Horlick’s Malted Milk, Racine, Wis., U.S.A., London, Eng.

Horlick’s Malted Milk began manufacture in the late 1800’s and is still produced today by the GlaxoSmithKline plc, a British company headquartered in Brentford, London. According to the Horlicks web site:

Horlick’s was invented by two British-born men, William Horlick (1846-1936) and his brother James (1844-1921) from Gloucestershire, England. James was a chemist, working for a company that made dried baby food. William, the younger brother, had immigrated to America in 1869 and James decided to join him in Chicago in 1873. That same year, they started their own company (J&W Horlicks) to make a malted milk drink. They called their product “Diastoid” and their advertising slogan read: Horlick’s Infant and Invalid Food”

In 1875 the business moved to the outskirts of Racine Wisconsin, and up until 1883 they continued to use the name J&W Horlick. The 1882 Racine City Directory lists them as:

J&W Horlick (James and William Horlick) manufacturers of Horlick’s Food and Dry Extract of Malt. Rapids Road.

In 1883, the business incorporated under the name Horlick’s Food Company. They established a factory on Northwestern Avenue and around this time began using the factory location as their address. Early directories that I was able to find (1888, 1890, 1897, 1901, 1902, 1904, 1910, 1914 and 1916)  listed their address as simply “Northwestern Avenue near the city line.” All of these directories, list James as president and William as secretary/treasurer. Sometime between 1905 and 1910, the business changed it’s name to the Horlick’s Malted Milk Co.

After James’s death in 1921, William became president. The 1929 directory lists William as president and his sons William Horlick Jr and A.J. Horlick as vice presidents.

These early years of the business were featured in a history of Racine Wisconsin called “Racine Belle City of the Lakes and Racine County, Wisconsin, Volume II, published in 1916. It’s a little long and some facts, as presented, differ from the information found in the city directories, but all in all it paints a vivid picture of the company at the time including it’s product development, facilities, relationship with it’s employees and economic importance to Racine.

The name of no productive industry of the United States is perhaps more widely known than that of the Horlick Malted Milk Company, the business of which has developed until it reaches all parts of the civilized world. The company was organized in 1875 and was incorporated in 1878 as the Horlick Food Company by William and James Horlick, brothers, who established their plant in the outskirts of Racine, in Mount Pleasant Township. They began to manufacture a product known as Horlick’s Food, which was a prepared food for infants, invalids and the aged, to be added to milk to modify and enrich it. Their sales at the time covered only Chicago and vicinity. William Horlick, however, realized the great disadvantage of all foods for infants that required the addition of fresh milk, owing to the difficulty of obtaining fresh milk and keeping it so. He therefore began experimenting with the purpose of producing a pure food product containing adequate proportion of pure, rich milk – a food that would complete in itself, that would keep indefinitely in any climate and would be free from all the dangers arising from the use of milk that is impure, adulterated, laden with disease germs or in any way rendered unfit for use. Moreover, he desired that this food should be not only absolutely safe but very nourishing and easily digested by the most delicate infant or invalid, while it should contain at the same time all the elements of nutrition. In carrying on the work of experimentation Mr. Horlick met with many disappointments and leading chemists claimed that it was both a chemical and mechanical impossibility to perfect such a food, advising him to abandon the idea. He never faltered in his purpose, however, notwithstanding his heavy losses of time and expense, and at the end of six years, or in 1887, he produced for the first time in the world’s history a food product in powder form containing clean, rich milk combined with extract of malted barley and wheat that would keep indefinitely. The value of such a product was at once apparent and the business grew by leaps and bounds, so that it was difficult to make the supply meet the demand. A program of building was instituted. New buildings were added from time to time of reinforced concrete construction and the plant today covers an area of fifteen acres. In 1902 plant No. 2 was built, being a duplicate of plant No. 1, and in 1905 plant No. 3 came into existence, a triplicate of the others, but subject to enlargement. Since then the old buildings have all been rebuilt in concrete and steel. All rooms are large and well lighted and there is a perfect fire protection. Sanitation and cleanliness are among the basic elements of the business. There is a forced system of ventilation through the plant, the air being washed by sprays of water.

To maintain such a plant necessitated the employment of a large force of people and in developing the plant the company has shown marked consideration for the welfare of the employees. They maintain an athletic association and there is a whist club and a cricket club for employees and also an employees’ beneficial association. On the pay roll are found three hundred and fifty names. The department of agriculture of the State University at Madison says that the standard of dairying in this part of Wisconsin has been raised very largely owing to the rules of the Horlick factory in regard to the production of good, clean milk and the example furnished therein. Nearly every city in the United States has asked for a copy of the rules of this plant for the production and care of pure milk and these rules have constituted the basis for much municipal legislation in regard to the milk supply of cities. William Horlick owns personally several farms upon which are several hundred head of cows and he also buys milk from one hundred and fifty farmers. In 1915 the company erected a new milk house which is one of the finest in the country.

The process employed in the manufacture of the food consists in boiling the milk in a vacuum, which enables them to boil it without heating above one hundred and forty degrees, for milk “cooks” at one hundred and fifty-six degrees. This results, therefore, in removing all water without cooking. The company has a plant in Slough, England, equal to the No. 2 plant of Racine, and supplies from that point Europe, Africa and a part of India. The trade today covers the entire world, shipments leaving for all parts of the world every week. Every Arctic explorer for the past twenty years has carried a supply of Horlick’s malted milk in powder and lunch tablet form, for it supplies more nutrition to the bulk than any other food and people have lived for many years with no other sustenance. It is standard with all the armies of the world and is regarded as an indispensable accessory on all exploration and camping trips.

In 1889 James Horlick went to New York, where he established a branch, and in 1890 opened the English branch and since that time has been in charge of the English plant. He is the president of the company. William Horlick has been managing director of the home plant and has always lived in Racine. He is secretary and treasurer of the company and his two sons are actively associated with him, the elder, A.J., being vice president of the company, with William Horlick, Jr. as secretary. In 1906 the name was changed to Horlick’s Malted Milk Company. There is no other enterprise that has made Racine as well known throughout the world as this product, today used in every civilized country on the face of the globe.

The story mentions that James went to New York in 1889 to start a branch and then moved on to England in 1890 but the NYC directories say otherwise. There’s no mention of James or the business in the 1889 or 1891 NYC directories but James is listed in the 1892 directory. In that directory, and that directory only, he’s listed at 230 Pearl with the title President. I can’t find any mention of Horlick’s in NYC again until 1904 so it doesn’t appear that James established a NY branch at that point though he may have laid the groundwork.

