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OTHER MEDICINAL BOTTLES & related

Listed prices do not include shipping & insurance.  Please read the Important Information for Buyers section on the main "Bottles For Sale" page for complete buyer information.

NOTE: More quality medicine bottles are located on the
Medicinal Tonic bottles for sale page.

DR. TOWNSEND'S - SARSAPARILLA - ALBANY / N. Y. - Here offered is a big and heavy (2 full pounds of glass!) classic early American medicinal bottle from New York which is well know to most collectors.  Dr. Townsend's Sarsaparilla bottles were made in this basic shape and embossing pattern in scores of different molds from the 1830s until at least the 1880s. 

The excellent article series on Townsend's in Antique Bottle & Glass Collector magazine a couple years back (by Rick Ciralli) covers the varying molds of the earlier (and largely pontiled) examples including this one (August 2015 issue, pages 36-37) which is the "very scarce" mold DT-17.  Rick's pictured example is a "medium olive green" though this offered one is more of a medium to dark-ish (lighter in the upper 3/4ths and dark in the lower 1/4th) olive amber.

This 9.5" tall example is very crude with varying color intensity and some fine swirls through the body, a very crudely applied and formed one part tapered lip/finish with nice slop-over below the bottom of the lip that is visible in the images.  The glass surface is also nicely crude with indentations, texture, bubbles of all sizes in the glass, etc.  Click base view to see such showing the large, rough and very distinct glass-tipped, disk or possibly a very crude "sand" pontil scar (aka "sticky ball pontil").  Not sure which to call it though the linked base view shows what is there well.  (For a discussion of pontil types see my educational Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website page on such.)  The bottle is in about mint condition with no chips, cracks, pings or significant staining inside.  It has some minor fine scratching here and there - hard to see.  It has no staining I can see on the inside, but does have some spotty light wear (faint staining?) in a few patches here and there on several of the panels.  Kind of adds to the look of age to my eye and is not distracting.  An ex-Glass Works Auction item from some years ago.  Overall this is an excellent, early and appropriately crude example of a Townsend's likely dating from the 1840s.  $450

 

CELRO-KOLA - CELRO-KOLA CO. / PORTLAND, ORE. - CELRO-KOLA - Here is a VERY rare Oregon bitters type bottle.  In fact, this is the only one I've ever seen or heard of though I've seen an assortment of the later Celro-Kola bottles which are machine-made without the sunken panels.  This example is embossed on two indented sides with CELRO-KOLA in script and on the in-between side with CELRO-KOLA CO. / PORTLAND, ORE.  The fourth unembossed label panel is not indented.

This hand-blown (not machine-made) bottle dates from the very early 1900s as it has a tooled "brandy" style finish or lip and a smooth base (indented square).  It is near mint with just a bit of scuffing or light scratching on the label panel.  The color is a bright light to medium amber which is accurately shown in the images (click any to enlarge).  An interesting aspect is the neck which tapers from larger to smaller going up to the lower ring at the base of the lip or finish.  The only square "bitters" type bottles I've seen with this feature is one variation of the California Fig Bitters, which also date from the same early 1900s era.  I've had this bottle for decades, though I don't remember where I acquired it.  In any event, a great Oregon rarity!  $295

 

DR COOPER'S / SARSAPARILLA / WOODARD, CLARKE & CO / PORTLAND, ORE. - One of the more exciting finds when I was a teenager (late 1960s) digging in the urban renewal areas of Portland, OR. was finding one of these rare Portland bottles - the only embossed sarsaparilla bottle from Oregon (or NW) I believe.  Unfortunately, that original find got away though I've had this one - which I purchased later - for many years.  They just don't come along often but it is time to move this one on also...just not enough room for everything.  This big medicine bottle is of a bluish aqua glass, 10" tall, indented body panels on all four sides (just the front embossed), smooth base with indented circular center (post base mold conformation), and dating from around 1895 to 1905 I would guess.  Woodard, Clarke & Co. was a major NW druggist and medical supply firm which must have been somehow connected to the Clarke-Woodward Drug Co. (see the CLA-WOOD MALT TONIC bottle listed later on this page) which was also in Portland; the "w" in Woodward being a misspelling of Woodard?  I don't know the history of this company though I do know there were C. H. WOODARD embossed drug bottles that dated back at least into the 1870s.  The condition of this bottle is very good - near mint I would call it - with no chips, cracks, dings or significant staining.  There are some wisps of very, very faint haze here and there though largely the back panel on the outside and the shoulders on the inside; probably a scuff or two somewhere though I can't find any of note.  Hard to find Oregon medicine bottle of good size.  $225

 

GLADSTONE'S CELERY / AND PEPSIN COMPOUND - MASTICO MEDICINE CO / DAMILLE, ILLS. -That is embossed on the two narrower opposing sides in script.  The two long sides are not embossed at all (label space); click HERE to see the entire bottle from one of the plain sides.  Looking at Google maps I find that Damille, IL....well, that it doesn't exist!  A check of Matt Knapp's massive book "Antique American Medicine Bottles" (2012) lists 2 variants of the Gladstone's Compound bottle but both versions have Danville, IL. not the apparently mythical "Damille" which is clearly what is embossed on this bottle as there is a distinct "M" (not "N") and there is distinctly no "V".  The variant listed that is most like this offering also has the company spelled "Maslico Medicine Co." not what is clearly shown on this bottle which is "Mastico Medicine Co."  (The other variant of the Gladstone's is identical to the other in the book but being sold by - and embossed with - "The Raimer Heinly Co." also of Danville, IL.) 

