Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Tulare - An oldie, but a "goodie"!

I remember the Tulare California Show fondly. Early one afternoon, Bob Barnett, Bob Scott, and I were standing in an aisle not far from the entrance to the show, talking shop, when we all spied a deep amber glop top sticking out of the top of a sock as it's owner drug it into the hall.

Bob Scott was closest, and fastest, out of the starting blocks. When the bottle was pulled out of the sock, the most amazing example of a dark chocolate amber Old Woodburn made it's appearance. Wonky top, hammered with whittle, and dead MINT! The owner placed the Woodburn on the table and Bob Scott started dispensing hundred dollar bills like an ATM on steroids. 

A legendary moment in the Tulare Show's long and well deserved reputation as a great show, where sleepers surface.


Friday, September 13, 2019

Sunday, July 28, 2019

NAPA SODA


NAPA SODA

Many years ago I called upon bottle digger and collector, Mel Hughes, who has long since gone to his reward, to photograph his Baker & Cutting pickle bottle. Mel was an avid digger, and if you find an Oly beer can at the bottom of a privy hole in California that you thought was un-dug, Mel beat you to it. He also owned the bottom portion of a spectacular Napa Soda bottle that I have not seen before or since.

Many people are not aware that Napa Soda has been bottled since 1856 but its early history is shrouded in intrigue and even violence over the rights to ownership. Even during the long California Supreme Court battle over who owned the spring, various people were given rights to bottle and sell the water as agents. Its early bottling history, therefore, is not very clear.

Mel’s bottle is unquestionably the crudest Napa Soda and most enigmatic. It is not known if it is the earliest embossed bottle used for the water but certainly must be one of the first. Its age is only part of the mystery, for the mold used to blow the bottles has to be the crudest on record. No respectable eastern or mid-western glass manufacturer would have allowed the use of such a mold. There is no record of this Napa Soda bottle being blown in the West, even though that would be the logical favorite. The wastage from the first San Francisco Glass Works has been excavated by several people over the years and no trace of Napa Soda bottles were found. The only other western source may have been the glass works established by J. Lambert & Co. of San Francisco. The Sacramento Daily Union of August 16, 1860, noted, . . .”Lambert & Co. state that it makes an excellent quality of common glass, and that they will use, at present, from one to four tons per week.” This glass works was obviously not successful as very little documentation exists, and given the crudity of the above noted bottle, it may be one of the reasons failure soon followed. This works lasted at least through September 1860, as noted in Warren Friedrich’s book on EARLY GLASSWORKS OF CALIFORNIA. This is only conjecture, but there seems to be very few logical options available for the manufacture of this bottle.

I am posting these photos to see if any other examples of this bottle may have been found by someone else.



The front of the bottle is embossed with the familiar wording, NAPA SODA. The most significant clue to its origin is embossed near the base of the front, P & W  SF, which must be either the initials of the agent, or the short-lived proprietors of the spring.




The reverse is lettered with the typical words, NATURAL / MINERAL / WATER, but in a very crude and clumsy style.




The base sports a very nasty, almost dangerous, blowpipe pontil.


While several parties involved with the early Napa Soda Springs have surnames beginning with W (Whitney, Wood & White), a likely candidate for the partnership initials embossed on this bottle may be Thomas A. White. The surname beginning with a P is a complete mystery to me. White apparently had some involvement with the springs as early as 1860. However, his earliest documented involvement as a sales agent wasn’t until 1861.

The other known early variant of an early Napa Soda bottle is marked W. & W., and is most likely the initials of Whitney & Wood. I have seen one example, nearly whole, but if my memory serves me correctly, it did not show any signs of a pontil mark.

 By October of 1861, as San Francisco agent for Napa Soda, White advertised the sale of this water in his own trade marked bottles, which included his initials – T. A. W.

Note also that Phil Caduc, Sacramento agent for Napa Soda, was the first to register his Napa Soda trademark, on September 16, 1861, but it only consisted of the bottoms of his bottles painted white, with no embossing involved. For some unknown reason T. A. White chose not to register his trade mark initials with the State. Perhaps he felt the precise establishment of his trade mark features described in his advertisement in the Daily Alta California, beginning October 6, 1861, and running for one month, was enough to adequately document his proprietary rights.



T. A. White’s October 6, 1861, advertisement clearly documents his trade mark for his Napa Soda bottles.


White’s Napa Soda bottles were as well made as any of that period and were probably blown in the East. The only slightly unusual feature is that the lettering is deeply cut into the mold.



