Thursday, December 29, 2011

Base of E. Wideman & J. Chappaz

Per Andrew's request, here is the base of the puce E. Wideman & J. Chappaz. It looks like a multi-leg starfish...I would be curious to know how many different "stars" are embossed on the bases of western blown bottles. Also, are there any theories as to what they represent ie: brand, style, contents, glassblower, glass house, time period, etc.?

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Colors of the Season

Here a couple of red and green "ornaments"...

I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and a Happy 2012!

Dale Mlasko

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Star Remedies Co.

For the 30 years that I have collected western medicines, there have been a few mysterious brands which seem to have little or no advertising or evidence to really pin down details of these amazing pieces of glass. The brand names alone are enough to stir interest to collectors, and the rare Trout Oil Liniment with it's embossed carp-like trout is one that has captured my attention. It is one of the very few embossed early western medicines with a picture.

The theories abound on this bottle, and after a lot of searching, there are more pieces added to the puzzle. I found an ad in the Virginia Evening Chronicle dated from August 8th, 13th, and 16th. 1877 which not only identifies the Trout Oil Liniment as being made from Lake Tahoe trout, but also sheds some light on it's cousin..."Remedy #1". The Trout Oil is embossed "Remedy #2", and I always wondered what "Remedy #1" would have been. According to the ad, the "Dr. Van Dyke's Antibilious Cure" is also from the same company, and it so happens to have "Remedy #1" embossed on the front panel. At long last these two bottles can not only be confirmed as 100% western, but that they are connected in a series makes me wonder if there is a "Remedy #3"!

Both of these medicines are extremely rare with about 6-8 Trout Oil Liniment examples known, and one or two Dr. VanDyke's Antibilious Cure's in collections that I know of.It is still unknown as to whether these are a Nevada brand, or California...the ONLY ads I have ever found have been in Virginia City. Nevada papers. I think western medicines are very under-valued at this time, and for pure history, they are tough to beat! If anyone else has information on the "Star Remedies Co.", please share it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Barry & Patten

After some intensive research, I was able to compile the below evidence may clarify some of the assumed history of Barry & Patten. Below is an ad that ran in the Daily Alta from July 16, 1858 through November 8th, 1858 in which a 'half bottle' is promoted.  I can't help but want to believe this is the legendary face embossed Barry and Patten cylinder.  Based on the below information, the 116 & 118 address was only used from 1855 through most of 1858.  Around early September of 1858 they moved to the south East corner of Montgomery and Sacramento (the 400 block) and then on September 23rd changed their Daily Alta ad to reflect the new address.  Barry & Patten moved once again in the spring of 1864 to their third and final location of 413 Montgomery. July 20th 1878 was the end of the fabled Barry & Patten partnership as evidenced by the below sheriff's auction of their property.

What is the general consensus on the age of the shoulder embossed versus the face embossed bottles ? These advertisements and city directory listings suggest that the face embossed variant is the newest variant.  What throws me off is the fact that there are supposedly smooth base shoulder embossed variants, but how can that be possible if the shoulder embossed 114 & 116 Montgomery variant has to be in the 1853-1855 range ?

Did the mold maker make a mistake and hammer out 114 & 116 instead of 116 & 118 ? Ideas anyone ? It is possible that the glasshouse kept using the shoulder embossed mold well after Barry & Patten moved from 114 & 116, but why would such a successful establishment go cheap and not decide to change the mold on their bottle ? Maybe some diggers can recall specific bottles that were dug next to broken or whole Barry & Patten bottles ? Regardless, the Barry & Patten bottles are incredibly significant and represent two of San Francisco's truest pioneers. Who knows, maybe a face embossed Bank Exchange cylinder will surface one day.........

1852: Barry & Patten, saloon and billiards, 116 Montgomery
1852: Carothers, (McNulty, C. &Co.,) bankers, 118 Montgomery
1852: McCright, atty at law, 118 Montgomery
1852: Wells, Fargo & Co., bankers, express and forwarding, 114 Montgomery

1854: Barry & Patten, saloon, 116 Montgomery
1854: Carothers, Anderson & Go. bankers, 118 Montgomery
1854: Higgins Wm. L. notary public, 118 Montg'ry

1855: Barry & Patten, saloon, 116 and 118 Montgomery (from Daily Alta, no available 1855 directory).