So what gives?!  I've had this bottle for upwards of 50 years having found it on a post-military jaunt around the West back in the 1974 right near the Transcontinental Railroad grade in Cheyenne, WY.  It was from a small privy pit (I think) that had no buildings near it, but must have had such back in the day.  I've not tried to search out any history on the bottle until now nor even look to see if there was a Damille, IL.  It appears that this example is an engraving error mold which may have been "fixed" in other molds although I've not seen any other examples of this bottle though obviously they exists with the two variants noted in Knapp's book. 

A quick check of Baldwin's "Patent and Proprietary Medicine Bottles" book (1973) has it listed but just the "Gladstone's..." embossing side noted, not the other.  He did note finding an ad for the product in the Mobile, AL. Daily Register in 1896 noting it was "For sale in all bars." Hummm...apparently had some alcohol, eh?  And finally, Richard Fike's (1987) book on medicines has it listed correctly with the "Mastico Medicine Co." embossing but with Danville and Damille.

In any event, the bottle is essentially mint condition with just a bit of sediment or light staining in one corner of the shoulder on the inside.  The outside is bright and shiny.  The bottle stands 7.25" tall, has a tooled "brandy" lip/finish (click close-up of the shoulder, neck and lip to see such) and nothing embossed on the base which has a rectangular indentation in the middle.  The bottle looks to date from the 1890s (consistent with the ad noted above) to maybe about 1910 or so.  Possibly a very rare variant with the misspelled town of origin for your celery or general collection.  $65

 

MUNYON'S / PAW-PAW with label, contents and box - Here is an abundant (i.e., popular in its day) patent medicine bottle in a very uncommon condition...a mouth-blown (not machine-made) example with the original box, full labeling on the bottle (including the strip label on the neck and covering the cork top) and is still cork sealed with virtually all the contents still present!   There is also the top of the box detached and in the bottom of the box as well as a fragmental flyer inside touting similar claims to that which can be seen on the box itself.  (The flyer isn't really salvageable but will try to include it with the rest of the bottle/box.)

The image to the far left (click to see a larger version in a separate window) has the famous (to collectors) trade mark of the eastern North American Paw-Paw tree (Asimina triloba) with MUNYON'S / PAW-PAW on a sign attached to the truck - the same as the embossing on the front panel.  One indented narrow side panel also has MUNYON'S vertically embossed (click HERE to see that side view of bottle and box); the other narrow indented panel has PAW-PAW embossed similarly (click HERE to see the other side of the bottle and box). 

This particular bottle appears to date from the 1890s to very early 1900s since it makes pretty bold claims which were largely prohibited after passage of the Pure Food & Drugs Act of 1906.  Specially, the box (far left image) notes that the product was "The Great Natural Remedy for the Stomach, Nerves and Blood" and that it "Cures dyspepsia indigestion and all stomach complaints. Liver blood and heart troubles.  Dizziness, poor circulation, loss of vitality, sleeplessness.  Nervousness, constipation, weakness. General debility."  Quite the product!  There are many other claims on the box and labeling which may be visible in the enlarged photos.  Click front embossing and label to see a close-up of such.

Not sure if the product was alcoholic though seems likely, at least for preservative reasons.  The box does note that "Paw-Paw does away with both the necessity and desire for beer, wine and whiskey."  Does that mean that it has enough alcohol to sate a person or was it a "temperance" product?  I suspect the former as bit later (see other Munyon's listing below) noted it had 18-24% alcohol...so I assume there is ample alcohol in this earlier one too.  According to Fike's book on medicine bottles, by the early 1900s (1907 or earlier) the company morphed from the Munyon Remedy Co. (Philadelphia, PA.) as stated on the box/label, into the Munyon Homeopathic Home Remedy Co.

In any event, the bottle is in mint condition (just dusty on the shoulder) with at least 95% of the contents.  The condition of the labels and box are as noted or visible in the images which shows (far left) a crack of sorts in the center of the box though it is quite solid overall.  The bottle is a bit over 10" tall, has a hand tooled "brandy" finish or lip, and blown in a post-base mold indicating a likely late 1880s to late 1890s manufacture for a bottle this size.  Great item for your medicine bottle collection!  (A later machine-made example will be soon added further down in this section.)  $85

 

ESS OF JAMAICA / GINGER - This is a nice "ball neck panel" bottle typically used for flavoring extracts though also commonly used for patent medicines.  In this case, a "medicine" with a typical alcohol level of 90% (or more)!  It is embossed on the large front panel (all sides are indented panels) from top to bottom (like 95%+ of all vertically embossed bottles) with ESS OF JAMAICA / GINGER, on the right side panel with PHILADA PA and JOHN C. HURST on the left.  (The back label panel is unembossed.)

I have been paying more attention to Jamaica Ginger (called "Jake's" by collectors) bottles of recent as they are a fascinated group which utilized a wide array of small bottles across the U.S.  The classic shape for the product is like the Western example at the following link on my educational website: https://sha.org/bottle/Typing/medicine/folgerjake.jpg  
As an example offered below shows (shoo-fly flask) the product was bottled in all kinds of different, though virtually always small, bottles.  Incidentally, John C. Hurst was also the producer of the Rising Sun Bitters - a scarce square amber bitters from Philadelphia also.  (Listed as R-66 in Ring & Ham's bitters book.)  I quick look at the internet indicated that Mr. Hurst was a long time wholesale druggist in that city who died in 1891. 

NOTE: For more information on Jamaica Ginger see the following article by the late Dr. Munsey posted on my other website:  
Munsey, Cecil.
  2006.  Paralysis in a Bottle (The “Jake Walk” Story).  Bottles and Extras 17(1):7-12 (Winter 2006).   Very interesting article on Jamaica Ginger and the bottles that held it.  This article is also available on this website at this link:  http://www.sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/JakeWalkStoryMunsey.pdf

This bottle is ~5.75" tall, a very nice blue aqua as the images show, has an early tooled "patent" lip/finish and has a lot of crudeness for its size - wavy uneven glass and bubbles.  It has no evidence of mold air venting and appears to have been blown in a post-base mold (hard to say due to crudeness there) which all points to it being an 1870s production - an early tooled lip bottle.  Condition of this example is essentially pristine mint with no staining, chips, cracks, potstone radiations (one small potstone in the lower front panel) or other issues.  There is the tiniest bit of roughness at the heel on the back side which is associated with a bit of a loose fit to the mold at that point; all in making.  Nice and likely rare "Jake"!  $35

 

MRS. E. KIDDER / DYSENTERY / CORDIAL - Here is a nice big, cylindrical medicinal bottle that dates from the 1860s or possibly early 1870s.  Dysentery was a major killer back in the mid-19th century and before due to its virulent (and viral) nature affecting ones intestinal system.  It is caused by poor sanitation conditions and is still a major problem in many lesser developed nations (aka "developing economies" or what used to be the "third world nations") killing tens of thousands of people yearly.  Whether this product worked is dubious but it probably at least provided some "placebo effect" benefits and was probably high in alcohol like most medicines of the era.  Mrs. Kidder in the early days of production (1840s and 1850s) personally signed the labels of all the bottles; the product was made at least as late as 1888 (Odell 2000).  Women's names on bottled products of this era are quite uncommon, though there are a few.  Mrs. Kidder and these bottles were from Boston, Mass., the earlier ones being pontiled and having BOSTON embossed underneath CORDIAL.  This is the later smooth base version though I believe earlier versions of this variation were iron pontiled.  Anyway, this example is about 8.25" tall, 3.3" in diameter, a slightly domed smooth base, crudely applied two-part "mineral" type finish, and is a nice bluish aqua glass as shown.  It also has quite a few bubbles in the glass as well as stretch marks on the upper shoulder and neck...all befitting it Civil War era manufacture.  The condition of it is essentially mint with no staining, cracks, chips or other issues...maybe one thin scuff mark in one spot.  Great example!  $50

 

STEWART D. HOWE'S - ARABIAN / TONIC / BLOOD PURIFIER - NEW YORK - These Arabian Tonic bottles have always been a favorite of mine - have had several through the years - in that they are big in size, nicely embossed, a bit earlier in age (1870s), and have a great name!  This bottle is 9.5" tall, 3.25" wide and about 2" thick.  It also has an applied "patent" finish, blown in a post-mold (smooth base), lacks any mold air venting, and as noted likely dates from the 1870s (possibly late 1860s or very early 1880s) era I would estimate from the manufacturing characteristics. 

This example is boldly embossed and is essentially mint with just a bit of content haze in the upper front shoulder that takes a bright light to see.  It also has some nice bubbles in the glass, a pleasant blue aqua color, stretch marks on in the neck, and a bit of slop over below the lip.  I don't believe it has every been buried and certainly not professionally cleaned.  One of the bigger, better, and fairly scarce "medicinal tonic" bottles!  $50

 

JOYNER  / UNITED DRUG CO. (in a shield) / TRADE MARK / SPOKANE / U.S.A. - This is a scarce druggist bottle from Spokane, WA. that is quite rare with the original label and string around the neck that probably had some tag attached at some point.  Click close-up of the embossing to see such.  This 7 3/8" tall (12 oz.) bottle from the early 20th century has a tooled, unusual two-part lip or finish - what is called the "reinforced extract" or "collared ring" depending on what reference is used.  It also has a large majority of the original label (see image) which notes that it contained "Ideal Blood Mixture and Tonic" with an alcohol level of 20%; it also notes all the maladies it would treat - from acne to "malarial poison."  The bottle is also embossed just above the label with "12 OZ.", has a smooth base, clear or colorless glass and is in mint condition with no chips, cracks, staining or other issues...reflecting it having never been buried.  It does have a bit of dirt inside which would certainly wash out easily, though I did not since I didn't want to possibly disturb the label integrity.  This bottle was acquired for use in helping illustrate some concepts on the Historic Bottle WebsiteNice item with bold embossing and a pretty nice original label.  $25

 

BLANDING & BLANDING / PHARMACISTS / PROVIDENCE, R.I. - This is embossed vertically (in a plate) on one side of this early 20th century "French Square" style of prescription or druggist bottle.  This bottle was acquired for use in helping illustrate some concepts on the Historic Bottle Website - specifically because it has the original label which includes the date (5-?-1904).  Such bottles with dated labels (quite rare with an actual prescription filling date inscribed) places the date of manufacture to a fairly precise period - in this case 1903 or 1904 given that druggists typically ordered bottles once a year or more.  The bottle is about 5.25" tall, has a smooth base with an indented square but no embossing, tooled "prescription" style finish, and has a couple of mold air venting marks at each shoulder opposite the mold seams.  The bottle is essentially dead mint with the exception of a bit of dirt on the inside.  The label  (99% intact) is a bit darkened with age as the image shows well though the year is quite visible as well as the company name, city, and to some degree the prescription itself though it is in longhand writing and hard to figure out (and is some Latin-y type name for some concoction).  Don't know if bottles from this particular druggist are rare or not though it is listed in the "Antique Bottles of Rhode Island" (1996) book as RI-047 though no history for this company noted.  $20

