Sunday, September 18, 2022

  

                          * OREGON TRADE MARKS*

 

Just as in the State of California to its south, Oregon adopted a trademark law in the mid-1860s to help protect trade names used by proprietors doing business within the boundaries of the State. It preceded the United States trademark law adopted in 1870 but which had a greater value of providing protection throughout all the states. The documentation below was gathered from the Oregon Secretary of State records about 1975. Since that date, Oregon has posted some of its historical trademark records online (https://secure.sos.state.or.us/prs/search.do). However, the online records are random and based primarily on visual appeal of the associated documents. The trademarks listed below were selected nearly fifty years ago with the primary consideration of possibly being a bottled product and the historical documentation of those bottles being a primary criterion. This listing terminates in 1903 even though registered Oregon trademarks go well beyond that date.

This trademark list is compiled by the assigned number which is also listed by date. Some of the registrants listed below were located in California but trademarked their products in Oregon as well as California in order to better protect their business from fraudulent competitors.

                                               *******                            *******

004      Clarke, J.E, Portland, OR, “Web Foot Tonic” (no printed matter included)   6  June 1866

005      Murray, J.W., Portland, OR, “Premium Lung & Liver Balsam” and  “Improved Magic Oil” (no printed matter included)  29 Jan 1867 

007      Avery, Wm. C., Salem, OR    “Mrs. L.A. Stipp’s Thoracic Balsam” (top half of label included)                24 Apr 1867

008      Gross, L., Portland, OR, “Henley’s Royal Balsam” (no printed matter included)   9 Dec 1867                                                                                                                          

010      Gross & Co., Portland, OR     “Henley’s Wild Grape Root Bitters"(label and wrapper included)               7 Jun 1868 

019      Loryea, A.M., East Portland, OR, “The South Carolina Preventive”, “The South Carolina Ague Remedy”, “The Unkweed Remedy”, “The Oregon Rheumatic Cure” (No labels submitted. Entry printed on letterhead marked East Portland Bank, Jas B. Stephens – A.M. Loryea) 7 Jun 1868

022      Arctic Root Co., Portland, OR   “Prepared Arctic Root for Making Bitters –A.R.Co.”  (Stained box label included) 28 Aug 1871

023      Brown, G.W., Portland, OR   “Dr. G.W. Brown’s U.S. Oregon Chittum Bitters (includes label)    6 Sep 1871 

024      Rennicks, S.J.,  Portland, OR “Oahu Bitters” (includes a slightly stained label)  21 Oct 1871 

030      Cunningham & Co., Salem, OR “Conquerer” (with a drawing of a standing lion and a shield. No mention of what this company makes)  28 Oct 1874 

031      Staender, Adam, Portland, OR “Adam Staender’s Vegetable Hair Renewer”(includes a trimmed wrapper)  30 Mar 1875 

036      Weatherford & Co., Salem, OR, “Wigandia – Mountain Balm”  (no printed matter included)     1 Dec 1876

045      Pfunder & Co., Wm., Portland, OR   “Oregon Blood Purifier” (label included) 20 May 1876

???       Murray & Co., O.S., Portland, OR “Dr. Crampton’s Web Foot Oil & “Dr. Crampton’s Centennial Bitters” (this trademark was only located in Vol. 1, pg. 46 of the registration books and not in the chronological trademark listings. The printed material is impressive but in poor condition)  1 Sep 1876 

046      Pfunder & Co., Wm., Portland, OR   (picture of a baby) 20 May 1878

049      (Unknown registrant) “Dr. Henley’s Oregon Kidney Tea” (included label appears to have been                removed) 18 Aug 1879                                   

 054      Simmonds, G., S.F., CA., “Nabob Whiskey” (several labels included)  29 Dec 1879 

057      Hodge-Davis & Co., Portland, OR, “Oregon Kidney Tea” (wrapper included and  label included) 18 Feb 1880 

060      Molson & Sons, Portland, OR, “Lager Bier” (label included) 22 Mar 1880 

061      Blumauer & Co., L., Portland, OR, “The Rose Pill” (stained partial label) 5 Apr 1880

???       Feurer, Louis, Portland, OR, “Gambrinus Beer” & “Weiner Export Beer” 12 May 1880

