Hufeland Swiss Stomach Bitters
14 September 2014 (R•091814)
Jerry Forbes brought a labeled Hufeland Swiss Stomach Bitters from the Downieville Bottle Show back to our cabin last night. I think he purchased it for $25. This joins some other exciting bitters that were picked up and spotted at the show yesterday.
The primary label reads “Hufeland Swiss Stomach Bitters“, N. Van Bergen & Co., Sole Manufacturers, San Francisco“. The secondary, oval label reads, “First Premium Awarded by the Mechanics Institute, San Francisco, 1860“. So the brand has been around for some time as this is an 1890s or so bottle. There is no embossing. The graphics are really neat showing three men, one presumably a doctor.
N. Vergen & Company, as you can see from the listing below, is Nicholas Van Bergen, John W. Van Bergen and Fritz Habenicht. Nicholas was also associated with Kohler & Van Bergen.
[from Eric McGuire] Regarding Jerry’s very nice labeled example of the Hufeland’s Bitters bottle, as you noted, it all began with J. G. Frisch, the earliest proprietor. I have attached a copy of the label (see below) which was deposited with the Secretery of State of California as Trade Mark No. 40, in 1864.
Frisch was an important figure in the early liquor industry of California but is not well known, as he died fairly early in the history of the West. Johann Gottfried Frisch died in San Francisco on December 26, 1865. That Thomas Taylor, the well known San Francisco and Virginia City liquor dealer would succeed in Frisch’s business was natural since Taylor was running the business anyway in Frisch’s later years, and most importantly, Taylor was his son-in-law. He had married J. G. and Dorotea Frisch’s daughter, Bertha. To make things even more interesting, the Frisch’s had another daughter, Wilhelmine. She married Amandus Fenkhausen, who was also a successful San Francisco liquor dealer.
Christoph Wilhelm Friedrich Hufeland (12 August 1762, Langensalza – 25 August 1836, Berlin) was a German physician. He is famous as the most eminent practical physician of his time in Germany and as the author of numerous works displaying extensive reading and a cultivated critical faculty. Hufeland was born at Langensalza, Saxony (now Thuringia) and educated at Weimar, where his father held the office of court physician to the grand duchess. In 1780 he entered the University of Jena, and in the following year went on to Göttingen, where in 1783 he graduated in medicine.
After assisting his father for some years at Weimar, he was called in 1793 to the chair of medicine at Jena, receiving at the same time the positions of court physician and professor of Pathology at Weimar. In 1798 Frederick William III of Prussia granted him the position director of the medical college and generally of state medical affairs at the Charité, in Berlin. He filled the chair of pathology and therapeutics in the University of Berlin, founded in 1809, and in 1810 became councillor of state. In 1823, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
In time he became as famous as Goethe, Herder, Schiller, and Wieland in his homeland.
Hufeland was the inventor of the term macrobiotic, was Physician Royal to the King of Prussia, as well as giving medical attention to the following illustrious patients: “Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832), Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803), Schiller (1739-1805), and Christoph Martin Wieland (1732-1813).” He was also a close friend of Samuel Hahnemann and published many of his original writings in his Journal. He also “joined the Illuminati order at this time, having been introduced to freemasonry in Göttingen in 1783.” He also seems to have professed an interest in Chinese Alchemy and methods of extending longevity.
The most widely known of his many writings is the treatise entitled Makrobiotik oder Die Kunst, das menschliche Leben zu verlängern (1796), which was translated into many languages, including in Serbian by Dr. Jovan Stejić in Vienna in 1828. Of his practical works, the System of Practical Medicine (System der praktischen Heilkunde, 1818-1828) is the most elaborate. From 1795 to 1835 he published a Journal der praktischen Arznei und Wundarzneikunde. His autobiography was published in 1863. [Wikipedia]
We have written about Bergen before. Read: Old Dr. C. W. Hufeland’s German Bitters – For Dyspepsia
This appears to be unlisted variant of the Dr. Hufeland’s Swiss Stomach Bitters. The Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles for a very similar labeled example reads:
H 206 L … Dr. Hufeland’s Celebrated Swiss Stomach Bitters
J. G. Frisch, Sole manufacturer and proprietor, San Francisco, California
11 3/4 x 3 1/4 (6 1/2)
Round, amber, LTCR
Notice that J. G. Frisch is the sole manufacturer and proprietor. Frisch is rather well-known to Western bitters collectors as he put out the California Bitters.
Here is a new listing that will be used in Bitters Bottles Supplement 2: