Gordon’s Dry Gin, London, England, Reg’d 610617

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The initial Gordon’s Distillery dates back to 1769 in London and they began making a form of dry gin sometime after the advent of continuous distillation in the 1830’s.

Gordon & Company merged with Tanqueray  in 1898 and it was around this time  that listings for Gordon Dry Gin began to appear in U.S. newspaper advertisements. The first mention that I could find in a New York City newspaper were several advertisements for Macy’s, who listed Gordons Gin under the heading “Fine Wines for Medicinal Use.” According to this advertisement, printed in the February 19, 1903 issue of The Sun, you could find Gordon’s Gin on the fifth floor.

Gordon’s advertisements in several 1915 issues of Life Magazine advertised drinks that were made with Gordon’s Gin. These included mint juleps, orange blossoms, gin daiseys and south sides.

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Around this time, Gordons was apparently having problems with supply, price and authenticity in this country. Statements made to the American public contained in Life Magazine bear this out. The content of two statements is shown below.

February 18, 1915

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April 27, 1916

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This last advertisement mentioned the establishment of a modern bottling operation in New York City which they apparently accomplished in 1916. It was listed in the various NYC Directories between 1916 and 1922 as Gordon’s Dry Gin Co., Ltd, a New York Corporation located at 101 Park Avenue. Not surprisingly, by 1925 they were no longer listed.

In 1934, shortly after Prohibition ended, Gordon’s opened a United States distillery in Linden New Jersey. The plant remained in operation until 1984 when Distiller’s Company Ltd., who had acquired Tanguery Gordon & Co. in 1923, closed it down.

Most of the 1930’s post prohibition advertisements that I could find reference the Linden N.J. location.

Gordon’s is now part of Diageo.

Today, 101 Park Avenue is a 49-story skyscraper opened in the early 1980’s that in no way is associated with the business.

The bottle I found is a typical Gordon’s bottle described in the statement above with space for the label below the embossed registration number. The Design Registration No 610617 on the bottle that I found dates between 1912 and 1913. It’s mouth blown and that makes me think it was imported from England between 1913 and 1915 and not made in the United States. Anything made in the United States in 1916 from a newly established bottling plant would probably have been machine-made. I have also seen machine made versions of this bottle that were likely made in America.

Gaelic Old Smuggler

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According to Internet sources the Old Smuggler brand dates back to as early as 1835.

The first mention of the brand that I could find associates it with the Stirling Bonding Company, founded in 1878. They registered “Gaelic” as a trade name in 1884 and “Old Smuggler” as a trade name in 1887 but were probably using them before they were registered.

In 1894 the Craigellachie-GlenlivetDistillery Co was formed to acquire both the Craigellachie Distillery Co and the Stirling Bonding Co. At the time the new company issued a statement that in part said:

The business carried on formerly by the Stirling Bonding Co was founded in 1878 for the purpose of shipping high class whiskies to the colonies and the company has since done a profitable and steady export trade. The company’s brands have since been in high repute and it is anticipated that with increased capital a larger and more profitable trade will be done.

Based on the above statement it’s safe to assume that Gaelic Old Smuggler began being shipped to the United States prior to 1894, probably sometime between 1878 and 1887.

P W Engs & Sons was the bottler/distributor for the Craigellachie-Glenlivet Distillery Co. in the U S during this time. They were a reputable wholesale Liquor Dealer in NYC dating back to 1808.

An article in an 1898 issue of the Pacific Wine & Spirit Review stated that Engs was a bottler for the Glenlivit Distillery and P W Engs, 268 West Broadway, was also listed with Craigellachie-Glenlivet in the 1903 and 1904 Importers Directory of the Wine and Spirits Bulletin.

A Pre-prohibition advertisement from the February 13, 1913 edition of the Ottawa Journal described Old Smuggler like this:

Genuine Old Scotch Whisky in moderation, is the safest and most economical beverage on account of its refreshing and stimulating qualities.

Gaelic Old Smuggler is a genuine Scotch Whisky, matured for 10 years in sherry casks and possessing those subtle ethers and higher alcohols only found in the very highest class Whiskys. It has stood the public test for half a century.

Another advertisement, this one from July 31, 1912, exhibits a squat, cylindrical bottle, similar to the one I found.

In 1921 the Stirling Bonding Co, then a subsidiary of Craigellachie-Glenlivet, was acquired and made a subsidiary of a company called Stodarts. During prohibition, they shipped Gaelic Old Smuggler to Canada and the Bahamas but there was little doubt it was intended for re-export to the United States. Among its illegal receipiants in the U S were Jack Kriendler and Charlie Berns, proprietors of the 21 Club, a famous speakeasy during the 1920’s in Manhattan. They later became the whiskey’s distributor in the U S.

In 1930 the Canadian firm Hiram Walker acquired a 60% holding in Stodarts and the Stirling Bonding Co. The Old Smuggler brand remained with Hiram Walker and was subsequently passed on to Allied Distilleries. In 2006 Gruppo Campari acquired the brand.

I’ve found two Gaelic Old Smuggler bottles. One is a mouth blown squat cylinder that most likely dates from 1894 when Craigellachi-Glenlivet acquired Stirling to as late as the mid-teens. The other is a machine-made pint sized flask that appears to date to just prior to or during the Prohibition era.

Dryfoos, Blum & Co., New York

The proprietors were Alphonse Dryfoos and Eugene Blum.

Alphonse Dryfoos first appeared in the NYC Directories around 1876. In the late 1870’s He, along with Jacob (sometimes Julius) Dryfoos ran a retail liquor business and/or saloon under the name Dryfoos & Co. at 737 Second Avenue. By 1880, Jacob was not included in the listing and the company name was dropped from the directories. At this point Alphonse was listed individually at that address apparently operating the business as the sole proprietor.

By the mid 1880’s the Second Avenue location had moved to 654 Second Avenue and another location at 61 Warren Street was added. It was around this time that Alphonse apparently established the business of A. Dryfoos & Co., which was listed for the first time in 1886. Two years later, the Warren Street location moved to 150 Chambers Street.

It was at 150 Chambers Street that Dryfoos Blum & Co., was listed for the first time in 1896.  The 1897 NYC Trow Business Directory listed them as a “wholesale liquor dealer.” They moved to 42 West Broadway/65 Park Place (northwest corner of West Broadway and Park Place) around 1900 and remained there until the early 1920’s. They are listed in the 1920 Directory but not in 1922, apparently a victim of nationl prohibition.

Dryfoos was also active is applying for patents and two in particular indicate that he had quite the imagination.

1894 – Applied for a patent (serial no 502538) to provide a new and improved composite bottle that was designed to hold a variety of liquids and arranged to permit pouring them individually or two or more at one time to form a mixed drink.

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1895 – Applied for a patent (serial no 553608) to provide a decorative bottle design that featured niches and figurines (statues) set within the niches.

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The West Broadway/Park Place location is now within the footprint of 75 Park Place, a large office building that takes up the whole block. According to streeteasy.com, 150 Chambers is a 19th Century building built in 1915 so it doesn’t date back to the business either.

The bottle I found is an 8 oz flask with a tooled brandy finish that fits the earlier half of the 1897 to 1922 time period.

Charrot & Henry, 118 Flatbush Avenue, 571 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y.

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The proprietors were Auguste Charrot and Alphonse Henry. According to his obituary, Charrot was born in Switzerland and came to the United States in 1880. He was in the watch case business for 10 years, after which he established Charrot & Henry.

The business was first listed in the 1890 Brooklyn City Directory at 58 Flatbush Avenue on the corner of Livingston Street. According to court records, they were forced to move in 1906 when the City acquired and demolished a portion of their building in order to widen Livingston Street.

The business relocated to 118 Flatbush Avenue and 571 Atlantic Avenue and was listed there through mid 1919.

It appears that the 118 Flatbush Avenue and 571 Atlantic Avenue addresses both relate to the same building. A description of the building is contained in an April 29, 1906 classified advertisement by Charrot & Henry where they attempted to rent out the first floor. The advertisement stressed an entrance on both Avenues. Apparently Charot & Henry used the upper floors.