077      Wilmerding & Co., S.F., CA, “Peruvian Bitters” (labels included)  10 Mar 1881

079      Hotaling & Co., S.F., CA, (for whiskey, labels included) 28 Apr 1881

???       Post, E.S., Portland, OR, “American Eagle” (for soda water) 4 Jun 1881

088      Henley, Wm., Portland, OR, “Dr. Henley’s Dandelion Tonic” (labels included 15 Aug 1881

100      Post, E. A., Portland, OR, “Oregon Champagne Cider” (label included from Cottle, Post & Co.)  20 Dec 1881

110      Hankins, John, Portland, OR, “J. Hankin’s Catarrh Remedy” (advertising card included)              18 Apr 1882

111      Braunschwieger & Bumstead, S.F., CA, (Hibernia Stomach Bitters (labels included)                    21 Apr 1882

112      Wilhoit Springs Mineral Water Co., Portland, OR, “Wilhoit Springs Mineral                       Water” (label included)  27 May 1882

???       Meline, Mrs. E, Portland, OR, “The Great Indian Cough & Lung Remedy” (label included)        2 Jan 1886

128      Shannon, Bloomer & Son, E. Portland, OR, “Portland Champagne Cider” (label included)       16 Feb 1883 

134      Henley, Wm., Portland, OR, “Celery, Beef & Iron”, (front and back labels) 12 May 1883

146      McLellan & Druschel, Portland, OR, “Pioneer Champagne Cider & Ginger Ale”,

            (label and description of bottle embossing which includes an anchor) 15 Sep 1883 

152      Northrup & Sturgis, Portland, OR, (transfer of the company’s trademarks on company                              letterhead) 21 Dec 1883

173      Kissler, J.H., Portland, OR, “Oregon & California Indian Kidney & Liver Tea” (label included)              15 Dec 1884

179      C.B. & I. Extract Co., S.F., CA, “Prune Laxative” (labels included)     2 May 1885 

182      Berry, Thomas, Portland, OR, “Berry’s Nourishing Stout” (label included)   2 Oct 1885

183      Hall, Luhrs & Co., Sacramento, CA, “Snowflake Whiskey” (labels included)  6 Oct 1885

191      Griswold, N.W., S.F., CA, “Celery Cough Wafers”. (label included)     7 Jan 1886

195      Irvin, D. B., Corvallis, OR, “Pearl of Beauty”, for freckles, sunburn, etc. (label included)                        7 Apr 1886

216      Jack, James M., Portland, OR, (The letters “CCC” above the letter “M”, all accompanying a                    bust of a man. To be used in connection with proprietary medicine and  particularly a Catarrh                  Cure)  24 Jan 1887 

218      Moore, Case & Co., Corvallis, OR, “Moore’s Hair Invigorator” (top half of label Included)                      12 Apr 1887 

227      Wisdom, W. M., Portland, OR, “Wisdom’s Robertine” (label & letterhead included)                                14 Jan 1888           

238      Venner, J.F., Portland, OR, “Oregon Electric Relief” (no printed matter included)                                      17 Sep 1888

270      Aphro Medicine Co., Portland, OR, “Aphroditine” (label included)     8 Oct 1889

272      Smith, E.W., Portland, OR, (Densodyne” (type of product is not mentioned and no printed                       matter included) 16 Oct 1888 

282       Halleck, W. C., Portland, OR, “Skookum Root Hair Grower”, (label included) 14 Mar 1890 

283        Aphro Medicine Co., Portland, OR, “Faber’s Golden Female Pills” (label included)                                 25 Mar 1890

???        Shasta Mineral Water Co., Sacramento, CA, (labels for mineral water) 16 Oct 1890 

???         Withercombe, Thomas, Farmington, OR, “King of the Valley Liniment” (label included)                          26 Jun 1890

303         Love & Watkins, Portland, OR, “Klink’s Ague Pills” (box label included) 19 Nov 1890 

371        Scott & Gilbert, S.F., CA, “Sassafras Sour” (label included)  8 Feb 1893

 419        Loewe Bros,, S.F., CA, “C.W Stuart’s Extra Kentucky Whiskey” (with O & K                                         Monogram, including a label for “SHM Superior Old Bourbon, Wilmerding & Co.,                                 and a label for “Kellog’s Old Bourbon Whiskey, Wilmerding & Co.) 4 Feb 1895 

???       Blumauer, Phil, Portland, OR, “Barker’s Boro Thymol,” Barker’s Cod Liver Oil” “Barker’s                    Sarsaparilla”, “Barker’s Kola”, and the word “Alpine”            ??????  