In 1904 A. J. Horlick, one of William’s sons, is listed as a director in a company called H.W. St John & Co. with an address of 239 South Street. Then between 1905 and 1925 Horlick’s Food Co., and later, Horlick’s Malted Milk Co. is listed and H.W. St John & Co. is included in the listing as their agent. Based on the directories I can find they were located at 239 South Street (1905), 37 Pearl Street (1909 – 1917) and 18 Pearl Street (1918 – 1932). In 1948, H.W. St John & Co. is still listed at 18 Pearl but there’s no mention of Horlick’s.

H.W. St John is still in business today. Their web site calls them freight forwarders and says they were founded in 1902. Based on the fact that A.J. Horlick was one of their early (and probably initial) directors, I have to think that the Horlick’s were instrumental in starting the company in NY as an instrument to distribute their products.

As described in the above feature, the secret to Horlick’s success was developing the process of drying milk into a powder. They obtained a patent (278967A) for the process entitled “Granulated food for infants and process of preparing the same” on June 5, 1883, not 1887 as stated in the story. Four years later, in 1887, they trademarked the name “malted milk. The 1883 date is confirmed in a Horlick advertisement entitled “A Discovery that Benefits Mankind” found in the June 25, 1919 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

A 1921 National Association of Retail Druggists price list demonstrated that by then they were not only selling malted milk in different size cans or jars including a “hospital” size but also selling what they called “malted milk lunch tablets.”

Originally intended for infants and invalids, Horlick’s malted milk was a perfect fit for the back packs of explorers and soldiers. According to the Horlick’s web site the drink has made it’s way to both the North and South poles and in fact, Richard Byrd named the Horlicks Mountains on the Ross Ice Shelf in honor of the company’s $30,000 sponsorship.

The 15 acre factory site, located on Northwestern Avenue must have been in a constant state of flux what with the constant building additions and modifications described in the story. The grounds however appeared to be kept perfectly manicured at all times. A February 1912 article in the Practical Druggist summed it up this way:

To gain an adequate idea of the extreme beauty of the surroundings of the Horlick plant, one must visit it during the summer, when the eye can feast on the vision of green turf, the abundant foliage and many-hued flowers and the lagoon.

A couple of Horlick postcards capture both the size of the operation and the impeccable landscaping.

According to a 2001 article in the “Journal Times” the Company shut down in 1975. Today, some of the Horlick building complex remains. Haban Manufacturing was utilizing a portion of it to manufacture snow blowers and related equipment but that company went out of business in 2000.

This photo appears to be the current view of the building to the right in the first Horlick Post Card above.

The jar I found is early machine made and embossed with both Racine and London locations. According to the Horlick’s current web site they established the London factory in 1908 so I assume it was manufactured after that. It was probably wrapped in paper as evidenced by this early 1920’s advertisement from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that pictures what they call “the old reliable round package”

Huyler’s, New York

According to the “History of Huyler’s Candy Company” by Jennifer Walkowski excerpted from the “Huyler’s Candy Company Building (in Buffalo NY) Nomination for Listing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places:

Huyler’s chocolate and candy company was once the largest and most prominent chocolate maker in the United States. Headquartered in New York City, the Huyler’s company operated a large chain of Huyler’s branded stores across the country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and their high-quality chocolate products were a part of daily life, given as holiday gifts, used as special indulgences and as treats for young girls and boys.

It is said that Milton Hershey worked at Huyler’s in the mid 1880’s before moving to Pennsylvania and starting the Hershey Co.

The company was founded by John S. Huyler.

His obituary in the October 1, 1910 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle describes the early days of the business

Mr. Hurley was born in Manhattan in 1846, his father being David Huyler. In 1875 he started the business which proved to be the foundation of his fortune, on Broadway near Eighteenth Street, Manhattan. There it was that he made the announcement of “Huyler’s Taffy. Fresh Every Hour.”

This proved a trademark that was on everyone’s tongue, while the candies were in so many mouths that the business speedily grew to immense proportions, and branches were established all over Manhattan Borough.

In 1881 Mr. Huyler formed a corporation under the name of “John S. Huyler” of which his father, David, was made the president. It is a family corporation. Mr. Huyler’s father dying in 1885, John S. became the president in his stead. There are about sixty Huyler stores all over the country. Nineteen are in Manhattan, four are in Brooklyn, and there are branch stores in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Newark, Atlantic City, Long Branch, Newport and other cities. The factory is in Manhattan.

The growth referred to in the obituary is documented in the New York City Directories.

  • The 1876/1877 Directory listed John S. Huyler at his first location at 863 Broadway. His occupation is listed as “candy and old fashioned molasses candy”
  • By 1886, the factory and offices had been established at 64 Irving Place and were listed along with what appear to be three Manhattan retail locations; the original store at 863 Broadway as well as 150 Broadway and 17 W. 42nd Street.
  • By 1905, two additional Manhattan retail locations were added; 508 Fifth Avenue (pictured below) and 469 Broadway.
  • Then four years later in 1909, in addition to the Irving Place factory and offices, the number of Manhattan retail locations had soared to 21 (as opposed to 19 mentioned in the obituary).

Most of the NYC store openings were announced in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. The announcements provide some insight into the store decor and products. The following is from the June 14, 1906 issue of the Brookyn Daily Eagle announcing the opening of the store at 81 Nassau Street.

Another Huyler store has opened at 81 Nassau Street, Manhattan, where the well-known Huyler candies and chocolates will be on sale to relieve the rush of their other downtown stores. The new store makes eleven opened by Huyler in greater New York, and the twenty-sixth in the chain of stores operated directly by the Huyler Corporation in various parts of the States and Canada. The store is handsomely appointed, finished in mahogany and with a tasty color scheme carried out on walls, ceiling and decorations; it cannot fail to satisfy those who come in to enjoy their famous fountain drinks, which will be served to perfection. The store will have a soda counter fifty-five feet in length, able to accommodate the crowds that will flock there for their celebrated ice cream soda, phosphates, etc. It is located handier to the Wall Street and jewelers district than any other in their chain.

Another, this one in the May 14, 1908 issue announced a new store in Hudson Terminal (now the World Trade Center PATH Station) with a sales approach aimed at daily commuters. It describes a process that still thrives today in commuter terminals.

