Salmon’s Perfect Stomach Bitters – Manhattan


Salmon’s Perfect Stomach Bitters – Manhattan

24 August 2014 (R•100514)

Apple-Touch-IconABill Ham picked up a pretty rare Salmon’s Perfect Stomach Bitters on a table at the recent FOHBC 2014 Lexington National and flipped it to me for a couple hundred bucks. Not a terribly exciting bottle but a tough one to find. We both thought it should be rated extremely rare though Bill and Carlyn Ring rated it rare previously in Bitters Bottles. We both had not seen another example before and the book says one was dug in New York State. Could this be that example?

9 1/2 x 2 1/2 x (7 1/4) 3/8
Square, Amber, LTC, Tooled lip, Rare
Dug in New York State.

Not much to go on here but I look at New York as the example was dug there. Bingo! I quickly figure out that we are talking about Maximillian or Max Salmon. Max was Canadian born and spent time in his early 20’s as a liquor store clerk in Baltimore. His father, Philip Salmon had a liquor store in Baltimore so presumably, Max worked there. Max’s sister was Sarah Salmon Grosner of the Grosner’s menswear dept store in Baltimore. Finding a wife in New York City leads Max to move to Manhattan and become a wine and liquor merchant in the early 1890s.

Max stays in this profession until about 1915 when he moves to the insurance business. From 1907 to 1912 he is the proprietor of Salmon Bitters Company at 1954 3rd Avenue in Manhattan. Make sure you read the news clipping from 1893 below where Max gets in trouble with the law for selling wine to two thirteen year olds who also purchased a gun to accompany their mischief. You might get in a wee bit more trouble if you did that nowadays.


Salmon’s Perfect Stomach Bitters – Meyer Collection

Max Salmon


Max Salmon, circa 1893, New York City

1857: Max(millian) Salmon, born 31 March 1857 in Canada. Parents Philip Salmon (1830-1902), born 23 Sept 1830 in Friedeberg Neumark, Brandenburg, Pommern, Prussia, Germany and Mina “Minnie” Bamburg (1831-1915), born 15 September 1831 in Prague, Austria.

1861: Max Salmon living in Arthabaska, Quebec, Canada – 1861 Census of Canada East

1880: Max Salmon, Living in Baltimore City, Maryland, Clerk in Store – United States Federal Census

1890: Marriage to Sophie Stern (1858 – 1943) in Manhattan, New York, Children: Wallace Arthur Salmon (1891-1959), Leo Jerome Salmon (1894-1936), Stella Salmon (1896-1904), Joseph Harold Salmon (1899-1972)

1893: Max Salmon fined $500 for selling wine to underage youths (see below)


With his mothers $10. Max Salmon held in $500 bail for selling wine to two thirteen year olds – The World (New York City) Friday, February 10, 1893

1900: Max Salmon, Living in Manhattan, New York, Wine Merchant – United States Federal Census

1907-12: Salmon Bitters Company (R.T.N.) Max Salmon, 1954 3rd Ave – The Trow (formerly Wilson’s) Copartnership and Corporation Directory of New York City


Salesman Wanted – New York Times, Sunday, March 7, 1907

1910: Max Salmon, Wine and Liquor Merchant, Manhattan Ward 12 – United States Federal Census

1915: Max Salmon, Life Insurance Agent, 3671 Broadway – New York State Census

1917: Max Salmon, New York Life Insurance Company, h. 3671 Broadway – New York City Directory

1918: Happy New Year from Max Salmon – New York Times, Sunday, September 8, 1918 (see below)


Happy New Year from Max Salmon –New York Times, Sunday, September 8, 1918

1920: Max Salmon, Life Insurance Agent, 3671 Broadway, Manhattan, New York – United States Federal Census, and New York City Directory


Max Salmon Obituary

1925: Max Salmon: Death 6 November 1925 in New York City, buried Ridgewood, Queens County, New York

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 Salmon’s Perfect Stomach Bitters – Manhattan

  1. just came across your wonderful sleuthing on Salmon’s Bitters while looking up information on the 1904 Baltimore Fire. My Great Great Grandfather was Philip Salmon who had a liquor store in Baltimore, MD. His son Max was my Great Grandfather. You used some of my downloaded photos from Ancestry and I’m so glad that they were available and helpful.
    By the way, Max’s sister was Sarah Salmon Grosner of the Grosner’s menswear dept store, Baltimore.
    Though my father was a librarian and dig much genealogy as well as saving things, the Salmon Bitters info never made it into the family lore and I knew little about Max! It is fascinating and I’m so glad to have found your piece about him. All I had dug up was the insurance business.
    Thank you so much!
    Andrea Jackson
    San Diego, CA 92116

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