478      Coblentz & Levy, Portland, OR, “North Star Old Kentucky Bourbon” (label included                              24 Jul 1897 

???       Coblentz & Levy, Portland, OR, “Black Diamond Whiskey” (label included 24 Aug 1897 

489      Star Medicine Co. (S. Hogeboom, Mrs. M. Hogeboom & E. Weaver, PortlandOR),                              “German Dandelion Bitters” (partially printed label) 4 Nov 1897

490       Star Medicine Co., Portland, OR, “German Dandelion Bitters” (full label                                                 included) 4 Nov 1897

491      Star Medicine Co., Portland, OR, “Dr. Hogeboom’s German Dandelion Bitters”, (appears to be               a back label for the same product) 4 Nov 1897

496      Wyatt & Labbe, Portland, OR, “Kuick Kough Kure” (stencil label included) 26 Nov 1897

546      Blumauer-Frank Drug Co., Portland, OR, “Hood’s Pepsin & Celery Bitters (label included)                    27 Oct 1898 

 594      Viavi Co., The, S.F., CA, “Viavi – Way to Health”, (in a black diamond) 28 Nov 1899 

610      Heath, Mrs. S. Moore, Portland, OR, “Heath’s Magic Enamel Cream” (no label  included)          8 May 1900

620      Fargo Co., E.A., S.F., CA, “Honey Rye Whiskey” (label included)  10 Jul 1900

680      Dolphine Chemical Co., Portland, OR, “Dolphine Dandruff Destroyer” (label included)              25 Mar 1902

688      Cottel Drug Co., Portland, OR, “Kitsap” (for Hair Tonic, Condition Powder,                        Cough Cure, Liniment and Corn Cure. Labels included) 18 Apr 1902

707      Caufield, Dan, Oregon City, OR, “The Woman’s Friend – A Monthly Regulator”                     (no label included) 9 Jul 1902 

764      Yaquis Medicine Co., S.F., CA & Portland, OR, “The Great Yaquis Cough Cure”               (labels, wrapper, and circular included)  7 May 1903

765      Yaquis Medicine Co., Portland, OR, “Snake Oil Liniment” (circular & wrapper) 7 May 1903

766      Yaquis Medicine Co., Portland, OR, “La-Cas-Ka” (for medicine. Label, circular & wrapper                    included) 7 May 1903

779      Hermetic Fruit Jar Co., Portland, OR,. (advertisement only)  21 Jul 1903

Friday, July 22, 2022

 CALIFORNIA MINERAL SPRINGS LABELS


Sitting on the edge of two of the largest geological plates on our earth, California is dotted with a plethora of mineral springs often created by deep-seated geothermal activity. Whether true or not, it has been part of human culture to consider mineral water generally containing health-giving properties.

With all these water sources it was just a matter of time before entrepreneurs would market this resource for their economic gain. Some were successful and others were not, as marketing is a fickle game.  

Shown below are several labels - mostly from the late nineteenth century - used on the bottles containing California mineral water. These examples are part of the vast collection of the State of California Trade Mark Archives.


















































Thursday, June 2, 2022

 

 

F. M. MODESTO – SODA WATER

 

An early view of I Street in Modesto, California, with its notoriously poor street conditions. The root of the name coming from the Spanish word for ‘modesty’, it has certainly been all that. Developed as a new railroad town, in the late 1860’s, it shifted the commercial focus for the area from the waning mining activities to agriculture. It is probably best known as the headquarters for the E & J Gallo Winery, the largest family owned winery in the United States. Another claim to fame is the childhood home of movie mogul, George Lucas, who co-created and directed the movie, “American Graffiti” (1973), which was loosely based on Lucas’ teenage years growing up in Modesto during the 1960’s

 