It is not clear when White stopped functioning as agent for Napa Soda. He no longer advertised after 1861. White almost certainly gave up his association with the springs after November 1862 when the bottling house and other structures were destroyed by Amos Buckman, one of the previous stakeholders in the spring who went on a vengeful rampage against Whitney and Wood, the other claimants of the spring. T. A. White subsequently entered the mining business by 1863. The ownership squabble over the springs went well into 1865.

Please note that this was not written as a complete early history of Napa Soda bottles. As many are aware, John O’Neill has been collecting information about Napa Soda for many years in anticipation of publishing a book on the subject. I know he will eventually succeed in this task and I am sure it will be a necessary read for many of us. My objective here is to elicit response about the mysterious broken P. & W. bottle shown above and hopefully add some knowledge about its place in this world. It would be great to see a picture of a whole specimen.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

AN UNUSUAL LITTLE MEDICINE BOTTLE

I recently picked up this unassuming little 5 ½ inch aqua unembossed but labeled medicine bottle because it appeared the proprietor was located in California. The town location was very difficult to read but enough of the lettering remained to make a decent guess. It looked very much like the word FOREST. I drew a blank on where a town by that name could have been a likely location for someone to produce a commercial medicinal product. Of course, the SYRUP OF FIGS was well known at about the time this little bottle was made, but EXTRACT OF FIGS had me stumped. The only town I could find in California with the name of Forest, is the former Sierra County gold rush period settlement of Forest City. It is a remnant of its former glory and never did contain more than about 1,500 inhabitants during its heyday. In fact, as its residents began moving away it lost its post office and its status as a ‘city’, becoming simply Forest in the mid-1890’s. (see http://www.calexplornia.com/forest-city-sierra-countys-authentic-gold-rush-ghost-town/ for a nice article on the town.)







Not convinced this little town may have contained a doctor who was willing to peddle a medicine from such a remote location I focused my research attention on Dr. E. R. Brooks. It wasn’t long before it was clear that Ezra Rockwell Brooks was, in fact, a real doctor and he actually did settle in the old gold rush town of Forest. I had to find out a little more about him.

Ezra R. Brooks was born June 12, 1861, in Seymour, Iowa. In 1886 he received his M.D. degree from the College of Medicine of the University of Iowa. On August 20, 1890 he married Kate Thomas in Union County, Oregon, where a number of his siblings had previously relocated. His first daughter, Lucile Frances Brooks was born in Oregon in 1892.

Dr. Brooks had located to Forest, Sierra County, California, by 1896, where his second daughter, Greta, was born on August 12, 1899. He continued to practice medicine there until about 1901 and then moved to Bodie, California, where he stayed until 1906. Brooks then moved to the copper boom-town of Greenwater, Inyo County, for about a year and was also appointed postmaster in that town.

Dr. Brooks wife, Kathryn, was apparently tired of his wanderlust and they were divorced. Kathryn remained in Orange and Los Angeles Counties for nearly the rest of her life.

His first daughter, Frances Lucille, had graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, and became a music teacher. By some tragic act of fate she died in 1916 and is buried in Santa Ana – age 23. Even her alma mater wondered what happened to her when it published in one of its odd little newsletters titled The Brazen Knocker, on June 23, 1923, “WHAT HAPPENED TO L. BROOKS. The mysterious disappearance of Lucile Brooks is still puzzling the authorities.  Eleven years ago her whereabouts were well known to everyone. She was pointed out to visitors as one of the most promising entites (sic) in the vicinity.  She had even attained the honorable position as a josh editor of the Exponent, but shortly after its publication on June 1912, she disappeared suddenly. Anyone having knowledge of her whereabouts will kindly notify the authorities.”

 About 1945, and in failing health, Kathryn Brooks moved back to the Washington, DC area where her daughter, Greta, and family were living. Greta’s husband, Robert E. Soderberg, was a career military man stationed there at the time. Kathryn died in Arlington, Virginia, on January 31, 1946. Her death certificate notes that she was to be buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery, Suitland, Maryland, but her final burial place is in Fairhaven Memorial Park, Santa Ana, Orange County, CA, along side her daughter, Frances Lucille.

About 1908 Dr. Brooks moved to Orange, Orange County, for awhile and then moved to Holtville, in Imperial County, in May of that year, where he associated himself with the Central Hospital in El Centro, California, until 1910 when he then moved to Coalinga, Fresno County for a short time. By 1912 Brooks had relocated to Oakland, California, where he met and married Mabel M. Hagel on March 29, 1916.