The opening of the latest Huyler store today in the Hudson Terminal Building at Cortlandt and Church Streets just west of Broadway is an instance of the up-to-dateness of the big company, which aims to keep its advance line of stores abreast of the shifting lines of demand. For customers in a hurry to catch ferries or elevated trains they will make a special feature of carrying in stock a full supply of freshly packed boxes ready to carry without a moments delay…

John Huyler was a man who apparently appreciated those who worked for him as evidenced by this paragraph that was included in his obituary:

He was in the habit of giving his employees in Manhattan an annual outing, hiring a steamboat for the day. It was also his policy to look after the welfare of old employees, providing them with a home. He purchased ground on the Hudson for that purpose. He was also a generous contributor to Syracuse University, a Methodist institution, of which he was a trustee. He recently made a gift of $20,000 to that institution.

After his death, the business remained in the Huyler family. The 1915 NYC Directory listed Frank DeKlyn Huyler, his oldest son, as president, B. F. DeKlyn, a relative by marriage, as Vice president, and two other sons, David and Coulter as treasurer and secretary respectively. By this time the retail store count had reached 23 Manhattan locations and another 5 in Brooklyn.

In the early 1920’s, Huyler’s began expanding outside of the candy world, opening restaurants. An announcement in the December 13, 1924 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for a new store in Brooklyn described both the restaurant and the target audience.

Huyler’s are opening a new store at 529 Fulton Street, between Duffield and Gold Streets, Brooklyn, in the heart of the theatre and shopping district. Distinguished in the candy world for 50 successful years, they need no introduction to the Brooklyn public. Huyler’s candy has maintained its superiority for years and has become a standard of excellence today. The soda fountain should be mentioned also for it’s cleanliness and order, its efficient and tasteful service, and its delicious fresh fruit syrups.

The distinctive feature of the new store is a fine restaurant equipped with all the modern conveniences to meet the demands of the busy shopper as well as a more leisure tete-a-tete. You will find there all the refinement and good taste which characterizes all the Huyler’s restaurants.

A men’s grill in early American style will be opened very soon to serve the business man who insists on pleasant surroundings, as well as a well cooked, substantial meal at moderate prices.

A comfortable waiting room has been provided so that there need be no waiting in line during the rush hours.

The many friends and patrons of the Huyler’s store, located for years at 458 Fulton street, will be glad to know that this new store is opening almost directly across the street, and that it will be managed by Miss Godsil, well known and liked by a highly esteemed clientele.

Finally, after 50 years, the family sold the business in 1925. Subsequently owned by several different entities, I don’t find any advertisements for them after the early 1950’s. The original store location was still in business as late as 1944 as evidenced by a June 28 classified ad that used the 863 Broadway address.

The jar I found is a small (4 1/2 inches high), early machine made jar. A 1905 advertisement for Frederick Loeser & Co. listed Huyler jars that contained “assorted fruit balls, lemon balls and horehound sticks.”

It also could have contained powdered chocolate or cocoa which were also Huyler products.

Richard Hudnut, New York

  

In the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, Richard A. Hudnut, a New York businessman built a fortune manufacturing perfumes, cosmetics and beauty products and he is widely recognized as the first American to achieve international success in the cosmetics industry.

His father, Alexander, a druggist, initially established a drug store on Court Street in Brooklyn in the 1850’s. An entrepreneurial businessman in his own right, an historical feature called “The Older Brooklyn” that was published in the June 29, 1911 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and described the Brooklyn of 50 years prior, credits his drug store with being “one of the first to introduce cream and syrup flavors into soda water.” Later, in the early 1870’s he opened a drug store in the Herald Building in Manhattan at 218 Broadway.

Richard began his career working in his father’s business. The early history of his life and business is told in “New York State’s Prominent and Progressive Men” published in 1902.

M. Hudnut was born in the City of Philadelphia on June 2, 1856. Soon thereafter the family removed to New York, and he was educated in the schools of that city, and in the Polytechnic Institute Brooklyn. At the age of eighteen years, he left school and entered the drug store conducted by his father in New York. There he made a thorough study of the drug business, and paid special attention to the chemistry and the manufacture of perfumes. He remained in association with his father in that store until the latter’s retirement from business and the closing of the famous store in 1889.

Mr. Hudnut made a prolonged visit to Europe, during which he traveled widely, and made a careful study of the most approved and successful methods of manufacturing perfumery. Then on his father’s retirement, he opened the Richard Hudnut Pharmacy Incorporated at 925 Broadway New York. To that establishment, he has since devoted practically his entire business attention. While conducting a general pharmacy business of the best kind, Mr. Hudnut’s corporation as might be supposed, makes a specialty of the manufacture and sale of perfumery. In that industry nearly a hundred persons are employed, and the Richard Hudnut Perfumes are sold in all parts of the country and are recognized as of the highest standard of excellence, competing not only with the beast American, but with the best foreign makes.

Much of this story is supported in the various NYC Directories of the time.

  • Alexander Hudnut is first listed at 218 Broadway in the 1870/71 NYC Directory.
  • In the 1880 Directory, Alexander and Richard are both listed at the 218 Broadway address and they remain listed together at this address through 1888.
  • In the 1889 Directory, Richard A Hudnut, drugs,  is listed at the 925 Broadway address for the first time.

Up through 1914, Hudnut maintained both a retail drug business and  perfume/cosmetics manufacturing business, a business that was continually expanding.

The ERA Druggist Directories between 1905 and 1914 listed the location at 925 Broadway under “retail druggists” and the 1905 Directory provided a menu of services at this location that included: drugs/medicines, drug sundries, wines and liquors and a soda fountain.

In 1902, the Copartnership and Corporation Directory began listing a second address for Richard Hudnut at 40 East 19th Street. The ERA Druggist Directories listed this location under “drug manufacturers” (toilet preps and perfumes.) In and around 1908, this piece of the business moved to a new headquarters at 115 East 29th Street. This location was a newly built six-story building that included manufacturing space, offices, shipping areas, laboratory and a showroom. Then, still in need of more space, on November 18, 1911, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that Hudnut had leased two floors, each 10,000 square feet, in Bush Terminal as general distributing and shipping quarters.

In 1914, Hudnut sold the Broadway location and effectively retired from the retail drug business. The May 1914 issue of the Pharmaceutical Era reported it this way.

The stock and fixtures of Hudnut Pharmacy, 925 Broadway, near 21st Street, Manhattan, valued at $50,000, were sold at auction on April 23. It is understood that Richard Hudnut has been looking for an opportune time to retire from the retail drug business and that the above action is a result of his desire. The wholesale and manufacturing business will continue undisturbed at 115-117 East 29th Street. The Richard Hudnut perfumes and toilet specialties are a well-known line in the trade.

Then, two years later, in August of 1916, the Pharmaceutical Record reported that Hudnut sold the manufacturing end of the business to Wm. R Warner & Co.