They were importers and wholesale distributors of liquor, wine and beer. The 1907 Trow Business Directory for Brooklyn and Queens listed them under three separate classifications: “champagne,” “wine and liquor importers” and “wine, liquor and lager beer.”

An advertisement in the March 30, 1895 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle names them as a Brooklyn distributor for “Premier Brand California Wines”

Around the turn of the century, they were also local distributors for the Brotherhood Wine Company. A story in the January 5, 1901 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle headlined: “DO YOU DRINK GOOD WINE? Where the readers of this paper can buy good wines,” speaks of their association with Brotherhood.

Messrs. Charrot and Henry of 58 Flatbush Ave say that the best Brooklyn families now use wine at table, the same as every family does abroad. This firm makes a specialty of Brotherhood Wines, made by Brotherhood Wine Co., established 1839.

Quality and purity guaranteed. Be sure to ask for Brotherhood Wines. Get good wines. Do not buy cheap wines.

If you have not tried the Brotherhood Wines for dinner or for entertaining friends you have missed a real pleasure.

Best wines for the money in Brooklyn. Try them.

Charrot and Henry cater to the best family trade. Ladies can stop at their store and leave their orders or you can call us up by telephone.

They were also associated with Ballantine Ale. This 1897 Ballantine advertisement listed Charrot & Henry as one of eight Brooklyn distributors for their India Pale Ale, Burton Ale and Brown Stout brands that were brewed and bottled in Ballantine’s Newark New Jersey brewery.

On the eve of Prohibition, an advertisement in the June 11, 1919 Issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle announced that Charrot & Henry were vacating on July 1, 1919 and that they were selling their fine stock of wines, liquors, brandies, gins, cordials, ports sherries, etc.

Two months later, they apparently had moved to 1 Hanson Place and had become the distributor for non-alcoholic beverages made by a company called Charles Jacquin. An August 3, 1919 advertisement in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle named them as the distributor for a beverage called “Kuloff” and other non-intoxicating cordials.

This venture did not last long. Charrot & Henry was included in the 1920 Brooklyn telephone listings, at 306 Fulton Street, but they were no longer listed in 1924 (the next listing I have access to).

Charrot’s obituary stated that he retired in 1920 and neither Auguste Charrot or Alphonse Henry lived to see the end of Prohibition. Charrot died in 1924 and Henry died five years later in 1929.

The bottle I found is a quart size liquor bottle. It has the 118 Flatbush Ave/571 Atlantic Ave addresses embossed on it so it was made no earlier than 1906. It’s mouth blown so it was probably made shortly after the move.

Buchanan’s Black & White Whiskey

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James Buchanan went into business on is own in England in 1884, bottling Scotch Whiskey and founding James Buchanan & Co. Originally he did not produce his own whiskey, it was produced for him by the Glasgow blenders W P Lowerie & Co.

The story of how the whiskey got the name “Black & White” was offered up in a July 19, 1968 Life Magazine advertisement.

He put it up in a striking black and white (labeled) bottle and called it Buchanan’s Blend.

But in the dimly lit pubs of the era, customers began asking for his whisky simply by pointing to “that black and white bottle.” So he quickly changed the name to “Black & White” Scotch

According to Diageo, who’s the current owner of the brand, the name change occurred in 1902.

The Life Magazine advertisement also addressed the brand’s  black and white terrier trademark.

James Buchanan loved animals. This appears to be the principal reason why he settled on these black and white terriers as his trademark. In any case it proved an inspired choice.

The public promptly took them to heart and promptly labeled them “the Black & White Scotties.” Although dog breeders often remind us that technically speaking the West Highland white terrier isn’t really a Scottie at all.

In 1903 the business incorporated as a private limited company (Ltd). In 1906 Buchanan’s bought Loweries and by 1909 was the best selling Scotch in England. According to the Life Magazine advertisement:

To achieve the intricate balance of lightness, smoothness and flavor for which “Black & White” is noted, he used as many as 65 single whiskies in his blending.

