Saturday, December 28, 2013


Quite a while back I acquired a bottle that I knew absolutely nothing about and had never seen before. What intrigued me about the bottle was the name CAL. VOLCANIC MINERAL WATER CO. embossed on the side panels of the bottle. Even though the name Cal. Volcanic was enough to spark my interest the "R's" in MINERAL and WATER were of the curved variety. Those curved "R's" are associated with the bottles blown in San Francisco and that was the clincher for the purchase.

The first mention of the Cal. Volcanic Water Co. product, that I could find, was in the 1880 Sacramento Daily Union newspaper. As you can see in the ad the mineral water was discovered in Southern California and was known as Fahrenkrug's Eradicator.

1880 Sacramento Daily Union mention of the Volcanic Water

The Sacramento Daily Union of March 1883 lists "California Volcanic Mineral Water, San Francisco, Cal" under the heading "Business Announcements". I am not sure if this is the beginning of the mineral water business or just a mention of an established business. It seems like the above ad from the 1880 Sacramento Daily Union would be the beginning time frame for the business and the advertisement below a mention of the established "up and running" mineral water business in San Francisco
March 1883 Sacramento Daily Union

Notice the curved "R's on the indented panel embossing
Flat western style medicine base
Early tooled type top
Shoulder and embossed indented panel
1883 Pacific Rural Press advertisement for the California Volcanic Mineral Water.
A remedy for blood diseases, rheumatism and liver complaint. A cure for kidney disease, dyspepsia and female complaints. Heck, this is not a mineral water. This is a western medicine in H. Fahrenkrug's  disguise of some sort of a mineral water eradicator hallucination  The bottle is shaped like a medicine, the contents are from southern California - and really mineral water in southern California?
I think this bottle is going on my western medicine shelf.

Cal. Volcanic Mineral Water

1 comment:

  1. Great post Rick...I would sure hope this goes in to the med collection...I never knew this bottle was a true medicine, but there it is! Obviously not a "mineral water" per se, and I wonder if this company put out a mineral water in a typical non-med form?