Sunday, May 31, 2009

Just when you think you've seen it all~

Just when you think you've seen it all~

One of the fun things about having a seemingly endless revolving collection is the ability to compare and document subtle mold differences and discover the occasional "new bottle". Some time ago I had nearly three dozen Jesse Moore glop tops lined up like soldiers here. It's easy to get caught up in the color difference and sometime we can't see the forest through the trees. Heck a Jesse Sole Agent is a Jesse Sole Agent, right? Sure they come in a myriad of colors ranging from straight to dense amber, from yellow to green and every hue in between. But close examination shows that there are nearly as many molds as color variations. The differences are subtle, but they are there. Letter and punctuation placement and spacing are close, but still notably different.

Amber glop tops have always gotten top billing, due in large part to John Thomas's mindset that unless a bottle was amber and had a glop top, it wasn't worthy of mention. But things have changed and the clear glop's have begun to gain ground over the past few years. For the most part, they are infinitely rarer than the majority of their amber relatives and yet they remain comparatively affordable. Sure, they may not have the big gooey spillover that we take for granted on the earlier 80's globbys but what they lack on top, they often more than make up for in terms of overall character. Some of the favorites that I have on my shelves include the Henry Campe OK, William Cline Wholesale Grocer, Lois Taussig Wholesale, Boulevard OK, Kentucky Club, a Goldberg Bowen & Lebenbaum Wines & LiquoPs with original full labels, plus the obligatory clear picture glops including a Bear, Horse and Double Eagle to mention a few.

On rare occasions, a new example turns up. A few years ago a handful of clear glop top Roth & Co's were found in the Sierras. The half dozen or so that showed up were quickly snatched up by eager collectors (self included) and to date, no new examples have surfaced.

A couple of weeks ago UPS showed up with a nice selection of what I had been lead to believe were run of the mill to better t**l tops. I know, I'm straying toward the dark side by using the "t" word... But suddenly the clouds parted and bright sunshine filled the room when low and behold, a new western glop top whiskey was born! The seller mentioned that one of the more common pieces on the way was "kinda crude". What he failed to mention, or even notice, was that it was a member of the "German Connection" as TQ has termed the clear glops. Described as:

288.5 Bottled by / E. A. Fargo & Co. / Wholesale / Liquors / San Francisco / Cal.; glop top (yep - you read it right!), clear with that steel hue that we see in the German Bears, Boulevards, Gold Dusts, Roth's etc. ball neck brandy cylinder, BOLD strike, hammered whittle, ring lip with the typical German glop stippled appearance, the first glop we've seen or even heard of.

Looks like I'll need to make room on the shelf for a new member of the family~

Something's wrong with Kentucky....

Not the state of Kentucky, but the bottle or more specifically the information surrounding the Kentucky Gem.

Call me obsessive, but I like to attach a place to a bottle or shot glass. For me, the detective work is as much fun as the quest to acquire a new piece. I've had a couple of requests to publish a photo of this example and I thought that it would be fun to insert a clip of the Sanborn Fire map showing the actual location of the business.

I've had access to the Sanborns (all 660,000 maps for all 50 states) for a couple of years. I'm always fascinated by locating the actual location where my treasures originated and am also captivated by the fact that a lot of these liquor wholesalers "sold the sizzle rather than the steak". Many of the "big names" were actually operating out of the basement of a neighborhood saloon.

And so the search for the home turf of T.G. Cockrill & Co. began. The first hurdle presented itself when I opened the S.F. map page. Darned; the earliest map listed is 1886 (with subsequent revisions through 1893). According to Thomas, Cockrill started up in 1872 but left "the business" in 1873, when he was elected Chief of Police. He remained a silent partner until 1879 or 1880, when the endeavor folded . Well that's a fine how do you do... Always looking for that pony hiding in the closet, I figured that this shouldn't pose a major problem since S.F. had remained relatively disaster free during this era and the occupancies and addressing should have remained pretty much intact. Off I went in search of 518 Front St.. There it was, big as you please; a Telegraph Supply House. And visions of EC&M's and Cal. Electric insulators danced through my head... Focus, you dummy I told myself. Back to reality, I noticed a Cigar Manufactory on one side and a dealer in Salt hides on the other. Across the street, the number 521 stared at me. But wait, Thomas stated 518 - 521 Front Street. It was at that point that I began to wonder - how can you be in two places at once, when you're not anywhere at all.

And so, the plot thickens. Logic says that a startup company would not be sufficiently capitalized to maintain three buildings, with two on the north side of Front St. and one more on the south side. Finances aside, it makes no sense to occupy the middle portion of a block on both sides of the street. And so I leave it to you, my fellow collectors, to help solve the mystery.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


One of the most highly sought after western glob flasks is the J. Angeli & Co. San Francisco(tf-2). With just 6 known examples, this is an extremely rare bottle. Not much is known about the bottle, other than what is published in Thomas' Whiskey Bottles. It is certainly an early flask, by all appearances, and all of the known examples have been found in California I believe. The Angeli is a different shape than other western flasks, being deeper through the shoulder area than the other early western flasks. I don't have a handle on when the Angeli was actually distributed. J. Angeli & Co. was listed in the San Francisco directories at 524 Washington St. in 1869-1870, then at 211 California St. in 1871-72. You might expect the bottle to be more commonly found if sold for 4 years.

It is larger than a pint, and I have seen 5 of the known examples; 2 in darker olive amber, 2 in more of a yellow olive amber, and 1 in lighter green amber.

Does anyone have anything additional on the Angeli flask?? Newspaper ads, bill heads, any other info at all?? Please send it along and I will ad it to this post.

Here are a couple of comparison picts. with an Old Valley flask...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Up the Hill to Cerro Gordo

I wrote this before and it went into cyber space somewhere? Here we go again...Some years ago, myself, Jon, and my friend Rick who lives in Lone Pine went up the hill to check out Cerro Gordo. I had never been there before and was excited to get a chance to see an early mining town somewhat intact. Rick had grown up or went to school with the owner Jody, so he thought we might be able to talk ourselves into maybe throwing some dirt. We got up there and met them and said our Hello's and were given a tour of the area, very Kool, got to look into their little museum and hike around. We asked about digging for old bottles and were told that they really didn't want anyone digging around up there. They said a guy had gotten a whiskey bottle from them, didn't really tell them much about it, she said it was a MILLER'S EXTRA Fifth, amber, and her Boy friend said that they found out later that the guy had sold it for $10,000. They were not happy about the whole deal. She also showed us where another guy had come up there and used photo's and a metal rod to poke around and found a hole behind the Blacksmith Shop and dug a bunch of Blue Sodas and some Black Ales outta there. He was nice and gave them all the Black Ales as he said they were worth money and he kept the sodas. I can't say I blame them for being a little edgy. Jody said while on the way out to feed the dogs, she found on the top of the ground an amber umbrella ink. She was cleaning it in the sink when we came up there and it sliped out of her hand in the sink and it knocked the top off, she showed it to us. The Boy Friend told us to come up the hill with him and he would show us one of his projects. We went up to where an old tractor was sitting, and saw where they had cut a big swath out of a mine tailing pile. He just pointed in there as there was a heavy over hang shadowing the swath, "That's where we are digging now" we looking in there and there was hundreds of Black Ales, Champagnes, Wines, and Whiskey necks and tops sticking out of the side of the pile. Jon and I looked at that, looked at each other, and jumped in there in complete Bottle Lust. They were yelling at us and pointing up above our heads where dirt was trickling down on us and said NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. We were completely Bummed, I was whining so bad and begging Jody to Please lets rip this place, she gave me a DR.HENLEY IXL with the top knocked off to shut me up, I have never seen that much glass ripe for picking in my life. Yeah, they were pretty much against doing any digging, too bad. It was fun though and exciting. I did see and hold a MILLER'S EXTRA Fifth that was bought at a yard sale in the area, it was said to have come from the upper part of the hills, probably the wood cutter camps in the area. It has the top replaced, but, still what a Great Bottle. I wonder what one now days would be worth? I guess as far as paying $1000.00 to dig up there, unless they move tailing piles, I will use my Silver Pick on the Internet and at the Shows. Dr.Barnes

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I really liked the post about the possible chance to dig Cerro Gordo. I mean really! I liked the idea so much that I spent last night thinking about all of the ramifications of digging at this old mining town. First off I know nothing about Cerro Gordo except what I have heard through the rumor mill. I see by a comment to the post that one person says it has been dug - well duh - any place that has a way into it and was populated before 1890 has been dug, but that doesn't mean it has "all" been dug.
So... it looks like the ante is $1000 just for the opportunity to dig and then anything you dig the owner gets half of. Hmm... I live up in the Northern California gold country and it appears that its a all day drive for me to get to the "diggings". That means its a all day drive to get home.
All day drive equals about $100 in gas, food etc. That's $1000 buy in ,$200 gas food etc. so I am in $1200 before I find a place to stay, buy food for the time I am at the diggings etc. I guess if I was going to go all the way to Cerro Gordo to dig I would stay a minimum of 3 days or so, possibly more. That's probably another $500 out of pocket at today's prices.
Well , here I am at the diggings and only into the trip $1700 or $1800, but feeling good about my chances of bagging a Miller's fifth or flask and if I am really lucky a Clubhouse! Oh! are we digging trash layers or will we be digging some privy's? Don't know - never been here.
Trash layers are cool - you can dig em by yourself. Now if I get into a hole over, say 6 feet deep, I am going to need a partner to pull buckets etc. Wait, that means another $1000 buy in for my partner and the good old owner gets half of my partners share?
I never was that good at math but I reckon that if the owner gets half of my partners share then my share is now worth one quarter?
Just for grins lets say we dig a Miller's fifth, that's my partner, and I, and our 1/2 partner the owner. What's a Miller's going for today? I had heard through the grapevine that AP had a Miller's for sale at $10,000. Sounds like a fair price for that rare of a bottle
Ok -Ok we have the dug Miller's, I want to put it in my collection, but, I have to buy out my partners. Well that's $5000 to the land owner, $2500 to my digging partner, and my $1000 buy in, another, say $1000 in expenses and we have a $10,000 bottle that I just dug and paid $9500 for. I told you my math skills were weak, but I am pretty sure this all adds up. - Wow if I pony up another $500 I could buy AP's Miller's and not even break a sweat.
Of course there is the glory of digging a very rare and important bottle, but for me I don't believe the glory is worth $9500.
Boy - I don't even want to think about the numbers if you sold your share of the dug Miller's.
Oh, lets do think about it - $10,000 bottle, half to property owner, one quarter to your partner, $1000 buy in. If my math is correct my share of the Miller's would be $1500?
Friggin' peanuts!
God forbid you dig 3 Miller's. Lets do the math - 3 Miller's = $30,00. Owners share $15,000, partners share $$7500, My share $7500 minus the $1000 buy in =$6500. $6500 crap! I just dug 3 Miller's and have to pay $3500 to keep one - is this funky or what?
Y'all have fun digging Cerro Gordo

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Step right up gents, place your bet. Don't be shy. Place your bet. Three card monte... faro... go ahead buck that tiger. You can be a winner... Place your bet, lay down that long pouch boys! Just a thousand, you can dig that much gold, err- glass in a good afternoon. There are Millers to be found, maybe a Clubhouse for sure.

Cerro Gordo is the new game in town. For one thousand dollars up front, you can have a chance to dig Cerro. Then you have to split what you find with the land owner. The remaining 1/2 you can keep after you share it with the other gamers. Sound interesting?

I am being very facetious here. The plan is being worked up and is not quite finalized. I don't know if the 1000.00 is for each participant, or the deposit for the entire dig. I have a feeling it is for each digger. This information was emailed to me from Fred Holabird Americana. I know he has been working with the current land owner, Mike Patterson, to possibly help Mike find a buyer for the property. Mike and his wife, Jody Stewart, worked very hard to reconstruct and refurbish some of the landmark buildings in town and actually had advertised Cerro Gordo as an "authentic ghost town bed and breakfast". They were starting to hold activities, mineral, and mining workshops in Cerro Gordo. Most unfortunately Jody became ill, and passed away in Dec. 2001.

I had dinner with Mike and Jody in 1997 on a digging trip to Cerro. They treated me and my party like we were kings! We had brought sleeping bags, etc for a camp out, but Jody and Mike would have none of that. They put us up for a couple of nights in one of the bunkhouses they were refurbishing. Mike stopped in and had a couple of beers with us and gave us the detailed history of the town and the surrounding area. He knows his stuff, mining and construction! On our last night in town, Jody was our cook and server as they joined us for dinner at the American Hotel - Cerro Gordo.

So I really can't, and should not, bad mouth this digging plan too hard. In a perfect world, Mike would be able to raise funds to continue Jody's and his dream, and diggers would have a chance to find some nice bottles. Maybe this will work. I hope so for Mike Patterson's sake. If someone buys the property, I think the digging would be history.

Evans & O'Brien Stockton California

The firm of Evans and O’Brien, founded in the summer of 1868, produced the only early Stockton whiskey that is known. This bottle is found in shades of amber, also in green, has an applied top and is a “sixth” size. It is believed that this bottle is the first to be embossed with a dealers name, street address and city on the face of the bottle. This “full face” embossing was, during the 1870 – 1880 period, a common practice among western whiskey merchants and a highly desirable feature for today’s western whiskey collectors. Four whole examples of this bottle have been recovered from the Stockton area, one example was discovered in Newberg and another was recovered from the Crescent Mills area. At the present time there are believed to be six whole undamaged examples and several damaged examples.

Take a look at the ad to the right for Evans & O'Brien. They are located at 200 Hunter Street and have on hand Miller's #1 Bourbon and Cutter's.
They also have all kinds of case goods for the saloon trade at San Francisco prices and - here's the topper - all in their original packages. Kinda' makes you wonder what was sitting around in Evans & O'Brien's warehouse.
And if your a bitters kind of guy check out:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


A.P. noted the relative small number of pre-1875 fifths. I'll start this little exercise and plan to make changes for awhile. Help me with the dates of service and colors. Here is the listing of fifths and flasks that were in service prior to 1875. Some came and went before 1875, others started before '75 and carried on somewhat longer.
I tried to list the 5 colors that I would consider if I was collecting a grouping of each of these bottles. Green - truly green. Yellow Green is a click or two more toward yellow. Yellow Amber - light amber shades (pure yellow coloration is rare). Old Amber - Plain ol' amber, sometimes with the olive amber shade. Dark Amber - Very dark, chocolate amber or dark olive amber. You can find several shades of yellow amber and old amber if you are collecting the Circles or Star in Shields. I don't want to split hairs, my point is trying to identify the very few fifths and flasks that come in the 'full rainbow' or all 5 colors. The Teakettle has the royal flush + 1 (the joker) aqua.

Dates I have used are from Thomas, or my own estimation or guess. Dating whiskey bottle usage, exactly, -to quote 'old cutters' - is a s.w.a.g. The bottled product, in cases or in the consumer's hand, is not subject to spoilage. Wholesalers and retailers had no worries about the product going bad. Inventory was kept on hand until sold. The Cutter bottles in particular were constantly changing. There had to be some overlap in bottle usage, possibly a couple of years in some cases.
Please give me direction if you think some date changes need to be made, or if you have seen examples of bottles in colors that I have a question mark next to. Post a comment or email me, thanks.


Old Castle 1872-1885?


Jockey Club(t-19) 1870?-1873

Yellow Green/Old Amber/DarkAmber

CutterCircle(t-43) 1873-1877

YellowGreen/YellowAmber/OldAmber/Dark Amber

J.F. Cutter Star&Shld(t-46) 1870-1884


Cutter Hotaling Crown Shldr(t-47) 1872-1874


Cutter Martin Crown Shldr*no circle (t-48) 1873-1874


Cutter Hotaling non Crown(t-49) 1868-1871


Cutter Martin Mid Crown(t-50) 1875-1878


Evans & Obrien(t- 64) 1871-1873 (They were agents for Miller's Extra)


J. Moore Chielovich (t-90) 1871-1875


Laurel Palace(t-96) 1872-1874


Pride Of Kentucky(t-108) 1874-1883


G.O.Blakes Pond,Reynolds (t-115) 1872-1875


G.O.Blakes More, Reynolds(t-116) 1875*-1880
* I know, not pre-75. Same mold as t-115 and nice colors...


