Saturday, August 10, 2013


The first advertisement that I can find for the Newell's product is in a 1860 Sacramento Daily Union newspaper. The advertisement is attributed to the firm of R.H. McDonald, one of the earliest of the Sacramento wholesale druggists.

In 1849, a year after gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill; Richard McDonald opened a drug store at 143 J Street in Sacramento California. McDonald’s first drug store was operated from a wood and tent structure and sometime in 1852 he took as a partner a Mr. Levy. Sometime in 1853 the partners started a traveling drug store to supply remote mining camps with medicinal supplies. McDonald and Levy’s idea of taking a wagon load of medicine and drugs to the miners was not revolutionary but their timing was perfect, few if any early mining camps at that time had a drug store. The traveling drug store was a huge success and by 1853 The Miners Drug Store of Sacramento was firmly established. Levy left the partnership around 1854.


Wow! sorry about getting side tracked on old R.H. McDonald but the attraction of spewing forth some of the knowledge I have left on California's Gold Rush was irresistible. (check out the privy to the right of the store right on J Street)
Never the less, sometime in 1862 the firm of Redington  & Co. of San Francisco acquired the Newell's product.

With the acquisition of the Newell's Pulmonary Syrup brand Redington & Co. had an embossed bottle manufactured. The time frame and location of where the bottle was blown is, to me a mystery. But sometime between 1862 and 1878 Redington had this bottle manufactured. 1878 was the last year I could find any mention of the Newell's Pulmonary Syrup product.

Advertisement for Newell's by the firm of Redington, Hostetter and Co.
(yes THE Hostetter of bitters and jamaica ginger fame)
The Newell's Pulmonary Syrup bottle is interesting for several reasons in my opinion. First off, its shape doesn't really resemble any other western bottle that I can think of. Second, it has three different types of embossing on the three embossed panels. The front indented panel with "PULMONARY SYRUP' embossed has a font style like some of the early western medicines with a flattened look to the letters.
Indented front panel embossing
The side panel embossed "NEWELL's
has a serif style font kinda', sorta' like an early Hostetter's
And the other side panel
embossed REDINGTON & Co. is a font style I am not familiar with. Notice on either end of the embossing is what looks like portions of a slug plate. Could there be another Newell's without the Redington & Co. out there?
Any dyed in the wool western collector would swear on a stack of burning sagebrush this stained Newell's wasn't a western blown bottle.
Wouldn't they?


  1. Very nice article on this bottle. 99 % of these appear to be Eastern blown. There are also Western blown versions of this bottle that are quite rare and come in some very dark shades with a different font and no slugged area. Years ago we dug a pit that produced over 60 of these, all the common variety.

  2. G.P.
    I know there are plenty of the common Newell's but have never seen the western blown version of the bottle. If anyone has any pictures of the western variant that they would like to share I sure would like to post them to compare the two bottles

  3. Dug a western blown version in portland. It has a very large drippy applied top, twice the size of the neck. Quite differnt from from the eastern types. Color is greenish aqua. Will attempt to get a picture posted.
    Chittum root

  4. I have a Newell's Pulmonary that is not a Redington. It has someone else's name (can't recall the name). I dug it about 25 yrs ago here in Northern Cal. It definetly looked Eastern blown. When I come across it, I will post a pic.
    Also, I have dug only one or two of the Western-blown Newell's. One has a single-roll lip, like a spice bottle. Some of the commoner Eastern-blown examples come with really cool giant flying saucer tops !