Dr. J. Hostetter’s Stomach Bitters

Hostetter’s Bitters was an extremely popular patent medicine sold in this country from 1853 up until the early 1960’s. The bitters was named after a third generation Pennsylvanian named Jacob Hostetter who was born on April 18, 1791. A graduate of the Jefferson Medical College, he was known locally in Lancaster, Pennsylvania as an able practitioner.

This December 1892 advertisement published in McBride’s Magazine boldly described the bitters as:

…not only a national but a universal remedy, the round world over.

Their purported benefits were many as evidenced by this July 6, 1855 advertisement in the Monongahela Valley (Pa.) Republican.

Acknowledged to be the best and most pleasant tonic medicine of the age; the best blood purifier in the medical market; is a sure cure for dyspepsia; will remove all flatulency or heaviness from the stomach; keeps you free from costiveness; assists digestion; gives a good appetite, and imparts a healthy tone to the whole system. It is a certain preventative of fever and ague; it disperses bile, and imparts a bracing impetus to the whole system, which alone puts these Bitters at the head and front of all prescriptions of the kind in the market.

According to another advertisement published at around the same time, depending on your ailment, one, two or three bottles was all you needed to do the trick.

Three bottles of Hostetter’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters will cure the Dyspepsia. One bottle will create an appetite, force off the impure bile, purify the blood and invigorate the system. Two bottles will cure the worst form of liver complaint. One bottle will dissipate  that weakness at the pit of the stomach, give color to the countenance, impart tone and strength to the system, and lend cheerfulness to the mind. Every family should have Hostetter’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters. No article is so peculiarly adapted to the depressing effects of summer weather.

An April 1, 1865 ad in the Druggist Circular & Chemical Gazette succinctly summed it up in one line.

Steadies the Nerves and Tends to Prolong Life.

So what formula was able to accomplish such wonderful results? Well, if you believe the 1865 Druggist Circular and Chemical Gazette advertisement:

Hostetter’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters is of botanic derivation. Its remedial elements comprise some of the most effacious vegetable juices known to medical botany, harmoniously combined by careful scientific processes, with a purified spiritous basis, pronounced by competent analysis free from all hurtful contamination.

What they fail to mention is that the spiritous base mentioned above resulted in a preparation that contained a significant percentage of alcohol. According to the  Journal of the American Medical Association, dated May 29, 1920, the Bitters alcoholic content varied over its life span. In 1906 the state chemists of North Dakota reported finding 43%; in 1907, when the Food and Drug Act went into effect the label declared the presence of 39% and by 1914 it was 25%. The 1920 Journal report included the following chart  which was self explanatory.

Applying the same logic to the earlier 43% alcoholic content would almost double those numbers, so its no surprise that the Bitters was not only available at the local drug store, but according to their early advertising:

It can be had at any of our first class hotels and restaurants.

Who originally developed the formula for the Bitters is open to debate. Jacob Hostetter, a druggist named Charles Green or possibly a team effort between the two are all possibilities. What we do know is that in 1851, according to an item published in the December 13 edition of the (Lancaster Pa.) Express, Green had just arrived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and had set up an office on South Prince Street. Within several months of his arrival, Green was advertising a product called “Dr. Charles Green’s Celebrated Aromatic Homeopathic Bitters.”

Sometime in 1852 Green and Hostetter established a company called Dr. Green & Co. whose directors included Green and Jacob’s son David. The company produced what they called a “Temperance Stomach Bitters,” as evidenced by this advertisement for Dr. Green & Co. that appeared in several January, 1853 editions of Lancaster’s Saturday Express.

The business, after apparently establishing a local following, ultimately dissolved on March 22, 1853. The dissolution notice was published in the March 23, 1853 edition of the Lancaster Examiner.

Green continued to manufacture and sell bitters in Lancaster, while at around the same time the Hostetter’s partnered with George Smith and a local banker named Charles Bougher to manufacture bitters under the firm name of Hostetter, Smith & Co. By the end of the year, their company had established a factory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This December 22, 1853 advertisement in the Pittsburgh Daily Post listed their address as 276 Penn Street. It’s also the earliest advertisement I can find that associated the Hostetter name with the Bitters.

Two years later, on November 29, 1855, with Bougher no longer involved in the business, Jacob bought out his son David and the name of the business was changed to Hostetter & Smith. The announcement was published in the December 27, 1855 edition of the Pittsburgh Daily Post.

David Hostetter continued to be associated with the company as a confidential agent and a little over two years later, on February 17, 1858, with Jacob’s mental condition deteriorating, he sold his entire interest in the company to David. Jacob would pass away the following year.

Throughout the 1850’s the business had apparently grown leaps and bounds based primarily, if not exclusively, on this one product. Five years after their start in Pittsburgh, Hostetter’s Bitters  was appearing in newspaper advertisements in almost every state east of the Mississippi River and had made its way to California as evidenced by its inclusion in a  February 24, 1857 advertisement for a Sacramento, California drug store named Alban, Thomas & Co.

In New York City, a July 11, 1859  advertisement in the New York Times mentioned that in addition to their principal depot at 13-15 Park Row, the bitters was available in Manhattan from over 30 wholesale druggists.

Certainly driven by this increasing demand the company moved to a new location in 1858. The move was announced in an item published in the March 2 edition of the Pittsburgh Gazette.

This new facility was described several years later in the company’s 1867 Illustrated Almanac. The almanac quoted an April 17, 1866 Chicago Post story that, while a little lengthy, provides a good feel for the size of the operation, which at the time was employing approximately 40 hands.

Hostetter’s Stomach Bitters are prepared in a vast laboratory by one of the most efficient and experienced chemists in the United States. The establishment is in Pittsburgh, and covers all the space occupied by the immense stores and warehouses at Nos. 58, 59 and 60 on Water and First Streets, in that wide awake and progressive city. The buildings comprise four stories of immense height, and the outside measurement in front is 75 by 190 feet.

On going over the building, which is almost of cathedral dimensions, we found that the uppermost story was the laboratory, in which the ingredients were carefully measured and concocted for the distillation of the bitters. The herbs were of the rarest and some were quite new to us.

When the herbs and other compounds are ready for use, they are deposited in the twenty-one enormous tanks, which measure five feet in depth by forty-eight feet in circumference. The liquor with which the Bitters are mixed is brought up from the basement by means of an elevator, and, when it has undergone the proper chemical process, it is conducted by pipes to the third story, which is the same size as the other; indeed they are all alike in this respect. These pipes are connected with ten immense receivers, which are nine feet deep and eighteen feet broad, where the liquor which is brought from the mixing room above is clarified. There is another chemical process, and it remains a secret with the manufacturers. As soon as it is prepared, however, it is conveyed by other pipes to the bottling room…

A July 1887 advertisement in Harpers Magazine offered a glimpse of their facility’s interior. A rendering captioned: This cut represents one floor of our vast laboratory,” was likely a view of their 10 – nine foot deep receiver tanks.

Much of their expansion was driven by a healthy dose of advertising, which, in addition to ads in newspapers across the nation, also included their annual publication of “Hostetter’s United States Almanac.”

The 1867 edition was typical and contained feature stories/glorified advertisements with titles like: “Prevention of Disease by the Increase of Vital Power.” Interspersed with these stories was general information like sun and moon rise, humorous anecdotes and wise old sayings:”Small faults indulged are little thieves that let in greater.”

David Hostetter, along with George W. Smith, managed the business as a partnership from 1858 up until Smith’s death on October 30, 1884.  At that time  the partnership was dissolved and  David Hostetter continued to manage it under a new name; Hostetter & Co. The dissolution notice, dated December 1, 1884, was published in the December 4 edition of the Pittsburgh Post.

David Hostetter passed away four years later on November 5, 1888. Shortly afterward, in April 1889, his widow, Rossetta Hostetter along with his surviving children incorporated the business. The notice of incorporation was published in several March and April editions of the Pittsburgh Dispatch.

Hostetter’s sons, D. Herbert and Theodore R. Hostetter were named president and vice president respectively, and, according to a brief feature on the company published in the June 23, 1934 edition of the Pittsburg Press, the company would remain under the control of the Hostetter family for a fourth generation as well.

Theodore R. Hostetter died in 1902 and D. Herbert Hostetter Sr., in 1924. Upon the death of the latter, Frederick G. Hostetter, and D. Herbert Hostetter Jr., sons of the deceased, were elected president and vice president respectively. Frederick G. Hostetter died in 1931, and his brother, D. Herbert Hostetter, Jr., succeeded him as president.

The 1934 feature went on to say that the company’s business peaked sometime in the early 1870’s but up through 1920 was still doing quite well.

From the early sixties the business developed from several hundred thousand dollars until 1872, it had reached the million dollar mark. During the eighties and the nineties, the gross business fluctuated around the half-million mark, and so continued for the succeeding thirty years until 1919 and 1920, when the gross business for each of these years exceeded the million mark.

In 1903 the business began listing a second company address, 60 First Avenue, in the Pittsburgh directories.

The company remained active during the Prohibition years and Hostetter’s advertisements, though now less numerous, continued to appear in the newspapers.

             

This 1920’s advertisement, though toned down, delivered a similar message as those from the mid 1800’s.

HOSTETTER’S Celebrated Stomach Bitters tone up the digestive organs, stimulate the appetite and promote a feeling of physical fitness.

Whether it was lack of management after the death of D. Herbert Hostetter, a reduction in the alcohol content to 25%, or likely a combination of both, the prohibition years were not kind to the business. By the early 1930’s they had dropped the Water Street address from the Pittsburgh directories, apparently consolidating at the newer location. Then, in 1936, with the Hostetter family apparently no longer involved, the company initiated a stock offering. The reasoning behind the 78,200 share offering was explained in a July 28, 1936 story in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The offering is being made at $2.50 per share by Charles E. Doyle & Co., New York, principal underwriter, which firm was instrumental in greatly strengthening the management of Hostetter Corporation.

Advertising expenditures of the predecessor Hostetter companies totaled over $4,425,000 in the period from 1889 to 1920, and the present Hostetter Corporation announces that of the net proceeds from the sale of this issue, which will total $150,562, $90,000 will be devoted to an advertising program. The balance will be devoted to raw materials, plant equipment, machinery improvements, organization expenses, working capital, etc.

