Dr. Gerrish and his Brazilian Concentrated Stomach Bitter(s)
and Lancaster Tonic Bitters
23 September 2014 (R•092514)
Well, it looks like we can finally put to bed where the unlisted Lancaster Tonic Bitters was made (Read: Unlisted Lancaster Tonic Bitters Found). I have what might be the only known example that I picked up years ago from Greg Bair. Ruling out Lancaster, Pennsylvania, I leaned to New York. I was wrong, This bitters is from Boston, Massachusetts. The clue came in the following e-mail:
Hi Ferdinand…First of all…I love your site…a wealth of information that I refer to frequently. I recently picked up a Brazilian Stomach Bitters bottle (see above) with label and base embossed “THOS G. GERRISH rooster TRADEMARK. The label is not in great shape but does say Brazilian Concentrated Stomach Bitters. While researching, I found an early advertisement (see below) that connected Thomas Gerrish, of Lowell, Mass. with Lancaster Tonic Bitters and Brazilian Stomach Bitter. I was at the bottle show in Mass yesterday and spoke to Greg Bair…he had not acquired any further info on the Lancaster bottle that he sold to you some time ago. I saw your inquiry so just passing this info along…regards – Wendy Kelly
So there we go. I couple quick searches reveals the following 1875 advertisement below for Lancaster Tonic Bitters. Pay special attention to the enlarged Capital “L” of Lancaster and “S” of Bitters. You will also see the same exaggerated typographic treatment on the actual bottle which is also pictured below. Not conclusive, but pretty darn close.
Here are a few more pictures of the Brazilian Concentrated Stomach Bitter which is also unlisted. Yes, there is no “s” in Bitter. Odd. Look at that cool rooster embossed on the bottom of the bottle. Doesn’t get much better than that. The roosters also on the label.
Bill Ham has provided the following number which will be included in Bitters Bottles Supplement 2:
B 207.5 L . . . Brazilian (picture of rooster) Trade Mark Concentrated Stomach Bitter
// b // THOS G. GERRISH (motif of rooster) TRADE MARK
Round-lady’s leg, Amber,
See G 37, L 11.5
See more: Fighting Cocks and Roosters on Bottles
So who is Dr. Gerrish? Seems like he might be a flashy guy. Looks like he had the bitters and tonic market cornered in Lowell with Dr. Gerrish’s Standard Bitters, Lancaster Tonic Bitters, Brazilian Concentrated Stomach Bitter, Dr. Gerrish’s Tonic Tonic Bitters and Dr. Gerrish’s Life Cordial. Flashy.
Stay tuned for additions to this post. I am away from my Ring & Ham books as I am in a small dark restaurant in Paducah. Time to find my hotel.
Merrimack corp., Gerrish Thomas G. architect (Boston), house Pawtucket,
1865: The city-clerk during all the years of the war was John H. McAlvin. The city-treasurer in 1861, 1862, 1863, and 1864, was George W. Bedlow;1 in 1865, Thomas G. Gerrish. – William Schouler, A history of Massachusetts in the Civil War: Volume 2
1875: Gerrish, Thomas, proprietor, Lancaster Tonic Bitters, 69 Haverhill – 1875 Boston City Directory