Then, by 1920, Dr. Brooks moved to Meadow Lake, Nevada County, as noted in the census record for that year (Feb 7, 1920). He then moved to Floriston, Nevada County, where he continued to practice medicine. He stayed there until 1924, and in the following year moved to San Francisco. He then moved to Albany, in Alameda County by 1927 and stayed there until about 1934. While living there, his second wife, Mabel Mary Brooks, died in Santa Clara County, on November 4, 1930, probably at a hospital there.  In 1935 he was back in San Francisco.

 I lost track of him for a few years but he apparently moved to Atascadero in San Luis Obispo County after his San Francisco residency.   The San Luis Obispo Daily Telegram, December 30, 1938, notes. “Dr. E.R. Brooks returned to his home in Atascadero recently.  During the summer months he is employed as resident physician at the Michigan California Lumber Company near Placerville.” He continued this summer job at least until 1940, all the while maintaining his primary house in Atascadero and moving there in the winter months. This is probably why the U.S. census for 1940 lists him as living in Georgetown, El Dorado County with the occupation of “lumber camp physician”

The San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune, October 24, 1941, notes. . .  “ Dr. E.R. Brooks has sold his home at the corner of Cubaril and Rosario avenues and has moved to the Anderson Kentucky Home on Rosario.” He would have been about 80 years old by this time – certainly old enough to slow down a little.

Why Dr. Brooks chose Forest to live and to produce his Extract of Figs is currently not known, however, it was truly an isolated location that had already witnessed its glory days as a gold rush town. It just doesn’t seem like there would be a sustainable market demand for a medicine within the area he chose to live. And, in time, he probably came to the same conclusion.

Although packaged like many patent medicines of the day it only skated on the edge of such products. Most importantly, it is not a scam product and is an effective medicine for the relief of constipation. Even though the dominant product of the day, Syrup of Figs, located in Reno, Nevada, was similar in nature, and actually may not have contained figs, apparently that company chose not to rein in Brooks’ version of the product, since it really didn’t present itself as a blatant copy. Or, perhaps the Syrup of Figs company was unaware of Dr. Brooks’ version since it really was not a great success in the market place, thus not a real competitor. It is even doubtful that Brooks continued with his Extract of Figs after he left Forest and moved to Bodie. Whatever the answer it is an unusual artifact from an unusual location.

Initially, I had no intention of following the life Dr. E. R. Brooks with such tenacity but I don’t recall anyone, especially a real medical doctor, move around with such frequency. It became a fascinating challenge to see where he would go and what he would do next. Has anyone else seen one of these bottles?




Sunday, June 9, 2019

Many of us are still thinking of you Rick, and we want to keep your excellent blog alive. Coming Soon!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

In Loving Memory


Thank you all for your wonderful comments, accolades and caring responses through this difficult time. Rick’s passing was so unexpected and it’s heartwarming to our family to receive your support.  Rick was one of those guys that you could never forget. He had a presence about him and when I first saw him 45 years ago, I knew immediately that our paths would cross someday.

Please keep me on your mailing list for upcoming shows and newsletters. I’m hoping to continue supporting the hobby as much as possible. Thank you again.
Cherry
"Rick" Richard Gary Simi
December 21, 1947 - March 19, 2019

                                                          

“Rick”, Richard Gary Simi passed away on March 19, 2019 at Mercy San Juan Hospital in Carmichael, CA after complications from a serious surgery.  He was 71 years old.

Rick was born in Oakland CA and was the first born boy and first boy grandchild in the Simi family. He spent his childhood moving between El Cerrito, Lake Tahoe and South Carolina before moving back to California and graduating from Harry Ells High School in 1965.

After graduation, Rick worked with his father at Berkeley Glass and received his Journeyman Glazier certificate. Later he worked with Bob Holt, who had a lightshow business during the early rock days. They produced light shows for rock concerts at Winterland, the Filmore and other Bay Area concert venues. Rick worked with many popular rock bands during the 1960-70’s and enjoyed friendships with several.

He had a passion for music all his life, as well as photography, race cars and motorcycles.  Rick had an artistic flair and was good with his hands; creating stained glass windows and working with wood. He had many hobbies and always pursued them to the fullest.  He was truly an example of a “renaissance man”.  Rick loved being outdoors; motorcycle riding, fishing, long range shooting, metal detecting, and bottle hunting. He was well-known for his knowledge of antique bottles and wrote a local history book called “Gold Rush Camps and Bottles of Sierra County”. Rick also created a popular forum-style website about collecting and researching antique bottles that has a large following of viewers.