The company merged with Dewers in 1915 and they joined with the Distillers Company in 1925. Guinness acquired the Distillers Co. in 1986, and they merged with Grand Metropolitan in 1997 to form Diageo.

In the early 1900’s, John Osborne & Co.,23 So. William Street in New York City, was listed in the Wine & Spirit Bulletin’s Importer Directory as the U.S. agent for the James Buchanan Co. Then sometime in 1902 or 1903 Buchanan’s opened a New York outlet. They were not listed in the NYC Directory in 1903 but I did find an advertisement in the January 3, 1903 issue of “Collier’s Weekly” that listed their U S Branch as 43 Broadway and Arthur Billen as their N Y manager.

They were listed that way in the NYC Copartnership and Corporation Directories until 1908. Around that time they moved to 29 Broadway and established a New York Corporation to act as their agent with Buchanan named as President and Billen as Treasurer.

In 1914 they dissolved this corporation and began using Alex D. Shaw & Co located at 76 Broad Street (and later 12 Stone Street) as their agent. Shaw was the agent for many over seas companies including Old Bushmill’s Distillery (whiskey), Bisquit Dubouche & Co (cognac), Coates & Co (dry gin), E H Keeling & Son (rum) and F Cinzano & Co (vermouth). This arrangement lasted until at least 1919 when National Prohibition was enacted.

The brand resurfaced in the United States shortly after the end of Prohibition. This 1935 advertisement in the Pittsburgh Press evidenced that Alex D.Shaw & Co. continued to act as their U.S. agent. By this time Shaw was located at 120 Broadway.

Diagio still produces the Black & White brand today. According to their web site it’s popular in India, South Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

I’ve found two cylindrical bottles embossed Buchanan’s Black & White Whiskey on the base of the shoulder. The bottles are both mouth blown with an applied finish and fit the 1902 to 1919 time period prior to Prohibition.

 

Pichel & Schwab, 174 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.

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The business of Pichel and Schwab was first listed in the Brooklyn directories around 1897 as “liquors” at 174 Bedford Avenue. They are not listed in 1895. The business was listed in the various Brooklyn Directories up through 1920.  Most listings labeled them as either “liquors” or “wine merchants.”

1900 census records list Adolph Pichel, Jacob Schwab and his son Daniel, all living at 174 Bedford Avenue, so it appears they were the founders of the business.

Up through 1907 the business listed a single address at 174 Bedford Avenue, then in 1909 they added a second location at 1351 Fulton Street. Both of these addresses were listed between 1909 and 1914. The directory classifications generally labeled the Bedford Avenue location as “wholesale liquors” or “wine merchants.” The Fulton Street location was simply labeled liquors so it was probably the retail store.

The 1910 census records showed Adolph Pichel living on Bedford Ave and Daniel Schwab living on Fulton Street. Based on this I assume it was a relatively small operation with each living at or above one of the stores.

Over the years, they occasionally  listed other addresses as well including: Metropolitan Ave., corner of Graham and 48 Sumpter. I assume these were also retail locations.

In 1915 they dropped the Bedford Avenue address and just listed the single location on Fulton Street. By 1920 the business had moved to 278 Ralph Avenue, also in Brooklyn.

The business was almost certainly a victim of National Prohibition. The February, 1920 telephone book listed Pichel & Schwab, liquors, at 278 Ralph Avenue. Three months later, in the May listings, the business name had  changed to Pichel Products and 1920 census records listed Adolph Pichel’s occupation as “wholesale merchant – candy.”

Daniel Schwab was also included in the 1920 census with no occupation. By 1930 he was in the oil business

One of the products they were associated with was King David’s Monogram Whiskey. A Pichel and Schwab shot glass, exhibited on e-bay, advertised both the Bedford Avenue and Fulton Street addresses.

The building at 174 Bedford has recently been razed. In 2015 a new building was under construction there.

The bottle I found looks like a pretty common champagne style beer bottle. Based on the above research, it may have contained wine or at some point they also bottled beer. The bottle has a tooled blob finish (12 oz) embossed with the Bedford Ave address.