The promised advertising campaign materialized in 1937 with newspaper advertisements focused primarily on Pennsylvania as well as a number of midwest states.

Apparently the stock offering and advertising campaign didn’t do the trick and by 1939 the extent of their advertising had been reduced to three lines in the classified sections.

Their advertisements disappear completely in the early 1940’s but the company remained active, though just barely. Then, in 1954, this March 21 item in the Pittsburgh Press announced an attempted revival along with a change in name to Hostetter’s Tonic.

A famous old product name in Pittsburgh has changed hands, and is scheduled to again become big business.

It is Hostetter Stomachic Bitters, first made here more than 100 years ago, and now headed for distribution as Hostetter Tonic.

Charles G. Brown and Associates of Pittsburgh have purchased Hostetter Corp. In announcing acquisition of the almost dormant company, Mr. Brown said labeling and packaging of the medicine would be modernized, but the ingredients would remain the same as they were for more than a century…

Fifty million bottles of the packaged medicine have been sold since Dr. Jacob Hostetter first wrote the prescription in 1853. Produced in only small quantities in the past 15 years however, output is being stepped up rapidly.

This April 5, 1960 advertisement in the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News for Hostetter’s Tonic is one of the last ones I could find.

The business came an end, at least in Pittsburgh, sometime prior to 1967. That was the year that the Hostetter Building on First Avenue was demolished. A humorous story in the April 26, 1967 edition of the Pittsburgh Press described the publicity stunt associated with the official end of the Hostetter era.

When it comes to building demolition, Pirate Pitcher Vernon Law had better stick to baseball.

He threw a dozen baseballs, then had to resort to rocks today before he was able to “strike out” a large plate glass window in the Hostetter Building at First Avenue and Stanwix St., downtown.

It was all part of a publicity gimmick marking the start of demolition of the structure to make way for Equitable Life Assurance Society’s new Gateway Center 6 office building.

“I guess I’ve got too much control for this sort of thing.” drawled the big right hander.

It took him 12 baseballs to make only five holes in a second floor window. He kept firing them through the same holes.

At the suggestion of several onlookers, he scooped up half a dozen rocks from the street and was able-finally- to shatter the glass.

Law finally left the “mound” to let a “relief” demolition crew take over the chores.

They got better results with their 1,000-pound, crane mounted headache ball, painted white with black seams to resemble the horsehide sphere Law is used to hurling.

Equitable’s new building, a 23-story, 400,000 square foot structure will rise on the site

A photograph of the building under demolition appeared in the May 20, 1967 edition of the Pittsburgh Press. Today, courtesy of Google Earth, the 23 story tower (black on the right) is visible in its place.

 

The bottle I found is a typical Hostetter’s bottle; brown with a square cross section. Advertisements as far back as 1854 describe the same bottle design: full quart with Dr. J. Hostetter’s Stomach Bitters blown in the glass.

At one time the bottle also included a paper label that included the company trademark, St. George and the Dragon. This labeled example recently appeared for sale on the Internet.

According to this October 1890 advertisement in the Overland Monthly, the trademark dates back to the start of the business as well.

For the last 35 years it has heralded the curative powers of the great tonic HOSTETTER’S STOMACH BITTERS.

John Fennell, Boston

Beginning in 1879 John Fennell managed a wholesale wine and liquor business in Boston Massachusets. He owned the business for over 30 years from 1886 to 1919.

Census records indicate that Fennell was born in Ireland sometime in the early 1850’s and by the mid-1860’s had relocated to Canada where he became associated with Thomas Furlong. Furlong ran a wholesale and retail liquor business in St John, N. B. where he was listed in the St. John and Fredericton Business Directory as early as 1862. That directory also included an advertisement touting  his wines, liquors and a product called “Allsop’s Ales.”

When Furlong opened a branch location in Boston he named Fennell as his manager. The notice announcing the opening of Furlong’s Boston branch appeared in the March 14, 1879 edition of the  Boston Globe.

MR. THOMAS FURLONG, the well known wine merchant of St. John, N. B., has opened a branch of his establishment at 161 Devonshire Street and 22 Arch Street, under the management of Mr. John Fennell, who has been with Mr. Furlong for twelve years, and in whom he reposes every confidence. He has just issued a neat and comprehensive catalogue, embracing the wines of Spain, Portugal, France and Germany… Mr. Furlong has had experience of twenty-five years in the wine trade, and his selections can be relied upon as of the very best.

It wasn’t long before Furlong was advertising in the local newspapers. Advertisements for “Furlong’s Irish Malt Whiskey” began appearing as early as the March 30, 1879 edition of the Boston Globe.

The Boston branch continued to operate under Furlong’s ownership and Fennel’s management up until October 16 1886 when Furlong turned the business over to his long time manager. Fennel announced the change in ownership in the October 17, 1886 edition of the Boston Globe.

161 DEVONSHIRE STREET, October 16, 1886.

Mr. Thomas Furlong has relinquished the wine and spirit business carried on by him at 161 Devonshire and 22 Arch Streets, Boston, through me and under my superintendence for a number of years past. I have, therefore, the pleasure of announcing that I have opened at the old stand, and that in the future the business will be conducted as heretofore, but in my name solely.

My stock of wines, Cognac brandies, whiskeys, etc., is a very extensive one; and all goods being personally selected, I am in the position to give my customers, as in the past, the same pure and reliable goods at reasonable prices. Soliciting a continuance of the support given in the past, I am most respectfully,

JOHN FENNELL

An advertisement that appeared in several 1893 editions of the Fall River (Mass) Daily Herald provided a general overview of Fennell’s wine and liquor menu along with his related sales pitch.

FINE WINES – Having visited most of the wine-producing districts of Europe last summer, and personally selected a large line of fine wines, that are not held at fancy prices, but are honestly graded according to age and quality, I would call particular attention to my stock of sherries and ports. They embrace every variety, from the sound young wine to the rare old vintage of 1847, and ranging in price from Eight to Fifty dollars a dozen and from $2.50 to $10 a gallon.

OLD BRANDIES – have been selected from leading houses of Cognac, and I am in a position to offer my customers pure and reliable goods from the celebrated vintage of 1858, costing $48 per dozen, and fine champagne brandies from $6 to $14 per gallon.

PURE WHISKIES – that are stored in sherry wine casks have a mellowness not found in other whiskies, and being honestly aged are free from those heating qualities usually found in so called old goods. Buying all whiskies from the distillery direct, I can sell fine goods from $8 a dozen up to the celebrated O.F.R., costing $30, and ordinary and special, in wood from $8 to $10 pre gallon.

As evidenced by this March 24, 1887 Boston Globe advertisement, he also continued to sell the same “Allsop Ales” that Furlong marketed back in 1862.

Up through 1902 the company address continued to be listed as 161 Devonshire and 22 Arch Streets. Actually one location, the building occupied the short block between Arch and Devonshire with addresses on both streets. Then, sometime in 1903 or 1904 their address changed to 177 Devonshire and 38 Arch Street.

Fennell’s 1904 liquor license notice described the property like this:

No.s 177 Devonshire St., 38 Arch St., and elevator entrance to cellar at 40 Arch St. in said Boston, in two rooms, first floor, cellar for stock only, of said building.

The company remained at that location until, according to this May 29, 1919 story in the Boston Globe, they closed the doors for good, a victim of Prohibition.

Prohibition claims its first victim in Boston today, when John Fennell will lock up for all time his long-famed wine shop at 175 Devonshire St. and 34 Arch St…”Prohibition is coming and you can’t stop it,” mused Mr. Fennell yesterday amid the mellow atmosphere of jugs, dust laden bottles and ambrosial liquids. “It’s coming like a great wave headed for the bow of a ship and its going to break soon. But it’s going to miss me.”

Here’s some information. Whisper it about. In the past year $200,000 in liquor has passed out of the Fennell shop – and not all, certainly, for immediate consumption. Are the bugs loading up?

“Why look here,” said the veteran liquor merchant, “six weeks ago I said to myself I never could unload my stock by this time. But here I am cleaned out. Not a bottle in the shop.”

Nine years later John Fennell passed away while on a trip to England. According to his obituary published in the June 2, 1928 edition of the Boston Globe:

Mr. Fennell went to England in April and was taken ill on the trip across. He recovered while on a visit to relatives in Liverpool but then had a sudden relapse and died Thursday.

The bottle I found is a cylinder that likely contained a fifth of whiskey. Blown in a three piece mold it’s embossed John Fennell, Boston, so it was likely manufactured no earlier than 1886 when Fennel took over the business.

Note:

Fennell’s obituary stated that he was born in St. John, N.B. This conflicts with census records from 1880 through 1920 that list his birthplace as Ireland. For purposes of this post I chose to accept the census records.

Higgins Inks, Brooklyn, N. Y.

Higgins Ink was manufactured in Brooklyn, New York from the early 1880’s up through the late 1960’s and possibly longer. Still available today, it’s bottled and packaged in Leeds, Massachusetts by Chartpak, Inc., and still bears the name of its founder, Irish immigrant and long time Brooklyn resident, Charles M. Higgins.

An October 23, 1929 Brooklyn Times Union feature on Higgins provided some background.

Born in Moluch Brach, County Roscommen, Ireland, on October 4, 1854, Mr. Higgins came to America at the age of 6. Arriving here with his brothers and sisters, he joined his parents, who had proceeded them. They settled in Brooklyn’s Park Slope section where he lived all his life.

In the mid to late 1870’s, Brooklyn city directories listed Higgins as a patent solicitor living on Hoyt Street and later Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. In the early 1880’s he set up shop in Manhattan where his patent business was first listed at 10 Spruce Street. By 1883 he had moved the business to 5 Beekman Street where it would remain listed through 1900. His business card appeared in the February 3, 1887 edition of the American Stationer.

It was during his early years as a patent solicitor that Higgins Ink got its start. An article summarizing the Higgins business written years later in the September 8, 1941 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle provided this early history.