Rick ventured into the gold country during the early 1970’s and finally found his forever home. He camped and panned for gold and ultimately bought a house in Sierra City.  This was where he wanted to plant roots. He obtained his building contractor’s license and did much of his work in the Sierra City, Downieville area. He and wife Cherry purchased the old Downieville Brewery and completely renovated it. After retiring from the building industry, and at the time of his death, he was a Federal, State and Locally licensed firearms dealer, instructor and gunsmith.

During his 49 years as a Sierra County resident, Rick was a past member of the Sierra City Fire Department; acted in the Sierra City Fireman’s Follies as the memorable French maid “Fifi”, was a past Downieville Cemetery Director; served as a Director on the Forest City Historical Society; volunteered to create exhibits and remodel the Downieville Museum; has been the Yuba Pass Chili Cook-Off three time first place winner; hosted the annual Downieville Antiques and Bottles Show, and participated in many other local activities and organizations.

Rick is survived by his wife of 32 years, Cherry; children Alex Simi (Napa), James Prince (Downieville), Chandra Baciocco (San Francisco), Natalina Simi (Oakland). Sister Renee Simi Kantor (Pleasanton) and brother Michael Simi (Rohnert Park), and several nieces, nephew, and cousins. Dear to his heart are grand-daughters Macie and Makenna Prince. Also grandchildren Jordan and Zachary Simi. Rick was preceded in death by his brother Joseph Simi and both parents.

A Celebration of Life for friends and family will be announced at a later date.

As in the lyrics from the song Truckin’ by the Grateful Dead:
 Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me,
 Other times I can barely see,
 Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been.

We love and miss you, Rick. 


Rick adored his grand-daughters and they loved him back. This is a favorite photo of mine. 



Friday, March 22, 2019

Rest In Peace

Rest In Peace Rick, we are going to miss you.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Mills' Bitters A.M. Gilman

Update on the Mills' Bitters


The first listing for the Mills' Bitters in California is in, The Shasta Courier, July 22, 1854. It shows H. Gilbert of Shasta, Cal. selling it.

Here is an ad from the Nashville Union and American, Dec. 2, 1855. It shows what the Mills' Bitters was made for and from whom. It was highly advertised in Nashville, Tenn. during the 1850's.
 
 
The first listing for A.M. Gilman is in the San Francisco directory 1854. He is listed at 106 Battery St. S.F.
 
Next in 1856 he is at 82 Front St. and established the company name, A.M. Gilman & Co. in 1855
 
 
1861 -  324 Front St.
 
1862 - 414 Front St.
 
1864 - 409 Front St.
 
1871 - 322 Washington St.
 
1873 - 308 California St.
 
1876 - 308 California St. "Lick House" Billiard Saloon
 
1880 - 1516 California St.
 
There is no listing for A.M. Gilman after 1880.
 
The newspaper ads I found for A.M. Gilman start in 1857.
The first one is in the, Daily Alta, April 2, 1857
 
 
 
Next is in the, Red Bluff Beacon, April 11, 1861 and August 7, 1862
 
 
 


 Daily Alta, August 2, 1873
 
 
 
Daily Alta, Nov. 27, 1874
 

Daily Alta, Dec. 20, 1875


Daily Alta, June 4, 1876



Daily Alta, August 12, 1877


Daily Alta, Jan. 31, 1878





Daily Alta, August 14, 1878
This is the first and only ad for the Mills' Bitters and the very last ad for A.M. Gilman.


Strange that Mr. Gilman waited until the end of his career to produce the Mills' Bitters. After this ad in 1878, he is only listed one more time in 1880. He is listed as a merchant at 1516 California St. After that he disappears. Shortly after Mr. Cassin takes over the brand. Mr. Gilman had a 26 year run in the liquor business.  He had only one liquor business in the Santa Cruz area fail.


But, the great thing that A.M. Gilman did is produce a rare one year only Western Bitters.
Thanks Mr. Gilman



 
 
 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

A RECENT WESTERN DIG

Hey Rick;

“Two western diggers( JS &DM) teamed up recently in a western State and found three pits ranging from the early 1860s to the late 1880s. There were over 100 intact bottles found with these being the undamaged “favorites”. Quite a variety of glass from all categories. Nothing like digging fun glass in 10 foot deep mud filled holes!”
Thanks!















