Swiss Stomach Bitters from Zwinger to Koch to Zoeller

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Swiss Stomach Bitters from Zwinger to Koch to Zoeller 

22 March 2014 (R•060314 – Z7 added) (R•110316-labeled Z7)

Apple-Touch-IconAIt is always nice to hear from fellow bitters collector Gary Beatty from sunny Florida. Gary is also a Pastor by profession and the Treasurer for the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors. Besides sending monthly financial reports, he typically sends me information on a spectacular new bitters bottle he has added to his collection. In this case it is the Swiss Stomach Bitters from Birmingham, Pennsylvania. His e-mail that accompanied many images (see top image and below) is presented below:

Hi Ferd, here are the pictures of the Arnold Koch Swiss Stomach Bitters. I recently purchased it and it is from the Howard Crowe collection. Ring & Ham have it cataloged at S 242. The variant S 243 is later and embossed “The Zoeller /Medical Co/ Pittsburgh, PA.”

Birmingham Pa, became a part of Pittsburgh. I had a broken S 243 Pittsburgh but had never ran across the Birmingham Pa. version. I missed getting the S 243 Howard had for sale in Antique Bottle & Glass Collector magazine by a day so Howard sold me the rarest one and in a fantastic color. The color is golden, yellow, amber with a touch of apricot. All examples I have ever seen of either variant were dark amber.

Best Regards, Gary Beatty

Swiss Stomach Bitters

The Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham listings in Bitters Bottles are as follows:

S 242  SWISS STOMACH BITTERS
f // SWISS / STOMACH BITTERS // f // ARNOLD KOCH / BIRMINGHAM. PA. //
9 3/8 x 3 3/8 x 2 3/4 (6 7/8)
Rectangular 2 sides folded, Amber, LTC, Applied mouth, Rare
Arnold Koch was in business until 1876 or 1877 (Arnold Koch was in business from 1862 to 1896. First listed as a clerk, he quickly become a druggist and was listed as a bitters manufacturer from 1873-1876)
Birmingham became part of Pittsburgh in 1872. Thereafter it was called South Side.
S 243  SWISS STOMACH BITTERS
SWISS / STOMACH / BITTERS // f // THE ZOELLER / MEDICAL CO /
BIRMINGHAM, PA // f //
10 1/8 x 3 3/8 x 2 3/4 (6 7/8)
Rectangular, Amber, LTC, Applied mouth and Tooled lip, Rare
Possibly successors to Arnold Koch, after 1867

Interestingly enough, there is also the listing for another earlier Swiss Stomach Bitters in Bitters Bottles:

S 241  SWISS STOMACH BITTERS
Manufactured by F (Should be “J”) . Aug. Zwinger, 172 Smithfield Street, Corner Strawberry Alley
Pittsburgh Directory (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) 1858-1859 (Actually 1856 – 1878, bitters probable marketed from 1856 to 1859 or so)
Possible predessor to Arnold Koch
S243_SwissStomachBitters_Meyer12

Swiss Stomach Bitters (S 242) – Meyer Collection

Zoeller_GWA102

“ZOELLER’S / STOMACH BITTERS – THE ZOELLER / MEDICAL CO. / PITTSBURGH, PA.”, (Ring/Ham, Z-7), Pennsylvania, ca. 1890 – 1900, red amber, rectangular with two folded sides, 9 5/8”h, smooth base, tooled lip.

labeledzoellers_lot196-3views

“ZOELLER’S / STOMACH BITTERS – THE ZOELLER / MEDICAL CO. / PITTSBURGH, PA.” (with more than 90% complete, original front and back labels, contents and neck seal), America, 1905 – 1910. Medium amber, rectangular with wedge, or “V” shaped side panels, tooled sloping collar – smooth base, ht. 9 ½”; (bottle is perfect; label darkened a bit from age, otherwise excellent). R/H #Z7. A rare bitters, and extremely rare with original labels, contents, and neck seal. It is interesting to note that although on the front label is printed, “Guaranteed Under The Pure Food & Drugs Act…”, that on the back label is also printed, “A wine glass full taken three times a day before meals will be a certain cure of Dyspepsia Liver Complaint”. Emphasis on “Cure”, that such statements were supposedly taboo with the new federal laws and food and drug act. – American Glass Gallery Auction #17