Mr. Higgins secured his first patent as early as 1875 when he was but 19 years old. He drifted into the drafting position and after several years opened his own offices to conduct a patent solicitation business. Meanwhile his spare times and evenings he spent in his sister-in-law’s kitchen, on Brooklyn Heights, conducting experiments in ink making. He produced many articles and in 1880 concluded an agreement with a Manhattan firm to act as a selling agent for distribution of Higgins Inks.

At the outset ink sales were scant so that for several years the fluid was manufactured at home while Mr. Higgins carried on his patent business. However, in 1885 a copartnership between Mr. Higgins and his brother-in-law, John Gianella was formed to make the ink under the name of Charles M. Higgins & Co. After several years Mr. Higgins devoted his entire efforts to the new business and the first plant was erected and placed in operation at 168 8th St., Brooklyn.

New York City directories support and add to the above story and also serve to better establish time frames. It was in 1883, the same year he moved to 5 Beekman Street,that the directories mention inks for the first time. That year his occupational heading in the Manhattan and Bronx Directory read “Patent Solicitor and Manufacturer of Carbon Inks.” The business of Charles M. Higgins & Co. initially appeared two years later in the 1886 directory, also at the 5 Beekman Street address.

While Higgins maintained his patent office in Manhattan for another 15 years or so, by 1888 he had moved his ink operation to Brooklyn. Located between Third and Fourth Avenues, his factory building and yard occupied the entire 75 foot wide footprint between 168-172  Eighth Street and 197-201 Ninth Street.

Over the course of the next twelve years the company expanded until, according to the 1941 Brooklyn Daily Eagle story, they were forced to move to new quarters located one block away between Fourth and Fifth Avenues:

Shortly thereafter the selling agent failed and the Higgins firm inaugurated the policy of selling directly to the trade leading to great expansion. The company line was added to with various other types of inks and commercial pastes. Between 1890 and 1900 Mr. Higgins was granted 21 patents relating to manufacture of inks and adhesives. The next year new quarters at 244-248 8th Street were erected and occupied.

At around the same time that Higgins erected the factory at 244 Eighth Street the company began to list their main office at 271 Ninth Street. Like their previous location, the back to back properties encompassed the entire area between Eighth Street and Ninth Street. By the early 1900’s the company was advertising London and Chicago offices as well as the main office in Brooklyn.

In 1904, no longer in need of their former site at 168 Eighth Street, they offered it up for sale. The classified advertisement, published in the February 28, 1904 edition of the Brooklyn Citizen, certainly made it clear that their Brooklyn location, with its nearby transportation facilities was, in no small way, a contributing factor to the the company’s expansion. So it’s no surprise that the company’s new facility remained in the same area.

By the time the company had settled into the new location, their product line included a line of adhesives in addition to their inks. A feature on the Charles M. Higgins Co. published in the September 1910 edition of “Dun’s Review” highlighted several adhesives including Higgins’ Office Paste, describing it as:

A pure opalescent white paste for general office and home use and the fine stationery trade. This spreads with great ease and smoothness, catches quickly and dries quickly and does not strike through or warp the paper.

Several other brands of paste and glue that were manufactured during this period were listed by this newspaper and magazine advertisement that appeared throughout much of the early 1900’s.

Ink however was their mainstay and the company produced both drawing inks and writing inks. According to the 1910 “Duns Review” feature their drawing inks were the ink of choice for those involved in the development of technical drawings.

Higgins’ American drawing inks are used by leading artists, architects, engineers, schools and colleges, and the manufacturers state three-fourths of the professional draftsmen use no other drawing ink. This ink is made in black and in twelve colors, the black ink being of two kinds – waterproof, which is insoluble when dry, and general, which is soluble when dry.

     

A price list found in the August 1910 edition of W. & L. E. Gurley’s “Manual of the Principal Instruments Used In American Engineering and Surveying” illustrated the ink’s menu of colors.

The company’s writing inks were manufactured under two names: Higgins’ “Eternal” Ink and Higgins’ “Engrossing” Ink. Both names were registered as trademarks on March 6, 1883.

      

An article written under the heading “Industrial Progress,” and published in a 1910/1911 edition of a publication entitled “Architects and Builders Magazine,” suggested that the inclusion of carbon in their writing inks was the secret to their success.

The ordinary ink of commerce is made of iron and nutgalls and within a short time turns a dim brown, or yellow, but the ink manufactured by the Chas. M. Higgins & Co. is made of pure carbon in solution, the only permanent everlasting coloring matter.

The writing in ancient manuscripts hundreds and thousands of years old is today as black and clear as when first written. This is because the inks were not chemical inks, were not made from iron and nutgalls, but were made from PURE CARBON.

An ink that would write a true black from the pen point, that would stay black forever, proof to effects of age, air, sunshine, chemicals and fire, the unchangeable ink of the ancients, has been considered a lost art.

And it was lost until by careful research and experiment Mr. Chas. M. Higgins mastered the secret of holding carbon in permanent suspension or solution, as was necessary in making a practical carbon writing ink.

The “Duns Review” feature explained the distinction between the “Eternal” and “Engrossing” brands.

For writing ink the firm manufactures the Higgins’ “Eternal” ink, which always remains black from the instant it leaves the point of the pen and is proof against age, air, sunshine, chemicals and fire. The ink can be diluted for use in fountain pens, while it is furnished in just the right consistency for bank, legal and corporation use, business and general correspondence and official records. For the last purpose, however, as well as for engrossing and fancy penmanship, the firm manufactures a dense black indestructible ink known as Higgins’ “Engrossing” ink.

Charles Higgins passed away in October, 1929 after which his son,Tracy Higgins, assumed the presidency.  According to the elder Higgins’ October 23, 1929 obituary, he had been “ailing for eight years,” so it’s likely that Tracy was managing much, if not all, of the business for some time prior tp Charles’s death.

In 1941 Tracy changed the name of the business to the Higgins Ink Co. The reasoning behind the name change was explained in a June 11, 1941 story in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The firm founded by the Higgins family in 1880, and operated for 60 years under the name of Charles M. Higgins & Co., will be known in the future as Higgins Ink Co., Inc., it was announced today.

The change in corporate title, it was explained by Tracy M. Higgins, president of the firm, at his office, 271 9th St., signifies no changes of ownership or policy, but is merely an effort to use a shorter name more easy to remember.

The A. W. Faber-Castell Pencil Co., Inc. acquired the Higgins Ink Company in 1964. The acquisition was reported in the October 8, 1964 edition of the (Passaic, N. J.) Herald News.

Two of the oldest and best known firms in the drawing materials industry have been combined.

The 121-year-old A. W. Faber-Castell Pencil Co., Inc., of Newark announced yesterday it has acquired the 84-year-old Higgins Ink Co., of Brooklyn.

Harry U. Bittman, president of Faber-Castell, said Higgins Ink will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary but retain its identity and maintain its headquarters and factory in Brooklyn.

Peter O. Everson, president of Higgins Ink, and Tracy Higgins, executive vice president, will continue in their present positions.

Irish-born patent solicitor Charles M. Higgins founded Higgins Ink in 1880. He developed a formula for ink which is still the basis of the firm’s present production of 4 million bottles a year.

Higgins Ink Co. was still listed at their Brooklyn location in the late 1960’s (1967 is the last directory I can find). It’s not clear exactly when the company left Brooklyn but it was likely sometime in the 1970’s.

Higgins Inks continued to be associated with Faber-Castell up through at least the mid-1990’s as evidenced by this August 31, 1994 advertisement in the Baltimore Sun.

Today Chartpak, Inc. owns the Higgins brand and you can still buy their drawing inks as well as their “Eternal” writing ink.

Their long time Brooklyn office and factory buildings still exist to this day. The office building at 271 Ninth Street is actually a three story mansion that, according to Brownstoner.com was originally built in 1857 for a banker named William Cronyn.

The factory, built at the turn of the century and located behind the office at 244 Eighth Street is now a residential apartment building.

The bottle I found is a small mouth blown ink bottle with “Higgins Inks, Brooklyn, N. Y. embossed on the base. It matches the drawing ink bottle included in several late 1800’s/early 1900’s advertisements.

 

Today their drawing ink bottle, though now made of plastic, still pretty much maintains the same shape as it did back then.

On a final note, an article written by Fred N. Holabird entitled: “The Original Higgins Ink, A Nevada Invention,” published in the Spring, 2003 edition of “Bottles and Extra’s,” speculates that there might be a connection between the Higgins Ink of Brooklyn and Rufus L. Higgins of Virginia City, Nevada whose inks date back to the 1860’s. Rufus left Virginia City in 1876 after his grocery store burned down, never to be heard from again.

The fact that both share the Higgins name and that Charles, a patent solicitor, came up with his ink recipe around the time Rufus disappeared certainly fuels that speculation. Holabird writes:

The coincidence of Charles Higgins “inventing” his ink just after R. L. Higgins made his in Virginia City, only to have his business and inventory destroyed by fire, is remarkable. Both events happened within a year of each other. Were the two relatives? Did a depressed and broke Rufus give away the formula to his relative? Do Charles original notes contain Rufus’ name? Did Rufus quietly move to the East Coast to help Charles?

In our research, we were unable to locate Rufus in the West or New York after 1876, nor able to construct a family tree of either man. Meanwhile, the coincidence of timing, product commonality and surname certainly point to shared knowledge…Only more advanced research will answer these questions.

 

Henry N. Clark, Southampton, L. I.

Henry N. Clark ran a bottling business and later a grocery store in Southampton, Long Island around the turn of the century.

Born in Connecticut, upon moving across the Sound to Long Island he first lived in nearby Bridgehampton where, according to his obituary, he operated a plumbing business. His move to nearby Southampton was announced in a September 30, 1896 story in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Henry C. Clark has bought the property and bottling works of Harvey C. Halsey at Southampton and will shortly locate in that village.

That following summer, he was certainly up and running as evidenced by this advertisement published in the July 8, 1897 edition of Southampton’s  Sea-Side Times.

A May 5, 1898 story in the Sea-Side Times, described the business as being entirely focused on non-alcoholic beverages.

