Dr. Mackenzie’s or Dr. McKinzie Wild Cherry Bitters
11 January 2015 (R•011315) (R•051715) (R•110715)
A M5, Dr. Mackenzie’s Wild Cherry Bitters closed on eBay last week. See Listing. The eBay picture is at the top most position of this post. I clipped it for clarity. This is a tough bottle to figure out with no examples with labels or advertising apparent. It looks like Lou Holis picked it up:
Hi Ferd: I find this bottle very interesting that I just picked up. In the Ring and Ham Bitters Bottles book, it is listed twice as M-5 (Dr. Mackenzie) and also M-60 (Dr. McKinzie) which is the one I have spelled Mackenzie’s. The M-60 is spelled McKinzie. Not many bitters have two separate listings of almost the same bottle and same company. Looked for it on your site but found nothing. Lots of Wild Cherry Bitters bottles there but not this one. Thanks and Happy New Year – Lou Holis
The Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles is as follows:
M 5 DR MACKENZIE’S / WILD CHERRY / BITTERS / CHICAGO // f // sp // f //
8 1/4 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 ( 5 1/4) 1/2
Rectangular, Clear, LTC, Tooled lip, 2 sp, 3 ribs on each bevel, Rare
M 58 DR. McKINZIE / WILD CHERRY / BITTERS / CHICAGO // f // f// f //
8 3/16 x 4 1/4 x 2 3/16 ( 5 9/16) 7/8
Rectangular, Clear, LTC, Tooled lip, Bevel has 4 vertical ribs. Extremely rare
Found in basement of an old restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin.
Bitters authority, Frank Wicker over at BottlePickers.com says, “Here is a bitters bottle that I as of now, I can’t find anything about. It is embossed DR. MACKENZIE’S / WILD CHERRY / BITTERS / CHICAGO. According to a labeled example, the company of this product was A. Bauer & Co. located at 158 East Huron Street, Chicago, Ill.” Frank goes on to say “that this bottle is the same shape as the Russell Med. Co. // Pepsin Calisaya Bitters, which is also from Chicago.” Read: Augauer Bitters and the Gauer Family – Chicago.
At first I thought the Mackenzie might be related to C. S. Mackenzie who was a druggist appearing in Cleveland, Ohio city directories from 1853 to 1889. You can see a labeled Mackenzie’s Ague and Fever Mixture example below. The business was founded in 1836 by C. S. Mackenzie who was the sole proprietor up until 1872 when the firm name changed to C. S. Mackenzie & Company. Mackenzie was born in Baltimore, Maryland. This is not the case. No direct relationship.
Next, I thought the Dr. Mackenzie’s Bitters or as we see also, Dr. McKinzie Bitters might have been made by Henry Mackenzie who was a grocer in Chicago from about 1861 to 1892 when he died. You can see an example of a stoneware jug below. I doubt this is our fellow either. Note that Carlyn Ring and Bill Ham say that an example (M 58) was found in basement of an old restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin.
1861: Henry C. Mackenzie, clerk, H. & E. Goodridge, (Henry and Edward Goodridge, drygoods) – Chicago, Illinois City Directory
1870: Henry Mackenzie, age 36, Ret. Grocer, born about 1834 in England – Chicago Ward 5, Cook, Illinois – United States Federal Census
1877-1885: Henry Mackenzie, Grocer, 317 W. Indiana – Chicago, Illinois City Directory
1880: Henry Mackenzie, age 48, Grocery Dealer, born about 1834 in England – City of Chicago – United States Federal Census
1886: Henry Mackenzie, Grocer, 12 S. State – A. N. Marquis & Co.’s Handy Business Directory of Chicago, Volume 1
1888: Henry Mackenzie, Teas, Coffees and Spices, 164 S. Halsted – Chicago, Illinois City Directory
1892: Henry Mackenzie died on 4 March 1892 in Cook County, Illinois.
In quick order the constables seized 16 cases of counterfeit Kummel and 4 cases of Benedictine. Then 240 embossed bottles of Angostura bitters were discovered along with phony wrappers.
Last we will look at A. Bauer & Company located at 158 East Huron Street in Chicago, Illinois. Remember Frank Wicker references this information on a labeled example. Whiskey authority Jack Sullivan has written about Bauer before. Read: Chicago’s Alexander Bauer: Spirits, Sex and Scams. From what Jack says about Alexander Bauer, I don’t think we can trust any one of his labels on a bottle.
[From Jack Sullivan] What they found was startling. The first seizure was a case of Hennessy brandy. Bauer admitted that it was not genuine but said he was not responsible for having it in his possession. In quick order the constables seized 16 cases of counterfeit Kummel and 4 cases of Benedictine. Then 240 embossed bottles of Angostura bitters were discovered along with phony wrappers. Another large lot o counterfeit labels was found in the basement. They were for James E. Pepper Whiskey, Gilka Kummel, and Boonekamp Bitters. It is clear that Bauer was taking old bottles, some of them the genuine article with names blown in the glass, refilling them, slapping on a faux label and selling them as the real McCoy.