Thursday, December 28, 2017

From Charles Festersen


Sunday, December 24, 2017


Friday, December 15, 2017

Geo. S. Dickey Jr. Pioneer Chemist

San Francisco Gold Rush Merchant

George  Dickey first appears in the 1850 San Francisco directory listed as a clerk. In the 1852 SF directory Dickey is listed with Charles Hodge as Hodge & Dickey doing business at 177 1/2 Samsome Street.

1850 clipping listing Dickey as a clerk.
1852 clipping Hodge & Dickey
The last listing for Hodge & Dickey in the 1856 S.F. directory

According to what information I could gather the first bottle produced by Dickey was the example pictured above.
 This medium blue colored bottle is embossed with a mortar and pestle and the words "PIONEER 1850". The base on this early bottle is flat, the top is tooled and western collectors have named it The Stovepipe. It is also reported that the stovepipe style Dickey bottles come in aqua coloration.

 Flat base of the first embossed Dickey bottle.
"I dug two blue stove pipes and an aqua one in a hole in Santa Rosa. In the hole were several broken pontiled pickles including an amber Baker and Cutting. Multi sided pontiled meds and three large Hostetter's in amber were also in the same hole"..... R.T. Siri
The first listing for George Dickey as a druggist
 The above pictured bottles are believed to be the second variant of the Dickey bottle. They come in shades of blue, have a tooled top and a square indented base. I have no idea about the timeline of when this bottle was blown but shared knowledge points to this variant as being the second of the Dickey bottles. This variant has larger and (kind of) flat embossing and the S.F. is higher on the base of the bottle then the last variant.

The above picture shows the square intended bases of the second variant of the Dickey bottle

"I believe the oldest of the blue Dickey's (not including the mold with only the Pioneer 1850....we call these the Dickey without the Dickey) to be the mold that has the deep recessed rectangle on the base. the tops on these are a flared tool-top, similar to early Eastern meds. The examples I've dug, have come from late 60's - early 70's holes" A.P. Hotaling

Aqua examples of the Dickey bottle. The bottle on the left has an applied top and the example on the right a tooled top. I have not been able to date the manufacture of this variant of the Dickey
Flat bases on the aqua variants of the Dickey bottle

Amber Dickey bottles with applied tops. Pestle is on the right side of mortar
The bases of the amber Dickey bottle with applied tops. Note the circle base with the dot in the center. This is the same variant as the blue applied top bottle with the circle and dot on base. This amber variant is much rarer than the blue examples shown below.

Blue colored Dickeys with applied tops. These are the most common of the Dickey bottle and have a base with a circle with a dot in the center. The embossing is larger then the latter examples. (Fourth bottle from left has a full label)
The bases of the blue Dickey with a applied top. Circle and dot on base.
Two examples of the last variant of the Dickey bottle in a chocolate coloration. This variant has the "thin" embossing and the S.F. is embossed lower on the bottle then the earlier variant. These bottles can be very crude and easily mistaken for the earlier blown Dickey variant
The flat bases of the last variant of the Dickey bottle
That's about all I have on the different variants of the Dickey bottle. - rs -
Ops! almost forgot about the variant of the Dickey with the pestle on the left side of the mortar. The variant with the pestle on the left has only been observed on the last variant of the Dickey to my knowledge
Four examples of the last variant of the Dickey bottle with the pestle on the left.
Pestle on the left side of the mortar
George Dickey goes into the fly paper business in 1870
George Dickey advertised often and donated prizes to horse races, pistol shoots and other competitions. I would never have imagined him going into the flypaper business - rs -
In this 1870 ad Dickey's flypaper is available at several well known SF druggists and he is still manufacturing "flypaper".
Remember, in the old days, those sticky pieces of paper hanging over counters etc. with flies stuck to them........You can thank George Dickey!
This 1871 passenger list has Dickey and his wife sailing for San Diego.
 I believe this is the date Dickey moves to Southern California and starts selling his products from Los Angeles as there are several examples of the Dickey bottles with labels from a Los Angeles address. - rs -
Happy Dickey collecting! - rs -
San Francisco Directory's
Daily Alta California - various issues
Western Bottle News
Email - oral interviews
Richard Siri
A.P. Hotaling
From Eric McGuire:
Great piece of research. The Creme de Lis story is somewhat complicated, especially when attempting to fit the evolution of the bottle variants into the picture. Just a little clarity on the early years. Actually it was W. T. Wenzell who held ownership of the brand for most of the early years. Dickey supposedly created the product in 1865 even though the earliest ads were in 1867. Dickey's father died in 1869 which began a protracted process of the settlement of his estate in Baltimore, MD. With the final dispersion of the assets, Dickey left San Francisco for his home town of Baltimore, presumably to take possession of some of the property. He left in 1871, and in the process of finalizing his affairs in San Francisco, Dickey transferred his Creme de Lis to Wenzell, who became the proprietor. Dickey died in Baltimore on 29 August 1877. When in Baltimore he became owner of the Excelsior Steam Forge.
Wenzell continued with the use of Dickey's name on the Creme de Lis, which was probably a stipulation of the transfer of the product. Wenzell trade marked the name of Dickey's Creme de Lis with the California Secretary of State on 24 June 1873, two years after he took ownership. He maintained ownership into the 1880's.
Thanks Eric - rs -