Every few weeks he introduces a new specialty which usually hits the mark and has a good run. The latest he has introduced is champagne cider, a delightfully refreshing drink, which notwithstanding its suspicious name is a thoroughly temperance drink, containing neither champagne nor cider nor any trace of alcohol. In fact all Mr. Clark’s beverages are temperance drinks.

It appears that it wasn’t long before Clark was well established in Southampton.The May 5, 1898 story mentioned that in addition to many small scale customers Clark had contracts to furnish all the soft drinks for the Golf Club as well as several nearby hotels. It went on to say that the business was in the process of expanding.

Mr. Henry N. Clark, manufacturer of carbonated beverages is building a large addition to his bottling works. The addition is 44×14 feet extending from the original building almost to the Main Street front, more than trebling his former space.

The enlargement of his quarters is made necessary by his rapidly increasing business. He is to be joined by his brother Mr. Orrin A. Clark, now of Amagansett, as a partner in business, on June 1.

Two new bottling machines have been added to the outfit which will give a capacity of many hundreds of bottles per day. The new machines use the crown seal, a new device for sealing bottles which is far superior to any of the older methods.

After these improvements are complete Mr. Clark will have one of the largest bottling works in the county.

In March, 1901 Clark bought a bicycle business, also in Southampton. The purchase was reported in the March 8, 1901 edition of the Sea-Side Times.

Grundy & Co. have sold their bicycle business to Henry N. Clark. It is said that Mr. Clark will form a partnership with Merton L. Packard, who recently bought Grundy & Co.’s repair department.

That summer Clark apparently maintained both businesses as evidenced by these two August 1901 advertisements from the Sea-Side Times. The advertisements, one for the bicycle business and the other for the bottling business appeared in the August 1 and August 8 editions of the  Sea-Side Times respectively.

   

Sometime in late 1901 or early 1902 Clark apparently sold the bottling business to James Allen Smith whose advertisements began appearing in the Sea-Side Times in April of 1902. The advertisements specifically mentioned that they were “Successors to Henry N. Clark.”

By 1904 Smith was advertising the business as the Southampton Bottling Works.

Recently a bottle from that era (with a crown finish) embossed “Southhampton Bottling Works” that included the embossed name of “James Allen Smith” recently appeared for sale on the internet.

   

Meanwhile Clark continued advertising his bicycle business until 1904 when a March 26 item in The (Sag Harbor) Corrector announced that he was back in the bottling business albeit in Mystic Connecticut.

Henry N Clark, the Southampton bottler, has purchased a bottling business in Mystic, Conn. He will move to that place about April 1.

Its not clear if he actually established the Mystic Connecticut business because, as reported in the October 26, 1905 edition of the Sea-Side Times,  within a year and a half Clark was back living on Long Island.

Mr. Henry N. Clark and family returned to this village last week from Mystic Conn., where he has been for the last year and is at his house on North Main Street where he expects to reside hereafter.

Subsequently the April 11, 1907 edition of the Sea-Side Times announced that Clark had purchased a local grocery business.

Mr. Henry Clark has bought the stock of goods which Mr. William Henry had in his store on North Main Street and will continue the grocery business at the old stand.

Advertisements for his grocery store ran in the Sea-Side Times from April, 1907 through December, 1908. The advertisements specifically mentioned soda water so it’s likely that he was manufacturing and bottling it as part of  grocery business.

   

Advertisements for the grocery store disappear from the local newspapers in December of 1908, and around the same time a November 19, 1908 news item in the Sea-Side Times announced that Clark was going to spend the winter in Florida.

Mr. Henry Clark has decided to go to Florida for the winter. He will leave here within a few weeks and go to Lake Wier, near Sanford, where many Long Island and New England people are located, and if he finds a favorable opportunity he expects to purchase a tract of land there with a view to spending future winters in the south hoping that his health will be benefitted by the change..

Over the next several years local newspaper items indicated that Clark spent the winter months in Florida, however, he continued to list his occupation as “proprietor – grocery store” in 1910 census records. Based on this it’s not clear how long the grocery remained active under his ownership.

He ultimately moved to Florida full time and passed away there on September 3, 1923. His obituary was published in the September 6, 1923 edition of the Southampton Press.

The bottle I found is a Hutchinson soda. Based on the May 5, 1898 newspaper story quoted above he was converting to crown finish bottles at that time so the bottle likely dates back to the first year or so of the business in late 1896 or 1897.

In closing….a little bit of American History.

The following news item regarding Henry Clark’s nephew, Orrin (I’ve also seen it spelled Orin and Oren) Clark’s son –  appeared in the July 23, 1909 edition of the (Sayville L. I.) Suffolk County News.

President Taft has appointed Walter Eli Clark, son of Orin A. Clark, formerly of Bridgehampton and Amagansett, and a nephew of Henry N. Clark of Southampton, to be governor of the territory of Alaska. Mr Clark was born in Ashford, Conn. in 1869.

In fact, he was the First governor of the Alaskan territory.

Wm F. Kidder, New York

William Kidder was a wholesale drug merchant and later manufacturing chemist located in New York City’s Borough of Manhattan. Companies associated with his name were in business from the late 1860’s up through the early 1900’s.

Initially Kidder ran a wholesale drug depot in partnership with Eugene Wetherell. Although not listed in New York City directories prior to 1870, November and December 1869 advertisements for Durno’s Catarrh Snuff made it clear that they were certainly in operation by then at 32 Cedar Street under the name Kidder & Wetherell.

Later an April 1870 advertisement, also for Durno’s Snuff, included Kidder & Wetherell’s address as 104 William Street and that’s where the company was initially listed in New York City’s 1870/1871 directory.

The partnership with Wetherell continued for several years using several different addresses; 104 William Street (1870-1871), 57 John Street (1872) and 83 John Street (1873). Directories during this period classified them under several categories including merchants, importers and soaps.

Then in 1874 the NYC Copartnership and Corporation Directory listed the partnership as dissolved. A pair of advertisements published in New York’s Christian Leader suggest that the dissolution took place sometime in November of 1873. The first, for Morison’s Pills published on November 8, 1873, named the business as Kidder, Wetherell & Co. The second, for Buchan’s Carbolic Soaps published a week later on November 15, 1873 in the same newspaper, named the business as William F. Kidder & Co., successors to Kidder, Wetherall & Co.

     

     

Between 1874 and 1877 Kidder remained in business at 83 John Street operating under the name Wm. F. Kidder & Co. Newspaper  advertisements during this time indicate that the company continued to operate primarily as wholesale agents for a wide variety of products that not only included patent medicines but also items like Hawthorne Spring Water and Frese’s American Mende Cement.

       

       

Sometime in 1877 or 1878, Kidder formed another partnership, this time with George W. Laird. The business operated under the name Kidder & Laird from 1877 up until 1884. Sometime around 1880 advertisements for Kidder’s Saccharated Pepsine began appearing in the trade magazines suggesting that by then, in addition to acting as wholesale agents, they had added a manufacturing arm to the company.

Ultimately, with Laird experiencing financial difficulties, the  Kidder & Laird partnership was dissolved on May 3, 1884. The dissolution notice appeared in the May, 4, 1884 edition of the New York Tribune.

At this point, Kidder, now associated with a man named Vass Houghton, carried on the business as Wm F. Kidder & Co. and by the mid 1880’s was heavily advertising several specialty products. One called “Digestylin,” was labeled as “a sure cure for indigestion and dyspepsia” in a series of newspaper advertisements that ran throughout the eastern half of the country in September through December of 1887.

Another was Kidder’s Wine of the Purified Hypophosphites of Lime and Soda that was primarily advertised to the medical profession in pharmaceutical trade magazines.

Physicians will find this wine an efficacious remedy, where disease indicates the administration. Of all preparations of Phosphorous the Hypophosphates are the most easy assimilated thus rendering it a superior medicine in an improved condition of the system, as in Phthisis, Nervous Depression, Scrofulous Ulceration, Debility from prolonged lactation, and in all diseases in which the vital forces are impaired. The combination with pure wine aids its tonic action and makes it palatable and acceptable to the most delicate stomach. This preparation, alternated with Hydroleine (Hydrated Oil), will greatly aid in building up the debilitated system.

The  mention of Hydoleine in the above advertisement was no coincidence because Kidder was also the sole U. S. agent for that product as well.

According to a January 14, 1888 story in The New York Times, it was the advertising costs associated with these products that, in part, forced a suspension of the business at that time.

BUSINESS TROUBLES

William F. Kidder and Vass Houghton, comprising the firm of William F. Kidder & Co., 83 John St., New York made an assignment recently to Benjamin Y. Pippey. The failure caused great surprise in the trade, as a year ago $150,000 had been claimed as available means. Mr. Kidder who lives at East Orange, did not come over to his office yesterday, and his clerks could not give any details of the failure. It was stated, however, that Mr. Kidder had spent large amounts in advertising his specialties and the returns had come in very slowly lately. Business had been dull and obligations were maturing which he could not meet. The failure of his former partner, George W. Laird, some time ago, had also affected him indirectly, as he had added one of Mr. Laird’s creditors to a considerable extent. Mr. Kidder had hoped to pull through, but found he was unable to.

Several weeks later a slightly more optimistic item appeared in the March 1888 edition of the Druggist Circular and Chemical Gazette.

The assignee of Wm. F. Kidder & Co., reports the nominal assets at $38,000, actual assets $21,000 and gross liabilities $62,000. There is an effort being made to effect a settlement with the creditors that business may be resumed.

It appears that Kidder did in fact continue in business, remaining with the company for several more years. Both the company and Kidder were still listed at 83 John Street with the the classification “patent medicines” in the 1890/1891 NYC Directory. However, the next year the company moved to 19 Beekman Street and by that time Kidder was no longer included at that address.

The 1895 NYC Copartnership and Corporation Directory listed Wm F. Kidder & Co. as a New Jersey Corporation with capital of $12,000 (I don’t have access to 1891 to 1894). Still located at 19 Beekman Street, George Currier was named as president and Frank W. Bailey and Horace W. Campbell as secretary and treasurer respectively.

Sometime around 1900 the company moved to 26 Cliff Street where it was still listed with the same officers in the 1902 NYC Copartnership and Corporation Directory. It had vanished from the directories by 1904.