1856: BARRY & PATTEN, wholesale and retail dealers in wines and liquors, 116 and 118 Mont'y
1856: STALLMAM & CO. mcht tailors. 114 Mont'y

1857: Barry & Patten, saloon, 116 and 118 Montgomery (from Daily Alta, no available 1857 directory).

1858: BARRY (Theodore A.) & PATTEN (Benjamin A.) wholesale and retail wines and liquors,
116 and 118 Montgomery
1858: Mayer Charles, meltor, at 114 Montgomery
1858: Ringel C. at Kellogg & Humbert's, 114 Mont'y
1858: Ruhling Edward, assayer, at 114 Montgomery, dwl Pine bet Dupont and Kearny

1859: BARRY (Theo.A.) & PATTEN (Benj. A.) wines and liquors, SE cor Sac and Mont and 127 Sac

1856 City Directory

July 16th, 1858

September 19th, 1858

September 23, 1858

April 5th, 1864

June 14th, 1878

Monday, November 28, 2011

Another unknown

Numa G's posting about the unknown stove polish bottle inspired me to drag this one out. I dug it from an early Sacramento privy some years ago. It is exactly as dug and only rinsed out. Strangely shaped and smooth based, it has to date from the early 1860s. Bottles in that pit were a mix of OP and IP, with a handful of very early SBs in the mix. The embossing, although weak, reads Tallman $ Collins/ Perfumer. Research has told me that both persons were in the perfumery business, but to date cannot be put together, or even in the same city. It is my belief that this bottle is Western. C'mon, help me out here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Unknown Bottle

Here's an odd one.  Does anyone have any information on this bottle ??  It came out of an early 1870s privy in California and something about the style of embossing and the quality of glass tells me there is a chance it could be a western blown product.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Placer County Courthouse
And don't forget to bring some western meds for sale.....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


An old friend of mine stopped by yesterday to shoot the breeze and catch up on news after a busy summer.
He was cleaning out an attic a couple of weeks ago and happened across these three Jamaica Gingers. The bottles, a beautiful Hostetter's Pittsburg, a McMillan & Kester and a Lyon's with complete label, were in what the auction houses call "attic mint".

After an enjoyable visit my friend started to leave and said "I know how much you like these old bottles, why don't you keep them for your collection"
There's nothing like old friends!
Lyon's with complete label

McMillan & Kester, Lyons and Hostetter's

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011


It's funny how things sometimes happen. Coming up on December 3rd & 4th the 49er bottle club is holding their annual show and sale in Auburn California. The feature attraction is "A NON COMPETITIVE GROUP DISPLAY IN TWO CATEGORIES, LONDON JOCKEY CLUBHOUSE GINS AND WISTERS CLUB HOUSE BOTTLES".
It just so happens a couple of local boys, this past week, hit a monster 1850's - 1860's privy here in the gold country. It wasn't luck...... they have been probing and digging this area of the gold country for the last couple of years. As they say "persistence pays off" and in this case it payed off big time....
Included in the whole non damaged bottles were:
3 - Wistar's Clubhouse Gins
2 - Jockey Clubhouse Gins
2 - W.S.C. Clubhouse Gins
2 - J.T. Daly Clubhouse Gins
2 - Von Thofen's Aromatic Schnapps (small size)
1 - Black Glass Hostetter's

Wistar's & Jockey Clubs

Some of the tear jerkers included over a dozen broken Jockey Clubhouse Gins, 20 Aromatic Schnapps ( including Udolpho Wolfe's and Von Thofen's) over 2 dozen Wistar's Clubhouse and more than 30 J.T Daly and W.S.C. gins.
Congratulations guys on an awesome dig! 


Anyone have a clue on these shards?
They came out of a 1860's era privy, here in the gold country, and were dug by a couple of local boys.

Wilson Fairbanks & Co Sole Agents ???
What the heck does this say?


Is that San Francisco?
Every once in a while we come across pieces of bottles that just seem to baffle us.
Can you name these shards?

Square w/ beveled corners

WHO? & Co

Saturday, October 22, 2011


The other day I noticed that great tintype of the Turners Bro's. on Ferdinands web site, what a great image. So I decided to post one of my favorite bottle go-withs. An 1870's tintype of three men drinking with four bottles on the table. From left to right the bottles are a labeled Witch Hazel, blob top soda with a circle slug plate, single rolled applied top flask and a buffalo water. The flask is more than likely western, as this tintype is from Astoria, Oregon..... Its hard to imagine these three made it out of bed the next day after a nite of drinking like that. This trio looks like some bottle collectors I know. Can you guess who?