Monday, August 24, 2009

A little history on the Henley's Bitters

Here is a little history for the beginning of the Henley's Wild Grape Root IXL Bitters product. This Notice was placed in the Portland Morning Oregonian newspaper on March 13th, 1868 [bottom]. Louis Gross placed it to solicit his customers to continue to patronize his former establishment which he sold on March 11th.

After arriving in San Francisco, and establishing L. Gross & Co, the first advertisement for the Dr. Henley's Wild Grape Root IXL Bitters was placed on July 1st, 1868 in the San Francisco Dramatic Chronicle newspaper [bottom left]. The ad ran for 3 mos in this paper and followed suit in others as well. His establishment was located at 312 Sacramento Street, S.F. Bottles made during this time did not have the IXL logo circled.

By late 1869, L. Gross & Co had relocated to 518 Front Street, S.F. and the ad [upper right] was placed on October 21st, 1869 and ran for 6 mos. The emphasis on the IXL logo having a circle around it may have been to differentiate his product from the recently introduced Cassin's XXX Wild Grape Root Bitters which was most likely done on purpose to capture part of his success. The second embossed variant of this bitters bottle exhibits a circular design very close in style to the above advertisement.

The next advertisement was placed under H. Epstein & Co who were successors to L. Gross & Co and this ad ran from February 1st, 1871 thru March 27th. Notice the circle style around the IXL is now more oval in style [above left] and the third variant bottle style follows this format as well, which was marketed under the name Dr. Henley's California IXL Bitters and distributed out of the Chicago branch.

1 comment:

  1. First Ad I've seen for L. Gross & Co. at the Front Street address was early January 1869. I can send you the screenshot if you send me your current email address. First Ad I've seen for the OK Bitters was March 29, 1869 in a San Francisco Newspaper. -Rob G.