California Club House(t-119) 1872-1874


Teakettle(t-136) 1871-1887


S.T. Suits - Walker Bros.(t-148) 1872-1874


Thos. Taylor Virginia, N.(t-151) 1871-1877?


Gold Dust - John Van Bergen(t-154) 1872-1875


Gold Dust - N. Van Bergen(t-155) 1875- 1880 (N. Van Bergen advertised as Sole Agents for Gold Dust from 1875-1880 and began advertising as Sole Proprietor for Gold Dust only in 1880)


Old Woodburn(t-159) 1875- 1880 (N. Van Bergen advertised as Sole Agents for Woodburn from 1875-1880)


Weil Bros.(t-162) 1870?- 1872?


McKennas(t-168) 1874?-1883


* I believe the C&I variants are a bit newer, 1877-1879 or so.

S.H.M(t-169) 1873-1876 *


* I believe the C&I variants are even more recent than above, 1878-1880
or so. We need more info on the four C&I fifths. Would make a nice article.


Wormser Bros (Horizontal variant) 1868-1869

Wormser Bros (Vertical variant) 1869-1871

J. Angeli (March 1871-May 1872)

Old Castle (1872-1876?)

Lilienthal (1872-1880)

AAA (1871-1880)

Millers (1871-1879)


Here are a couple of pictures that Dale Mlasko just sent me. This is an ultra rare glob fifth, Marx and Jorgensen Wholesale Wine And Whiskey Merchants Portland, Oregon(t-112). There are only two examples known, and this is the stronger of the two examples.
Marx and Jorgensen were in business in Portland for quite a few years, but this embossed glob fifth was probably made and used for just a year or two in 1879-80 or so. A rare bird and certainly one of the top Oregon bottles.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I have developed an unnatural fondness for the earlier slugplate bottles, or whatever they should really be called. (Most of them are not true plate molds). My leanings are to the pre-1875 fifths and flasks, mostly because that is pretty much all we find in Utah. I don't know what happened, freight rates on the C.P.R.R. is my guess, but around 1876 or so almost all goods shipped into Salt Lake City switched from coming from the west (San Francisco) to coming from points east, Chicago - Omaha. This was bad, very bad, as there are absolutely no '80s or '90s western whiskies found in Utah. NONE! ZIP! NADA!! No embossed seeds, bitters, fifths, nothing! So... no slugplate embossed whiskey bottles were distributed out of SLC.

Why then would I have this interest in slugplates? Gotta blame a certain Mr. Eastley on this one. When I purchased a chunk of his fifth collection a few years ago he really had some killer slugs. I mean the air vented amber ones didn't do much for me, but the non vented ones - they were nice!

Had to sell a good portion of that collection, just to finance the bottles that I kept. Spiral neck - gone! red Whiskey Merch. - gone! Durham- history... can't even remember what they looked like. Sold about 30 of those bottles, and I am haunted by only one... R.T.Carroll(t-10). A damn slugplate. It was light yellow, whittled and dead mint! I knew it was rare, but... what a freakin idiot! I believe Fred Kille picked it up from me, we know that collection is a black hole. Sorry Fred, you know I'm kidding. At least you don't have to deal with seller's remorse. Maybe I can still stop in and see the bottle when I am in town??


Holy cannoli, I wish this be mine!! You know by the background who it belongs to. My jaw has locked up in the down position..

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Digging around for those whiskey shards made me think you might want to see where we look for the old glob tops here in Utah. The early silver camps were a good ticket 20 years ago and more. Alta produced a bunch of 5ths, mainly J.F. Cutters and Hotaling Non Crowns. Plenty of Millers flasks, large and small came out of here. A few "strays" made their way up to the boarding houses. Clarks -Samual More, Durham, and even a broken green Clubhouse was found near the Davenport Mine. World class ski resorts surround the area now.