Frederick Meinecke was born in Hanover, Germany, about 1823. Like so many young men of the time he became drawn by the word of great riches in the far off land that had recently been wrested from Mexico and was known as California. Arriving in San Francisco in October 1849, he made his way to the ‘gold fields’, likely speaking no English and thrust into a melting pot of humanity from all points of the world. It is quite possible that he befriended another German, either on his arduous 150 day sea voyage from Hamburg or shortly thereafter. In 1851 Ernst Lodtmann formed a partnership with Meinecke in a venture to bring a herd of cattle from the ‘States’ to California. Over-wintering in the Salt Lake area the partners returned to California in 1852. They established a dairy ranch on the Calaveras River about four miles from Stockton. Although the partnership split up in 1857 it appears the two retained a good relationship and probably had continued business ventures for a number of years thereafter. However, at about this time Meinecke left California and returned to his homeland of Hanover, Germany. It is probable he had a specific purpose in mind for he returned to California about late 1860 or 1861 along with his new bride, Sophia, also a native of Germany.

 

Meinecke continued his farming activities but moved to the north bank of the Stanislaus River further south. Here he established a ferry across the river which attracted others who located there. A small settlement soon arose which was known by the name of Meinecke. A few years later Frederick Meinecke formed a partnership with Charles E. Taylor and the ferry business became known as Meinecke & Taylor’s Ferry. They also opened a grocery store at the same location. In 1867 Taylor was appointed postmaster for the little settlement of Meinecke.

 

One of the very few items found that document the settlement of Meinecke, which was named after Frederick Meinecke. (Stockton Independent, January 4, 1867)

 Meinecke was also involved in moving merchandise up and down the Tuolumne and San Joaquin Rivers in 1868 when he and three others incorporated the Tuolumne City Steamboat Company, with capital stock at $70,000. ( Daily Evening Herald, Stockton, California, December 4,1868)  The success of this company has not been determined.

 In 1869 Meinecke gave up his partnership with Taylor and moved on to other ventures, which primarily included the operation of his 800 acre ranch property.

 

This advertisement documents the dissolution of the partnership between Meinicke and Taylor in 1869. (Stockton Independent, March 27, 1869). The ferry crossing soon became known as simply “Taylor’s Ferry”. The small settlement of Meinecke soon disappeared as well.

 

This portion of an 1881 map by Wallace W. Elliott & Co. locates the geographical position of Taylor’s crossing (see red dot) which was the previous location of Meinecke’s Ferry.

 

 As noted above, Meinecke and Lodtmann maintained an amicable business relationship over the years, which is highlighted by the Lodtmann brothers later soda water activities. Earnest (Ernst) and Justus Lodtmann had initially established their soda water factory at Knights Ferry about 1867, along with their Miners’ Brewery. With that towns decline and with Modesto emerging as a town of great promise the Lodtmann brothers moved their soda water factory to Modesto by August 1868, but kept their brewery at Knight’s Ferry.

 The planning stage of the proposed rail line through the central valley of California essentially changed the human geography of the area. Along with the proposed new town of Modesto came a wholesale movement of towns and their people to this new hub of the rail line. The nearby towns of Empire, Tuolumne and Paradise essentially moved, including their buildings, to Modesto. It even usurped the county seat of government, Knight’s Ferry, by 1871. By 1874 the Lodtmann brothers sold their brewery at Knights Ferry and sold their Modesto soda factory to Frederick Meinecke the same year.

 

The newspaper notice documenting the beginning of Frederick Meinecke's soda water business in Modesto, California. Stanislaus County Weekly News (Modesto, California May 22,1874, Page 2)


 It has not been determined when Meinecke gave up his soda factory in Modesto, however; the 1879 and 1880 voting register for Stanislaus County lists Meinecke as only a farmer. Even during the period he operated the soda factory Meinecke continued with his farming activities, which consisted primarily of grain crops. It must be assumed that the soda factory was a short lived venture that fit somewhere between the years of 1874 and 1879. In fact, after his initial opening, there were no more newspaper articles found that mentioned his soda works.

 

The Meinecke soda bottles were undoubtedly blown in San Francisco. They are marked F M / MODESTO, on one side. No other variants are known.

