Goodwin’s Laree Bitters – Baltimore
Strictly A French Preparation
20 October 2015 (R•052517)
The advertisement below was found in the bottom right corner of a Virginia newspaper in 1882. Right beneath the word OPIUM. It represents the unlisted Goodwin’s Laree Bitters. Wikipedia says that Laree may refer to a village and commune in France (Larée is a commune in the Gers department in southwestern France), a Lari (fish hook money), an obsolete coinage used around the Arabian sea, the Georgian lari, a unit of currency or the Maldivian laari, a unit of currency. The Urban Dictionary says the name LaRee has a french origin, meaning beautiful woman that is loved by all. Since advertising for this unlisted bitters says it is “Strictly a French Preparation”, we may have to go with a village in France or better yet “A beautiful French woman that is loved by all“. That is why I put the picture at the top of the post.
There are no bottle examples that I am aware of. So how did Joseph H. Goodwin, get and sell this bitters for a short time in 1882 and 1883 in Baltimore? There are barely any clues. He called it “A Blood Tonic”.
J. H. Goodwin, Patent Medicines
J. H. Goodwin, Patent Medicines, 130 Franklin St. – Among the many discoveries that chemistry has lately produced is that of Goodwin’s La Ree Bitters, which is allowed to be by all who use it the best blood tonic in the world, and is recommended by all medical advisers. Mr. Goodwin has been for the past three years established here, having purchased the interest of his predecessor, Mr. J. Waltz. He makes a leading specialty in the manufacture of his bitters and a liniment for rheumatism, and for the preservation of the teeth, extracts and essences. A full line of all kinds of drugs, patent medicines, soaps and sponges, chamois skins, essences and extracts, etc., are kept in stock, and sales are extensive, a large patronage being established over a wide section of the surrounding country. Mr. Goodwin is a native of Carroll county, and a gentleman of the highest standing in social circles, and is fast winning a high rank among the manufacturers of this branch of the trade. – Industries of Maryland: A Descriptive Review of the Manufacturing and Mercantile Industries of the City of Baltimore, 1882