Strickland’s Life Bitters

Reference to a Strickland’s Life Bitters

16 March 2016

Apple-Touch-IconAThe Strickland’s Life Bitters is an unlisted bitters that I came across recently while searching for other material. We are talking about Dr. Alfred Strickland who founded Strickland & Company around 1862 in Cincinnati, Ohio. I first found his advertisements in various newspapers around 1864 for Dr. Strickland’s Mellifluous Cough Balsam, Strickland’s Pile Remedy, Strickland’s Anti-Cholera Mixture and Strickland’s Tonic. Some advertising was targeted to Civil War soldiers.

The tonic would be renamed Strickland’s Life Bitters around 1867. His concoctions were initially manufactured at No. 3 and 6 East Fourth street in Cincinnati until he moved to 139 Sycamore.

Dr. Strickland would later move to Chicago and practice medicine. Quite possibly he then made the label only, Strickland’s Itaka Bitters which Ring & Ham list as S 214 in Bitters Bottles. (The Strickland Co., 1624 – 1637 Wabash Avenue). One advertisement says the company was established in 1862 which is about right. In Ring & Ham there are also listings for Strickland’s German Bitters (S 213), Strickland’s Orange Bitters (S 215) and Strickland’s Stomach Bitters (S 216). All later products.

Alfred Strickland died in 1893 in Chicago. I am not aware of any surviving bottles of Strickland’s Life Bitters. I am picturing a pretty cool embossed amber square but of course, it could have been labeled only.


Various Dr. Strickland advertisements – The Indiana Herald, Wednesday, July 27, 1864


Strickland’s Tonic advertisement – The Indiana Herald, Wednesday, July 27, 1864


Dr. Strickland’s Pile Remedy advertisement – Urbana Union (Urbano, Ohio), Wednesday, July 27, 1864


Various Strickland products represented (Strickland & Co. Bitters) – Brownlows Knoxville Whig, Wednesday, September 20, 1865


Strickland’s Life Bitters advertisement – The Highland Weekly News, Thursday, September 12, 1867


Strickland’s Life Bitters notices – The Courier Journal, Friday, September 20, 1867


Strickland’s Life Bitters advertisement – Ashtabula Weekly Telegraph, Saturday, September 28, 1867

Select Listings:

1864: Strickland & Co., (Alfred Strickland (physician), Amos P. Wiles), Proprietors Dr. Strickland’s Cough Balsam, Depot 6 E. 4th – Cincinnati Ohio City Directory
1865: Dr. A. Strickland & Co., Medicines (patent and family), 139 Sycamore – Cincinnati Ohio City Directory
1866: A. Strickland & Co., (Alfred Strickland (physician), A. B. Merriam, Wm. Knox), Patent Medicines, 139 Sycamore – Cincinnati Ohio City Directory
1867: Dr. A. Strickland & Co., Patent Medicines, (A. S. & Wm, Knox), 139 Sycamore – Cincinnati Ohio City Directory
1893: Dr. Alfred Stricklandaged 63 years, died June 30 at his residence at 3605 Lake avenue, of heart failure. Dr. Strickland has been well-known as a patent medicine manufacturer in this city (Chicago) for the last 27 years. He leaves a widow and one son, W. W. Strickland.The Pharmaceutical Era, Volume 10, D. O. Haynes & Company, 1893

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has a BFA in Fine Art and Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. Ferdinand is the founding Principal of FMG Design, a nationally recognized design consultation firm. Ferdinand is a passionate collector of American historical glass specializing in bitters bottles, color runs and related classic figural bottles. He is married to Elizabeth Jane Meyer and lives in Houston, Texas with their daughter and three wonderful grandchildren. The Meyers are also very involved in Quarter Horses, antiques and early United States postage stamps. Ferdinand is the past 6-year President of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors and is one of the founding members of the FOHBC Virtual Museum.
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