The bottle I found is a 12 oz mouth blown medicine embossed “Wm. F Kidder, New York.” That puts it within one of two time periods when the company operated solely under his name – 1874 to 1877 or 1884 to 1903. The bottle was almost certainly manufactured during the latter. I suspect it’s from the mid to late 1880’s when the company heavily advertising “Dygestylin” to the general public (price $1 per large bottle according to the above advertisement).

T. A. Snider Preserve Co., Cincinnati, Ohio

 

Founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, T.A. Snider was famous for their condiments, particularly their catsup, from the 1880’s up through the mid – 1900’s. Ultimately, they were absorbed by Hunts Foods, Inc.

A June 13, 1909 story in the Cincinnati Enquirer explained that the business was the product of a husband and wife team.

In the early eighties Mrs. Snider kept a boarding house on Broadway. She was a refined and talented woman, whose catsups, chili sauce and other table delicacies were celebrated. All the later creations of the company were from the formulas of Mrs. Snider, who lived long enough to see her husband begin to reap the benefits of her genius and his industry.

Another story, this one in the January, 1910 edition of the “American Pure Food and Health Journal” added:

At the time only sour catsup was known, comprised of fermented tomatoes, but Mrs. Snider’s valuable catsup recipe was made from fresh, sound, whole, ripe, red tomatoes, and thus a solid foundation was laid for a great firm whose products are known and used the world over.

The “Leading Manufacturers and Merchants of Cicinnati and its Environs,” published in 1886 stated that T. A. Snider & Co. was established in 1879 at No. 177 West Canal Street by Thomas A. Snider. The next year, according to a July 26, 1880 item in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Snider took on R. T. Skinner as partner.

Also referred to as the Cincinnati Preserving Co., the business was described in an August 14, 1880 story in the Cincinnati Enquirer. Still in its infancy, the story sounds introductory in nature yet talks of shipping to all parts of the country. I’m guessing that, in an effort to promote the new business,  the local newspaper may have embellished a little.

CINCINNATI PRESERVING COMPANY

T. A. Snider & Co., proprietors, located at Nos. 177, 179 and 181 Canal Street. The firm does a business in fine goods, and the only one in the city whose leading specialty is preserves. The firm also does an immense trade in bulk goods, shipping to all parts of the country in buckets and tin-pails. Their jellies, preserves, fruit butters and marmalades are sought after by jobbers who know them throughout the United States, and no manufacturer has a better reputation for first-class goods than this firm…

Their premises are well arranged, and contain all the facilities necessary for the transaction of their large and rapidly increasing business. The season finds them in splendid working order, with every prospect of a most successful trade. Their capital is ample, and they are in every respect fully prepared to meet all requirements of the trade.

Cincinnati directories listed the T. A. Snider Co. at 132 West 2nd Street in 1881 through 1883. Whether this was another address for the Canal Street location or it moved there in late 1880 is not clear.

In any event, by 1884 the business had incorporated as The T. A. Snider Preserve Company with Snider named as president and Skinner as secretary and treasurer. Around the same time they moved to a new building at the northwest corner of Smith and Augusta. The Leading Manufacturers and Merchants of Cincinnati” described it like this:

The splendid building they now use was erected by them and occupied in 1884. It is a five-story brick, 50 x 80 feet in measurement, and arranged expressly for the accommodation of the business.

The company continued to grow at such a rapid pace that just four years later they moved again, listing their office and factory at 49 and 51 Sycamore in 1888. That year they also listed their first branch factory in Milldale Kentucky. By 1891 they were listing a second Cincinnati plant at 30 East 2nd Street.

The company’s menu of products at around that time was presented in this 1888 advertisement that appeared in a publication called “PAR Excellence A Manual of Cooking.”

While 1880 may have been a stretch, by the mid to late 1880’s Snider products were certainly being shipped to many parts of the country as evidenced by this September 18, 1888 news item that appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

A Catsup Train

A few days ago the Big Four and Kankakee Line took out of here an elegant train of fifteen cars of catsup, the product of the T. A. Snider Preserve Company. This is the largest single shipment of the kind ever made, and shows that this enterprising Cincinnati firm has distanced all competitors in their line…While Chicago may be ahead in dressed beef, Cincinnati will”catsup” to her in other products.

An October 12, 1890 story in the San Francisco Examiner made it clear that by then their products had reached the west coast. The story, centered around the San Francisco Mechanic’s Fair, highlighted Snider’s exhibit.

The artistic display which the T. A. Snider Preserve Company of Cincinnati makes is a feature of the fair. The Pacific Coast Mercantile Company are the general agents for their products on this coast, which will in the near future be as well and as favorably known here as they are now in the East.

Another story describing the fair mentioned that Mrs. Snider was still involved with the business at that time as well.

Behind the counter stands Mrs. T. A. Snider, who has the reputation of being one of the most expert housekeepers in the State of Ohio, but all her grace and persuasive manners would fail to draw the crowd as it does were it not for the superior purity and excellence of the material she offers each, served in a dainty little cup and partaken of with gusto. These samples are of the Snider Catsup and Tomato Soup, without which no cuisine in Eastern cities would deem itself complete.

This June 1890 advertisement in “Scribners” magazine touts both the catsup and soup mentioned in the above story.

Snider managed the business up until 1901 at which point long time employee Jefferson Livingston acquired controlling interest (75 percent) in the company.

For the next several years Cincinnati directories listed Livingston as president and Snider as vice president. Subsequently, on June 12, 1909, Livingston acquired the remaining 25 percent. The June 13, 1909 edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported the transaction.

A great financial deal was completed yesterday, which will be of interest not only to the business men of this city, but will attract attention throughout the country. On that date Jefferson Livingston gave a check for $170,000 to T. A. Snider, founder of the T. A. Snider Preserve Company, for his remaining one-fourth interest in the firm. The transaction makes Mr. Livingston absolute owner of the big establishment…

By this time, in addition to their Cincinnati facilities,the company operated six branch factories; one in Ohio and the others in neighboring Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

The story went on to say:

The company is the largest manufacturer of catsup in the world, and it is to be found on the tables of every first-class restaurant in Europe and America. Other products of the concern, all of which enjoy an international sale and popularity, are chili sauce, pork and beans, salad dressing, oyster cocktail sauce and tomato soup.

This early teens advertisement mentioned their pork & beans in addition to their catsup.

According to Court records, (Wade L. Street, et.al. as Executors of the Last Will and Testament of Jefferson Livingston, Deceased, Petitioners v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Respondent) Livingston dissolved the corporation in 1911 and operated the business as a sole proprietorship up until August, 1920. It was during this period, likely sometime in 1913, that he moved its main plant and office to Chicago, Illinois where it was listed with an address of 168 N Michigan Avenue.

The court records go on to say that in 1920 he re-incorporated the business and between 1920 and 1923 was looking for a buyer, ultimately selling it to New York Canners, Inc., in February 1923. Just before the sale, Moody’s 1922 Analyses of Investments reported that the company had nine separate packing plants in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Delaware and Florida and was valued at almost $1.3 million.

Some background on the Rochester, New York based New York Canners Inc., can be found in a July 21, 1923 item published in the”Magazine on Wall Street:”

New York Canners, Inc. was incorporated in 1919 and acquired the business and properties of several companies engaged in canning fruits and vegetables in New York State. The principal companies taken over, namely – Winters and Prophet Canning Co., Fort Stanwix Canning Co., Burt Olney Canning Company and Cobb Preserving Co., have been established for a long period of years and their products distributed under their own brands throughout the United States.

The item goes on to say:

In February 1923, the company purchased control of the T. A. Snider Preserve Co… The acquisition has given the company a distribution of special food products and condiments which supplement its previous lines.

A little over two years after the acquisition this description of the New York Canner’s business in a December 4, 1925 stock offering, demonstrated the standing of the Snider brand within the organization.

The company (including subsidiaries) is the largest packer and distributor of vegetables, fruits and jams in the United States, outside of California, and through its principal subsidiary, manufactures and distributes the nationally known Snider brands of catsup and chili sauce. The company’s products have a long established reputation for high quality and excellence and are marketed principally under the widely advertised Snider, Lily of the Valley. Burt Olney and Flag labels.

Ultimately, New York Canners, Inc. adopted the Snider name at a May 2, 1927 stockholders meeting. The May 3, 1927 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle announced the name change.

The stockholders also voted approval of a change in name to Snider Packing Corporation, thus directly identifying the corporation with its subsidiary, the T. A. Snider Preserve Company and its famous “Snider” products.

Around the same time the corporation, now called Snider Packing, Inc., incorporated a new wholly owned subsidiary with the New York Canners name.  According to a May 6, 1932 article in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, this new company handled distribution while the T.A. Snider Preserve Company handled production. Together they employed approximately 450 permanent workers however, during the June through December canning season the addition of temporary workers could increase that number to upwards of 7,000. The article went on to say that at that time the company owned and operated 27 plants with total floor space of about 1,550,500 square feet in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Illinois and Indiana.

The Snider Packing Corporation merged with General Foods on June 23, 1943. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported the transaction.

Stockholders of the Snider Packing Corporation yesterday voted to merge the company with General Foods Corporation, and all assets of Snider will be delivered to General Foods at 10 a.m. today at 250 Park Avenue, New York City.

Bert C. Olney, Snider president will become general manager of the Snider Packing Division of General Foods Corporation.

Under General Foods’ management advertisements in Life Magazine, published during the mid to late 1940’s, show that they continued to manufacture their catsup as well as several other long time products including their preserves as well as their chili and cocktail sauces.

Ten years later, a January 7, 1953 item in the San Francisco Examiner announced that Hunts Foods, Inc., had acquired both the Snider business and label.

Hunts Foods, Inc., has purchased the Snider condiment business from General Foods it was announced jointly today by Frederick R. Weisman, president of Hunts Foods, and G. O. Bailey, vice president of General Foods.

The announcement said the purchase includes the Snider label and trade mark and Snider factories at Albion, N. Y., and Fairmount,Ind.

We plan to continue full use of the Snider label and to integrate the Snider operation into our overall activities.

