Thursday, February 28, 2013

The State of the Blogs

Yesterday while researching material for a future post I started looking at other bottle sites and blogs for a little spark of inspiration or a small piece of information to use in the article I was working on. Anymore it doesn't take much to divert my attention from the task at hand to other things that are not related to what I was originally concentrating on. As you can see, right off the bat, I have already been derailed from the original intent of this post.


Although my winters here in the mountains are not as busy as say someone working full time and commuting to and from that work in a large metropolitan area I have trouble at time, making the time, to keep fresh and interesting new material on this here bitters site.


Anyway, while looking at the other bottle sites I noticed that quite a few of the sites I like to visit are, shall we say, not quite current. There are some sites I visit that are daily updated with new and interesting articles, photos and thought provoking comments from the followers of these sites, and I make a point of looking at these sites almost every day as time allows. The sites that seem to be updated every few days I look at every few days. The sites that get updated every few weeks get less of my attention and I, like most folks, lose interest in these sites and don't visit them on a regular basis.


In today's information glutted world it just takes a few minutes online to pretty much find just about anything that you are looking for. Need the definition for a word you are not familiar with or a speech the president of the pez collectors society gave in 2010, then just a few minutes of searching the worldwide web will likely get you what you're looking for.

This site, The Western Bitters News, started as a way to bring information to collectors of western bitters and related collectibles. It has evolved into a site that includes information on western bottles, digging news, research articles and a forum for other collectors to voice their opinions and knowledge on the bottle collecting hobby. I hope this site has been as much fun for the followers of the site as it has been for me, the administrator, of the site.


Hats off to all of the dedicated folks that have the wherewithal to start a blog site and keep it current and interesting. I fully understand what it takes to keep things interesting and current. For those struggling to keep your sites current I can understand what it takes to make the time to research material and update your site regularly and I hope that you continue to add material to keep your sites up and running.


Long live the bottle sites!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

More Rowler's

Here's a beautiful smooth base Rowler's in the collection of one of our favorite Oregon collectors
The back lighting in this photo shows off the sparkling western glass and the crudity of the bottle
Thanks Dale for the photo's of this western blown beauty!
Is that the original cork?
Fellow collectors.... don't be bashful, send some photos of your bottles and I will be glad to add them to the site.
Chico is coming up next month.....See you there! - rs
Don't ya just love those early western curved "R's"

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Recent Aquisition

Here's a recent aquisition against today's snowy background.

it's a Rowler's Rheumatism Medicine Prepared by Dr. J.R. Boyce Sacramento

As you can see one side of the bottle is underblown or pushed in and it has some carbon swirls
The Rowler's is one of the first documented western blown bottles
They come with and without an open pontil
and the early western curved "R's"
Is that what you western guys call "Fire Aqua"?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love That Early Stuff

Looking Good...............

*Getting Excited!*

Not the rarest bottle but an unembossed 150 year old Piece of History!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Boericke & Tafel's Triturations Too

Here is a couple of the  Boericke & Tafel's Triturations that I have, I had another one that was a Butterscotch color, Kool Meds, I am Interested in any Info as well. DB

"WOW!" A Fleamarket Find!

Get a lode of this fleamarket find. I was out pick'n the local fleapit this morning, and stumbled upon a box of medicine bottles with these two beauties in it. Not only an aqua Boericke & Tafel's Triturations but a light amber one as well, CHUK-CHING! Both have never been in the ground. They have their oringinal cork tops and labels as to what was in them. The aqua one is an early tool-top and the amber one is a crude applied-top. As you can see, the aqua one is whittled to hell. They measure 7 1/2" tall and are western made. I know they are some what scarce, but would like to know more.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Lets See You Wear One of These Out

Just Thinking inside the Box

Mold for a cabin shaped bottle

Thursday, February 7, 2013

An IXL Ahead of it's Time?

 Here is a Dr. Henley's Wild Grape Root IXL Bitters that seems like an oddball. At first it appears to be a crude, bubbly "First Circle" IXL which was actually the second IXL after the "non-circle". The first circle IXL's were used in the early 1870s, and over the next 25 years, there were all kinds of different embossing patterns. This example however is the first circle variant, and is obviously a later blown specimen as the embossing is not crisp or is the odd part...this one has a neatly tooled top. I know that for the most part, tooled IXL's are scarce, but this mold is an early mold of IXL's and every example of this mold I have ever seen has an applied top. There are at least four later produced molds, and the later molds occasionally can be found tooled, but not the second version of the IXL.
  I have compared this one to my green first circle, and the embossing is identical...definitely the same mold. I wonder if in the 1880s the old mold was used again for some reason? Maybe in 1873 the "tooled top training" was being conducted, and a few were blown this way? I have no idea, but as Richard S. recently told me, "Once you think you have seen everything, you see something different".

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bryant's Ladies Leg

Old West Bottles is offering a very historic and interesting bottle for sale.
One of the Bryant's Stomach Bitters recovered from the shipwreck "Sea Lark"

This picture was taken by the divers that recovered the bottles and shows the case of bitters resting on the sea floor.

"The divers were able to salvage 18 intact specimens that were all immediately scooped up by collectors. Prior to this discovery these bottles were very rare and they are still quite rare with about 30 being known in any condition. After sitting on the bottom of the ocean for 150 years the surfaces of these bottles had become stained or etched, some very etched & eroded. All of them were fairly crude and many had issues: fractured potstones, open bubbles, chips, cracks, etc. and almost all had very eroded surfaces. Attempts were made to clean the majority of these with some being destroyed in the process and others polished to death"....................

For the full story of these bottles and the example for sale head on over to OLD WEST BOTTLES...........Go to   

Recent Acquisitions

From Jeff Wichmann at American Bottle Auctions:
Go HERE to see all of Jeff's new treasures

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Few Dickey's for your Pleasure

Amber colored Dickey variants and an aqua example
Blue, turquoise,  aqua and chocolate examples
An assortment of Dickey's in natural light
There's even a cobalt Bowman and an aqua Wenzel medicine (top of picture)
These Dickey's were assembled at the recent Anderson Bottle Show to display the different colors that these bottle were blown in and to show that a color run of early bottles doesn't have to break the bank.
Thanks to Ken Edward for bringing his Dickey bottles to share