Dr. Mampe’s Herb Stomach Bitters from Oshkosh
02 June 2014 (R•042919)
After the pretty lady’s legs we’ve been looking at, I wanted to take a moment and look at a squat little fellow from Oshkosh, Wisconsin that is more like a bull dog in stature. The Dr. Mampe’s Herb Stomach Bitters, put out by John Thielen, definitely has that German look that you see with the Carl and Ferdinand Mampe bitters and liquor bottles with the prominant embossed elephant.
Not a big stretch to think that they are related.
Another reason we are looking at Wisconsin, is the extremely rare bitters bottle that sold last night on ebay. That story will wait for another day.
Top color picture: Collection of Frank Wicker
My example of the Dr. Mampe’s Herb Stomach Bitters has been sitting alone for almost a decade on a shelf in my aqua room since it joined my collection, as I won it in the FOHBC live auction at the 2004 Memphis Expo. Let’s put a little light on this portly guy. The Carlyn Ring and W. C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles is as follows:
M 26 DR. MAMPE’S / HERB STOMACH BITTERS // f // JOHN THIELEN / SOLE AGENT / OSHKOSH, WIS. // f //
6 3/4 x 3 1/4 x 3 (5 1/2) Rectangular, NSC, Aqua – Common, Clear and Blue aqua – Scarce, Citron green – Extremely rare
Embossing on (slightly) narrower sides.
Advertisement: John Thielen, Sole Agent for the sale of Dr. Mampe’s Herb Stomach Bitters – Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, November 11, 1891
John P. Thielen was born in Germany in 1849 and was the son of Peter Thielen (1810-1887). Peter and his son John, immigrated the United States around 1864 from Neuenberg, Germany. John Thielen’s bothers and sisters included, Anna (1835 – 1900; m. Nicholas Faugsten) of Oshkosh, Frank X. (1840 – 1914; m. Magdelna) of Oshkosh, Catherine (1844 – 1921; m. August Timm) of Chicago, Illinois and then moved to Stevens Point, Wisconsin after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and Paul Thielen (1845 -1894; m. Mary).
Our subject, John P. Thielen, married Johanna “Anna” Sonnenberg of Oshkosh, and they were married for 65 years until 1921 when the family relocated to Los Angeles, California. John P. Thielen died in 1934 at 84 years old in Los Angeles of heart trouble.
During his years in Oshkosh, John Thielen may have run the largest and best stocked wine and liquor house in town. John first got his start with Weidener and Thielen and eventual went out using his own name selling imported and domestic wines, liquors, gins, brandies, cordials, ales, porters and whiskies. His specialities included “Silver Spring” pure rye whisky, Badger Club and of course, his Dr. Mampe’s Herb Stomach Bitters. Business was strong in northern Wisconsin and Michigan. He was also president of the Silver Spring Distillery Company. This company was organized in 1892. The Dr. Mampe’s bitters was certainly a late 19th century brand that looks good in any bitters collection despite its ungainly proportions.