 

Frederick and Sophia Meinecke had four children – all born in San Joaquin County:

 Edward Meinecke, born about 1861, Died 15 Nov 1939, in Modesto

Katie Meinecke, born about 1863, Died 7 May 1949, in Modesto

Meta Meinecke, born about 1865, Died 20 Oct 1949, in Modesto

Sophia Meinecke, born about 1871, Died 2 April 1940, in Modesto

 

Frederick Meinecke died near Modesto on 19 February 1907. Meinecke’s wife, Sophia, died February 12, 1925 in Modesto. It is somewhat strange that their four children, noted above, never married and had no issue. And, for the most part, the siblings lived together until their deaths.

Friday, April 29, 2022

 More on S.D. BALDWIN'S LINIMENT

As an addendum to the previous write-up on Baldwin’s Liniment, it is true that additional batches of the bottle were blown at a later date. Neatly made tooled top versions were produced and, thanks to my good friend, Frank Sternad, he sent me an advertisement from the 1878 Marysville Directory for the product. Oddly, it contains the same text as the ad published ten years earlier. I am not sure what to make of that but it is now well documented that Baldwin was still selling the liniment at that point in time and probably a few years later.

 


This is a good lesson in how difficult it can be to research 19th century items and retrieve all the important information. The best we can do is try, and eventually, we will assemble a reasonable history of many of our collectible bottles.


The later tooled top variant of S.D. Baldwin's Liniment


Friday, April 22, 2022

 S. D. BALDWIN'S LINIMENT

Stephen Dexter Baldwin was born about 1806 in Windsor, Berkshire, Massachusetts, the youngest of six children. Shortly after his birth, Stephen and his family moved to Riga, Monroe County, New York, where his father was a farmer, and most of his family lived out their lives.

Stephen married Lois Chamberlin about 1833 and they settled in Brockport, Sweden Township, Monroe County, New York, just north of Riga. He was a farmer and fathered four children, all born between 1834 and 1848. 

Stephen is likely the same “S.D. Baldwin” who was scheduled in the 1850 U.S. census for Tuolumne County, California – listed as a miner. Little is known of his life during this early gold rush period. It appears his mining venture had some success for Baldwin went back home and arrived in San Francisco, along with his family, in 1855 on the SS Cortes. (Daily Alta California, 21 January 1855) Exactly when he opened his jewelry store in Marysville, California, is not known, but newspaper accounts show him in the business as early as 1858.

Baldwin suffered some setbacks in the beginning. His house burned in Marysville on 3 November 1859 and by 1861 he was forced into bankruptcy. (Daily National Democrat ,Marysville, Calif., 26 Apr 1861) With hard work and determination he eventually succeeded in his business, but was always looking for additional economic possibilities. He even landed a contract with the city of Marysville to maintain and wind the city clock.

 

By 1863 Baldwin had moved to larger quarters and began advertising. Signs of his success became obvious. (Marysville Daily Appeal, 10 June 1863)

The ‘sideline’ business that has caught the attention of bottle collectors is the manufacture of his liniment. Its earliest record is noted when he received a copyright for “S.D.Baldwin’s Neuralgia Liniment”, registered with the Northern District Court of California, on 17 December 1866. He would have had his bottles blown for his liniment at about the same time.

 

The bottles are about 6.25 inches in height with separately applied tops. One side is embossed S.D. BALDWIN’S / LINIMENT, in two lines. The glass has the unmistakable character of the product of one of the two functioning glass works located in San Francisco. This example has some unusual strings of glass adhered to its surface, accidentally made during the blowing process.

 

The opposite side is embossed, MARYSVILLE / CAL, which leaves no room for a bottle label. It is currently not possible to determine exactly when the bottles were blown, or how many batches were made. It is likely that they were first blown in late 1866 or early 1867, and judging from the relatively short marketing period, there were few if any further batches.

 

The only newspaper advertisement of any significance is this one, which ran from February to August 1868.

No other advertisements for Baldwin’s liniment have been located, which is an indication that it didn’t do very well in the market. Only one other reference was noted that he wholesaled some of his product to R.H. McDonald & Co. in San Francisco. (Daily Alta California, 5 August 1867)  If profits from the sales of a product don’t cover the cost of advertising it is not unusual for the proprietor to no longer support it. It is likely that Baldwin ultimately only sold his liniment through his jewelry store which would limit sales considerably. Just one, rather novel mention of the liniment was noted after 1868, which is an indication of his remaining inventory, and shown in the news article below.