The three Swiss Stomach Bitters are obviously related. The dates, names and addresses match up nicely though there is no concrete information that confirms that one proprietor sold the brand to the next. Let’s look at Jacob Augustus Zwinger who put out the bitters first. Then we will look at Arnold Koch who must have purchased the rights to make and sell the bitters. Next the brand goes to William F. Zoeller.

Jacob Augustus Zwinger 

Jacob Augustus Zwinger was a retail druggist and apothecary selling drugs, chemicals, and perfumery etc. first located at 172 Smithfield Street on the corner of Strawberry Alley in Pittsburgh. He was the first sole manufacturer of Swiss Stomach Bitters. Listings for him can be found in Pittsburgh Directories from 1856-1878. In his later years, he is listed as a physician. He was a probably the predessor to Arnold Koch and his Swiss Stomach Bitters. I suspect the “F” on the advertisement below was a mistake as it should have been a “J” for Jacob.

1856: J. A. Zwinger, druggist, 172 Smithfield – Directory for Pittsburgh and Allegheny Cities

SwissStomachBittersZwinger1Ad

F. August Zwinger (Should be J), apothecary and druggist, 172 Smithfield – Directory of Pittsburgh & Vicinity

1857: Jacob Augustus Zwinger, druggist, 172 Smithfield – Directory of Pittsburgh & Vicinity

1858: J. August Zwinger, apothecary and druggist, 172 Smithfield (see advertisement above) – Directory of Pittsburgh & Vicinity

1859: J. August Zwinger, apothecary and druggist (also wholesale drygoods), 172 Smithfield – Directory of Pittsburgh & Vicinity

1865: Augustus Zwinger, druggist, 192 Ohio – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1866: J. A. Zwinger, druggist, 487 Penn cor Walnut – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1867 – 1872: Jacob A. Zwinger (Druggist), 76 East lane (East and Third) – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1873 – 1875: Dr. J. A. Zwinger (Physician, doctor), 70 East A, Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1877 – 1878: J. A. Zwinger (Physician), 78 Avery – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1879 – 1881: M Zwinger drug store (druggist), 76 East (East and Third) – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1889 – 18901: Jacob A. Zwinger, physician, 30 Avery – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania City Directory

Arnold Koch

Arnold Koch was one of the best known druggists of the South Side of Pittsburgh, having been established in business since 1862. Previous to this date he was connected to Julius Zeller in New York, the uncle and predecessor of Max Zeller, the well known wholesaler in New York.

Koch was listed as a retail druggist in Pittsburgh and Allegheny City Directories from 1862 to 1896. First listed as a clerk, he quickly become a druggist and was listed as a bitters manufacturer from 1873-1876. Though I can find no direct evidence, I would suppose he clerked with Jacob Augustus Zwingerand took over the Swiss Stomach Bitters brand. For 11 years Arnold Koch was located at 1203 Carson Street. William F. Zoeller was located at 1807 Carson street. They had to know each other.

Arnold Koch’s son was Professor J. A. Koch, dean of the faculty of the Pittsburgh College of Pharmacy.

1862 – 1863: Arnold Koch, clerk, corner Washington and Liberty – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1864 – 1870: Arnold Koch, druggist (Drug store, drugs), 1118 Carson n Denman – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1871: Arnold Koch, druggist, 127 Twentieth – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1872: Arnold Koch, druggist, 1118 Carson n Denman – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1873: Arnold Koch, stomach bitters, 113 Eighteenth ss – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1874: Arnold Koch, druggist, Charles, L St. Clair tp – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1875 – 1876: Arnold Koch, bitters manufacturer, 113 Eighteenth ss, h Walnut, L St. Clair tp – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1877 – 1886: Arnold Koch, druggist (pharmacist), 1203 Carson- Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1887 – 1896: Arnold Koch, druggist, 62 Washington av – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1896: Arnold Koch sudden death.