Monday, February 11, 2019

Aurora Oregon Show - this weekend

I'd strongly suggest calling before traveling to the show due to inclement weather (IE; a LOT of snow)! 

 Image may contain: text

Saturday, February 9, 2019

W.S. Wright- Revisited - A True Piece of History.

Recently I was able to reacquire a bottle which I dug many years ago...lost in the pick, purchased it later, traded it, and now am grateful to have back on the shelf. It is a dark aqua W.S.Wright blob soda with thousands of champagne bubbles, and in perfect condition. To me these sodas are among the most historically significant pieces of western glass.
William S. Wright came to California in the 1850s and initially settled in the Petaluma, California area. He ran

a store there until moving to the Comstock about 1860. Wright started in the soda water business in 1861 at Mill and B street in Virginia City. In the Summer of 1863, Wright placed an order for 24,000 soda bottles from the fledgling Pacific Glass Works. This large order actually made headlines in the San Francisco and Sacramento newspapers. Obviously he had grand ideas of the demand for his bottled soda in the booming town. For such a large order of "custom" bottles, relatively few have survived. It is thought that a significant percentage of these bottles were poorly manufactured with flashes, numerous pot stones, and other impurities. In 1989 literally thousands of these "rejects" were dug in a large well or outhouse near the W.S. Wright factory. Only a handful were found intact, and most of these were loaded with chunks of charcoal, and stones. I have seen and held the killer dark green example with hundreds of stones throughout, and amazingly, none radiate. What a bottle!
The W.S. Wright has "Pacific Glass Works" proudly embossed on the base, and although no State is embossed, these are considered to be the earliest western blown soda bottle. They are also territorial which makes these bottles the earliest territorial soda bottles in the U.S.
Very few of the Wright sodas have been found outside the Virginia City area, which makes sense as there was most likely this one order. There are in my opinion about 30 undamaged examples in collections. All in all this is one important western bottle! Dale M.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Dr. J. Hostetter's Stomach Bitters


Dr. J. Hostetter’s Stomach Bitters was first marketed in an embossed bottle, on the Pacific Coast, as early as 1858 by the firm of Park & White of San Francisco. David Hostetter, with his father’s recipe for bitters, and George Smith with the capital to produce and market the product, in 1853, formed the firm of Hostetter & Smith. The first containers produced for the western market were the large 31 ounce size black glass or amber bottles that were manufactured for the Pacific Coast. A 27 ounce bottle was also produced for the western market. The large blacks or ambers are rarely unearthed east of the Rocky Mountains and almost all examples have been discovered on the west coast. The large size Hostetter’s were distributed until sometime around February 1865 when in an advertisement run by Hostetter, Smith & Dean they claim to be discontinuing “the old size large bottle used exclusively in the west” and replacing it with the small size 20 ounce bottle. This information leads me to believe that if you are digging the large size Hostetter’s here in the west you are digging a bottle made before 1865 and possibly as early as 1858.
Although several western collectors believe some variants of the Hostetter’s were blown out west I cannot find any evidence that Hostetter had any of his bitters bottles manufactured on the west coast.
Hostetter’s Bitters was one of the best selling bottled products of the 19th century and the amount of these bottles available to collectors is staggering. It is believed that after 1865 Hostetter was selling over six thousand bottles of bitters a day, an unbelievable amount of bottled goods for that time period. The Hostetter’s come in dozens of variants and a myriad of colors ranging from the lightest of yellows to a dark black-amber. Although the majority of the Hostetter’s are considered common, unusual colors and different mold variants are highly desirable and sought after by collectors.







Rowler's (Roller's) Infallible Rheumatism Medicine and Klink's Counterfeit

It seems like every successful bitters or medicine product that I research has some sort of skeleton in its closet. Take for instance the Rowler’s Rheumatism Medicine. Prepared by Dr. J.R. Boyce of Sacramento City. J.R. Boyce, located at the corner of K and Second Street, claimed to have bought the recipe for the rheumatism medicine from Charles Roller sometime in the late 1850’s.  Charles Roller claims that “the recipe was given to me by a friend in this country”
 
