Bond’s Dandelion Bitters – Fort Wayne, Indiana
1868. — XX. — S-Y-L.
04 February 2015
A short post this morning looking at yet another unlisted bitters. This time it is the Bond’s Dandelion Bitters from Fort Wayne, Indiana. The bitters is dated 1868 along with the support advertising. There is scant material and information available and certainly no surviving bottle examples, at least that I am aware of.
I posted the top clipping from the Iron County Register (Ironton, Missouri) in 1889 to remind us how strong some of these bitters products really were. Read the copy as it is kind of amusing as they were drinking some form of Dandelion Bitters.
“Imagine our misery, last Saturday, when we looked upon the streets and saw eight or ten young bloods in a weaving way…”
William J. Bond was born on 23 December 1845 in Madison, Indiana. The first directory listing has him listed as a dealer in drugs, medicines, paints, oils, dye stuffs, etc. in 1866 at the southwest corner of Main and Calhoun Streets in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The next year he is partner with James C. Nones at Bond & Nomes and they are listed as wholesale and retail druggists and dealers in paints, oils, varnishes, glass and dye stuffs at 95 Columbia Street in Fort Wayne.
In 1868, Bond was the Sole Proprietor of Bond’s Dandelion Bitters and also magically becomes a Chemist. James Nones must not have been his partner anymore. He advertised and sold his bitters for one dollar a bottle at 95 Columbia Street. He reported that his bitters contained the active principles of Dandelion, Sarsaparilla, Peruvian Bark, and other Barks, Herbs, and Roots. Bond said his bitters contained no whiskey but used a pure California Wine as a preservative agent. Yeah sure. He also called it a tonic and said that it cleansed the blood and liver. In his advertising, Bond stated that every one of his bottles came with a beautifully engraved label and a signature from the proprietor. He cautioned against counterfeits and said his bitters only came in a bottle and was not to be bought by the gallon or barrel. He mentions no embossed typography so we are looking at a labeled bitters.
William Bond was into selling volume as you will see in the advertisement below where he gives a range of bottles from one to six, and states that the various quantities would cure just about anything. I think I would have ordered and regularly taken six bottles just to have my bases covered.
In 1875, W. J. Bond moved to the southeast corner of Colerick and Fairfield Avenue in Fort Wayne. In 1877 he is located at northwest corner of Locust and Fairfield Avenues selling drugs and notions. In 1878 the concern is renamed W. J. Bond & Sons as sons William H. Bond and Marshall S. Bond join him in business. By 1883 it is W. J. Bond & Son with a son, Seth M. Bond, working with him.
So we have an unlisted, labeled bitters and little information. Maybe we can add to the post with more information. I also can not figure out what 1868. — XX. — S-Y-L. means? Maybe it means buy 20 bottles and it will “Save Your Liver”. Maybe it meant, I am 20 years old and after I make a quick fortune, I will “See You Later”. I doubt it. What do you think?
The new listing for the forthcoming Bitters Bottles Supplement 2: