18 November 2015
Here is a communication below from James Viguerie who periodically helps out with bitters posts. Looks like we have references to an unlisted Democratic Bitters made by Dr. Samuel R. Whitlow from Peoria County, Illinois around 1871 and 1872. The bitters was most likely named as a reference to the 1872 Democratic National Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. I am not aware of any bottles in collections.
The top support image is the interior of Ford’s Grand Opera House of John T. Ford, (1829-1894), on East Fayette Street (between North Howard and Eutaw Streets) in Baltimore, Maryland during the 1872 Democratic National Convention, (built 1871, razed 1964).
James Viguerie email:
I meant to do more research on the Democratic Bitters but never have so I thought I should just send some references along to you. Attached is the patent number and another reference mentioning the bitters. I did not see it listed in the Bitters Bottles books.
I decided to just type up a summary of all my bitters related patents in a spreadsheet. That way I can sort by patent number, date etc. I am only at 60 entries right now but will send you the whole thing when done. There should be some good information to help better date some Bitters, identify who put them out, and there location. Many patents have the recipes for the bitters being patented. It could be interesting too when the request was put in vs. when the patent was awarded. Sometimes I see a 2 year difference so they may be older than what the patent date shows. I was a little surprised to see several woman had patented bitters in the 1800s. The witnesses might be useful information too. However, they could just be friends of the patent applicant and not in the business.
Democratic Bitters was described in the patent above:
The ingredients and their respective quantities are Oil of cinnamon, twenty-five drops; oil of sassuhas, twenty drops; oil of cloves, twenty-three drops; tincture of spikenztrd, three ounces; tincture of comfrey, two ounces; tincture of columba, two ounces; white sugar, one-half pound; spirits, one gallon; water, one quart; curcumin or curcuma, a suiiicieut quantity to give the desired color.
Mix the oils above mentioned with the spirits, add the sugar and water, and lastly the curcumin, and bottle up for use.
The dose is a wine-glass full three times a day, and is for the curing of or invigoration of the stomach, liver, and the entire human system, and for improving the digestion, strengthening the lungs, counteracting malaria, and purifying the blood, acting as a. general tonic and gentle stimulant.
I like that…spirits, one gallon!
A search reveals the following newspaper listings.