Looking again at Rosenbaum’s Bitters

R93A_FDLooking again at Rosenbaum’s Bitters

Who was this Dr. Rosenbaum?

23 December 2013 (R•052814)

Apple-Touch-IconAQuite a bit has been written about N. B. Jacob’s & Co. and Dr. Rosenbaum’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters from San Francisco. Periodically, I try to reach back and find the earliest advertising and directory listings for Dr. Rosenbaum hoping to land on evidence to further support that the brand started in Philadelphia and prospered in the west. There is a copy of a Rosenbaum’s Bitters advertisement within Early Glassworks of California by Warren B. Friedrich that says,”Prepared by Dr. Rosenbaum, Manufacturer and Proprietor, South Front Street, Philadelphia.”

The western ads can be found and are numerous. A few are included in this post dating from 1858 to 1868. As far as finding any eastern advertising or directory listings, I am still coming up short. Who was this Dr. Rosenbaum?

Philadelphia: G. Rosenbaum, N. Front Street – Journal of the Common Council, of the City of Philadelphia, 1886

Kentucky: It certainly was not the Rosenbaum Brothers who were whiskey dealers from Louisville, Kentucky who were listed in directories from 1886-1905 selling Buchu Gin, Glee Club and Kentucky Home among other items.

San Francisco: It is not A. S. Rosenbaum & Co., Importers and Jobbers in Foreign and Domestic Cigars and Tobacco. S.E. corner California and Battery streets, San Francisc0, around 1878

Philadelphia: Seeking information on my GGGG Grandparents, Charles Casper Rosenbaum of Coblenz, Germany and Christinia Hunter of Holland. They arrived in Philadelphia and had nine children before settling in Indiana.


Early, Dr. Rosenbaum’s Stomach Bitters advertisement noting Geo Thatcher & Co., as General agency for the Pacific Coast and M. Keller, Agent for Los Angeles. – Los Angeles Star, 9 October 1858

Rick Simi over at Western Bitters News states “The first mention of Rosenbaums Bitters is in an 1858 advertisement listing George Thatcher, a liquor merchant residing in San Francisco, as an agent for the product and Dr. Rosenbaum of Philadelphia as proprietor and manufacturer. In 1859, N.B. Jacobs was listed as the general agent for Rosenbaums Bitters while he was working at the George Thatcher & Co. In November of 1859, N.B. Jacobs removed himself from Thatcher & Co. and started his own liquor concern, still advertising that he had the depot for Rosenbaums Bitters. Meanwhile Thatcher & Co. is still advertising that they are also an agent for Rosenbaums Bitters. In 1860, Jacobs starts to advertise more aggressively, pushing the Rosenbaums Bitters in several large ads, stating that he is the sole agent for the Pacific Coast.” Rick is also the author of “Gold Rush Camps & Bottles of Sierra County”

The Carlyn Ring and Bill Ham listings in Bitters Bottles and Bitters Bottles Supplement is as follows:

9 7/8 x 2 3/4 (7 1/8) 5/16
Square, LTCR and LTC, Applied mouth, Amber, Yellow olive, and Green, Rare. Light blue green and Claret, Extremely rare. Light puce, Extremely rare. Ampersand slants left.
Note: This bottle was probably blown first in an Eastern glass house and then the mold was taken to San Francisco where more bottles were blown at the Pacific Glass Works. Bottles dug from the early 1860’s site in San Francisco have characteristics of bottles blown at eastern glasshouses and bottles from the late 1860’s sites have characteristics of Western blown bottles.

The larger R 93 – Rosenbaum’s Bitters

9 x 2 1/2 (7 1/8) 5/16
Square, Amber, Puce, Medium Green and Olive. LTCR and LTC, Applied mouth,
Very rare.
This bottle was probably Western blown. R 94 is rarer than R. 93. T R 94 mold was altered to make the H 70 Dr. Hauseman’s German Bitters mold.

The smaller R 94 – Rosenbaum’s Bitters, American Bottle Auctions – Grapentine I, Auction 41, Lot #198


The smaller R 94 – Rosenbaum’s Bitters – Bitters Bottles Supplement

Dr. Rosenbaum’s Advertising


Dr. Rosenbaum’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters advetisement – Sacramento Daily Union, 25 February 1860


Dr. Rosenbaum’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters advertisement noting N. B. Jacobs & Co. as agents – The Hunter, 1860


The Consumers of Rosenbaum’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters are cautioned about Rosenchf’s Bitters – Sacramento Daily Union, 1 February 1860


25 cases of Rosenbaum’s Bitters. This make’s me think there were coming in from the East Coast. – 1860 San Francisco advertisement


N. B. Jacob’s & Co. advertisement noting Rosenbaum’s Bitters – Directory of Nevada Territory, 1862


Dr. Rosenbaum’s Stomach Bitters advertisement – Santa Cruz Weekly Sentinel, 5 November 1864


Rosenbaum’s Bitters advertisement – The Golden Era, April 30, 1865


Simple posting for Rosenbaum’s Bitters in the San Francisco Chronicle, 1868


Rosenbaum’s Bitters being sold by Smith & Davis in Portand, Oregon – The Salem, Oregon Directory, 1871

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.
This entry was posted in Advertising, Bitters, History, Liquor Merchant, Questions, Remedy and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply