Sunday, December 27, 2009

S.T. Suit anyone?

Yesterday, while pawing through a pile of trade cards with puppies, kittens, and anything else that my three year old grand daughter found interesting, I stumbled across a San Francisco newspaper ad from 1872 that I had forgotten about years ago.
Talk about uniting east and west! The association of A. P. Hotaling with Milton J. Hardy and C.P. Moorman has been well documented by Thomas in Whiskey Bottle of the Old West. The discovery of this ad just ties up the loose ends a little more neatly and also adds a positive date stamp to the relationships. The ad plainly pictures the embossing pattern found on Barnett #'s 234 & 235 / Thomas #'s 37 & 39; J. H. Cutter Old Bourbon and J. H. Cutter Pure Old Rye - C. P. Moorman.

The embossed Milton J. Hardy Bourbon variant is an extreme rarity but has always been considered eastern in origin,

while the base embossed MJH has always been something of a mystery.

To the best of my knowledge, all the base embossed MJH's have been dug in the west. The cylinder has all the earmarks of being blown on the west coast and my guess is that they were blown at Hotalings direction and paper labeled for a period of time until Moormans Cutter A. No 1 and Cutter OK whiskies began to gain a foothold.

OK, so much for neat tie ins and killer glop tops. What really tripped my tigger was what I spotted on the reverse side of the ad, neatly hidden away in the middle of the page. Check out the plug by W.W. Dodge and Co., with offices in both San Francisco and Sacramento.

Anyone up for digging an S.T. Suit? The possibilities are endless!


  1. I don't believe that the MJH bottles predate the Hotaling OK and ANo1 barrel embossed fifths. It has been my experience that they are found in later pits than the 1881 date of the Cutter bottles introduction to the market. We have dug many of these plain fifths in a number of local pits and none have been found in association with Hotaling bottles. Variant 4 JFs with the star on base are found in the same vintage pits as the MJHs. One privy that we dug a number of those fifths from now sits under a 6 story condominium structure and the bottles remain firmly packed beneath it. AFAIAC, they are non-keepers and are replaced in the hole for future diggers to find and appreciate.

  2. Dug a handful of the MJH fifths in Sac in a shallow pit with several Sac Embossed Seeds, mid to late 80's ?? They were very crude I remember. DB


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