Wednesday, February 26, 2020

"Hamburger Tropfen Bitters" Mystery no more

The Hamburger Tropfen Bitters and John Carl Mitau. We know that Wm. Hoelscher & Co. from San Francisco, was the agent for the brand. The embossing on the bottle reads "Hamburger Lebens Tropfen", which in german means "Hamburg Life Drops"  But, where was it from and who was John Carl Mitau? Well, I just discovered this article in the "Independent Calistogian" March 19, 1884, newspaper from Calistoga, California.
There you have it. A Calistoga, California Bitters and John Carl Mitau is from Germany. He manufactured the popular "Hamburger Tropfen Bitters" and brought it to California. Also, Could it be possible that Wm. Hoelscher was the relative they refer to, that assisted J.C. Mitau in bottling, marketing and selling his stomach bitters here in California. I believe so.
This western bitters lasted from 1884 - 1906. Wm. Hoelscher & Co. trade marked the brand in 1900. The first bottles were label only followed by the embossed bottle by the late 1890's. Making the embossed bottle extremely rare with only a hand full known, in either aqua or amethyst seen here. 


1 comment:

  1. Interesting article that clears up a decades old mystery. Thanks!