Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Now here’s a bottle that has always intrigued me. Just the name alone is strange, CONNELL’S BRAHMINICAL MOONPLANT EAST INDIAN REMEDIES, and the embossing with a pair of feet with stars surrounding them about takes the cake as far as interesting and quirky embossing goes in my book.
And how about the lettering font on this bottle!

The R in “BRAHMINICAL” is your basic straight leg R, however, the R in “REMEDIES” and “TRADEMARK” are the curved leg R associated with western glass houses. Could be the mold for this bottle was reworked and the “EAST INDIAN REMEDIES” and “TRADEMARK” added at a later date however I do not have any concrete proof that this was the case.

Was this a bitters, well it certainly was supposed to cure the same ailments as bitters, The definition of BRAHMINICAL is:  A member of a cultural and social elite, especially of that formed by descendants of old New England families. Hmm... Trying to find the definition of MOONPLANT led me to moonbeam (nickname for California's governor ) and moonflower which is defined as: Any of several unrelated vines which bloom at night. Even the name of this product has me baffled; was it an extract of some sort of climbing vine that was intended to be used by wealthy Boston socialites in the moonlight? 
I have heard that there are two variants of this bottle, one an eastern made product and the other western manufactured. What’s the difference?

The earliest and one of the only advertisements that I could find for the Moonplant was listed in the May 1873 Sacramento Daily Union and was repeated for a week or so, that’s it.

Thanks to Jeff Wichmann for the pictures

From Eric McGuire

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

So...What are these?


Here is an ad put out on 2/27/1867 in the Daily Alta that lends credence to the theory that western glass houses of the 1860s used the term "wines" to describe what we collectors now refer to as whiskey 6ths. Are we on to something?

Monday, January 23, 2017

This is interesting for 1864

From Cal49er

I was looking at some of my western manufactured wines and spices on a rainy day.   Brightened this day right up.  

Yep, that will brighten up even a snowy day. Thanks for the awesome pictures Max. - rs -

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Western Unembossed Squares ?

Looking back at some of the previous pictures submitted to the WBN on a snowy Sunday and ran across this interesting one from J.F. Cutter Extra

Thanks for the picture J.F are these still sitting on your shelf? - rs -

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Western Inks

From a Previous Post by Golden Plantation

Here’s grouping of some of the Western blown inks we‘ve dug in California over the years, circa 1868-74. The large master is e.r. and embossed “PACIFIC GLASS WORKS” on the base. It has an applied top that looks like a Western bitters or 5th with a pinched pour spout.

The school house with no panel embossing is the rarest of the aqua Western blown house inks. It has a steeper roof pitch and comes in deep greenish aqua like some of the early S.F. meds.

Top and base of pint size Pacific Glass Works master ink.

I thought this was an interesting and informative post for all the ink and western blown glass collectors Thanks Lou! - rs -

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

There has been some confusion on the date of the Anderson show and this year's show date is shown above. I wish someone from the Anderson Club would send out some sort of info on their upcoming show dates. The Western Bitters News, Western Whiskey Gazette, Peachridge Glass and Western Whiskies online sites all advertise upcoming bottle shows at no charge to the advertisers.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

From Eric McGuire


Also, I finally located the OGW jake. Pictures are attached.

WOW! - First one of these I have seen. Guess I should start looking at the base of those unembossed  Jakes at the bottle shows. Thanks Eric - rs -

Friday, January 13, 2017

Here are some of the OGW marked bottles I have found over the years. I also have the usual amber square bitters and a jake, but haven't located the box they are hiding in.

I'll see if I can enlarge this picture a bit.

OGW's from Andrew Koutsoukos
Thanks Andrew for the pictures.. 
The Oakland Glass Works bottles are scarce and very interesting - rs -

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


How about them colored wines - minus that one on the left!

Paul O Burns Wine Co.

With all the discussion on the OGW wine bottles in the previous post I thought we could take a look at this unusual wine bottle in the Dwyer collection of Forbestown California.

Embossed in a applied seal: Paul O Burns Wine Co. Proprietors Yerba Buena Wine Yard San Jose Cal U.S.

This is the first one of these bottles I have ever seen and if you look on the billhead's date of October  1887 it puts it in the context of the Oakland Glass Works. Now I am not saying this is a OGW bottle but it sure is food for thought. Did you notice on the billhead that Wm. T Coleman was sole agent for Chicago etc. Where have I heard that name before?

Not only did Burns make brandy but could have been involved in the Yerba Buena Bitters brand. I have not researched if there is a connection between Burns and the manufacture of Yerba Buena Bitters and if anyone has any documentation on this - step forward!

Pacific Rural Press August 1900
I can't find anything on Burns after this news clipping
I guess this was why I couldn't find anymore info on Burns
Thanks to Don Dwyer for the bottle pictures and Bruce Silva for the news clippings


Paul O Burns Yerba Buena Wineyard in green
photo courtesy AP Hotaling

Yerba Buena Bitters and Paul O. Burns
 Sometime in 1869 Homer Williams and Alfred Wright who had a medical business would purchase a formula from a San Francisco doctor thought to be Dr. Joseph S. Warren. Eventually Homer Williams would be the sole owner. Then around ten years later in 1880 he would retire and sell the rights to Yerba Buena Bitters to the Paul O. Burns Wine Company. This company was from San Jose, California. This company would continue to produce the bitters until prohibition ceased the production.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Success At The Oakland Glass Works

Apparently the Oakland Glass Works was indeed successful at the manufacture of claret bottles. It is interesting to note that the difficulty in manufacturing this type of bottle was actually with the punt. There is much more information available regarding the Oakland Glass Works that has not been published before, but a fellow collector is in the process of putting together a great article with this "new" information and I don't want to steal his thunder so I will just post these two snippets regarding the claret bottles.

So who has an OGW claret bottle hiding in their collection ?
Pictures from Robgarb


Thanks for the pictures Rob.
So what do you think guys and gals -  could theses be the elusive OGW claret's?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Western Wines

Here is a photo of what I believe to be the oldest and newest western blown wines. The mold on the left is usually found in early 1870s, possibly late 1860s layers, I have seen them next to Wormser flasks and Evan's & O'Briens. The mold on the right seems to be early to mid 1880s and has been found in context with the Henley's IXL variant with the large Bitters and straight R. It is interesting to note that the mold on the right is the exact same as the Henley's Celery, Beef, & Iron tonic bottle which was a product that seems to have came to market in 1883. There are at least four other western wine molds that span the 1870s and part of the 1880s. Although many refer to these bottles as wines, I suspect many of them contained syrups, bitters, cordials and any other type of product made on the West Coast.