An announcement of interest to the trade was recently made by Richard A. Hudnut, who has sold substantial interest in Richard Hudnut to Messrs. H. Pfeiffer, G. A. Pfeiffer and G.D. Merner, of the firm of Wm. R. Warner & Co., of Philadelphia and St. Louis. Mr. Hudnut continues as president, and the business policies that have made the name “Richard Hudnut” famous in the perfume and toilet goods world will be continued.

The office and laboratory located at 115-117 East 29th Street, New York city, have been leased by the new organization.

Two years later, the 1918-1919 Copartnership and Corporation Directory listed Gustavus Pfeiffer as president of the Richard Hudnut Corporation and Hudnut was no longer mentioned. So within two years of the sale, Hudnut was no longer associated with the business. Whether this decision was Hudnut’s decision or the decision of Wm. R. Warner & Co. is unclear to me. He passed away in 1928, while living in France.

The Wm R. Warner Company became Warner Lambert Pharmaceutical Co. in 1955. Warner Lambert was acquired by Park Davis in 1970 and they merged with Pfizer in 2000.

Richard Hudnut was apparently producing perfume and cosmetic products as early as 1880 while working in his father’s business. By 1893 he had his own product line called Hudnutine that included perfumes, toilet water, talcum powder, face powder, cold cream, tooth powder, rouge, etc. A later product line developed by Hudnut was called DuBarry. After the sale of the business in 1916, the Hudnut name remained associated with various perfume and cosmetic products through at least 1959.

The bottle I found matches the bottle in a 1914 advertisement for a toilet water called Violet Sec.

The value of toilet water is the feeling of freshness its use inspires. The delicacy of Violet Sec Toilet Water, its elusive fragrance and lasting quality have made it the choice of smart women everywhere.

The above image is from Hudnut’s 1913 – 1914 Price List. A patent for Violet Sec Toilet Water was filed on September 17, 1912, however, based on a December 14, 1899 item in the Pharmaceutical Era, the product dates back to at least the late 1800’s..

One of the most artistic drug windows in New York is that of Richard Hudnut, on Broadway. Upon a royal purple background is displayed a varied assortment of goods for the holiday trade. Violet Sec Toilet Water, the “Apotheosis” of the violet odor, is having a great sale among the drug trade this year, selling to the retailer at 75 cents a bottle of six ounces. The essence of this same odor is put up in ounce bottles contained in fancy boxes of imitation grogran silk, decorated in Louis Quinze style.

For the fine trade Hudnut is equipped to supply the druggist’s holiday wants in anything pertaining to violets. (Apparently Hudnut had an entire line of “Violet Sec”Products including perfume, soaps, powders, bath salts, etc.)

In addition to his two New York locations, Hudnut’s products were sold in upscale New York department stores.  Between 1896 and 1905 his products were occasionally listed in Brooklyn Daily Eagle advertisements for Abraham and Strauss (Richard Hudnut’s Nailustre for the Fingernails – 1902 and Richard Hudnut Handkerchief Perfumes – 1905), H. Batterman (Richard Hudnut’s Perfumes – 1896) and Journeay and Turnham (Richard Hudnut’s 8 oz Toilet Waters, all odors – 1897).

The building that housed the Richard Hudnut headquarters at 115 -117 East 29th Street is still there today and has been converted to condominiums (each in the $2 million + price range).

   

The current building at 925 Broadway was built in 1918, after the Hudnut retail business was discontinued at that location.

The building at 218 Broadway, Alexander Hudnut’s first Manhattan location, was called the NY Herald Building. It is said that Alexander placed a large thermometer outside his drugstore and as a result, “Hudnut’s Temperature” was published every day in the NY Herald (and the NY Times).

The Herald Building was torn down in 1895, replaced by the St. Paul Building. According to “Glimpses of New York” published in 1917:

The St. Paul Building. One of the tallest buildings in New York when erected. This replaced the old New York Herald office building, where for years Hudnut’s Drug Store on the corner did a land office business in soda-water during the summer, his thermometer regarded as the official figure of temperature.

It should be noted that Alexander sold the business in and around 1889-90 after, according to his New York Tribune obituary, “discussing terms for only half an hour.”  The new owners continued to operate it as Hudnut’s Pharmacy at 218 Broadway until the building was torn down in 1895. At that point, the business moved to 205 Broadway where the NYC Directories still associated it with the name Hudnut (why change a good thing?) through 1904.

In addition to the Hudnut name embossed on the front, the bottle I found has the Hudnut Logo comprised of his initials RH (with the H presented both front and back) embossed on the side. It’s machine made and matches the image in the 1913-1914 price list dating it to that period. Amazingly, the bottle was found with the spout (also embossed Richard Hudnut NY) still attached.

The Omega Chemical Company, New York, Omega Oil

 

Omega Oil first entered the market in late 1898 or early 1899. Their first newspaper advertisements which began appearing in 1899, were presented to look more like news items and told a version of the product’s origin that they’d have you believe. This advertisement from the January 6, 1901 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle was typical of these early advertisements.

As the story goes, a Boston businessman was in Europe on vacation. While there, his wife fell from a carriage and broke her ankle. No doctor or remedy could cure her until, while in Switzerland, he met a young woman whose grandfather made a “queer green oil” that cured her within two hours. The “almost miraculous curative virtues” of the oil, and the reason for it’s green color came from a rare herb that grew only in a certain part of Switzerland. The man ultimately bought the recipe, returned to the United States, invested in the oil and organized a company to manufacture it.

The company, called the Omega Chemical Company, was originally located at 29 Central Street in Boston, Mass. Advertisements in 1899 and early 1900 referenced this address.

Sometime in the Spring of 1900, the Boston address vanished from the advertisements and the company apparently moved its operation to New York City. By the end of 1900, company advertisements referenced their address as 257 Broadway in New York City.

The first New York City listing I can find for the Omega Chemical Company is in the 1900 Trow Copartnership and Corporation Directory. A New York corporation with capital of $100,000 their address was listed as 41 Park Row.  Michael Wineburgh (spelled Winburn in later years) and Bert M Moses were named as president and secretary respectively. A year later, in 1901, the business was listed at the 257 Broadway address. In 1904 their address was listed as 452 Fifth Avenue and by 1908 it was 576 Fifth Avenue. In 1919 Winburn (no longer spelled Wineburgh)was still listed as president, with Clara Jerolemon and S.E. Sierack listed as treasurer and secretary, respectively. The business was still listed at 576 Fifth Avenue in the 1933 Manhattan telephone directory.

Beginning around 1904, they also maintained a factory at 243 Greenwich Street. The factory moved to Brooklyn around 1914 where it was listed in the telephone directories through the mid 1930’s (34th Street and later 36th Street).