 

This whimsical article is the last mention of Baldwin’s Liniment that was located. If there is any truth in it the strength of the concoction must have been powerful. (Marysville Daily Appeal, 29 February 1872)

 Baldwin seems to have continued his quest for profitable ventures beyond his jewelry store, and he felt assured that he discovered his ticket to wealth in the tules that were abundant in the marshy lands around his home town. News articles laid praise to his new discovery. “ Mr. B. has for some considerable time had experiments going on here and in the East, and has finally succeeded in establishing the fact that the native tule, which grows so abundant, in almost endless tracts of cheap swamp lands in California, can be economically manufactured into first-class papers. (Pacific Rural Press, 2 March 1872)

For reasons that seemingly defy logic, he even went so far as obtaining a U.S patent for the use of tules in the making of paper.

 

Baldwin’s new invention simply consisted of the use of the common tule found throughout much of California as a medium for making paper.

 His patent apparently died an unceremonious death as no further documentation was located regarding paper making with tules in California, Actually, other tule species had been used in making paper for centuries in other parts of the world. It was almost as if he was duped into this belief by others who saw a chance to obtain some of Baldwin’s funds during his research and development process.

 Baldwin continued with his Marysville jewelry store until about 1880 when he retired from the business which was then run for a few years by his son-in-law, Perry Corey.

 Baldwin’s obituary notes, … “He was well known in this section of the State, and was greatly esteemed and respected for his high character and his genial social qualities”. He was found slumped over in his ‘easy chair’, spectacles on his nose, and newspaper at his feet, on January 27, 1882. (Marysville Daily Appeal, 28 January 1882)  He is buried in the Baldwin crypt in the Marysville city cemetery.

 

 


Friday, March 18, 2022

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

 

PACIFIC CONGRESS WATER 

An interesting little tidbit came to light awhile back when I was doing some research. Sometimes when I get a lot of “hits” when doing newspaper research, I often don’t bother looking at those that appear to be way out of the time period for a particular item. This happened when searching for “Pacific Congress Springs”. The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1903 and the associated bottling activity had already stopped by then. One hit showed up that was dated 1911 and I didn’t bother to check it for a long time, but my curiosity got the best of me.

It was totally not what I had expected but was so interesting that I thought I would share it, as it really relates to the very beginnings of the Pacific Congress bottles in an unusual way. The organizers of the springs were the financier, Darius Ogden Mills and the lucky miner, turned financier, Alvinza Hayward, in 1864.  The Pacific Congress Springs Company was organized in San Francisco in November 1865, with a capital stock of $100,000, divided into two hundred shares.  

As many people know, the State of California initiated a trade mark system as early as 1861 which allowed proprietors certain legal protection to help deter imitators from stealing their profits. This was the case with the Pacific Congress Springs when they decided to bottle and sell their water. Begun as early as 1864, the springs soon became quite popular and fearing the probability of unscrupulous competitors, by 1868 the company decided to trade mark its name, as well as specifically protecting their bottles.

 

 

 

This handwritten document is a portion of the trade mark registration for Pacific Congress water, registered with the State of California as Trade Mark No. 113, on October 21, 1868. It clearly notes that an example of the bottle to be trademarked was submitted along with the necessary paperwork. This was an unusual precedent since most trademarks were submitted by picture or drawing since an actual object could present obvious storage or filing issues for a governmental agency. Nevertheless, an actual bottle was submitted to the care of the California Secretary of State, which is even further documented by way of the Sacramento Daily Union of October 22, 1868, which noted, . . . “The trade-mark of the Pacific Congress Springs Company, and likewise a bottle of the Congress water for which the trademark is claimed, were filed in the office of the Secretary of State yesterday.” This statement makes it sound as if the bottle was even full of spring water. Perhaps it was.

