters, Prepared in the Laboratory of Jacob Lippman & Bro., 71 New Street, New York and Market Square, Savannah, Georgia – The Atlanta Constitution, Friday, March 24, 1871

1874: Jacob Lippman & Bro. (Jacob and Lewis), Importers and wholesale dealers in drugs and medicines, Congress S.W. corner Barnard, Savannah, Georgia – Savannah, Georgia, City Directory, 1874
1880: Jacob Lippman, Druggist, Age: 35, Birth Date: Abt 1845, Birthplace: Philadelphia, Home in 1880: Savannah, Chatham, Georgia,Street: Jones, House Number: 108, Dwelling Number: 44, Relation to Head of House: Son, Marital status: Married, Spouse’s name: Julia Lippman, Father’s Birthplace: Bavaria, Mother’s name: Barbett Lippman, Mother’s Birthplace: Bavaria, Household Members: Barbett Lippman 68, Jacob Lippman 35, Julia Lippman 27, Lawrence Lippman 32 – 1880 United States Federal Census
1882: Lippman Bros. (Louis, Jacob and Lawrence Lippman), wholesale drugs, 169 Congress – Sholes’ Directory of the City of Savannah
1886: Court papers (portion)
Louis M. Ballard et al. v. Lippman Bros.—Opinion of Court.
Sparkman & Sparkman, for Appellees.
Louis, Lawrence and Jacob Lippman, doing business under the firm name of Lippman Bros., filed a bill against Edward I. Devane and wife, Alice W. Devane, Louis M. Ballard and wife, Sarah E. Ballard, to foreclose a mortgage. The mortgage was executed on the 7th day of November, 1885, by Devane and wife to Sarah E. Ballard, wife of Louis M. Ballard, appellants, to secure the payment of a promissory note for $580, payable the first day of January, 1887, with interest from date at the rate of eight per cent. per annum. This mortgage covers a lot of land in Lakeland, Polk county, was duly acknowledged and recorded in the proper office on the 16th day of December, 1885. The note is endorsed “Pay to the order of Lippman Bros.,” and is signed by Sarah E. Ballard; and on the mortgage the following assignment is written: For value received I do hereby assign, transfer and set over the within mortgage, and the note to secure which it is given, unto Jacob Lippman, Louis Lippman, and Lawrence Lippman, copartners under the firm name of Lippman Bros., of Savannah, Ga., their executors, administrators and assigns, with full power and authority to enforce the collection thereof, and to satisfy and cancel the same when paid off. Witness my hand and seal this—January, A. D. 1886.
1896: Newspaper Advertisement (below) P.P.P. (Prickly Ash, Poke Root and Potassium) Lippman’s Great Remedy, Lippman Bros., Sole Proprietors, Lippman Block, Savannah, Ga. –  The Port Chester Journal

1896: Advertisement (below) A New Revelation in Medicine! P.P.P. (Prickly Ash, Poke Root and Potassium), Lippman Bros., Apothecaries, Lippman Block, Savannah, Georgia – Medical Era, Volume 12, Issue 12 – 1896

1896: Newspaper Advertisement (below) P.P.P. (Prickly Ash, Poke Root and Potassium), Lippman’s Great Remedy, Superior to all Sarsaparillas, Lippman Bros., Sole Proprietors, Lippman Block, Savannah, Ga. –  The Port Chester Journal

1897: Advertisement below: 300,000 copies of Lippman’s Almanac and Memorandum Book – Printers’ Ink, Volumes 20-21, 1897

1900: Newspaper Advertisement (below) Known By All Nations, French Colony Brandy, sold by Lippman Bros., Wholesale Druggists, Savannah, Agents – The Atlanta Constitution, Friday, October 12, 1900

1901: Newspaper Advertisement (below) A Thief in the Night, P.P.P. (Prickly Ash, Poke Root and Potassium), Lippman’s Great Remedy, Superior to all Sarsaparillas, Lippman Bros., Sole Proprietors, Lippman Block, Savannah, Ga. – The Ocala Evening Star, Tuesday, October 29, 1901

1901: Newspaper Advertisement (below) Racine Launches being sold by Lippman Brothers, Savannah, Ga. – The Pensacola News, Monday, April 21, 1902

1908: Jacob Lippman death: 26 Aug 1908 (aged 64–65), Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia, Burial: Laurel Grove Cemetery (North), Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia – U.S. Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current
2007: Four different colored Lippman’s Great German Bitters – from Charles Matzen Near to His Goal: Completing Savannah Collection – Bottles and Extras January February 2007


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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One Response to Lippman’s Great German Bitters – Savannah, Georgia

  1. Dear Mr. Meyer,
    My father happened upon your website and he was fascinated with the information regarding the Lippman’s Great German Bitters bottles. My father is the son of Doris Lippman (my grandmother) and he grew up in Savannah. He is 88 years old and he and his sister, Doris are the last remaining offspring of Doris Lippman. Their family name is Falk. He didn’t seem to have knowledge of this item but he knew that his mothers’ family ran a successful pharmaceutical company. We were especially interested in the engraving of their building, Lippman’s Block so it is great to see all the information that you posted regarding their business. I would like to find a bottle for him so I am wondering how difficult it is to find these. I see that one was offered on ebay and so I wonder what the cost is for these and if they come up for sale from time to time. Thank you.


    Caroline Falk Trock

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