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sunday Gold Country Dig

The gold country's youngest lady digger
Some of the spoils: 5 Peoria jugs, broken Hostetter's, & donuts (of course) 
Soda, Peoria jug, ladies leg & snuff
Nice swirls
The leg washed up
green snuff
( The future of our hobby is the next generation..take your kids or grandkids digging or to a bottle show. - rs - )

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Henry Winkle.... Soda Man

A Brief History

 Johann Heinrich Winkel arrived in the United States in 1840. He spent 3 years in New York City before moving to Florida and engaged in the baking business.
Winkle ran a bakery and hotel in Florida prior to leaving for California in 1849. Arriving in California in 1850 he went into a partnership with a fellow named Skinner starting the California Bakery on 2nd street in Sacramento
 1850 Sacramento Daily Union advertisement

The partnership only lasted until November of 1850 and sometime after the November date Winkle went into business at the Auction Saloon. In the following clipping from the Sacramento Daily Union Winkle removes himself from any connection with the Auction Saloon.

September 3, 1852 Sacramento Daily Union newspaper 

Henry Winkle Sac City soda bottle
Image courtesy Mike Rouse

After divesting himself from the Auction Saloon Winkle starts a soda water business in Sacramento and places an order for soda bottles with his name embossed in the glass.
In November of the same year the great fire of Sacramento destroys 55 blocks of Sacramento including 1,776 buildings and displaces over 7000 people. Henry Winkle’s soda water business was one of the casualties.

As soon as the ashes were cold, from the great fire, Winkle starts construction on two brick buildings on K street in Sacramento while running his soda business near the Sacramento levy on J street. On December 31, 1852 a rain storm hit the Sacramento area that lasted several days and flooded the city and Winkle’s business. At this point Winkle might have continued his soda business but must have been low on cash and his failure to pay off a loan for $1200 resulted in the Sheriff seizing his property to settle the unpaid loan.
Clipping from Sacramento Daily Union September 1853 
( 1000 dozen soda bottles for sale...where are they? - rs - ) 

 On October 14, 1853 the Sheriff sold the Winkle soda water business and machinery consisting of:
One table with bottle machinery attached
Three soda fountains with pipes attached
One rotary pump and pipe
Three large tin cans
5,000 soda bottles, more or less
 In January of 1854 Henry Winkle left Sacramento and traveled to San Francisco to open a bakery business.

The reverse of the Henry Winkle soda bottle with the XX embossed in the glass
Image courtesy Mike Rouse
The Winkle soda bottles were manufactured prior to any glass houses in San Francisco and could have been manufactured by the Lancaster Glass Works.
Eric McGuire- Bottles & Extra’s September 2010
Sacramento Daily Union -various
Mike Rouse - Western Bottle collectors postings

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

San Francisco Gold Rush Merchants

The New York Roots
W Taussig & Co.
Manufactory of California Leather Goods
After immigrating to the United States, sometime after 1848, William (Wilhelm) Taussig starts a purse making business at 238 Delancy Street in New York City. The 1850 -51 New York City Directory lists William Tauhsig (sic) as a purse maker. Also listed in that year’s directory is a Hermann Friend doing business in “trimmings”. The term “trimmings”, used in the description of Friend’s business, was meant as an additional garnishing; a decorative accessory or additional item. It seems Taussig and Friend formed a partnership sometime in 1850 to manufacture some type of leather products. The following listings show Taussig and Friend working at separate locations in New York City.