Winburn passed away in November, 1930 and in May,1931 his estate sold the business to Colgate-Palmolive-Peet. The sale was reported in the May 15th editions of newspapers across the country. This Chicago Tribune story was typical.

The Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Company yesterday announced the acquisition of the Omega Chemical Company of New York for approximately $3,000,000. Purchase was made from the estate of Michael Winburn. The Omega Chemical Company owns a controlling interest in Omega, Ltd., of London and in the Societe Cadum of France and Societe Cadum Belge of Brussels. Societe Cadum of Paris is one of the largest soap manufacturers in France.

It appears that the company left New York City sometime in the late 1930’s. The 1937 Brooklyn telephone directory indicated that the Omega Chemical Company factory had moved to Jersey City and according to a notice in the August 3, 1938 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the New York Corporation was dissolved in July of that year.

The business appears to have remained active in New Jersey well into the 1950’s.

Marketed as a liniment, an 1899 advertisement described Omega Oil’s benefits like this:

Omega Oil is a Summer as well as a Winter liniment. It is a godsend to old people whose joints get stiff as the years pile up. It takes out soreness caused by hard work or hard exercise or hard pleasure. It builds up the muscular tissues from the outside. There is no sense in swallowing nasty drugs and ruining your stomach to give you strength in your body. Rub in Omega Oil if you want to build up your muscles.

The 1901 Brooklyn Daily Eagle advertisement went further and provided a menu of the ailments it supposedly cured:

Omega Oil cures Weak Backs. Lame Shoulders, Tired Arms and Legs. Stiff Elbows, Wrists, Fingers, Knees, Ankles and Joints. Rheumatism, Lumbago, Neuralgia, Sore Throat, Cold in the Chest, Sore Muscles. Aching, Itching, Sore, Swollen, Tired, Sweaty Feet. A godsend to old people. Freshens, invigorates and strengthens the muscular tissues after hard exercise, hard work or hard pleasure. Good for everything a hard liniment ought to be good for.

Another 1901 advertisement, this one marketed it as a cure for sprains, exhibited the same type of bottle as the one I found.

As you may have guessed, the company was focused on advertising as a key to their early growth. A story (or advertisement?) in the March 10, 1900 issue of the Burlington Free Press, discussed the early success of their advertising. It noted that Omega Oil spent $92,000 on advertising in New England and Pennsylvania within the past 12 months and goes on to say:

No salesman of any kind whatever was employed. There was not a bottle of Omega Oil in the drug stores when the advertising began. Its promoters began paying out hundreds of dollars a day to advertise in the newspapers, street cars and on sign boards, and distributed millions of books. The demand began instantly…This great demand has been created by two things, and only two – an unusually good article and unusually good advertising.

Their advertising employed a number of marketing strategies that continue to be successfully used today. One was that they were constantly stressing the product’s natural ingredients:

It will penetrate to your very bones, and soothe, soften and subdue the hurting. There is nothing in it except what grows out of the ground. It has the beautiful color of Nature – it is a sparkling emerald green. Rub it in freely. It will not blister or burn the skin. Rub it in and the hurting will stop.

Employing another one of today’s marketing strategies, Omega Oil was one of the first products I’ve found that used professional athletes as spokesmen. One of their newspaper advertisements printed endorsements from famous prize fighters of the time.

Famous Fighters. Real Secret of Their Endurance and Strength.

Jeffries, Ruhlin, Corbett, Fitzsimmons, Sullivan, Kid McCoy, Peter Maher, McGovern and Others Indorse the Same Method.

The successful athlete doesn’t take chances with his physical condition. His success depends upon his muscles, and he is mighty careful to keep them in good shape. He uses the very best things that he can find.

Every other man wants to be strong and vigorous too, no matter whether he is a laborer, a merchant, a professional man or a preacher. A manly man is just about the most pleasing sight the eye ever looked upon. That is why the whole public should learn a lesson from the professional athletes. Anything that makes an athlete strong will make you strong. And right here is the secret of it all, told by men who are known throughout the world:

This introduction was followed with quotes from each of the listed fighters. I’ve included John L Sullivan’s quote below:

Omega Oil was still being advertised well into the 1950’s. Advertisements during this time called it “new and improved” and no longer mentioned a “queer green” oil made from rare herbs. Instead they said:

This time honored medication is fortified for swift relief by two wonderful ingredients: one of the most powerful external pain killers known to modern science, plus a really remarkable deep-acting, heat-inducing ingredient.

In addition and not surprisingly, they no longer tout it as a cure. Instead they said “relief lasted as long as 8 hours”

Nonetheless, in 1957 they were accused of false advertising by the Federal Trade Commission. According to a story in the April 1, 1957 edition of the Baltimore Sun:

The Federal Trade Commission has been listening to commercials on radio and television and today it announced its first complaints.

The agency said complaints of false advertising have been issued against three distributors of arthritis and rheumatism medicines.

They were: Mentholatum Company, Inc. of Buffalo, N.Y., maker of Mentholatum Rub; Whitehall Pharmacy Company of New York, maker of Infra-Rub and Heet; and Omega Chemical Company, Inc.of Jersey City, N.J., distributor of Omega Oil…

Omega , it said, advertised on the radio: “You know how I suffered, could hardly move- well, I talked to my druggist and he told me to rub my aching back with Omega Oil…Next morning I felt like a boy again…”

The FTC statement said its complaints allege that none of the products is an “adequate, effective or reliable treatment for the aches and pains of arthritis, rheumatism and related diseases as claimed, and none of them would have “any beneficial effect in excess of affording temporary relief of the minor aches and pains of these ills.”

It’s not clear when the product was discontinued but I’ve seen it listed in drug store advertisements as late as 1979.

The company’s original NYC location, 41 Park Row, is also called the NY Times Building. Around the turn of the century, the building was rebuilt around it’s original core probably necessitating the move to Broadway. 576 Fifth Avenue was built in 1907 so the business was probably an original tenant there. It looks like 257 Broadway and 457 Fifth Avenue also date back to the business.

The bottle I found is a machine made vile similar to the one in the above advertisement. Assuming that the new factory location in Brooklyn was fitted with up-to-date equipment, including automated bottle machines, it was probably manufactured after the move there in 1914.

Up through the 1950’s the packaging of Omega Oil changed very little. This 1955 advertisement exhibits pretty much the same vial as the one pictured in advertisements from the early 1900’s, except that a screw top has replaced the cork top.

 

 

Jos. Triner, Chicago

 

 

Joseph Triner is featured in the Encyclopedia of Bohemian and Czech-American Biography.

