Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Western Eye Opener's

Speaking of Henley's...........

So you thought Dr. Henley was the first merchant to capitalize on the well used phrase "Eye Opener" did you.... Then take a look at the October 1861 advertisement for "Oldner's Delta Eye Opener". Distilled from fruits in the island of Jamaica---Mmm.. Yummy!

Oldner's? Hmm.. where have I heard that name before? Was it on an 1860's square bottle? Never the less...

Oldner pretty much had the market covered with his Ladies Holland Gin Tonic, Old Miner's Protection Whiskey and the Old Virginia Mint Julep.

The first mentioned of Dr. Henley's Eye Opener, that I have found, is in a report on the 18th California State Fair in September of
1872. "Dr. Henley of San Francisco submits his Eye Opener and Wild Cherry Tonic". Wild Cherry Tonic? Where the heck is that embossed bottle, Henley embossed darn near everything he marketed. Didn't he?

Delta Eye Opener, Dr. Henley's Wild Cherry Tonic, Old Miner's Protection Whiskey and a Holland Gin Tonic....... If only they were in embossed bottles.


  1. Oldner's Miner's Protection Whiskey absolutely comes in a handled chestnut shaped bottle with miner embossed on it, too. I have a photo of one around here someplace, if I can just find it. A very rare and extremely valuable bottle.

  2. Yes, there is in fact a two quart early 1860s jug shaped kinda like an R.B. Cutter jug only much larger. It's embossed "Oldner's / Superior Old Rye / Is The Miners Protector". There are two miners embossed on the front with one digging with a shovel and the other holding a pick and drinking from a bottle. Whole and busted ones exist in a grape puce color, have an applied handle, open tube pontil base and are generally very crude & bubbly. Broken ones have been dug in the Northern California mining areas. It's one the most impressive looking bottles I've ever seen, very few intact examples are known.

  3. Oops, not handled, but there is a photo on Jeff Wichmann's American Bottle website. The darned thing is amethyst. WHEW!!

  4. Old Cutters, are you sure their not handled ? I've seen broken pieces of a couple of different ones but there wasn't enough there to tell if they had handles. A sketch of one I remember seeing I believe indicated that it had a handle ???

  5. I am wondering if the large iron pontiled "Old Virginia Peach Brandy" is related to this company? It is super rare, and found in the West. I believe one was dug in Virginia City,and one in the Bay Area.