Looking at Spanish Bitters

Looking at Spanish Bitters

12 October 2018

The Library of Congress holds this great advertising patent proof lithograph label for Gainer’s Celebrated Spanish Bitters (above) being transported by a passenger train, steamboat and horses and wagon emblazoned with the product name. A product sign is even on the river railing. I started searching for information online and found a few other Spanish Bitters. Let’s take a quick look at them starting off with the Gainers. They are all extremely rare, some unlisted.


Gainer’s Celebrated Spanish Bitters

Close inspection of the advertising proof (top) for Gainer’s Celebrated Spanish Bitters reveals hand writing on the right side of the print. The copy reads, “No. 179, Filed March 4, 1868 by J.W. Gainer, Prop(rietor). You can see his initials in the decorative frame corners. The super fine print beneath the red horizontal base line reads something like, “at Congress in the Year 1868 by J.W. Gainer in the Clerks Office of the District Court at the Eastern District of Pa.” With this information, I can find a listing for James W. Gainer, Bitters located at 806 N. 19th, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a 1868 Philadelphia, City Directory. That is about it. No bottles or any other direct support material. Just a blip, albeit big one, on the bitters radar.

The Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles is as follows:

G 3  GAINER’S CELEBRATED SPANISH BITTERS
J.W. Gainer, Proprietor, Eastern Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
Patent No. 179, dated March 4, 1868

Select Notes:

1866: J.W.Gainer, Gold Watch, 806 N 19th, Pennsylvania – U.S. IRS Tax Assessment
1871: John W. Gainer, Liquors, 806 N 19th, Philadelphia – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1867
1868: James W. Gainer, Bitters, 806 N 19th, Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1868
1868: J W Gainer, 806 N 19th, Pennsylvania – Reilly´s Pennsylvania State Business Directory, 1868-69
1871: John W. Gainer, Liquors, 806 N 19th, Philadelphia – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1871

Garlichs’ Spanish Bitters

I found the newspaper advertisement below for Garlichs’ Spanish Bitters in the Albany Ledger on September 22, 1870. The bitters was manufactured by H.M. Garlichs in St. Joseph, Missouri and could be used for Costiveness, Fever and Ague, Dyspepsia, Intermittents, Female Diseases etc.

Herman Maximillian Garlichs was a well-known druggist in St. Joseph, Missouri from 1860 until his death in 1898. He was born on 09 October 1839 in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri and his parents were from Bavaria. He followed his father A.H. Garlichs, also a physician, in the drug business. They also both engaged in the foundry business, the firm being known as Monroe Iron Works. Garlichs was also a delegate to the St. Louis convention of the National Retail Druggists’ Association and was well known in St. Joseph as a financier and a figure in Democratic state politics.

In appearance, Garlichs was tall and spare, and his rather sharp features were accentuated by bis closely-cropped red beard and shaven upper lip. In 1870, he was advertising Garlichs Spanish Bitters. Why he chose this name, I have no clue. Maybe it was his red beard. I can find no bottles or any other direct support material.

Mr. Garlichs was found dead in his drug store on Seventh and Felix streets in St. Joseph from a hemorrhage of the lungs, shortly after 12 o’clock, noon on Christmas day in 1898, and died before a physician could reach his side. His son, Fred A.H. Garlichs would continue the drug store business and was also president of the St. Joseph Drug Co. in 1900.

This bitters appears to be unlisted.

Newspaper advertisement: Garlichs’ Spanish Bitters – Albany Ledger, Thursday, September 22, 1870

Herman Garlichs House, Femme Osage, St. Charles County, Missouri – Library of Congress

Death Notice for Herman M. Garlichs – St. Joseph Herald, Tuesday, December 27, 1898

Select Listings:

