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Duffys Malt Whisky 

 Bottle circa pre 1900 origin Rochester, New York.

Duffys Malt Whisky has a interesting history, it was created by one Walter B Duffy in 1868.   By invoking malt in its name (malt was considered healthful at the time) Duffy could market his whiskey as a medicine, thereby evading liquor taxes, and still sell booze to those of the temperance movement.  Outlandish marketing ie; “in old age, in illness, in all cases of weakened vitality, nothing is so quick and permanently beneficial as…”  led to ever increasing scrutiny.  This culminated in a 1907 Food and Drug Administration inquiry.  At which the presiding official  stated  “Duffy’s Malt Whiskey is one of the most gigantic frauds of the age and in flagrant violation of the law”. 

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South Carolina Dispensary JO JO Monogram and Broken Palm 

Bottle circa 1893-1907 Origin Edgefield, South Carolina.

The SC Dispensary System ran 1893-1907, instituted by Governor Ben Tillman, at the behest of the temperance movement, used for the state regulation of liquor taxes and sales. This system is very similar to the one used today to regulate marijuana. Though run for a short time, many  bottle types were manufactured as a way to deter bootlegging, and meet demand. 

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Mrs. Winslows Soothing Syrup

Bottle circa 1880-1900 origins New York, New York.

Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup came on to the market in 1845 and was produced by Jeremiah Curtis and Benjamin A Perkins for teething and colic babies. The medicine claimed to “give rest to mothers and relief and health to infants” unfortunately given its two primary ingredients were morphine and alcohol it could cause coma and death. Cited in The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, it was denounced by the American Medical Association in 1911 but continued to be sold until 1930. 

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Florida Water 

Bottle circa 1890-1900.  Origins West Indies. 

Historically the name Florida Water was a term for a perfumed mixture of essential oils and alcohol and was used as a cologne. Information on this specific company has been difficult to ascertain. 

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Stoddarts Peerless Liquid 

Bottle circa 1870’s origins Buffalo, New York.

Stoddarts Peerless Liquid began with the purchase of the secret formula for Champlin’s Liquid Pearl in 1875 by Thomas Stoddart. A face make-up made from Bismuth Oxychloride (used in cosmetics since the Egyptians), Precipitated chalk, Glycerin, Water, Color and Perfume. Incidentally when looking up Bismuth Oxychloride I found a GHS hazard statement attributing it to skin and eye irritation. 



Bottle circa 1910 origins Wilmington, North Carolina. 

Fun fact about Astyptodyne it was discovered by accident in 1906 at a turpentine plant. Apparently there was a steam pipe that burst and severely burned some workers, in their haste to flee building one of injured men fell in to a vat of pine tar.  That man healed quicker and more completely than the other fellows.

Also it’s still produced today! (www.astyptodynefirstaid.com)

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Rumford Chemical Works

Bottle circa 1850’s origins East Providence, RI.

Rumford Chemical Works produced a variety of chemicals beginning in 1859, the most popular product was Horsford’s Acid Phosphate.  This concoction was mixed with a glass of cold water and sugar resulting in a lemon-lime tonic that was  “…delicious and refreshing drink”, taken “for mental and physical exhaustion, dyspepsia…” 

Rumford Chemical Works was also known for their Baking Powder which can still be found in stores today. 


Dr. Kings New Life Pills

Bottle circa 1880’s origins Chicago, IL.


Dr. King New Life Pills claimed to “Never fail to effect a cure, even when Physicians and all other known remedies have failed.” Incidentally when I found the original bottle the pills were still contained there in. 


Dr. HF Perry Dead Shot Vermifuge

Bottle circa 1850’s origins New York, New York.


Dr. H.F. Perry Dead Shot Vermifuge (human dewormer) claimed to be “…capable, from the promptitude of its action, of clearing the system in a few hours of every worm.” Based on the numerous examples of this bottle I’ve found the product must have achieved its desired effect. 

Caw's Ink New York Ink

Bottle circa 1880’s- 1890’s origins New York, New York.

Caw’s ink started in 1886 with the acquisition and renaming of what was Foundation Ink Company, which best selling product so happened to be a “crow colored ink” the inspiration for the new name. 