 

Sample Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills, and Comstock's Dead Shot Worm Pellets - This is very neat sample "envelope" of the famous patent medicine product which was first produced in the 1830s.  This items appears to date from the late 19th century or early 20th and is sealed with the original "pills" and "pellets" still included within!  This item is like a small first class mail envelope except that it is only 3.2" by 2" in size.  Still fully sealed - never opened - and in great condition as it still has a crisp and solid feeling with only some mild soiling and a tiny (2 mm) tear on the top (above the "P" in SAMPLE).  Dr. Morse's Pills was bottled in a small pill bottle; the company history and bottle is outlined in one of Dr. Cannon's great articles from AB&GC Magazine (on the Glass Works Auctions site) at this link: http://www.glswrk-auction.com/073.htm  Great go-with for the medicine bottle collector...or just bottle collectors in general.  $15

 

DR. MORSE'S INDIAN ROOT PILLS advertising Confederate Currency - Here is another medicine go-with and again for Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills.  This is a "FAC-SIMILE" (sez so on the front!) of a Confederate $20 bill that was given out as an advertising flier for the famous patent medicine in the late 1800s or very early 1900s.  (Not sure why the company felt compelled to say "Fac-simile" since CSA currency was of no value for many decades already?)  The advertising part on the reverse notes it was a "...specific cure for most of the Blood, Stomach and Liver Diseases."  The pills were also for "...Giddiness, Headache and are most useful for female disorders."  No comment on the latter claims; click on the images above to see much larger, better quality scans of this fake Confederate bank note that measures 7" by 3".  This IS the real thing and not a modern reproduction (which I've never seen anyway).  I picked this up - actually two examples - in a lot of weird bank or bank-like notes at a numismatic auction decades ago when I had a bout of coin and paper money collecting.  This item is essentially pristine with no stains, rips, or other issues...just a couple very faint creases which can't even be seen in the scans.  A fantastic and certainly rare go-with quack medicine item that is in fantastic shape.  $20

 

JOYS - SARSAPARILLA - THE / EDWIN W. JOY CO. / SAN FRANCISCO - I sold one of these some time back, but found another in box I didn't know I had.  The embossing is scattered on three sides of this rectangular medicine bottle from California; the remaining (back) side is a typical plain, indented label panel.  Actually, all of the sides are indented and the embossing is bold and distinct - sometimes these are not that boldly embossed in my experience.  (For a better view of what both side panels embossing looks like, see the previously sold example images in the "sold" section below.)  This is also a very nice example in a "Western" bluish aqua, tooled single collar ("patent" finish), smooth slightly indented base, almost 9" tall, ca. 1880s to 1890s.  A scarce sarsaparilla from the West which didn't produce very many embossed sarsaparilla bottles it seems (and most of those are quite rare).  Condition is near mint with no chips, cracks, overt staining or other post-production damage besides a tiny "flea bite" on the middle of the outside edge of the back, unembossed panel and a little bit of very faint haze inside primarily in the lower back and one side panel; the outside is virtually spotless.  This example also has some body crudeness and bubbles in the glass adding to its visual appeal.  It is what I would call "about mint" and is also a very nice example - at least as good as the sold one.  $50

NOTE: I also have another example that is identical - a nice blue aqua (just a tiny bit less blue than the example to the right) - but is full of hundreds of seed bottles and has nice rude, wavy glass, stretch marks in the glass, and is a very nice example.  It is also in essentially mint condition but does have a couple small almost invisible "flashes" at the edge of the base; pictures on request if desired.  A beautiful example and priced accordingly given the small flashes.   $30

 

ROWAN'S - TONIC - MIXTURE - OR / VEGETABLE - FEBRIFUGE - PHILADA - This bottle is one of the oldest I have for sale and among the earliest embossed patent medicines bottles made in the United States.  It is also one of a small handful of over 4 sided medicine bottles that are embossed on every side - six embossed sides in this case.  And if that were not enough it is also unusual in that it has "left hand" embossing, i.e., it reads from the base to the shoulder (and best read holding it in ones left hand) whereas the vast majority of vertically embossed bottles read "right handed."

According to the late John Odell's book on pontiled medicines (a great book BTW!) the product first claimed to have been sold in 1830 and continued (apparently) until about 1843 when it was renamed "Rowan's Improved Tonic..." and the bottles (likely) began to be embossed as such (I believe IMPROVED / TONIC on one side?).  Not sure of the precise dates of manufacture, but suffice to say 1830s and 1840s...early!