William F. Zoeller

William F. Zoller was born in 1857 on the South Side of Pittsburgh, the son of John and Fredericka Zoeller. His wife was named Caroline and their children were Carl Zoeller, Joseph Zoeller, Carrie Zoeller and Robert F. Zoeller. Zoeller a druggist and wholesale liquor dealer by trade, was located at 1807 Carson Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and manufactured Black Gin for the kidneys, Swiss Stomach Bitters for dyspepsia and liver complaint and Wild Cherry Tonic for coughs, colds and throat diseases. He is listed as making and selling bitters from 1890 to 1895. In 1909 Zoeller is believed to have been the founder and owner of Zoeller Medical Manufacturing Company of Pittsburgh, selling “Zoeller’s Kidney Remedy” (made of juniper berries, buchu leaves and other valuable diuretics) priced at 50 cents per bottle. The product was advertised in several editions of the Pittsburgh Press in July 1909.

1880: Joseph Zoeller, drug clerk, 1203 Carson (Arnold Kochs address) – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1881: William F. Zoeller, clerk, 112 Nineteenth ss – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1882: John Zoeller (saloon), William F. Zoeller (bar tender), 112 S Nineteenth – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1883: William F. Zoeller, liquors, 1807 Carson – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1884: William F. Zoeller, clerk, 1722 Sarah, Joseph P. Zoeller, drug clerk, 201 Franklin, J.P. Zoeller, druggist, 112 S. Nineteenth, John Zoeller, saloon, 112 S. Nineteenth – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1885: John Zoeller, saloon 112 S. Nineteenth – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1886: William F. Zoeller, book keeper, 115 S Nineteenth, Joseph P. Zoeller, druggist, 112 S. Nineteenth, John Zoeller, 112 S. Nineteenth – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1887: William F. Zoeller, liquors, 1907 Carson, Joseph P. Zoeller, druggist, 112 S. Nineteenth, John Zoeller, (deceased) – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1888 – 1889: William F. Zoeller, wholesale liquors, 1807 Carson, Joseph P. Zoeller, druggist, 112 S. Nineteenth – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1890 – 1891: William F. Zoeller, Bitters, 1807 Carson (see below) – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

ZoellerBitterslisting

1892: William F. Zoeller, Patent Medicines, Liquors Wholesale, 1807 Carson – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1893 – 1895: William F. Zoeller, BittersLiquors Wholesale, 1807 Carson – Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities

1906: In the Pittsburgh City Directory, sold “liquors” at 1807 Carson. Bell phone Hemlock 9396. Resided in Knoxville, Pa.

1909: Is believed to have been the founder and owner of Zoeller Medical Manufacturing Company of Pittsburgh, selling “Zoeller’s Kidney Remedy” (made of juniper berries, buchu leaves and other valuable diuretics) priced at 50 cents per bottle. The product was advertised in several editions of the Pittsburgh Press in July 1909.

ZoellersKidneyRemedy

1920: When the federal census was taken, William (age 60) and Caroline (63) and their son Robert (25) made their home together on Bellefonte Street in Pittsburgh. William’s occupation that year was as an Allegheny County assessor, and Robert’s as a civil engineer with a power company.

1930: The census shows William (age 71) and Carolyne (71) living in Mt. Lebanon, near Pittsburgh, on Central Square. William was still employed as a county assessor that year.

Swiss Stomach Bitters William F. Zoeller Advertising Trade Cards

The following trade cards are from the Joe Gourd collection in Chicago.

Zoeller's Store Card back

Mikado4

Mikado3

Mikado2

Mikado1

SwissStomachBittersZoellerTCback_Gourd

SibleChildren4_Gourd

SibleChildren3_Gourd

SibleChildren2_Gourd

SibleChildren1_Gourd

Zoeller's Store Card front

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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