Joseph Triner (1861 – 1918), b. KaCerov, Bohemia, was a manufacturing importer and exporter in Chicago. His first factory was on Ashland Avenue, near West Eighteenth Street, but very soon it proved to be too small for the rapid growth of the business and Mr.Triner had to build a large, modern factory, situated on South Ashland Avenue and Hastings Street. The best known preparations manufactured there were Triner’s American Elixir of Bitter Wine, and Triner’s Angelica Bitter Tonic, both of which received the Gold Medal, the highest award in the recent Alaskan-Yukon-Pacific Exposition at Seattle, WA. Triner employed a large number of traveling men and city salesman.

A 1920 advertisement for Triner’s American Elixir of Bitter Wine stated:

the trademark was registered on January 2, 1906 and that the remedy itself, a pioneer in it’s branch, was brought to the American market 30 years ago.

That would put the start of the business around 1890, however, the first listing I can find for the business was in the 1900 Chicago directory. Around that time it was located at 616-622 Ashland Avenue and was categorized as patent medicines.

As mentioned in the above biography, by 1911 the business had moved and was located at  1333-1339 South Ashland Avenue.

Around this time they were making a number of proprietary medicines under the Triner name. A 1921 advertisement in the “Midland Druggist and Pharmaceutical Review” listed: Triner’s American Elixir of Bitter Wine, Triner’s Angelica Bitter Tonic, Triner’s Liniment, Triner’s Cough Sedative, Triner’s Red Pills, Triner’s Antiputrin and Triner’s Aromatic Fluid Extract Rhamnus Purshiana.

After Triner’s death in 1918, Triner’s son, Joseph, Jr., was named president and continued to run the business. The 1935 edition of  “Who’s Who Among Association Executives” stated that Triner was: “President and Chairman of the Board of Joseph Triner Corp., mfg. chemists, rectifiers, importers and wholesale liquor dealers, Chicago, since 1919.” It still listed the business address as 1333 South Ashland.

According to newspaper advertisements sometime on or before the late 1940’s the business moved to 4053 – 4059 West Fillmore Street in Chicago.  This “Prior Beer” advertisement from the April 5, 1950 edition of the Chicago Tribune included the West Fillmore address.

It’s not clear when the business ended, but a September, 1971 advertisement in the Forest Park Observer made it clear that not only were they still in business at that time but that Joseph Triner, Jr. was still the president of the company.

Their signature product was “Triner’s American Elixir of Bitter Wine.”

In 1916, the North Dakota Agricultural Station published the ingredients of a number of patent medicines including “Triner’s American Elixir of Bitter Wine.” It listed alcohol, sugar and a mild laxative as the principal ingredients. The label declared the presence of 16 to 18 percent alcohol by volume and stated that no special tax is required by the laws of the U.S. for the sale of this medicinal preparation.  Advertisements for it read:

It Acts Well and Is Very Palatable. These are the reasons why so many physicians recommend Triner’s American Elixir of Bitter Wine. Free from any chemicals. Prepared from bitter herbs roots and barks of eminent medicinal value and pure natural red wine. A safe relief in auto-intoxication, constipation, weakness, etc. Price $1.00. At drug stores. Samples gratis upon request only to physicians.

Circulars for it’s use contained the following recommendations:

  • It should be used in all cases calling for a safe evacuation of the bowels, without weakening the body or causing any pain or other discomfort; in loss of appetite, nervousness and weakness.
  • Trainer’s Elixir of Bitter Wine consists of two principal ingredients, viz., Red Wine and Medicinal Herbs.
  • Red Wine strengthens the intestines and regulates their work. It also increases the appetite, stimulates and strengthens the body.
  • Use Triner’s American Elixir of Bitter Wine always when a thorough cleaning out of the intestines is needed. Arrange the dose to suit your conditions and habits.
  • In chronic constipation the dose of Triner’s American Elixir of Bitter Wine should be increased or taken oftener.
  • Many Female Troubles are caused or aggravated by constipation and ladies should always pay attention to this fact.

The American Medical Association did not necessarily agree with either Triner’s recommendations or advertising campaign. In the July 14, 1917 A.M,A. Journal, the A.M.A.’s Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry stated:

The composition of this “wine”- some bitter drugs, a laxative and a tannin-containing, constipating red wine – and advertising propaganda all tend to the continued use of this alcoholic stimulant and thus the unconscious formation of a desire for alcoholic stimulation. As the medical journal advertisements may lead physicians to prescribe this secret and irrational preparation and thus unconsciously lead to alcoholism, the Council authorized publication of this report. (from The Journal A.M.A. July 14, 1917.)

Despite it’s 16 to 18 percent alcohol content and it’s less than glowing review by the A.M.A., it appears that Trinir’s American Elixir of Bitter Wine was legally available throughout Prohibition. In fact, in March of 1929, if you read the Harrisburg (Pa.) Evening News, you could send in a mail request for a free bottle.

Not only did it survive Prohibition but Triner’s Elixir remained listed in drug store newspaper advertisements well into the 1950’s.

The 1333 – 1339 S Ashland Avenue location is now a modern warehouse facility. Other buildings on the block appear to date back to the era of the business.

The bottle I found is machine made and I estimate it to be a little over 20 ounces. It’s embossed just below the shoulder: “Jos. Trinner” on one side and “Chicago” on the other. It matches the bottle in this 1920 advertisement for Triner’s American Elixir of Bitter Wine.

 

Lash’s Bitters Co., New York – Chicago – San Francisco

   

The predecessor to Lash’s Bitters Co. was T M Lash & Co. of Sacramento California. A partnership between Tito M Lash and John Spieker, the business was started in 1884 and marketed a number of proprietary medicines that included alcohol based tonics and liniments. One of their most popular products was Lash’s Kidney & Liver Bitters.

An article in the October 10, 1889 edition of the (Sacramento Ca.) “Record Union” described the relationship between the two men.

Lash claims to be the discoverer of certain medical decoctions, in the manufacture and sale of which Spieker became interested as a partner. Lash was to do the traveling and selling of the medicines, while the general conduct of the business was to be looked after by his city partner.

The article went on to say that Lash had filed suit against Spieker as a result of accounting discrepancies  identified within the business. This led to the dissolution of the partnership with Spieker buying all rights to the firm name as well as the manufacturing rights to the medicines.

Sometime between 1889 and 1893 Spieker moved the business from Sacramento to San Francisco and incorporated under the name “Lash’s Bitters Company.” The following notice appeared under the heading “Articles of Incorporation” in the April 3, 1893 edition of The “Record Union.”