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Davis Vegetable Pain Killer

Bottle circa 1800's  origins Providence, RI.

Davis Vegetable Pain Killer was created in 1840 and is believed to be the first nationally advertised remedy for pain. Creator Perry Davis trademarked the term “Pain Killer” in 1845, vegetable, refers to it being an opium derivative. In production for over 100 years, it is said to have been given to both soldiers and horses during The Civil War.  Mark Twain said “Those who could run away did, those who could not drenched themselves in cholera preventatives and my mother chose Perry Davis’ Pain Killer for me.”


Atwood's Jaundice Bitters

 Bottle circa 1850’s-1880s


 This bottle would have been produced by Manhattan Medicine Company.  Jaundiced bitter bottles were embossed between 1855-1883


Originally manufactured in in Georgetown Massachusetts, by Moses Atwood.

Produced from 1840’s -1940’s


Recommended for jaundice, headache, dyspepsia, worms, dizziness, los of appetite, darting pains, colds and fevers. For cleansing the blood of humors and moistening the skin. Also for liver complaints, strangury, dropsy, croup and phthisis.


Moses Atwood sold his Jaundice Bitters company in pieces and parts, by 1855 he had sold all interest to numerous people. This is a brief explanation of whom he sold to; Carter & Dodge which was purchased by Manhattan Medicine Company, Lewis H Bateman,  L.F Atwood whom also sold to Manhattan Medicine Company,  Nathen Wood later Nathen Wood and Son, Charles H. Atwood whom sold to Alvah Littlefield & Company which then sold off to Gilman Brothers. Its of no surprise that this resulted in disputes around name usage, which resulted in trademark trials as well as advertisement that warned you to only buy “genuine Atwood’s Bitters”


Bull Dog Gin

Our research has shed little light on this bottle. We believe it to have been manufactured in the U.K. between

1900 -1930. 


Philips Milk of Magnesium

bottle circa 1918 - 1923


Manufactured from 1873 - Present


Invented by an English Pharmacist named Charles Henry Phillips, and patented in 1873 under the name Hydrate of Magnesia.  Charles died suddenly from apoplexy in 1888 and his four sons acquired and ran the corporation until 1923 when it was bought by Sterling Drug.


The cobalt blue glass wasn’t used until 1918 and after 1923 “Phillips” was removed from the embossing. This bottle would have been manufactured by a machine.


 Recommended for:  Relief from a sour stomach, neutralize gastric acidity, correcting general hyper acidity, biliousness, and indigestion.


Mexican Mustang Liniment 

Bottle circa 1850s


All-Healing medicine


“For Man or Beast” 


Produced 1825 - 1906 (end date is determined by passage of pure food and drug act)


Originally made in St. Louis by Dr. A.G. Bragg, later by Lyon Manufacturing Company. 


Recommend for; rheumatic pains, sprains, strains, burns, bites, scalds, colds, sore throats and lameness.


“Mexican Mustang Liniment ingredients - petroleum, olive oil and carbonate of ammonia, each in equal parts: mix.” Page 24 from The Artisans’ Guide and Everybody’s Assistant By Richard Moore 1873



Emerson Drug CO bottle circa 1888

Origins Baltimore MD 


Manufactured from 1888 - 2008


Bromoseltzer was a powder that was to be mixed with water before ingestion. It claimed to fight a headache in three ways.  It contained acetanilide to ease the pain,  bicarbonate to relieve excess stomach acidity and sodium bromide to calm jumpy nerves.


Two of these substances have been taken off the market, Sodium bromide was removed in the 1970 when they were classified as a tranquilizer, acetanilide was withdrawn from the pharmaceutical market in 1983 due to unacceptable levels of interstitial nephritis (kidney inflammation) and rise of tumorigenicity (carcinogenic). It is also of note that acetanilide could cause methemoglobinemia, a condition in which hemoglobin lose the ability to bind oxygen, sufferers of this condition develop a blue tinge. 


H.P. Sauce

Bottle Circa 1900’s

Origins United Kingdom.

This is a HP Sauce sample bottle, named after London’s Houses of Parliament, and would have contained a brown tomato based sauce. This sauce can still be purchased today.