Snider catsup continued to be mentioned in grocery store advertisements up until the early 1970’s.

The bottle I found is certainly a half-pint catsup bottle with screw threads. The 1888 advertisement reproduced above from “Par Excellence A Manual of Cooking” mentioned that the company was using the screw thread finish on their catsup bottles by that time.

Packed in handsome screw top bottles, with non corrosive caps, thus overcoming the great annoyance and bad appearance of the old fashioned cork stoppers.

Mouth blown, embossing on the base of the bottle includes the Cincinnati location indicating that it was made no later than 1914 when the company left Cincinnati for Chicago.

While the bottle has no maker’s mark, according to this February 23, 1900 news item in the (Mansfield Ohio) News Journal, it could have been made in Cincinnati by the Muncie Glass Company.

Big Bottle Contract

Cincinnati. Feb 23. – The Muncie Glass Company, whose new factories are being built here secured the contract to furnish the entire requirements of the T. A. Snider Preserve Company for catsup bottles amounting to enough for one thousand car loads of finished goods.

On a final note, T.A. Snider, retired, widowed and apparently remarried, died tragically in June, 1912. The June, 12 edition of the Retail Grocers Advocate reported the sad news.

Thos. A. Snider of Cincinnati and his bride of three months were instantly killed near Erie Penn., when their machine in which they were making a transcontinental tour was struck and demolished by a fast train of the Lakeshore Railroad. Mr. Snider was over 70 years of age , the originator of the famous Snider’s Catsup, through which he became a millionaire several times over.

ED. Pinaud, Paris

Not far from Paris, on the Ourcq Canal, is the thriving town of Pantin, famous for the works of Ed. Pinaud, where is manufactured the delightful perfumery which has made its name so widely known.

That’s the opening paragraph of an October, 1893 Merck Report feature on Ed. Pinaud. A French perfume and cosmetics line originally founded by Edouard Pinard, their brand strength was and continues to be such that, although produced for almost two centuries and under several different company names, the brand name “Pinaud” has remained steadfast.

There are several different versions of Pinaud’s early history, but I’ll stick with the one presented on the web site of Washington D. C.’s Dumberton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Ed. Pinaud (Ed. Pinaud’s Perfumery) is a Parisian perfume and cosmetics company founded by Edouard Pinaud (1810 to 1868) in 1830 at 37, boulevard de Strasbourg, Paris. He named the business A la Corbelle Fleurie. In the 1850’s, Emile Meyer (1817 to 1888) became a partner and opened a second shop called Parfumerie de la Noblesse. After Pinaud’s death, his son-in-law, Victor Klotz (1836 to 1906) took over the company, which was renamed Victor Klotz et Cie although its products were sold under the Ed. Pinaud name.

The 1893 Merck feature hinted at the size of the Paris operation just before the turn of the century.

To return to the factory at Pantin, which is an imposing building, we find that no less than 200 hands are employed, and, if that does not give an idea of the magnitude of the business transacted, the sight of several private freight cars bearing the firm’s name, most assuredly do so.

The presence of Pinaud’s products in the United States dates back as least as far as the mid-1840’s. The earliest Pinaud reference I can find was in a newspaper advertisement for the business of G. Saunders & Son, located at 177 Broadway in New York City. Printed in several October and November, 1845 editions of the Hartford (Conn.) Courant, the advertisements touted cosmetic and shaving products under a wide range of categories one of which was “perfumery,” where it stated:

PERFUMERY – The most choice of Guerlain’s, Lubin’s, Prevost’s, Ede’s, Patey’s, Roussel’s and Pinaud’s Extracts, with a full assortment of Perfumery, in boxes suitable for presents.

This October 13, 1855 Brooklyn Evening Star advertisement for a company called the McNary Brothers mentioned Pinaud products “Cosmetique” and “Almond Soap” by name.

Back then Pinaud’s business in the U. S. was with firms like G. Saunders & Son and McNary Brothers who apparently imported the company’s products directly from Paris. That being said, there was no orchestrated plan for growth in this country. According to Merck’s 1893 feature that all began to change in the late 1870’s.

Long ago demand for the Ed. Pinaud’s goods necessitated the establishment of branch offices in London, Brussels, St. Petersburg, Melbourne, and other leading cities of the world; but, strange to say, only within the last seventeen years has the house been represented in this country. Their first New York office was at 10 Cortlandt Street, subsequently moved to 496 Broadway; but very little business was done, and our visitors to Europe continued to bring back dainty bottles of Ed. Pinaud’s perfumery, sachets, and sweetly odorous soaps as Parisian souvenirs, in ignorance that they could have purchased them here.

In May 1890, the agency was transformed into a branch house with Emile Utard in charge, and soon after “Parfumerie Ed. Pinaud” was a sign which became naturalized and the goods, once being known, leaped into popular favor.

The 10 Cortlandt Street address was actually the address of Henry Dreyfus & Co., who was listed there (sometimes 6 Cortlandt St.) as a perfumer (sometimes importer) from 1880 up through 1887. In a series of 1886 advertisements that ran in several U. S. cities they referred to themselves as Ed. Pinaud’s “sole agent for the United States.”

 

During the same time Dreyfus also listed another another office in Manhattan at 13 (and later 25) Maiden Lane. That office listing included the occupational heading of “diamonds,” so Pinaud’s lack of growth mentioned in the above story could certainly have been, at least partially due to Dreyfus’s other interests.

In any event, by 1890, Utard, not Dreyfus, was listed as a “perfumer,” now at the 496 Broadway address. A year later the company was listed at 42 East 14th street where they would remain until the  early 1900’s.

The feature goes on to name a wide variety of perfumes, essences, toilet preparations and perfumed toilet soaps being produced by Pinaud in the late 1890’s. Here’s an advertisement touting their “latest creations,” in the Spring, 1898.

Around the same time, a December 1897 item found in the Druggist Circular and Chemical Gazette advertised a line of extracts that included 37 scents with names like Lilly of the Valley, New Mown Hay and Spring Flowers.

Men were also in luck with a number of hair and shaving products. This December 1891 advertisement included products like “Brillantine” (for hair and moustache brilliancy and softness), “Eau De Quinine” (the king of all hair tonics), “Cosmetique” (whose reputation for excellence is universal), and “Lavender Water” (for use after shaving has no equal).

They even advertised dental products as evidenced by this December, 1897 advertisement.

Product’s Pinaud called their “leading specialties” were included in this price list published in the October, 1897 edition of the “Practical Druggist and Pharmaceutical Review of Reviews.”

The company’s growth through the turn of the century lead to their construction of a new United States headquarters in 1903. Located in Manhattan at 84 – 90  Fifth Avenue, Pinaud advertisements in the following years would mention its address as simply “the Pinaud Building.” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle described its opening in a March 6, 1903 story, referring to the new building as a “skyscraper.” (By my count it’s 11 stories.)

NEW ED. PINAUD BUILDING

On the site formerly occupied by the Old Guard Armory, the proprietor of the Ed.Pinaud perfumery has erected a skyscraper that contains all the latest devices in construction and equipment. To celebrate the opening yesterday Victor Klotz, the proprietor, tendered a reception during the afternoon to his friends and customers. The building is at Fifth Avenue and Fourteenth Street, Manhattan.

Mr. Klotz came from Paris to attend the opening. The offices, all newly fitted up and finely decorated, were adorned with French and American colors and floral pieces. A collation was served, during which corks popped merrily.

The story goes on to credit advertising for fueling much of their expansion.

The growth in popularity of Pinaud’s perfumes in the United States is due alike to their fine quality and business ability of the American manager, Emil Utard. During his incumbency of thirteen years it has necessitated a constant increase of room and facilities. Mr. Utard attributes his success to the wide and unique advertising used in popularizing Pinaud’s perfumes.

In an interview with Emile Utard, published in the February 12, 1902 edition of Printers Ink, he stated that the company began investing in advertising at the time they established their American branch in 1890. Since then, in the following twelve years, according to Utard:

The volume of our trade in America has grown six-fold since we began advertising.

The interview goes on to say that at the time they didn’t have much experience with the daily newspapers but did advertise heavily in a wide variety of magazines.

If we like the character of the publication, and have a fair estimate of its circulation, the price being right, we adopt it.

The interview also mentioned mass transit advertising.

We are, however, liberal patrons of street cars and of the elevated system. This year we are in all the surface cars of the city and on the stations of the elevated.

Another of their advertising avenues that caught my attention involved what they called “schemes.”

But really our greatest efforts, those on which we expend the most thought and have our greatest outlay, are our schemes. Among these, those that have to do with theaters engage our attention most, and yield the best results…

Concerning theaters, we own between twenty and twenty-five drop-curtains in good theaters in leading cities throughout the country. The better the theater the more benefit it is to us. Each of these curtains is a specimen of the scene painter’s art. All representing some view of the Riviera, along the Mediterranean Sea, where our flowers are grown…

Among the drop curtains of this kind that we now own are those of the Casino in this City (New York); the Alvin of Pittsburg; the Park in Boston; the Century in St. Louis; the Academy of Music in Montreal, Canada; the Chestnut Street Theater in Philadelphia; the Dallas Opera House of Dallas, Tex.; the Boyd Theater of Omaha, Neb; the Grand Opera House of New Orleans.

We perfume a great many theaters in addition. For instance, we have no less than six in this city, which we serve every night. One of our young employees makes the round and sprays the lobby before the performance and the house during the performance. We have consequent mention made of this nightly in the respective programs.

By the mid to late 1890’s, Pinaud products were  pretty much included in drug and department store advertisements nation wide. This item appeared in a May 13, 1899 department store advertisement in the Salt Lake (City, Utah) Herald.

You could even pick up a bottle of Eau de Quinine while in Helena, Montana as evidenced by this November 19, 1896 advertisement in the Anaconda (Montana) Standard.

Victor Klotz continued to run the business under the name Victor Klotz & Co. until his death in 1906. At that point his sons, Henry and George took control of the company and while the product line continued to be called Pinaud, the name of the company was changed to H & G Klotz & Co.