Charles F. Klink, a druggist also from Sacramento, approached Charles Roller with a proposition to manufacturer Roller’s rheumatism medicine and split the profits from the sale of the product with Roller. Roller declined the proposition and Klink began informing the public that he (Klink) had the original recipe that Roller had bought or brought from New Orleans.
At about the same time as the Klink allegations (during the summer of 1861) Boyce comes out with the embossed Rowler’s bottle and states in a Sacramento Daily Union advertisement “to guard against spurious and counterfeit medicine, you will please observe that the written signature of Jas. R. Boyce, M.D, appears on each label, and that the name of the medicine is blown in the bottle".
Dr. Boyce was a larger than life character, well respected and besides pushing the Rowler's product practiced medicine in Sacramento. While walking on the corner of Sixth & K Street one day with John Cassidy a man named William Tierney discharged a revolver at Cassidy. The ball struck Boyce in the back and passed entirely through his body. Cassidy immediately ran down K Street and Tierney followed behind still firing at him. In all, three shots were fired and after the second shot Cassidy cried out, I'm shot! I'm shot!. The ball passed through his clothing, grazing his skin. but did no injury. Boyce, on the other hand, was considered in critical condition by his attending physicians. As it turns out Cassidy was accused of improper intimacy with Tierney's wife and Tierney had been "gunning" for Cassidy.
Dr. Boyce, although seriously injured, steadily improved and finally overcame his injury's.
The Rowler's comes with a pontil and also a smooth base variant. These bottles were manufactured at the second glass works to begin operation in San Francisco.  The glass works was built in May of 1860 and manufactured several different medicine bottles, to include the Dr. Bowen's Blood Purifier and the Adolphus Anti Rheumatic Cordial bottles as well. All examples, that I know of, were dug in the west. These bottles are pretty scarce and I know of one intact example that was unearthed in the Nevada City area in the early 1990's. The late Mike Dolcini dug two Rowler's in Sacramento, one pontiled and one smooth base.

 
Although scarce, the "Rowler's" are not exactly rare. Several were unearthed in Old Sac back in the late '60s and early '70s. One pit we dug under what is now Fanny Anne's Saloon produced 2 mint and several damaged OP Rowler's. At the time, they brought relatively high prices, $125 to $150 in the considerably higher dollar value of those years. I recall one darker green example bringing the princely sum of $225 at an early Sacramento Bottle Show. In the years since, only a couple have been dug in Sac'to. One on D St, between 13th and 14th, in Alkali Flat, and another on 12th and Q after the old Pepsi Cola bottling plant was removed to make way for another state office building. Specimens may have been dug by others that I am not aware of, including the rumor of one dug in Marysville.
Mike Dolcini

 

I much as I hate counterfeiters, bogus products and imitations you have to thank the perpetrators of these frauds......... without them we probably wouldn't have any embossed bottles - rs -
Thanks to Warren Friedrich, Dale Mlasko and the late Mike Dolcini

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

CALIFORNIA VOLCANIC MINERAL WATER COMPANY



Quite a while back I acquired a bottle that I knew absolutely nothing about and had never seen before. What intrigued me about the bottle was the name CAL. VOLCANIC MINERAL WATER CO. embossed on the side panels of the bottle. Even though the name Cal. Volcanic was enough to spark my interest the "R's" in MINERAL and WATER were of the curved variety. Those curved "R's" are associated with the bottles blown in San Francisco and that was the clincher for the purchase.

The first mention of the Cal. Volcanic Water Co. product, that I could find, was in the 1880 Sacramento Daily Union newspaper. As you can see in the ad the mineral water was discovered in Southern California and was known as Fahrenkrug's Eradicator.


1880 Sacramento Daily Union mention of the Volcanic Water
 
The Sacramento Daily Union of March 1883 lists "California Volcanic Mineral Water, San Francisco, Cal" under the heading "Business Announcements". I am not sure if this is the beginning of the mineral water business or just a mention of an established business. It seems like the above ad from the 1880 Sacramento Daily Union would be the beginning time frame for the business and the advertisement below a mention of the established "up and running" mineral water business in San Francisco
 
 
March 1883 Sacramento Daily Union
 

 
Notice the curved "R's on the indented panel embossing
 
 
Flat western style medicine base
 
 
Early tooled type top
 
 
Embossed indented panel
 
 
1883 Pacific Rural Press advertisement for the California Volcanic Mineral Water.
 
A remedy for blood diseases, rheumatism and liver complaint. A cure for kidney disease, dyspepsia and female complaints. The bottle is shaped like a medicine, the contents are from southern California. Heck, this is a western medicine in Fahrenkrug's disguise of some sort of a mineral water eradicator hallucination  If its shaped like a medicine, claims to cure ailments such as blood diseases etc. and has the word California embossed on the bottles with the western R's, in my book, that's a western medicine.

Cal. Volcanic Mineral Water