In any event these are early, crude, and light glass bottles that have a lot of appeal for an aqua medicine bottle.  It is about 5.5" tall, blown in a true two-piece "hinge" mold, and sports a nice blowpipe style pontil scar; click base view to see such.  The lip is a short, tapered banded example that was tooled or rolled over to the outside to form it.  The surface of the bottle is very wavy, lumpy and crude which is largely a function it appears of the rough, unpolished surface of the likely iron mold it was made it.  The bottle also appears to have been professionally cleaned at some point and there is still some faint surface etching visible on most of the sides.  However, it is very hard to see due to the noted crude "as blown" surface and is non-distracting.  Outside of the noted glass surface issue, the bottle is otherwise in about perfect condition with no chips, cracks, dings, flashes, or other issues.  Great bottle that is one of the earliest of the "medicinal tonic" bottles I've collected.  $100

 

NASH'S / RHEUMATIC AND / KIDNEY REMEDY - This is a cute little (3 3/8") amber medicine bottle which is from the S. Nash & Co., Detroit, MI. according to Matt Knapp's massive 2012 book "Antique American Medicine Bottles".  One of the easiest ways to get your own embossed "proprietary" bottle was to order a plate (aka "slug plate") from a glass company engraved with what you wanted embossed on the bottle.  It was then inserted into an existing mold and viola!  You've got your own custom made bottle.  (Ordering custom, non-plate molds was many times the price of just having a plate made up.)

An example of the above is this bottle which is embossed on the base (W. T. CO. / S / U. S. A.) with the makers marking for the Whitall, Tatum & Co. This NJ company had to be the top producer of various druggist/apothecary bottles in the U.S. from the late 1870s until the early the 1920s.  According to their 1880 catalog, the plates cost "One dollar and fifty cents to six dollars each for engraving" along with a list of all the druggist style bottles they had plate "moulds" for including the "Philadelphia Oval" which is what the offered bottle style is.  According to our article on the company (on my other educational website at the following link: https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/WhitallTatum1.pdf ) the noted base marking was used from about 1890 to 1901 dating this bottle pretty tightly.

The bottle itself is the previously noted height and nice bright medium golden amber color, has a typical tooled "prescription" style finish or lip, and the noted embossing on the indented oval base.  Condition is essentially mint with a light scratch on the back, just the faintest dullness on the body in a few places (essentially invisible) and an equally invisible small (1-2mm) roughness to the edge of the lip...not chipped but just a miniscule bit of roughness that can be felt.  Nice example of what is likely a scarce medicine bottle.  Knapp's book also notes that the likely preceding bottle (same height and color) was embossed with "CURE" instead of "REMEDY." Different plate for different times I guess.  $20

 

DR. FANSLER'S / KIDNEY AND DIABETIS / REMEDY - (Bottle to left.)  That embossing is within the indented panel front of another interesting Midwestern "remedy" bottle which is also embossed with FANSLER DRUG CO. in the indented right side panel and MARION, INDIANA on the left.  Interestingly, the bottle has the word "Diabetes" spelled wrong...one would think a real "Doctor" would be more educated than that?  Or maybe it was the mold engraver that got it wrong?  Interesting error bottle in any event.

The bottle is 9" tall, colorless ("clear") glass, and has a tooled double ring finish (lip).  It is in about mint condition with just the slightest faint haze on the inside and one tiny nick on the edge of the back panel.  It also has an in-making bit of tilt to the body which is visible on the right side of the image to the left.  Certainly in making due to removing the bottle from the mold a bit premature; it doesn't effect the bottle standing except for a bit of a wobble.  Nice and likely scarce to rare regional quack medicine.  $20  ON HOLD

 

PAINES - CELERY COMPOUND with complete labels! -  This is a great and rare example of a common bottle.  This example has both labels still present - the front one is 95+% complete and the rear one essentially 100% complete.  To top it off the bottle is a beautiful light to medium golden amber, has various bubbles in the glass, and it has a true applied "brandy" style finish (aka "lip") with a bit of slopover.  Having never been buried the bottle has no staining inside or out and is in perfect mint condition.  Click on the images to the right to view larger versions of those pics.

Click the following links to see additional images of the bottle:  PAINES embossing side; CELERY COMPOUND embossing side; close-up of the upper body, shoulder, neck and applied finish

According to Richard Fike's great (1987) book on medicine bottles, the product was first introduced in 1882 and made at least into the 1920s.  It was a popular patent medicine for a wide variety of different ills.  This early (mid to late 1880s) example has labeling (image to the immediate right) which notes that the product "Restores Strength, Renews Vitality, Purifies the Blood, Regulates the Kidneys, Liver and Bowels" - all for a dollar a bottle!

As fine an example as one can get of this bottle.  $40 

 

Wm. R. WARNER & Co. / (fancy W & Co mongram) / PHILA. ST.LOUIS. -  That is embossed on one side of this large "French Square" (a bottle catalog name) type medicine bottle.  This style was commonly used for druggist bottles since the mid-19th century though saw a lot of duty with patent medicines, bitters, and likely other liquid products.  This example has 99+% of the original label on the back noting that it contained Warner & Co.'s "Liquid Pancreopepsine" which was for "Indigestion."  Click on the image to the left to read everything on the label...always a fascinating read with these old medicines.  The label notes near the bottom in small print that it (label) was "Revision 1918a" pretty well dating the bottle to that year which was just before National Prohibition.

Below the embossing is another small label which reads: Notice: This preparation has been made with non-beverage alcohol, and the sale or use thereof for beverage purposes will render the vendor and user liable to severe penalties."  Wow!  Obviously a reflection of the times where many states had already gone "dry" and with National Prohibition all but inevitable within a year or so.

The bottle has a tooled "prescription" finish (again, a bottle makers name for that style lip), is 8" tall and almost 2.5" wide to each of the square sides (likely holds about a pint), and has a slightly indented base with no embossing.  I would date this bottle to the first two decades of the 20th century if it didn't have a label noting that it was likely bottled/used made in 1918.  (Note: Hand blown - aka mouth-blown - druggist bottles of various style were made by some bottle makers into at least the mid-1920s before being totally overwhelmed by the cheaper and generally higher quality machine-made versions and styles.) 

