Monday, July 11, 2011

IXL anyone??

Here is a steroview of a display of Dr. Henley's IXL Bitters for the Mechanic's Institute Industrial Exhibiton of 1879.    (Photographed by the noted San Francisco artist Carlton Watkins and part of the collection of the Society of California Pioneers)

Of course by this time the ownership/management of Henley's famous brand had taken so many twists and turns that it is hard to keep up.   Isador Landsberger apparently put together this display in 1879.   Got to love that giant IXL go-with!

Sales of this product were tremendous in the late 70's.  At least in Nevada!   We dug a mining camp privy last fall that had at least 10 broken ones in it.  When they went to the effort to dig or blast a big and deep  privy in the rocks, it is unusual to see it full of bottles, albeit 'broken bottles'.  Easier to just throw them down the hill...
We got about 25 bottles out of this one, last bottle out was one of Isador's IXL variants.. up high on the side wall.   Lots and lots of broken bottles,  these big ixls must just pop like light bulbs when hit by those damn thick champagnes.


  1. Cool pic and post !! But, what is an Isador varient?? (the last bottle out of your privy)

  2. Sorry, just referring to the bottle that was probably in use during Isador Landsberger's association with the IXL brand. (1876-1882) according to Wilson. And maybe the embossed bottle under the labels in that 1879 display. We found both the 'small bitters' wilson #39, and the 'large bitters, IXL in a flat oval' wilson #40, in the hole. Peak activity in this town was 1878-1882, the intact one was a #40.