Here is another broken Durham - No Foot. This one was found near the Black Bess Mine high in the Wasatch Mtns. Most of the stuff around this boarding house was later 70's or early 80's-ish. Broken Jesse Moore flask also found here. 3 or 4 whole bottles (junkers) was all we took out of here in two separate trips. One heck of a hike, even 20 years and 40 lbs ago! Topo shows the elevations - 10k feet is not exaggerating. Can't drive anywhere near it, all wilderness area.

A Couple More Big Boys

Here's a couple more "Big Boys":
The center Samuel More is a light yellow amber while the Pond Reynolds on the right is a dark old amber.
I just couldn't help throwing the one name bear into the picture. The embossing is so strong it just about jumps off of the bottle.


I am putting up quite a few posts, will come back and put some more dialog. Dale is sending me some flask picts. and I know we all like to look at killer bottles.

This filthy whittled, frothy example was recently acquired from a digger south of San Francisco. Same example as upper right.


Gotta love the early glob fifths. The pre-1875 fifths are noticeably larger, and of course the colors are all over the place. The Blakes and Clarks bottles are from the same mold, so that larger bottle carried on into the '80s.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Western Whiskey Happenings-TWEET

This is the "Tweeter" that I snagged from Bruce Silva at Vallejo. Kinda nice olive amber, crude and whittlish, with a better than average strike. All of the embossing is bold and clear, it's my lack of camera skills that wash it out. Maybe tomorrow, I can go outside and do a tad better. BTW, it's the one in the middle. LOLPhotobucket


I happened upon a photo of this Old Woodburn(t-159) and did a little cropping to stand it on it's own. A fabulous "almost" from a few years ago. I hope A.P. doesn't mind me slapping it up here. If he was trolling EBAY for a reaction, well, he caught a Utah sucker.. This broken example is by far the nicest color of the known examples of the Woodburn. Not that there is a large sample to compare with.. 3 whole ones known, and just a small handful of broken ones ever found.

One of the top western glob fifths, and a very interesting bottle. You "R" affectionados gotta love this bottle. Three different fonts on one bottle. In WOODBURN it is the so-called eastern font, but actually the lettering style is being true to the trade mark application. VAN BERGEN, straight leg R, and in SAN FRANCISCO, a wild curved leg R. ????? Whatever...

Crown Jewels

Too bad that we can't post simple replies, with photos, to excellent subjects. Admittedly, my camera skills aren't the best, but these fifths have jewels of sorts. Some're better'n others, but that's how they made 'em.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Want to see a nice small circle Millers(tf-20)? I think this one might have a bit of green in it!! I know there are some other smokin' hot Miller's Smalls out there, lets line them up.

Trying to get a comparison shot of the broken "lime green" large circle that came out of the Utah mtns. a couple of years ago.

Here are some flask shards, (and shards of shards), not much is left of some of them when you dig them out of rock piles at 10000 ft.

Green amber small Millers, same yellow green large Millers as in window picture. Looks different color without back light. And the small shard of the 'lime green' or 'transparent' Millers. I have the top, base and some unembossed pieces around here somewhere. The entire bottle was similar color.


Still drooling over the two oldest Hotaling fifths that OLD CUTTERS posted a few days ago. His whittled crown shoulder is a beauty. That bottle has always been a favorite of mine. After watching the example close in American Glass Auction, it must be someone else's favorite too!!!

You know if you have a really strongly embossed example by the jewels. The "English Crown" on Hotaling bottles exhibits jewels across the front and top of the crown. They are readily seen on examples that have strong embossing, particularly whittled examples. The Circle Cutter(t-43) & (t-44) both often show the jewels across the front of the crown. That is the (t-44) 4 piece mold, not the 2 piece mold variations. You have a super example if you can see the jewels all across the top of the crown.