Listing from the 1850 -51 New York Directory 
1851 -52 New York Directory 
The New York Herald newspaper advertisement for the dissolution of the partnership between Hermann Friend and Wm. Taussig and Co. appears in the September 4, 1851 edition and Taussig reemerges as William Taussig and Co..  1851 would have been the booming of the gold rush in California and goods of any sort would be in great demand in the supply towns of the California gold fields. This notice would be the start of Taussig forming a business to supply the gold rush with “California Leather Goods” These goods would include patent leather belts, holsters, knife sheaths, gold dust bags, buckskin gloves and porte monnaies. Porte monnaies were a small pocket book or purse used to carry coins or other small items.
The New York Herald in March of 1852 has an advertisement by Taussig listing him as WM. Taussig and Co. at 186 Pearl St. offering for sale buckskin for piano manufacturers and the Manufactory of California Leather Goods.
W. Taussig & Co. clasp used on a leather or cloth belt. These clasps are found in the earliest of California gold camps and can be attributed to the 1851 early 1852-time frame when Taussig was working as WM. Taussig & Co. This is the earliest of the Taussig marked stamped brass clasp.
Image courtesy of Nicholas Kane
Taussig Pollack & Co. San Francisco
In July of 1852, just four months after advertising as WM. Taussig & Co, the following advertisement, from the Daily Alta California, appears listing the partnership of Taussig Pollack & Co. Located in the Iron Store in San Francisco. They have just received an assortment of merchandise from the clipper ship “Stag Hound” that included leather belts, holsters and buck skin gloves
Stag Hound was launched on December 7, 1850 in East Boston, Massachusetts. Designed by shipbuilder Donald McKay for the California trade, she was briefly the largest merchant ship in the world. She was in active service from 1851 until her total loss in 1861. (Wikipedia)
Taussig Pollack & Co. clasp manufactured during the 1852 -56 period Taussig and the Pollack brothers are working together. This is the second of the stamped clasps produced by Taussig 
image by author
The Taussig Pollack & Co clasp could have been produced as early as the summer or fall of 1852 but more than likely in 1853 considering the time it would take to manufacture the dies to stamp the brass into a clasp. Both the W. Taussig & Co. and Taussig Pollack & Co. leather and cloth belts and clasps were produced exclusively for the California gold rush market.   

The following information from the 1853 New York City directory places William Taussig and Joseph Pollack working and living in New York. Both Taussig and Pollack share the same business and residence address in New York City.
William Taussig working at 186 Pearl St. and residing at Essex St
Joseph Pollack working and residing at the same address as Taussig
Leopold Pollack is in San Francisco at 117 Sacramento St. working the Taussig Pollack business
It is interesting that both Taussig and Joseph Pollack are working and residing at the same address in New York and Taussig is still listed as a purse maker. Taussig is in business with the Pollack brothers in San Francisco yet still maintains his business in New York as a purse maker.

 The above advertisement from the 1852 -53 San Francisco directory lists Taussig and Pollack brothers, Leopold and Joseph, as partners in the San Francisco manufacturing and importing business. From the New York records it appears William Taussig and Joseph Pollack never left New York and Leopold Pollack was running the San Francisco business. There is no residence listing for Taussig in San Francisco. The statement “Sole Agency for William Taussig & Co. New York” suggests Taussig is the proprietor (owner) and Taussig Pollack & Co. were the agents (persons who act on behalf of another person or group) in San Francisco.
Clipping from the 1855 -56 New York City directory listing Taussig & Pollack Brothers doing business at 51 Cedar 
The above clipping is the last listing showing Taussig and the Pollack Brothers in business together. William Taussig moved both his business and residence address several times from 1851 to 1857. Taussig worked at 238 Delancy,, 186 Pearl St., 15 Dey St. and 51 Cedar St. in New York.

What we call Buckles today were referred to as “Clasps” during the California gold rush


Wetzlar &Taussig New York

Leopold Wetzlar first appears in the 1852 -53 New York City directory 

New York directory of 1854 -55 shows Wetzlar working at the 15 Dey St. address

Wetzlar & Taussig clasp. This is the last of the Taussig marked stamped brass clasps.
Possibly only produced for one year
Image courtesy of Max Bell

1856 listing for Wetzlar & Taussig 15 Dey St. New York City

This clipping from the September 1857 New York Herald shows Wetzlar & Taussig’s business venture fails in September of 1857. Taussig appears to vanish from New York City after the failure of the Wetzlar Taussig partnership in 1857.
One thing that should be noted on the listings from the New York and San Francisco directories is that the information contained in the listings was gathered prior to the directory being published. The information in the listings could have been obtained as early as a year before the directory was published or as soon as a few days before. That being said all directory information is approximate.
New York City Directories 1848 -1862
San Francisco Directories   1850 -1862
LeCount & Strong's Directory of San Francisco 1854
New York Herald various editions 1848 -1860
New York Evening Post
New York Gazette
Daily Alta California
email - oral interviews:
Nicholas Kane
Cal Coyer