It was around this time that the company apparently added the daily newspapers to their advertising strategy. Between 1905 and 1908 you could see a number of celebrities including Lilian Russel touting Eau de Quinine and Lilac Vegetal in the local newspapers.

While other products were mentioned, it was these two in particular, Eau de Quinine and Lilac Vegetal that were the focal point of their advertising from the early 1900’s up through the 1920’s. In a series of advertisements in 1911 they were even offering sample bottles for five cents.

Sometime around 1927 the name of the U. S. business was changed to Pinaud, Inc., and the business moved to a new location in Manhattan at 220 East 21st Street. It appears that in addition to distribution, by this time they were also using this new facility to manufacture products as well.

By the mid 1930’s the Klotz brothers were no longer running the company, or at least the New York operation. The 1931 NYC directory named George Klotz as president of Pinaud, Inc. but by 1938 the listing of Industrial Research Laboratories of the United States named Jacques Heilbronn as President.

During the late 1930’s and early 1940’s the business was still profitable but apparently headed in the wrong direction. Court records (Perfumers Manufacturing Corporation, Transferee Petitioner, v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Respondent) pick up the story from there.

The business of Pinaud, Inc. had been a profitable one prior to World War II, but it suffered several reversals after the war because of its obligations , usual in the perfume and toiletry trade, to accept sizable returns of unsold merchandise from customers who had purchased and paid for its products but had failed to sell them. The volume of returns was large and Pinaud, Inc., found itself required to issue substantial merchandise credits to its customers representing a liability to deliver merchandise for which it will not be paid. To add to its difficulties, Pinaud, Inc., found itself unable to meet its cash liabilities.

The court records went on to say that Pinaud, Inc. eventually sold the business.

Pusuant to an agreement entered into on June 24, 1947, Pinaud, Inc., transferred its entire business to Ed. Pinaud, Inc. (then known as Barbara Alice, Inc.),  which was, and is, owned by persons unrelated to the owners of Pinaud, Inc…

…Ed. Pinaud, Inc. was granted the exclusive general agency to manufacture, sell and distribute “Pinaud” products for 15 years with the option to renew for additional terms of 15 years.

At this point Ed. Pinaud, Inc.,was operating under the umbrella of the Joubert group that, two years later, in 1949, merged with the Nestle-LeMur Company. The merger was announced in the July 17, 1949 edition of the Hartford (Connecticut) Courant.

Nestle-LeMur Company announces shareholders have voted to merge the company with the Joubert group of companies in New York and New Jersey. The Joubert group includes Joubert Cie Incorporated and Irresistible Incorporated which controls Blue Waltz Incorporated, Irresistible Blue Waltz Exporters Incorporated and Ed. Pinaud Incorporated…

The new firm would keep the Nestle-Le Mur name.

It appears Ed. Pinaud, Inc. continued to operate under that name as a subsidiary of Nestle-Le Mur up through the early 1980’s and, based on this September 12, 1980 advertisement in the Belleville (N. J.) Times, they continued to operate out of the 22o East 21st Street location.

Nestle-LeMur was merged into a subsidiary of Kleer Vu Industries in December, 1983.

Currently the the Pinaud  brand is owned by American International Industries and today they sell a line of men’s toiletries under the name “Pinaud Clubman.” Their web site states:

Grooming Generations for Over 200 Years

The Pinaud Building, built by Victor Klotz in 1903, still exists to this day on the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Fourteenth Street.

 

The building at 220 East 21st Street is currently occupied by the School of Visual Arts.

The bottle I found is mouth blown and resembles the smaller Eau de Quinine bottle pictured on this turn of the century poster.

       

According to this 1906/1907 price list published by the Des Moines Drug Company, Eau de Quinine was sold in 4oz, 8oz, 1/2 liter and liter bottles. It’s certainly the 4 oz size.

On a final note, Eau de Quinine is still available today, albeit in plastic bottles.

 

 

R. Robinson, 402 Atlantic Av., Brooklyn, N.Y., Patent

Robert Robinson was born in Yorkshire, England in 1821 and arrived in the United States in 1841. His obituary, printed in the August 5, 1890 edition of the New York Sun stated that he:

established what was probably the first manufactory of bottled mineral water in America.

Another obituary, this one in the August 4, 1890 Brooklyn Daily Eagle, mentioned that upon arriving in this country he spent several years in Philadelphia before moving north to New York. McElroy’s City Directory of Philadelphia listed a Robert Robinson as a tavern owner (Maiden near Stone Bridge and later 233 S 6th St.) from 1841 to 1846. While I can’t confirm that this was in fact our Robert Robinson, the timing is certainly correct.

He’s first listed in New York City’s Borough of Manhattan in 1849 with an address of 7 Elm St. (now Lafayette St.) and the occupation “mineral waters.” By 1851 the business had moved to 376 Bowery where it remained through the mid-1860’s. A March 22, 1862 advertisement in the New York Times makes it clear that by then, in addition to his mineral water, Robinson was also selling bottles of both Champagne Cider and Crab-Apple Cider.

In early 1865 Robinson apparently shut down his Manhattan operation and sold its entire contents at auction on March 16th. The auction notice was printed in the February 25, 1865 edition of the New York Daily Herald.

The sale included “1500 gross (over 200,000!) of mineral water bottles, most of them with Putnam’s patent wire fasteners on.” One of the survivors of this lot was recently offered for sale on the Internet.

            

Soon after Robinson was up and running again. Now located in Brooklyn, his business was listed between  1867 and 1871 at 402-404 Atlantic Avenue and later, between 1873 and 1886, at 432-434 Atlantic Avenue.

On August 13, 1878, he filed an application to trademark what he called in his application, “the fanciful word ‘Queer'” in connection with his temperance beer.

Less than a year later, a May 29, 1879 Brooklyn Daily Eagle item advertised “Queer” with this little jingle:

According to his Brooklyn Daily Eagle obituary Robinson discontinued the business and retired  to private life sometime around 1885.

The bottle I found is small, maybe six ounces, and mouth blown with an applied blob finish. Embossing that includes the 402 Atlantic Avenue address likely dates it to the period between 1867 and 1871 when the company listed that address in the Brooklyn directories.

On a final note, Robinson’s obituaries also note that he holds a place in the early sporting history of both Brooklyn and the Nation.

Mr. Robinson may be called the father of pigeon shooting in America and was known as such throughout this country. He was a peculiar example of the English sportsman. His gun and dog were his boon companions, and he shot snipe from northern New York all the way south to New Orleans, and west, through Ohio and other states to Iowa. Snipe was his hobby, but when snipe could not be had he shot pigeons. He originated the rules of pigeon shooting in this country and organized the first shooting club in this country – the old Long Island Club – which after forty years’ successful existence, was dissolved last year.

He was also involved in horse racing, serving, for a time, as president of the Brighton Beach Racing Association.

 

Coca Mariani, Paris

 

The term Coca Mariani encompassed a series of coca based products one of which was a Bordeaux produced wine infused with coca leaves called Vin Mariani. Originally formulated in the 1860’s by M. Angelo Mariani, it would go on to become extremely popular in the United States from the 1880’s up until the early 1900’s.

Born in 1838, the early part of Mariani’s career is described in a book entitled “A Brief History of Cocaine,” by Steven B. Karch, M. D., published in 2006.

It can be said with reasonable certainty, that Mariani worked as an apprentice pharmacist in Paris at Chantrels, a pharmacy located on the Rue de Clichy. Sometime during his apprenticeship years, Mariani moved to another pharmacy in Saint-Germain. He always claimed that he was a certified pharmacist, and his death certificate supports that claim, but there is no record that he ever passed the examination required for certification.

The book goes on to say that he first produced his coca wine while still working as a pharmacy assistant. Later, his advertisements would state that it was “introduced through the medical profession since 1863.” Whether this was the date he first produced the wine; the date he first went into business for himself or just a convenient date for advertising purposes is not clear. Suffice to say, as evidenced by this November 8, 1879 advertisement in the British Medical Journal, by the late 1870’s his business was not only up and running in Paris, at 41 Boulevard Haussmann, but he was also selling his coca wine in England through the reputable pharmacy of Roberts & Co.

In the United States, the company’s operation was headquartered in NewYork City, where Mariani & Co. were first listed in 1883 with an address of 50 Exchange Place. Later they listed 19 East 16th Street (1884 to 1885) and 127 Fifth Avenue (1886 to 1888) before ultimately moving to their long time location of 52 West 15th Street in 1889.

A May 23, 1896 story in the Minneapolis Tribune described their turn of the century operation.

Mr. Mariani has the largest laboratory in France, and here he prepares, in addition to Vin Mariani, a number of other preparations well known to the scientific world. In Burgandy he has large tracts of vine-land where, by means of the blending of certain varieties of wines, he produces the grape from which the wine itself used in Vin Mariani is obtained. He is the largest buyer in the world of Peruvian cocoa, selecting the best leaves for use in his preparations and re-selling the balance to the general trade. He alone, possesses the secret of extracting all the tonic and aromatic principles in the cocoa leaf, and at the same time eliminating the alkaloid. It is the secret, together with the magnificent old Burgundy employed, that has given Vin Mariani its world wide fame.

By the late 1880’s several “coca preparations” were being advertised in the United States under the Mariani name. In addition to his wine, called Vin Mariani, this December, 1885 advertisement mentioned a liqueur, Elixir Mariani; an extract, The Mariani and crystallized lozenges, Pate Mariani.

Vin Mariani was certainly the most heavily advertised and apparently most popular of the lot. This description of its affects was typical of newspaper advertisements from the late 1800’s.

Mariani Wine is certainly the greatest tonic the world has ever known. It strengthens the nerves and gives tone to the general system. It is invaluable as a spring medicine when the system is weakened by changes of temperature and especially susceptible to attacks of malaria and la grippe.

Mariani Wine is specially indicated for throat and lung diseases, general debility, weakness from whatever causes, overwork, profound depression and exhaustion, consumption, malaria and la grippe. It is an adjuvant in convalescence and a powerful rejuvenator. For overworked men, delicate women, sickly children it works wonders.

