Dr. Frank’s Laxitive Tonic Bitters
If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.
01 October 2018
Now here is a cool bitters bottle that up until now, I had never seen before. As coincidences go, I’m seeing two examples this past week. The first was auctioned off earlier in the week in Glass Works Auctions | Auction #124 which is pictured below. The second, pictured above, was on a dealer table at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Bottle Show happening this past weekend. Tom Lines from Alabama sent me a picture.
There is absolutely nothing I can find online except a surprising number of people named Frank Bitters. One clue might be is that an example was found in an old city dump in Mobile, Alabama. With that, I see a few doctors and grocers in Mobile but nothing solid enough to add to this post. No labeled examples. No advertising.
A no-nonsense bitters bottle that looks like a liquor bottle from a northeastern city, it epitomizes the bitters genre as proprietors would often stick a “Dr.” in front of the name to make it look like a medicine and to get around tax laws. Uh, this is a liquor bottle meant to be sold in liquor stores and saloons, to men. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. They even spelled Laxative wrong!
The Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles is as follows:
F 78 DR. FRANK’S LAXITIVE TONIC BITTERS
DR. FRANK’S ( au ) / LAXITIVE TONIC / BITTERS // c // // b // 502
6 1/2 x 3 1/4 x 1 1/4 (4 1/4)
Oval, Amber, LTC, Tooled lip, Extremely rare
Note: Spelling of word Laxative. Found in an old city dump in Mobile, Alabama
270. “DR. FRANK’S LAXITIVE TONIC / BITTERS”, (Ring/Ham, F-78), American, ca. 1885 – 1895, amber pocket flask, 6 3/4”h, smooth base, tooled lip. Several patches of light stain are on the front, but no form of damage. Extremely rare, the last one sold in 1997! Note the misspelling of the word Laxative. Larry Umbreit Collection. Winning Bid: $ 550 (12 Bids) Estimate: $ 275 – $ 375 – Glass Works Auctions | Auction #124
1890: Dr. Frank, Physician And Herb Sanitarium, Residence Year: 1890, 238 South Market, residence same, San Jose, Santa Clara, California – San Jose, California, City Directory, 1890
1890: Dr. C A Frank,Physician, Arrival date: 8 Nov 1890, Birth Date: abt 1858, Age: 32, Gender: Male, Ethnicity/ Nationality: American, Place of Origin: United States of America, Port of Departure: St. Kitts, Port of Arrival: New York, New York, Ship Name: Pennland – New York, Passenger and Crew Lists
1890: Dr. Louis Frank, Arrival date: 29 Jul 1890, Birth Date: abt 1838, Age: 52, Gender: Male, Ethnicity/ Nationality: American, Place of Origin: United States of America, Port of Departure: Bremen, Germany and Southampton, England, Destination: United States of America, Port of Arrival: New York, New York, Ship Name: Kaiser Wilhelm II – New York, Passenger and Crew Lists
1890: Death: Dr Levi Frank, Birth Date: 1826, Birth Place: Indiana, United States, Death Date: 26 Sep 1890, Death Place: Andrew County, Missouri, Cemetery: Fairview Christian Cemetery, Burial or Cremation Place: Rosendale, Andrew County, Missouri
1890: Dr. Frank, Estimated Age: 20, Birth Year: abt 1890, Yearbook Date: 1910, School: Drexel University College of Medicine, School Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA – School Yearbook
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.