Sunday, November 23, 2014

John S. Bowman - Old Jewel Bourbon

John S. Bowman Jewel Bourbon sign.

John S. bowman was a wholesale liquor and wine dealer in San Francisco from 1886 to 1892. He also dealt in the bitters market for a brief period (Jewel bitters )  His wholesale liquor  outlet was at 213 Battery Street.

In the brief period that he was in business he produced at least five embossed bottles to advertise his products.

The first known Jewel Old Bourbon fifth was dug near Silver Peak Nevada in 1969. A few years later one surfaced in Quincy California. Since these first discoveries other examples have been found in Nevada and northern California. As of 2002 there are seven ? known examples.

The Jewel Old Bourbon flasks are amber and have a tool top and they only occur in the pint size. At least three of these flasks have been found along the Salmon River in northern California. One other Jewel flask is known to have come from the old ghost tow of Bellville Nevada. As of 2002 four of the Bowman Old Jewel flasks are known.

Thanks to the late John Thomas for the information on Bowman's Old Jewel Bourbon

( I couldn't find any pictures of the Jewel Bourbon - anyone have one to share)

Thanks to Bruce Silva for the Bowman ad and fifth picture - rs -



  1. Does anybody know how or knows somebody that knows how to fix the reverse painted J.B.advertising piece the N in bourbon is their looks like the frame was shortened to cover the chip in the glass I can fix the frame but not the glass

    1. If that is the window I think it is it came from a building on 2cd street in Eureka Ca. It was in a second story window down an alley , it had no paint on it but it was etched so you could read it in the right light an angle . The building was owned by Norton Steamfout . I told him if he would take it out and replace it with a regular window I would buy it from him and he did . I later sold it to John Thomas who had it restored as best as possible then I think he sold it to Dr. Ritz Sr. and from there I don't know . On a side note under that building laying on top of the ground was a dark green Pacific Glass Works 5th , the one with the flower on the base (looks more like a flower than a star to me ) .I will be bringing that to Roseville for display only .RTS

  2. On the Bowman that came from Qunicy Ted bought it from a guy who found it in a barn.It had a dead mint label on it for Old Comet Bourbon . He sold it to John Thomas who sold it to Bob Cardwell .When John bought Cardwell's collection I bought the bottle . What no label ??? Cardwell washed it off said he like to have light shine through the glass . I mean he could have floated it off or took a picture Or something . RTS

  3. I got the (window) from Ken S. several years ago it doesn't fit the frame very well and it is big enough to be a window when you got it Rich was it cracked John must have painted it I seem to remember him doing things like that thanks for the info Ken didn't seem to know much about it. Real sad about the labeled Bowman