This bottle is essentially mint with just the tiniest of "pin prick" marks on the edge of the lip; otherwise no cracks, chips, staining (except that visible on the labels), or other post-production issues.  Something for your labeled and embossed collection.  $25   

 

PURE EXTRACT JAMAICA GINGER labeled small shoo-fly flask - Jamaica Ginger - a type of medicine - was typically bottled in small, oval in cross-section, "ginger oval" bottles as they were called by bottle makers. Click HERE to see an example of a couple standard "ginger ovals" offered by the Illinois Glass Company in 1906 (left page center).  

However, the product was very frequently bottled in other shapes including paneled extract bottles as well as smaller shoo-fly flask like the offering here.  A large collection of original, labeled Jamaica Ginger bottles was auctioned on eBay recently with most of the bottles not being the standard ginger oval; this bottle was one from that collection.  (Note: I cover Jamaica Ginger on my educational Historic Glass Bottle ID & Information Website at THIS LINK; scroll down that linked section until one finds a Jamaica Ginger bottle. I purchased this bottle to illustrate on that page; it will be added in the near future.)

Anyway, this example has the original label which reads "Pure Extract Jamaica Ginger Alcohol 95%, Guaranteed by Kimball Bros. & Co. Under the Food and Drugs Act, June 30th, 1906, Serial Number 2310, Prepared By Kimball Bros & Co. Enosburg Falls, VT."  With it being 190 proof there couldn't have been much "ginger" in the product - the alleged active medicinal ingredient! Also, that was a much higher percentage of alcohol than the 80-100 proof whiskey that shoo-fly flasks were typically used for. 

For more information on Jamaica Ginger see the following article by the late Dr. Munsey posted on my other website:  
Munsey, Cecil.
  2006.  Paralysis in a Bottle (The “Jake Walk” Story).  Bottles and Extras 17(1):7-12 (Winter 2006).   Very interesting article on Jamaica Ginger and the bottles that held it.  This article is also available on this website at this link:  http://www.sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/JakeWalkStoryMunsey.pdf

This little shoo-fly is mouth-blown, 5" tall, colorless (aka "clear") glass, and has a tooled "brandy" finish like most such flasks.  It is in mint condition and the label is 100% intact with just some light staining to the back primarily; a label that is certainly original.  The base is boldly embossed with an "O" in a flattened diamond.  (Click HERE to see a base image.)  That the relatively rare to find makers marking attributed to the Oakman Manufacturing Company (Cheshire, Mass.) who used that marking on bottles from 1890 to 1897.  See THIS ARTICLE on my educational website which discusses that marking.  Given the date this bottle was produced and the original appearance of the label on this bottle, it was likely a reuse of a bottle used previously for liquor - the reuse of bottles by small producers very common in that era.  In any event, a perfect bottle and label for a notorious product that was on its way out beginning with the 1906 act proudly noted on the label.  $25

 

S.S.S. - Swift Specific Company, Atlanta, Georgia - SSS "Blood Medicine" - This is a body unembossed, label only, early machine-made proprietary medicine from the 1920s.  It contained the blood medicine produced by the Swift Specific Company (Atlanta, GA.).  This company earlier produced Swift's Syphilitic Specific - which was bottled in a large cobalt blue bottle (image courtesy of Glass Works Auctions) - in the 1870s and 1880s to treat that malady noted in the name.  It was the origin of this later (more genteel) product name of simply S.S.S. with the original meaning of the middle "S" being strangely not mentioned (ha!). Amazingly, SSS is still being produced and marketed by Wal-Mart today...or at least up to just a few years ago!  That certainly indicates that the company managed many "go-arounds" for at least 125 years in order to meet the ever restrictive regulatory environment for such medicines...and that the product continued to be popular with customers!?

The label notes that it "Contains 12% Alcohol" as well as the notation about the contents - "A Vegetable Compound which we recommend as a general Alterative Tonic and in the treatment of such forms of Rheumatism and Skin Diseases as arise from an impoverished condition of the Blood."  (In a word - syphilis.) The base is embossed with "CHATT. CO." - which indicates the bottle was made by the Chattanooga Glass Co. (Tennessee) which used the marking from 1918 to 1934.  See the article at the following link for the full story:  https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/ChattanoogaGlass.pdf   (This actual bottle is the one on page 237 of that article used to illustrate that marking!)  This bottle with the cork closure lip (cork still present als0) likely dates from the first half of that period, i.e., 1918 to mid-1920s.  It has about 99% of the label intact and easily readable as the image indicates; click to view a larger version of the image.  It is of a nice yellow amber color, 7.3" tall, and what I would call a "strap side oval" style of bottle.  The bottle itself is mint as one would expect as it was never buried.  Great historical item from a company that originally advertised it product via an cast iron "witches kettle" that was embossed with S. S. S. FOR THE BLOOD (image of one of those pots HERE).  I remember seeing years ago the trade mark for the product which included the witches around the pot mixing up a batch.  Cool history!  $20

 

THREE MILK GLASS LOTION/SKIN "CURE" BOTTLES - Here are three pretty nice milk glass "skin medicine" bottles that likely came in lotion form.  Two are different mold varieties of the HAGEN'S / MAGNOLIA / BALM (individual images of both HERE and HERE).  The other is embossed with G. W. LAIRD / PERFUMERS / NEW YORK; click HERE to see a close-up of this bottle.