The earliest San Francisco listing I can find for the company  is in the 1896 directory:

Lash’s Bitters Co. (Incorporated), manufacturers of Lash’s Bitters and Vigor of Life, 1117 Mission.

The company remained listed in San Francisco up through 1935. During this period they listed their addresses as: 1117 Mission ( 1896 to 1900), 116 2nd (1901 to 1906), 1721 Mission (1907 to 1919), 43 to 47 Beale (1920 to 1932) and 1715-1721 Mission (1933 to 1935). They were no longer listed in 1937 (I don’t have access to 1936).

They opened their Chicago location in 1901 and New York in 1904.

  

Chicago was first listed in the 1901 directory under “patent medicines” as:

Lash’s Kidney and Liver Bitters Co., George M. Pond, mgr. 149 and 151 E. Huron.

I don’t have access to many Chicago directories of that era but advertisements indicated that they later moved to 319-331 W. Ohio Street. The business was still listed in Chicago and as late as 1930.

The first New York listing for the company that I can find is in the 1905 City Directory. Over the next 20 years they were listed at three different addresses: 63 Varick Street (1905 to 1911), 721 Washington Street (1911 to 1915/16 and 243 W 17th Street (1916/17 to 1925). During this entire period from 1905 to 1925, Charles H Hill was named as their N.Y. manager. I don’t have access to any directories between 1926 and 1930 but I’ve read that the New York operation ended around 1930.

After 1920, and certainly as a result of National Prohibition, they changed the company name in the directories of all three cities to “Lash’s Products Co.”

The business operated a plant in  NJ from 1927 to 1966 so it’s possible that the New York operation moved to New Jersey sometime in the mid to late 1920’s. I’ve been able to track down very little information on their New Jersey operation but I did find this 1947 classified advertisement for a salesman that confirmed the Lash’s Products Company had a Clifton New Jersey location and indicated that they were still making Lash’s Bitters as well as cordials and flavoring syrups at the time.

By the time that the Lash’s Bitters Company had expanded to the three locations of San Francisco, Chicago and New York, they were associated with several patent medicines. Advertisements between 1904 and 1906 listed the Lash’s Bitters Company as the distributing agents for “Peruvian Bitters,” “Clark’s California Cherry Cordial” and Homer’s California Ginger Brandy,” among others.

At some point they also began to manufacture non-alcoholic beverages, their most notable being Lash’s Root Beer. Although I can’t prove it, the start of Lash’s Root Beer probably coincided with their 1920 name change to the Lash’s Product Company and the start of National Prohibition. This advertisement from upstate New York is from 1923.

Their signature product though was Lash’s Bitters. It was advertised as

Positively without an equal for all diseases arising from a disordered condition of the kidneys and liver. A mild cathartic and sure cure for constipation, indigestion, biliousness, dyspepsia, chills and fever, nervous or sick headache.

One advertisement offered it up as a hangover cure as well!

To feel good the morning after the night out take Lash’s Bitters. “A clean stomach makes a clear head”

Though it contained 18 percent alcohol by volume, it was apparently still legally available during prohibition with a prescription.

The early history of Lash’s Bitters is quite interesting. By my count, its possible that in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s, the exact formula, or at least very similar versions,  were being made under three different names: “Lash”s Bitters,” “Roberts’ Bitters” and Dr. Webb’s Bitters.”

Roberts’ Bitters originated with Spieker, who prior to partnering with Lash in 1884, operated as an independent druggist in Sacramento. Advertisements in 1882 and 1883 located his operation at the northwest corner of Sixth and K Streets.

During this time he apparently had the rights to manufacture “Roberts Kidney and Liver Bitters.” In January, 1884 he sold those rights to Victor J Gregory. Subsequently these advertisements appeared throughout 1884 in the “Record Union”

That same year, Spieker, now partnered with Lash, began producing the same formula under the “Lash’s Bitters” name. Gregory discovered this in 1892 and obtained a temporary injunction prohibiting Spieker from manufacturing Lash’s Bitters.

A story summarizing the resultant court case published in the December 9, 1893 edition of the “San Francisco Call,” succinctly summarized the facts.

Sacramento, Dec. 8 – The heaviest judgement here in many years was given today in favor of Victor J Gregory of this city against J. J. Spieker of San Francisco. Some years ago the latter sold to Gregory for a considerable sum a formula for making Roberts’ Bitters. He then himself manufactured and sold Lash’s Bitters all over the coast, but got in trouble…when the fact came out…that the same formula was used that he sold to Gregory. The latter then began a suit, and last June obtained an injunction. A referee was appointed to investigate Spieker’s affairs, and today reported that he owed Gregory $ 51,872.

This verdict was later overturned by the California State Supreme Court. The Court ordered a new trial but I can’t find any record of one. It’s not clear when the injunction was lifted but Speiker was certainly producing Lash’s Bitters again at the turn of the century.

Dr. Webb’s Bitters was born after Spieker and Lash dissolved their partnership in 1889. A year later, Lash, along with his wife, established T.M. Lash & Co., and began producing the same or similar formula under the name “Dr. Webb’s Bitters.”

In this matter, Spieker brought suit against Lash. His accusations were presented in the February 5, 1891 edition of the “Record Union”

In his complaint Spieker alleges that in 1884 he and Lash were partners in the bitters business, under the firm name of Lash & Co. They dissolved partnership in 1889, Spieker buying all right to the firm name and to manufacture the bitters previously mentioned. In 1890 Lash and his wife went into business under the name of Lash & Co. and began at once to manufacture an imitation of the bitters. He further alleges that Lash’s imitation is inferior to the genuine, yet he persuades Spieker’s patrons to purchase the imitation rather than the real article. He says that the defendants are conspiring to ruin his business, and he prays for relief from the court.

Spieker prevailed in this instance. The  August 11, 1892 edition of the “Record Union” reported:

Judgement and findings have been filed in the Superior Court in the case of J. J. Spieker vs. T. M. Lash and Jennie Lash. In the decision Judge Van Fleet renders plaintiff a perpetual injunction, retraining the defendant from manufacturing, imitating or in any way interfering  with the manufacture of Lash’s Bitters.

The bottle I found is machine made with the traditional Owens mark of an “O” inside a box embossed on the base. It probably dates to the late teens or early 1920’s, after the start of Prohibition, and contained a non-alcoholic beverage… or maybe it was one of the last bottles of legal bitters produced prior to the start of Prohibition. (I like the second scenario better!)

Schwartz’s Dairy, Woodhaven L.I.

   

I can only find two references for Schwartz’s Dairy at the Woodhaven Queens location.

