Monday, August 27, 2012

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 rare 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.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Don't You Just Love That '60s Glass?

Thought I would attempt to lift everyone out of the "Summer Doldrums" with a photo of my favorite glass...1860s western glass! I hope everyone is having a great Summer. Dale M.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Marden and Folger- San Francisco

Here is a recent find from the Gold Country foothills. It is embossed " Marden and Folger, San Francisco", and has a nasty tubular pontil. I cannot help but notice the resemblance to the Bovee spice which is also from San Francisco, and pontiled.

 This is the first example which I have had the opportunity to acquire, and I have not seen another. Does anyone have any other details on this spice? Date of manufacture, or numbers known in collections? Thanks! Dale M.

This ad was taken from the California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences 31 July 1863 confirming that Marden & Folger were in business together as early as 1863....They bought out the business of WM. Bovee & C0. in 1861. This bottle is to early to have been manufactured on the west coast - rs

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Welcome to Downieville September 7th & 8th

The Forks of the Downie and North Yuba River
Welcome to Beautiful Downtown Downieville
The Gallows erected for horse & bottle thieves
The Durgan Bridge above the swimming hole
The Swimming Hole
Downieville fron Cannon Point

Hope to see y'all in Downieville on September 7th and 8th

Friday, August 17, 2012

Reno Expo Acquisitions

Here are three western medicines I was lucky enough to find at this year's Reno Expo.

Thanks to the FOHBC, the Reno Bottle Club, Marty Hall and the Siri family for going the extra mile to put on one of the best bottle shows that I have ever attended here in the west. Hope to see all of you here in Downieville on September 7th and 8th for the annual Downieville Bottle Show and 
From left to right: Hierapicra Bitters Extract of Figs California Botanical Society California (with curved R's)
Dr.Warrens Botanic Cough Balsam S.F. Cal
Hall's Sarsaparilla Shepardson & Gates Proprietors S.F.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Reno 2012 Expo

I think this is a very timely update written by the FOHBC's Pam Selenak and I hope the bottle community can work together to help control this spreading trend -  I was present at the end of the show when a possible thief was stopped and confronted by one of our western dealers. After a search of the suspects table and area supposedly a loaded pistol was found in a soft drink cooler.  A loaded pistol at a bottle show? I didn't think we were yet to the point where we have to carry weapons at bottle shows - It is my understanding that at the present time nothing productive has come from the confrontation or the Grand Sierra Hotel Security Team -rs


By Pam Selenak | FOHBC Public Relations Director

As great of a show as the Reno Expo was, it did not go without a blemish. The bottle collecting community as a whole is an honest and trustworthy group of people. We have in the past, been able to leave our sales tables and do a little shopping or chat with someone for a while and know that our items will still be there when we get back. Unfortunately those days are gone. Even if 99.9% of us are in this group of upstanding citizens there is that 0.1% that ruins it for everybody. I can’t stress this enough DO NOT LEAVE YOUR TABLES UNATTENDED.
At Reno, there were one or more persons casing the show for opportunities to steal. Here is the list of some of the stolen bottles:
Green, John Moffat’s Phoenix Bitters
Green, “Old Castle Flask” with repaired neck
Warner’s Safe Tonic Bitters” amber pint
8 1/2, in deep aqua, A.M. Cole Virginia City
7″ aqua, 4 indented paneled medicine, “Dr. Mintie’s” on one side, front panel “Nephreticum”, “San Francisco” on other side
Sharp & Dohme KU-19 poison, 4″ tall cobalt, front paneled: skull & crossbones with star above and below, with the word POISON down both sides; rounded back with original label
To the person or persons who have in their possession any or all of these items take note.
1) There were thousands of pictures as well as time lapsed photos (every ten seconds) taken during the three days of the show. We are presently going over each and every frame to find you.
2) You have committed grand theft.
3) If you try to sell or show these bottles you will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Is it worth you losing your lively hood, family, and the quality of the remainder of your life? A full police report has been filed. This information is also being sent out by magazines, websites, and club newsletters. You have angered the bottle community and we WILL be looking for these bottles. This activity will not be tolerated. YOU WILL BE FOUND!
To any bottle collector who sells on eBay, please note in your narrative of this and that if anyone sees or hears of any of these types of bottles to contact the Federation immediately. Know who you are buying from and only buy from reputable dealers!
So, PLEASE,keep an eye on your tables at shows. These people are out there and they know what they are doing.
[FOHBC] A few comments from our members…

there was the one burr under the saddle that continues to plague every show these days, no matter how much security is present or no matter how vigilant the dealers are; THEFT. I’ve got my own feelings on the matter and personally think that the “code of the west” oughta still be enforced. The heck with “politically correct.” I guess that just don’t cut it in the 21st century. It oughta… And yet, with the quantity of killer glass present, coupled with the sheer volume of folks packing the aisles, it could have been a heckuva lot worse. Still, one theft is one too many!

Bruce Silva (Jacksonville, Oregon)

“Any bottle thieves should be entered into a real Shoot-out where they can be pelted with crock beers & broken shards of glass. Overall, best show I have ever been to! Not sure if it will ever be duplicated!”

Lance Westfall (San Diego, California)

“I hope everyone enjoyed the show and found something nice to take home with them. We started this Expo almost 2 years ago when Richard Siri was the president of the FOHBC. We talked and he asked what I thought about hosting another big show in Reno; well, I couldn’t say no. We worked countless hours to make this show run smoothly and to make it an unforgettable show for you. If there was one thing I could change, I would have added more security. Every year western shows have theft including Las Vegas, Auburn and Reno. I think we had multiple people working the show, and this totally bummed me out. I apologize to those who lost bottles. It’s sad to think we have entered a new era that requires keeping your bottles behind a locked case. I hope you had fun and enjoyed Reno. Support your local clubs and the FOHBC!”

Marty Hall – Show Chairman (Reno, Nevada)

This World has changed, the bottle hobby has now been changed and I look forward to help and guidance that the FOHBC might come up with to help us all.”

James Campiglia (Bozeman, Montana)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dr, Henley's OK Spiced Wine Bitters

 Seeing Rick Pisano's incredible display at the FOHBC show in Reno offered the opportunity to view the finest grouping of Dr. Henley's product bottles I have ever seen. There were IXLs in every color imaginable, medicines including the rare Dr. Henley's Regulator, Indian Queen Hair Restorative, Royal Balsam, Eye Opener, and other bitters from this prolific "Doctor". There were also TWO examples of the extremely rare "OK Bitters"! This was a very short lived product which was in the 1869-71 time frame. These bottles have always been a bit of a mystery to me, and seem to be found exclusively in Oregon. There was rumor of a few "OKs" being found in Colorado, however I believe these could have been the triangular, amber "OK" bitters from the east. I could be mistaken on this. The number of known examples in collections seems to be 4-6 at the most. It is interesting that of the many products Henley marketed, there are only a few which are considered "common". The rest are rare to extremely rare. I have also heard of an intact "Dew of the Alps" but have not actually seen the bottle. The "OK Bitters seem to run in the same blue aqua coloration and do not seem to have been blown in other colors like the IXL, and even the Eye Opener. I travel the globe viewing and photographing great collections and have this photo of an "OK"
 Wilson's Western Bitters book shows an example with a label which I have never seen in person. Does anyone have any advertising for this bitters? Have any examples ( either intact or broken) been found in any wild colors? Finally, have any examples truly been found in any other state besides Oregon? It seems that Nevada was on the distribution route of virtually every western bitters, but I have never heard of a shard coming from there. It would be great to see a reference book written solely on Dr. Henley's many products! Rick...?