Hagan's Magnolia Balm held a skin cream for "Beautifying the Complexion, Eradicating Freckles, Eruptions, Sunburn and Tan" (Fike 1987). Early sunscreen?  The Balm was first produced prior to the Civil War and made until well into the 20th century by several different New York companies during it's long tenure.  Bottles are about 5" tall, rectangular with beveled corners, what appear to be somewhat crude applied "patent" finishes/lips, and smooth (not pontiled) bases with no embossing. 

Laird's was advertised as early as 1864 and as late as 1915 according to Richards Fike's book. What it contained is not noted but certainly some product similar to the Hagan's since all of these bottles were found together decades ago in Oregon. The Laird's bottle is a bit over 4.5" tall, has a tooled and fairly flat "patent" finish, and a similar body conformation as the Hagan's except a bit wider and not as deep (see base images above.)  Click HERE for another view of all three bottles showing both the bases and the side embossing.

Condition of both Hagan's is very good with some largely invisible iridescence to the outside surface (because of the milk glass).  Both have very tiny, less than a pin prick nick on the back edge of the lip; no chips, cracks or other issues.  Both likely date from the late 1870s or 1880s as they exhibit no air venting markings. As the images show one has very bold embossing (to the right in image to right); the other has flattened embossing which is quite readable and a bit of grey-ish stain (?) highlighting to some of the letters (possibly from contact with something in the ground?).  Click on the links to the individual bottles earlier in this listing.  Condition of the Laird's is also very good with no chips or cracks - just some of that almost invisible iridescence from being buried for a century or so.  All of the bottles have a few of the commonly seen - on most milk glass bottles - stress lines on the top surface of the lip.  Don't know why that occurs but it is ubiquitous to most all such bottles made of milk glass.  Nice set for beginning or rounding out a milk glass bottle collection.  $45

 

"MUNYONS' PAW-PAW TONIC" - This is an early machine made example with original colorful label, original box, cork but no contents like the other older Munyon's example offered above.   Actually, the bottle is quite clean inside as someone must of rinsed it out in decades past and put the cork back in.  The bottle itself is a dark chocolate amber, has a two part "brandy" finish, an rectangular indented base with the number "5", a crude Owens Automatic Bottle Machine suction scar (no image, but available upon requests) and a bit of crudity befitting its early machine heritage.

The box is loaded with quack-ish claims for treating all kinds of health issues, though toned down to reflect the times and increased regulation by the government post 1906 Act and the subsequent Sherley Amendment to that Act in 1912.  Click on the following links to view images of the remaining three sides of the box (the front is already shown in the image to the far left): Back side with lots of claims; right side (claims "for constipation" and "for mental force" which I hope aren't related!); and the left side ("for the nerves" and "brings good cheer" which DO seem connected).  The front label notes that the alcohol percentage of 18-24% must have been perfect for (to quote the label) "An Ideal Tonic, Laxative, Digestant and Blood Purifier."

The bottle is about 10" tall with the box being just a tad taller though the box is missing the top and a bit rough where it was opened - physical force to get to that "mental force" restoring nostrum!  Bottle is in mint condition with no issues.  The mold seams almost look as though the bottle was mouth-blown but the presence of the suction mark on the base and a couple "wandering" parison most seams (including a fine one that runs from the finish down the back of the neck onto the shoulder...then disappears) prove its machine-made heritage.  The label notes that he product was manufactured by the Munyon's Homeopathic Home Remedy Co. (Scranton, PA.) which was the name the company adopted around 1907 having been called  the the Munyon Remedy Co. (Philadelphia, PA.) prior.  This label also notes the company was originally established in 1892 and must have moved to Scranton sometime prior to the early 1920s as the label has that city and notes that "New Label adopted Jan. 1, 1922."  So the bottle is an early 1920s patent medicine.  Neat item that would go well with a tonic collection.  $25  (Get this and the earlier one further up the page for $100 for the pair.)

 

MOXIE / NERVE FOOD / LOWELL / MASS / PATENTED - This is a large (about a quart), thick glass, early version of the product that injected the word "moxie" into the American vernacular meaning "force of character, determination or nerve."  Perfectly fits with it's origin being touted as a "nerve tonic."  On the online Merriam-Webster dictionary - in the "Did You Know" section - one finds the following:

Hot roasted peanuts! Fresh popcorn! Ice-cold Moxie!" You might have heard such a snack vendor's cry at a baseball game—if you attended it in the early 1900s. In its heyday, some claim that the soft drink named Moxie outsold Coca-Cola. The beverage was a favorite of American writer E. B. White, who wrote, "Moxie contains gentian root, which is the path to the good life. This was known in the second century before Christ and is a boon to me today." In quick time, moxie had become a slang term for nerve and verve, perhaps because some people thought the drink was a tonic that could cure virtually any ill and bring vim back to even the most lethargic individual. (Verbiage courtesy of the following website:  https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moxie )

As noted, this is one of the earliest examples of the bottle used for the product which began life as a carbonated patent medicine!  In later years (1910s and later) it morphed into purely a carbonated soda (without medicinal claims) that is reportedly still sold in New England, where it first began.  A history of the company was recently made available on my Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website thanks to an article written late last year by Bill Lockhart and Bob Brown (members of our Bottle Research Group).  It is directly available by clicking on the following link which is the title of the article - Moxie Nerve Food - Bottles and History.  This particular example is actually illustrated in the article (Fig. 13, right bottle) which is believed to be the second type bottle used by the company during the 1880s or early 1890s.  The product was first prepared and sold in 1884 in heavy glass champagne style bottles (label only) which could also withstand highly carbonated products.  Champagne bottles were also used for beer during that era.  See the article for the full and entertaining story of the product and its bottles.

