Monday, January 8, 2018

Will the Real DR. MOTT Please Stand Up!

This western distributed Wild Cherry Tonic was named for Dr. Valentine Mott of New York City, a famous physician and surgeon that practiced medicine from the 1830's through the 1860's.

Mott invented several "open secret" formula's and remedies that he left for anyone to use. Sometime in the late 1870's A.H. Powers, a Sacramento California liquor merchant, introduced the Dr. Mott's Wild Cherry Tonic in an embossed sixth size square bottle . The bottle was embossed DR. MOTT'S WILD CHERRY TONIC A.H.POWERS & CO.
A.H Powers, Spruance Stanley & Louis Taussig bottles
Powers only marketed the Mott's tonic for possibly a couple of years and sold the rights to the product to the Spruance Stanley Company.
Spruance Stanley continued to use the Powers bottle with the A.H. Powers slugged out of the glass and replaced with SPRUANCE STANLEY & CO.

Both the Power's and Spruance Stanley examples come with an applied top and the characteristic 2 rivet marks (or dots) on the lower portion of the panel to the right of the embossing. (pictured at left) The Louis Taussig product bottle and the Acorn Bitters also come with the rivet marks in the same place on the same panel suggesting they were possibly blown in the same mold.

The Powers and Spruance Stanley examples of the Wild Cherry Tonic are considered rare but the Spruance Stanley bottle seemed to be the more difficult of the two examples to put in my collection. If you are looking for a nice pairing of western square sixth's the Powers and Spruance are a fine addition to a western collection.

The A.H. Powers bottle

The Spruance Stanley example

Advertisement for the pioneer liquor house of Wilcox & Powers listing them as sole agents for Dr. Mott's Wild Cherry Tonic


  1. The final line in the 1881 ad above is intriguing. "Special Agents for African Stomach Bitters".

    Spruance Stanley & Co. filed trademark #666 on Feb. 28,1881 for African Stomach Bitters and yet, here Wilcox Powers & Co were pushing this product as well.

  2. It would be interesting to research the Spruance & Powers connection as there seemed to be a lot of interaction between the two company's. Right now the SF directories are offline limiting my research.