With and without the words Monopole Bitters
Herman Toser Co. – Milwaukee & William Frank & Sons – Pittsburgh
24 December 2014 [Christmas Eve]
Frank Wicker with BottlePickers scored himself an early Christmas present when he picked up a en-embossed Monopole Bitters. Great bottle picking! Frank sent me the following e-mail and pictures.
Hi Ferdinand. Have you ever seen one of these? Embossed on base” WM FRANK
& SONS”. It is 11 inches tall with a strange iron pontil. There is iron even on
the lettering. This bottle is listed in Digger Odell’s 2010 Bitters Price Guide on page 65. It is just like the bottle in the Ring & Ham Bitters Bottles book on page 390 except it is not embossed Monopole Bitters. I picked this one up for $8 in an antique store this past Saturday. Pics attached. – Frank
The Unembossed Monopole Bitters
Actually I have seen pictures of an unembossed example. Glass Works Auctions had an example in one of their recent auctions. A nice picture is represented below.
Another example, in the form of a spinner can be seen here at the Wisconsin Antique Advertising Club’s fine web site. Monopole Bitters H. Toser Milwaukee, WI Style Bottle
The Embossed Monopole Bitters
The Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles for the embossed Monopole Bitters is as follows:
M 121 MONOPOLE BITTERS
MONOPOLE / BITTERS // c // b // WM FRANK & SONS
11 1/8 x 3 3/4 (7 1/2)
Round globular with pedestal base, Amber, DC, Extremely rare
Oval outlined flattened label area
Ring around neck, 4″ below mouth
Trade Mark No. 9792, dated November, 1882 by Herman Toser Co., Milwaukee
Used since 1872
“In addition to his whiskey brands, Toser also was mixing and merchandising his own brand of bitters, a highly alcoholic potion that also claimed to have medicinal values. He called it “Monopole Bitters.”
For an absolutely great and informative article by Jack Sullivan, you must read, Herman Toser Provided “Gemuetlichkeit” in Its Truest Form over at Those Pre-Pro Whiskey Men! Jack notes within, “In addition to his whiskey brands, Toser also was mixing and merchandising his own brand of bitters, a highly alcoholic potion that also claimed to have medicinal values. He called it “Monopole Bitters.”
To find a picture of an embossed example of a Monopole Bitters I had to look far and wide as I do not have either an embossed or unembossed example in my collection. I found one gracing the shelves of the late Elvin Moody collection and John Feldmann collection. Read: Elvin Moody Bottle Collection pictures surface!
The Monopole Bitters form reminds me of my partially labeled Brand Brothers Company Stuttgarter Stomach Bitters bottle (pictures below) that is embossed “BRAND BROS. CO // EIGENTHUMER / GESETZLICH GESCHUTZT”. The bottle is 10 1/2 inches tall, round at the base and the body is 3 sided with knobs near the shoulder on the bevel.