While its questionable as to whether or not Angelo Mariani was a certified pharmacist, there’s absolutely no question that he was a top notch marketer and one of the first to employ the use of celebrity endorsements in his advertising. According to “Cocaine: An Unauthorized Biography,” by Dominic Streatfeild, published in 2001, Mariani would send free cases of wine to leading celebrities of the day, asking what they thought of it and requesting a signed photograph in return. The book goes on to say:

It is difficult to know whether the celebrities who responded were simply acknowledging the receipt of a gift, or whether they were generally impressed with the product, but the result was the same: a huge pile of letters from the most impressive men and women of the age, all apparently advocating the use of Vin Mariani.

Advertisements featuring celebrity endorsements from politicians, actors, musicians, religious leaders and even royalty began appearing in United States newspapers and magazines beginning in 1894. At minimum, the advertisements typically included a sketch of the celebrity and a quote from them. This May 14, 1898 advertisement in The (Washington D.C.) Evening Star featuring Victorien Sardou and Sarah Bernhardt was typical.

If one were to believe Mariani’s advertising, even the Empress of Russia was so impressed that she ordered a case of 50 bottles of Vin Miriani.

Anitchkoff Palace, St Petersburg, Dec. 6, 1894 – “Her Majesty Marie Feodorowna, finding great benefit from the use of your Tonic-Wine, requests that a case of 50 bottles Vin Mariani be sent immediately, addressed to Her Majesty the Empress.” By Order of the Court Physician.

Even Pope Leo XIII got involved, awarding Angelo Mariani a papal gold medal.

The advertising campaign was quite successful, as evidenced by this January 25, 1900 advertisement in the Manitoba Morning Free Press, that indicated by the turn of the century Vin Mariani’s availability had reached  world-wide proportions.

“Vin Mariani Encircles the World,” and it is a truism to say “Vin Mariani is always attended by a noonday sun.”

By the early 1900’s however, in the United States the American Medical Association was clamping down on patent medicines and their outlandish claims. In a report published in their November 24, 1906 Journal they questioned the validity of the quotes in Mariani’s testimonials.

The testimonials of these great men and women are enough to convince the most skeptical that this remarkable medicine will do everything but raise the dead – and even under favorable conditions accomplish even this. And still more it will win battles! Witness this from the governor-general of Madagascar: “We were refreshed by Vin Mariani, and before morning carried the stronghold.” Alexander Dumas and Emile Zola are credited with calling it “the elixir of life.” One very strange thing about the testimonials in the circular used in this country is that all are written by foreigners. But Americans (President McKinley – think of it! – among others) are honored by having their testimonials quoted in the circulars used on the other side of the Atlantic. Why? Is it possible that the testimonials are fakes?

In the same journal the A.M.A. had other issues with Vin Mariani as well. Tests they performed revealed that only the Bordeaux wine was imported from France and much of the remaining ingredients, including coca and sugar were added in this country. As a result the A.M.A. took this position:

According to the above report Vin Mariani as imported is simply an ordinary cheap French wine, the preparation sold in this country as Vin Mariani being compounded in this country. Yet the advertising literature, the label on the bottle, etc., state directly that it is a French preparation. Until recently – presumably until the vendors realized that the truth regarding this point would come out – the advertisements in medical journals contained an analysis made by a chemist in Paris. The shape of the bottle, the character of the printed matter accompanying the bottle, etc., are evidently intended to convey the impression that it is imported. Vin Mariani is sold under gross misrepresentations and is a fraud.

No surprise the A.M.A.,  also claimed that the product made unwarranted, exaggerated and mis-leading statements as to its therapeutic value and, suggesting that it was intended not as a medicine but as a beverage, the report recommended that it be refused recognition as a medicine.

This appears to be the beginning of the end for Mariani’s coca preparations in the United States. Around this time their advertising had become less frequent, and ultimately , whether the result of stricter food and drug laws, looming National Prohibition, Angelo Mariani’s death in 1914, or more likely a combination of all three, by 1920 Mariani & Company was no longer listed in the New York City directories.

The bottle I found is mouth blown and embossed just below the shoulder “Coca Mariani,” and “Paris,” and there’s similar embossing on its base.  It likely contained either Vin Mariani or Elixir Mariani both of which were sold in 17 ounce bottles similar to the one shown in an October 1893 advertisement published in a magazine called  “The Alienist and Neurologist.” Other advertisements show that back in the day it was likely sold in a paper wrapper.

   

Based on the November, 1906 A.M.A. Journal quoted above, regardless of the embossing and labeling, it’s not likely that the bottle and/or its entire contents actually originated in France.

Albert D. Buschman, Coney Island, N.Y.

     

Albert D. Buschman was a German immigrant, who between the late 1880’s and early 1900’s was an influential business owner in Brooklyn, New York. His profile, included in a volume called “A History of Long Island from It’s Earliest Settlement to Modern Times,” published in 1902, called him a “shrewd, far-sighted business man who:

became convinced of the future development of Coney Island, and in 1890 invested largely in real estate, which property has made him one of the wealthiest men on the island.

His business activities, which included, mineral water manufacturer and bottler, brewery owner and hotel proprietor were cut short when according to his September 13, 1927 obituary in the (Brooklyn) Times Union:

In 1903 he suffered a paralytic stroke. Although unable to walk, his mental facilities remained unclouded, and he continued to conduct his business until he retired in 1908 and to advise his sons almost up to the time of his death. Bushman’s Walk, near Steeplechase, was named in his honor.

Buschman arrived in the United States in 1868, at the age of 10 and according to the History of Long Island between 1881 and 1886 he worked in partnership with Henry Sierichs. During this period, Sierichs was sometimes listed with the occupation of “waters” and other times “bottler” at two Manhattan addresses; 159 Elizabeth Street and 172 Orchard Street. Buschman was typically not listed during this period but did appear in the 1884 directory with the occupation of “bottler” at the Elizabeth Street location. So I suspect it was during this five year period with Sierichs that he got his start manufacturing and bottling mineral water.

In 1885 or 1886 Buschman and Sierichs dissolved their partnership and Buschman established his own business in Coney Island. Bushman’s obituary stated:

About 1885 he moved to a plant at Coney island. Four years later he bought out a large bottling factory.

I can’t find a directory listing for his initial Coney Island operation but the embossing on the back of the bottle I found, “Mineral Water,” and the date “1888,”makes it clear that the business was up and running in Coney Island by that time.

In 1890, the Lain’s Brooklyn and Long Island Business Directory included a Coney Island section that listed A. D. Buschman & Co. at what was presumably their newly purchased bottling factory, located on Surf Avenue (corner of Stillman Avenue). Apparently a partnership, the listing named Albert Buschman, along with Charles Buschman (likely Albert’s brother) and Frederick Von Wiegen as proprietors.

The 1892 edition of Lain’s included an advertisement that mentioned in addition to manufacturing and bottling mineral water, they were also bottling both local and out-of state beers.

A series of 1897 advertisements in a German magazine called “Puck,” identified one of their local clients as a Manhattan brewery called Schmitt & Schwanenfluegel for whom they served as the local Coney Island bottler.

Frederick Von Wiegen passed away sometime in the late 1890’s so by 1903, with Albert incapacitated, it appears that Charles was running the operation. Around that time, Frederick’s wife, Frieda, put the Von Wiegen share of the business up for sale. The announcement printed in the March 21, 1903 edition of the New York Times under the heading “Business Opportunities” provided a concise description of the company at the time, specifically mentioning that in addition to bottling mineral water and beer, they were also “wholesale dealers in wines, liquors and cigars.”

Around that time (actually 1888), a Report of the New York State Factory Inspector indicated that A. D. Buschman & Co. had 28 employees.

As far as I can tell, Frieda Von Wiegen never sold her share of the business. Charles Buschman was listed with the company until 1908 at which time it appears that Frieda’s son, also named Frederick W. Von Wiegen assumed control of the company. This August 28, 1908 advertisement in the Brooklyn Standard Union named him and Chas. W. Fehleisen as proprietors of the company, now called F. W. Von Wiegen & Co.

The business continued under that name for several years, but by 1913/1914 the Copartnership and Corporation Directory for Brooklyn and Queens indicated that the business had dissolved.

The bottle I found is mouth blown with an applied blob finish. In my mind the embossed date of 1888 on the bottle could mean one of two things. It could be the actual manufacture date of the bottle or, more likely, it could be the year Buschman established his large factory on Surf Avenue. This would put the manufacture date between 1888 and the 1908 name change to F. W. Von Wiegen & Co.

In addition to his mineral water business, for a time Buschman served as president of a corporation that owned the Apfel Klueg Golden Rod Brewery in Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn. It’s not clear exactly when Buschman acquired the brewery but newspaper articles in 1901 indicate that he was certainly the owner by then. A story in the May 25, 1927 edition of a Brooklyn publication called “Home Talk and Item Historical and Real Estate Review” mentioned that the brewery was demolished in 1907, which was about the time of Buschman’s retirement.

Although the story generally addresses a time period prior to Buschman’s involvement with the brewery, it provides an interesting description of the brewery and its place in history so I’ve included it here.

FIRST MOVIES HERE

A favorite gathering place for South Brooklyn people 30 years ago, was the Golden Horn Brewery on Third Avenue, between Ninety-fifth and Ninety-sixth Sts., owned and conducted by Adolph Texter. It was there that many banquets and other social events were held and where nightly one could enjoy excellent band concerts given by musicians from both the Hamburg-American and North German Lloyd steamers in port and prominent vaudeville and concert artists.

It was at the Golden Horn Brewery that first experiments with a motion picture machine were made. An inventor, named Thomas Kelly, who has many patents on motion picture machines and who has an office on Fourteenth Street, New York, set up his new discovery at that place in the summer of 1897. The event was widely advertised and the curious filled the large ballroom of the brewery. A large screen was spread across the stage and the experiment began. Of course, figures moved, but so rapidly and blurred that it was impossible to distinguish any object. And your eyes! Well, after looking for a few minutes, one was unable to see correctly for some time. However, Mr. Thomas Kelly kept improving on his invention, and in a few weeks after the first experiment, again had a motion picture machine that was considered marvelous in those days, for the objects were distinguishable and didn’t affect the eyes. The brewery was demolished in 1907.