1839: Herman M. Garlichs birth, 9 October 1839. Liberty, Clay County, Missouri – Find a Grave
1850: Herman Garlichs [Herman Maximillian Garlichs] Age: 10 Birth Year: abt 1840 [9 Oct 1839] Birthplace: Missouri, Home in 1850: Platte, Clay, Missouri, Household Members: F A H Garlichs 37 Physician, Matildah Garlichs 19, Herman Garlichs 10, Oscar Garlichs 8, Clara Garlichs 6, Frederick Garlichs 4, Edwin Garlichs 2 – 1850 United States Federal Census
1863-65: Herman M. Garlichs, Druggist, – U.S. Civil War Draft Registration Records, Seventh Congressional District of the State of Missouri
1870: Herman Garlich, Drug Merchant, Age 30, Birth Year: abt 1840, Birthplace: Missouri, Dwelling Number: 312, Home in 1870: St Joesph Ward 3, Buchanan, Missouri, Inferred Spouse: Emma Garlich, Inferred Children: Fredrick Garlich, Household Members: Herman Garlich 30, Emma Garlich 25, Fredrick Garlich 4 – 1870 United States Federal Census
1878: Garlichs, Herman M., druggist, 3d, sw. cor. Felix, r. Felix, se. cor. 17th – Ballenger & Hoye’s Annual City Directory of the Inhabitants, Manufacturing Establishments, Business Firms, Etc. in the City of St. Joseph, Volume 3
1880: H. M. Garlichs, Druggist, Age: 40, Birth: Abt 1840, Birthplace: Missouri, Home in 1880: Saint Joseph, Buchanan, Missouri, 105 Seventeenth Street, Spouse’s: Minturn Garlichs, Father’s Birthplace: Bavaria, Mother’s Birthplace: Bavaria, Household Members: H. M. Garlichs 40, Minturn Garlichs 34, Fred Garlichs 13, Alice Garlichs 8 – 1880 United States Federal Census
1898: Herman M. Garlichs death, 25 Dec 1898 (aged 59), Mount Mora Cemetery, Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri – Find a Grave
1900: H M Garlichs Drug Store, Fred A.H. Garlichs Pres, (also Pres St. Joseph Drug Co.) James Norris Sec and Mgr, 701 Felix – St. Joseph, Missouri City Directory, 1900

Celebrated Spanish Bitters of Dr. Zavia

Here is another blip on the bitters radar for the Celebrated Spanish Bitters of Dr. Zavia which was advertised in the Carolinas for southern soldiers of the great Civil War. The Tomato or Tomatto is referenced so there is our connection to Spanish Bitters I suppose. Maybe the name Dr. Zavia too. I can find no information on him or any other material on the bitters. This bitters appears to be unlisted.

Newspaper advertisement: Celebrated Spanish Bitters of Dr. Zavia – The Evening Bulletin (Charlotte, North. Carolina), Saturday, April 26, 1862

Newspaper advertisement: Celebrated Spanish Bitters of Dr. Zavia – Washington Telegraph, Wednesday, May 21, 1862


Dr. P.C. Armstrong’s Celebrated Spanish Bitters 

Here is another Celebrated Spanish Bitters put out by P.C. Armstrong and S.C. McClain located at No. 38, corner of Fourth and Bridge Avenue in Camden, New Jersey. Very little information on the bitters and P.C. Armstrong other than the two ads below from 1866 and 1867 and an 1866 Tax Assessment noting that Armstrong was a physician. This bitters appears to be unlisted.

Newspaper advertisement: Dr. P.C. Armstrong’s Celebrated Spanish Bitters – The Philadelphia Inquirer, Thursday, March 8, 1866

Newspaper advertisement: Dr. P.C. Armstrong’s Celebrated Spanish Bitters – The Philadelphia Inquirer, Tuesday, October 8, 1867

Select Listings:

1866: P.C. Armstrong, Physician, 4th & Bridge Avenue, Camden, New Jersey – U.S. IRS Tax Assessment

Celebrated Spanish Bitters represented by Max Lichtenthal

Hard to tell by looking at the advertisement below what Spanish Bitters we are talking about, just that Max Lichtenthal was representing and possibly importing Celebrated Spanish Bitters in 1874 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Looks like he migrated west starting in New York and ending in San Francisco with stops in Santa Fe and Colorado. The name makes more sense here. Lichtenthal’s Spanish Bitters appears to be unlisted.

Newspaper advertisement: Celebrated Spanish Bitters represented by Max Lichtenthal – The Santa Fe, New Mexican, Thursday, December 31 1874

Select Listings:

1877: Max Lichtenthal, Liquors, Colorado – Colorado State Business Directory, 1877
1878: Max Lichtenthal, Wholesale Liquors, LiquorAgent, 409 Battery, San Francisco, California – San Francisco Directory, 1878

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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