Schwartz’s Model Dairy is listed in the 1915 NYC Telephone Directory located at Union Course Long Island. (Union Course was part of Woodhaven) The following year, on September 7, 1916 the following notice of incorporation appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle:

Schwartz’s Dairy, Inc., of Queens was chartered today with $10,000. capital, to deal in milk, butter, cream and cheese. David C. and Rose Schwartz of Union Course and Bessie Greenbaum of Manhattan are directors.

A similar incorporation  notice in another publication listed the Schwartz’s address as 240 Drew Avenue (now 75th Street) in Woodhaven.

In 1920, census records indicate that David C. and Rose lived on a dairy farm located on Juniper Swamp Road in Middle Village Queens and later, in 1930 and 1940 on a farm on Caldwell Avenue, also in Middle Village. Both farms were run by members of the Schwartz family. Based on this I assume that they were bottling and selling/delivering milk for one or both of these farms as early as 1915.

The Schwartz Dairy, Inc. was apparently the predecessor of the Elmhurst Dairy that was started in 1919 by two members of the Schwartz family, Max and Arthur Schwartz. Elmhurst Dairy is listed as early as the 1922 Copartnership and Corporation Directory for Brooklyn and Queens and remained in business through 2016.

The bottle I found is a machine-made quart. It’s heavily sun-purpled indicating the presence of manganese dioxide which was predominantly used as a decolorizing agent prior to 1920. This supports a manufacture date right around the time of incorporation in the 1915-1920 range.

 

 

 

S. E. Johnson, 180 Bedell St., Freeport L.I.

Samuel E Johnson was a long time Freeport resident who operated a small milk business out of his home address from the late 1910’s to the late 1920’s.

1920 census records state his occupation was a milkman who owned his own store and he’s listed as milk in the 1923 and 1926 Freeport directories.

In the early 1920’s he apparently had a partner in the business. The 1923 Directory listed the business as Johnson & Co (Samuel E Johnson, Charles Sealey) milk, 180 Bedell. The 1926 Directory simply listed it as Samuel E Johnson, milk, 180 Bedell.

The 1914 Freeport Directory and 1930 census records indicate that before and after he ran the business, Johnson was an employee of the Brooklyn Water Works.

As expected, 180 Bedell Street is a single family residence, portions of which look like they date to the 1920’s. A widened driveway runs around the back that could have accommodated milk wagons.

The bottle I found is a machine made quart that fits with the 1920’s period of the business.

Muller Dairies, Inc., 470 West 128th St., New York

       

Muller Dairies has it’s origins with John Herman Muller who, according to his obituary in the April 3, 1928 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, was a well known dairyman. He was born in Germany in 1874 and lived in the United States for 40 years.

According to census records, in 1900 he was a clerk in his father’s grocery store where he remained through at least 1905. In the 1909 NYC Directory he’s listed as milk at 557 West 42nd Street and the 1910 census lists him as a milkman with his own milk wagon. Around 1916 he moved to 513 West 55th Street and by the mid 1920’s the business was located at 617-619 West 46th Street.

It’s not clear what happens immediately after his death but by March 1930 the business was called Muller Dairies Inc., and was a subsidiary of the National Dairy Products Corporation.  In 1933, the NYC Directory listed Muller Dairies, Inc. as a NY corporation with William Jordan as president and Edward N Miller as vice president. They were still located at the West 46th Street address. Sometime before 1940 the business moved to 470 West 128th Street and was still listed there in 1948.

In the mid-1930’s Muller was caught in a scheme to purchase its fluid milk requirements lower than the prices fixed by the New York State Division of Milk Control. The scheme shifted plants from one subsidiary to another within the National Dairy Corporation and resulted in Muller receiving milk classified as surplus, instead of fluid, which enabled them to pay a lower price. This, according to various newspaper accounts, cost the milk producers over $17,000. during April 1935, or at the rate of over $200,000. per year.

470 West 128th Street was originally part of the Yuengling Brewery complex that had frontages on Amsterdam Avenue as well as West 126th, 127th and 128th Streets. During National Prohibition, the buildings within the complex were adapted for other uses, including a dairy (Clover Farms was located at 470 West 128th Street in the mid – 1920’s). Horton’s Brewing Company returned the Youngling complex back to a brewery once Prohibition ended but 470 West 128th was one of two buildings that continued as non-brewery. Today it looks like the building has just recently been demolished.

The bottle I found is a machine made quart with the 470 West 128th Street address embossed on it. This dates it to the mid to late 1930’s at the earliest.

George Hendrickson, Willow Dairy, Wantagh L.I.

According to the Wantagh Preservation Society, the business was listed in a 1939 Wantagh Long Island advertising booklet as:

Willow Dairy, George Hendrickson, Prop. Grade A Milk and Cream. Seaman’s Neck Road. Phone 1048.

This is confirmed in the 1940 census records where George Hendrickson was listed as the owner of a dairy farm on Seaman’s Neck Road. Living with him were his son Lloyd, who was listed as a dairy farm bottler, four dairy farm hands and a cook. Based on this, I assume that the business was small and local to the Wantagh/ Seaford area of Long Island.

Prior to that, in the 1920’s and early 1930’s, he was located in Oceanside Long Island. The 1920 census listed him as a milk inspector and in the 1926-1927 Rockville Centre City Directory, including Oceanside and East Rockaway, he was listed as the proprietor of a dairy at 88 Anchor Avenue.

He was still listed as a the proprietor of a dairy farm in Oceanside in the 1930 census records but was not listed in the 1937 edition of the Rockville Centre Directory. So sometime between 1930 and 1937 he moved to Wantagh/Seaford and either took over or started the Willow Dairy.

In 1941, Willow Dairy participated in a tour organized by the Long Island Dairy Herd Improvement Association and the Farm Bureau of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. An October 12, 1941 article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle explained:

The public will be given an opportunity to learn by first-hand observation the intricacies of running a dairy farm through a dairy tour to be held in Nassau and Suffolk on Oct. 28…the inspection trip also will give dairymen a chance to study the operation of other farms.

Starting at the farm of George Hendrickson, Wantagh, the tour will inspect John Randall’s farm, Mount Sinai, where lunch also will be served, proceed to the Pierson farm at East Moriches and end at the Gould Dairy in East Hampton.

It’s not clear when the business ended but the bottle I found is embossed “duraglas” with a 1949 date code embossed on the base. So they were at least in business from the mid 1930’s to the late 1940’s. It was probably gone by 1958 when the original Seaman’s Neck Road was acquired to facilitate construction of the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway.

The bottle I found is a machine made quart with the 1949 date code.