As time went by trade mark registrations continued into the files of the State – in fact, thousands of files, for any number of different goods. The older documents would eventually be stored in odd ‘out-of-the-way’ places at the Capitol, to make room for more current or more relevant items. Employees would retire, or find other jobs, and files would often become forgotten, fragmented or even lost. This is an all too common issue that most of us can relate to.

Nearly fifty years passed when a new position was created at the state capitol in Sacramento.  The former editor of the Watsonville Pajaronian, George Radcliff, was given the job by the new governor. This position was titled ‘Superintendent of the Capitol and Grounds’ for the capitol building. It was his job to create a smoothly running ‘house’ within which our elected officials could operate. Apparently, one of his duties was to deal with some of the neglected papers, etc. that had accumulated in various storage rooms in the old building. I am sure he stumbled upon any number of items for which he had to make a judgment call on what to do with it. At least he would need to ask someone else their opinion as to what should be done with some of the ‘stuff’. As is often the case, no one really knows what should be done with some of the items, and usually had no interest in it. It would often be relegated to the trash.

This was the case when Radcliff happened upon an old bottle which was apparently part of a trade mark submission. Being an old newspaper man, he saw a story in his find. Whether he wrote most of the copy is not known, but the article played up the age of the bottle found among the rubble.

 

The meaning of Adam’s Ale has been somewhat lost in time, but it refers to the only drink available to the first man to inhabit the earth in the biblical text – water. (Sacramento Bee, July 20, 1911 Sacramento, CA, Page: 5)


 

It is not clear if that old bottle of Pacific Congress Water has survived to the present day, but I do wonder if one of the impressive deep blue variants was given to the Secretary of State as the trade mark example.

 

A rendering of the Pacific Congress Springs in 1876, while under the ownership of Lewis A. Sage.

Monday, November 8, 2021

MAC - a "cure" for Train Sickness and Sea Sickness~

 


 

I’d never heard of Smith Bros. of Fresno until I bought a huge collection from that area several years ago. In it, was a bottle that I found intriguing. Embossed on the obverse “M.A.C. / For Dyspepsia / And Constipation / Smith Bros. / Fresno Cal. “and “For Sea Sickness” on one side panel with “Train Sickness” on the other. I’m not a cure collector per se, but this just had too much going for it to sell it.

Oddly enough, I could locate a “Smith Bros.” doing business as a pharmacist / druggist in Fresno around the turn of the century, but could only find one Smith; a George H.. Was the brother a silent partner, or was this an attempt by George to piggyback onto the Smith Brothers of cough drop fame of the same era?...

Smith Bros first started appearing in advertisements dating to 1898. They were puffing their miracle cure for dandruff.  San Jose must have been a hotbed for this disease because they advertised incessantly in the Mercury News. Actually the ads were in the form of news articles, which I found odd. This campaign continued into late 1899.

By 1901 they were marketing a Catarrh Cure and a Deafness Cure  as well; (if one reads between the lines, it appears that they were one in the same - just appealing to different maladies). Ads appeared in San Jose for the deafness cure. They expanded their territory to Hanford, Eureka and Santa Rosa, as well as San Jose, for the Catarrh Cure. The price? A buck a bottle or six for a five spot. 


 

 

 

 

They must have done well in Santa Rosa because ads started appearing in Healdsburg not long after the initial foray into Santa Rosa. By mid 1902, they were offering a free book describing the maladies of Catarrh and extolling the virtues of their miracle cure. Madera was next in their ad parade starting in 1903. The ads for all locations were carbon copies of one another. By 1903 the price had dropped to four bits a bottle. They must have been making the profit margin up in volume by then. But by late 1903 advertising had dwindled to a shadow of its former self. The year 1904 saw promotion of the products slow down drastically from the fever pitch of the previous two years and advertising is all but non-existent. This despite their attempt to broaden the need for the cure by claiming that catarrh infected the lungs plus, now, the stomach and bladder too (might as well cover all the bases…) Ohh, and the price had risen back up to a buck a bottle since it cured so much more than originally claimed.


A single advertisement in January of 1904 seems to signal the end for “Smith Bros.”, SB Catarrh Cure, and their Dandruff Pomade. Try as I did, I was never able to find a stitch of advertising for the train / sea sickness cure.

And so, yet another here today - gone tomorrow participant in the cesspool of turn of the century quack medicines.