The Crown Shoulder Hotaling(t-47) sometimes show all of the jewels. This bottle doesn't come in green for some reason, but a whittled, light yellowish amber really can light up your shelf.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More Hotaling Cutter advertising

This little 1890s embossed tin piece was a Pacific Sheet Metal Works Litho, SF, product. Unlike many other tin and paper advertising signs, it did not suffer destruction during the fire that followed the earthquake of 18 April, 1906. Despite it's being nailed inside a building to keep out rainwater for 80 years it's in amazingly nice condition. The colors are bright, with minimal rust. The hand holding the bottle is actually three dimensional, which gives the effect of the hand coming out of the background. I have never seen, or heard of, another sign like this one and was very fortunate to have the opportunity to own it.Photobucket

Hotaling advertising

Though not directly advertising Cutter Whiskey, this is a related sign because it was given out by the A.P.Hotaling Co, of Seattle, Wash. This embossed carboard piece dates from around 1890, a few months after Washington became a state. At that time, the lovely girls associated with later advertising had not reached their epitome, so this young lady is rather "owlish" in appearance. Women were just beginning to be the subjects of commercial advertising and the models hadn't developed to the point reached a decade later. Nevertheless, this is another sole surviving piece of Hotaling's ventures into the Pacific Northwest.Photobucket


Here is another Cutter related sign to look at. This one is on metal, with the C.P. MOORMAN & CO. LOUISVILLE, KY. on the frame. Love these signs, next to impossible to find.. or afford!
Brass tag above - A.P.HOTALING SOLE AGENT

John Thomas

Picked up this copy of the Old Bottle Magazine, Aug. 1971, a few days ago. I remember when it came out, with John Thomas witching for bottles. I guess no one ever perfected that art!!

Here is John Thomas holding court in 1997 at the great Whiskey Extravaganza - Downieville Bottle Show.

John passed away in 2000. He was instrumental in bringing glob top whiskey bottles and collectors together with his first book (booklet) A Choice Listing Of The Most Desired Older Whiskey Bottles.

Whiskey prices

Don't we wish we could go back to the "good old days" when bottles were priced like this? Of course, most of us didn't have two quarters to rub together at the time, but it's fun to reminisce. This is what some western whiskey bottles were worth in 1970.Photobucket

Remember when...

...John Thomas' first whiskey book came out in 1969? I was looking throuh some old junk and came across this notice of his "pamphlet", as he called it, being available through the mail. Up until that time, Bill Wilson's Spirits Bottles Of The Old West Was THE bible for whiskeys. John's little publication showed more comprehensive history on the bottles that we all know and appreciate and quickly became the go-to source for them. He also had assigned an actual "value" to each one, but I'm sure that there was some "self interest" involved in that aspect. Regardless, we all enjoyed this little publication and many of us carried our copies until they wore out. Ragged and dog eared, soiled from fingers, and the pages falling out, they still hold an honored place in our hearts if not on our shelves.Photobucket

Monday, May 4, 2009

Vintage advertisement

All of us that collect the older whiskies also appreciate the signs that were used by the dealers and agents to advertise their products. One of my favorites is the A. P. Hotaling Co, the largest wholesale liquor dealer in the West during the latter half of the 19th Century. Everyone is familiar with the many and varied bottles he produced to contain his goods, but not all are aware of his advertising. One of the earliest "Cutter" signs is this hand made piece from one of his Northwest agencies. It sits in the original frame and has painted on the back the address of the saloon it was sent to in Mt.Vernon, WT. It is printed on tin, and has the grain and vignettes done on gold lettering. The brands that he wanted to promote are lettered in gold with "gold" "sprinkles" added to the two at top and bottom, and "silver" on the side brands. J.H.Cutter, with the logo barrel ends is in the center. In the corners are the agencies that he had opened at the time. Clockwise from the top left are, San Francisco, Cal, Spokane Falls, W.T., Seattle W.T. and Portland, O.Photobucket

The first Hotaling bottles

Shortly after A.P.Hotaling opened his offices, bottling rooms, and warehouses at 429&431 Jackson St in 1866 he began bottling the famous J.H Cutter Whiskey that was discussed in such great detail by G.O.Blake. Following the Open Face, or N0n-Crown, bottle was the one referred as Shoulder Crown. This bottle first appeared in 1871 and likely continued to be produced until sometime mid decade. Unfortunately, the earliest Cutter trademarks were stolen from the State Archives many years ago, so dating these bottles is subjective at best. Following are two examples from my minor collection of Hotaling's bottles.Photobucket