This example is just under 10" tall, a bit over 3" in diameter, made of very heavy bluish aqua glass (the bottle weighs 1.5 lbs.), and has a sloppy applied bead or ring type lip/finish.  Click view of the shoulder, neck and finish to see such.  The base is indented somewhat with three embossed dots forming a triangle or sorts; meaning unknown.  Click base view to see such.  The bottle is whittled throughout the body with some stretch marks in the neck.  It has no chips, cracks, potstone bruises or other dings but does have some dullness (see images) and moderate scratching and scuffing to the outside here and there which is variably noticeable.  It seems like the bottle may have been reused for either more "Moxie" or other use?  It is not pristine having been dug in Portland, OR. about 50 years ago but it display pretty well.  I scarce early Moxie bottle with some great history.  $45

 

Embossed Owl on a druggist's mortar & pestle - THE OWL DRUG CO. - Bottle collectors all over the country are quite familiar with the plethora of different bottles used by this national drug store chain during it's many decades of operation. Richard Fike's great 1987 book on medicine bottles notes that the company was established at 1128 Market Street in San Francisco in 1892 (that original office was destroyed by the great 1906 earthquake) and eventually went national.  The company became affiliated with the Rexall Drug Co. in 1919 and ceased business under the old name in the early 1930s.  (I also have one of the emerald green "citrate of magnesia" bottles for sale on the Western bottles page).

This large example (just under 8" tall, 3.25" wide and 2" deep) of their standard rectangular bottle is interesting in that it has the classic one wing owl on the front which was primarily used on their mouth-blown bottles.  However, this example was produced by an early semi-automatic machine (more below) in the early to mid 1910s and likely during the transition from the one to the two winged owls.  Click close-up of the one wing owl to see the details which includes TODCo on the mortar and TRADE MARK at it's base. 

I understood that these rectangular bottles, which they used for all variety of their liquid products, that the single wings were always mouth-blown with a tooled prescription finish (like this example) and the machine-made ones were two winged owls.  I'm not an expert with the myriad of bottles used by TODCo. but this is likely a rare exception to that "rule."  This bottle also has the script embossing on the back shoulder of THE OWL DRUG Co. with plenty of room below for the paper label that noted what product that was bottled in that particular bottle.  I also don't know if this is the largest of this style bottle, but must be on the upper end of that run as it likely held about a pint. 

Several interesting features can be observed on this unusual bottle; features which might help pin down which machine produced this bottle.  One distinct feature - though is somewhat common with most earlier machines - are offset vertical side mold seams.  This is a function of the use of two molds to produce bottles on a machine - the first "ring" mold which held the gob of glass by the finish/lip and neck followed by a 45 degree rotation of that mold as it moved the yet-to-be-blown bottle into the "blow" mold.  The offset mold seams are visible at the following link - click image of the shoulder, neck and finish.  It shows the body (blow mold) seam coming up the left side of the image onto the shoulder then disappearing in the neck; the neck ring seam is to the right side of the neck and starts on the shoulder and runs up to another mold seam which is found on the extreme outside edge of the upper finish. 

Of interest also is that there is no continuation of the side mold seams onto the upper surface of the finish; the mold seams end at the noted edge of the finish seam.  Click view of the top of the finish to see this lack of a mold seam on the upper finish surface - a common attribute on most other machines including the "individual section" machines used today.  One other visible attribute is the faint oval mold seam on the base of the bottle which was NOT induced by an Owen Automatic Bottle Machine (a scar which is way more sloppy).  Click base view to see this faint fine line of the seam which was formed by the ring mold during the first mold part of the blowing cycle.  (Note:  The machine likely used to make this early20th century bottle was the O'Neill Semi-automatic Machine which was one of the first machine capable of producing a narrow mouth bottle and contemporary with the Owens machine.  If interested, this machine is discussed in depth in an article found on my educational Historic Bottle Website at this link - https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/ONeillmachines.pdf  )

The bottle was found by a friend I worked with for years who didn't collect bottles and gave it to me.  It was found out on the rangelands of Eastern Oregon (private land) many years back having naturally turned a nice shade of lavender from its century or so laying out in the sagebrush and juniper country.  No irradiation enhancement here!  Since TODCo. also sold liquor - and actually had a few styles devoted to their liquor business (very rare) - I suspect that was what was in this bottle but we will never know for sure.  I can picture the cowboy herding cattle into the sunset with a final nip to end the day.  Condition of the bottle is about mint with just some wisps of dirt inside that will clean out, a few minor scratches and a very small (5mm x 3mm) bubble near the back base (visible in the back image above) which has a tiny pin hole in the covering glass.  It also has a few bubbles in the glass befitting it's early machine heritage.  That along with the nice amethyst tint makes it a great addition to an Owl Drug collection or any other collection.  Time to pass it on to another appreciative collector.   $50

 

MORE TO COME!

NOTE: More quality medicine bottles are located on the
Medicinal Tonic bottles for sale page.

 


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WESTERN AMERICAN BOTTLES
BITTERS
EARLY AMERICAN BOTTLES & FLASKS
MEDICINAL "TONIC" BOTTLES
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