Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wm. H. Keith Apothecaries

Here is one that surprised me when it was placed on a table at the Reno show. I have two sizes of the round "citrate" type of bottle from Wm. Keith, and I have seen two sizes of aqua oval medicines in this form. I have never seen an example in this pink coloration before. I have not heard of another one, but they apparently do come in a greyish clear with a slight pink tone. This example is 7 1/2" tall with a flared/ rolled over top, and hinge mould base. I would date it to the 1860s. The color is very pretty and it is very crudely made. Are there any other Wm. H. Keith variants? I have an open pontiled Brown's Jamaica Ginger in this color, and it was dug that way. I need to study the use of manganese to see if it was used as a de colorizer in the 1850s, and 60s. It seems odd they would be sun colored, and the odd pink hue suggests this is the natural color, and not exposed to the sun. Any other feedback? I am confident that it has not been "nuked".


  1. I think that the bottle is as manufactured. There are other "pink" bottles from the pre-manganese years; one of note is the S.F. Gaslight ammonia.

  2. I'm no expert, but I've dug broken clear and intact aqua examples of these in mid 60s holes. The clear examples are far nicer !!!

  3. Actually manganese was used as a coloring agent. Arsenic was used for decolorizing and for brilliancey.


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