Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Miller's Extra Flasks

My dad and I caught the Miller's bug a few years ago after being inspired by another collector who has long admired these attainable, yet classic, beautiful, and colorful western flasks. Miller's Extra was an old bourbon very popular amongst the old miners during the 1870's. At that time they were coveted for the whiskey "inside" that would gladden rough and tumble mountain-men after a long day of physically bruising work, help to fight off the bitter cold in their small tent cabin, or to perhaps celebrate and share the success of their most recent gold or silver strike....nowadays they are admired more for their "outside" aesthetics. From what I know these have primarily come from mining camps in California and Utah, some from Northern California towns, Oregon, and Nevada. Any other reports out there as to their popularity in any other Western states?

Pictured below from Left to Right:
*Small Design, Single Roll Applied Top in Olive-amber with dose of olive coloration.
*Large Design, Single Roll Applied Top in Yellow-green.
*Large Design, Double Roll Applied Top in an off-amber color.

A full line-up of Miller's Extra flasks:


  1. There was 13 Miller's Large Design flask dug in a 25' outhouse pit under a building in Dago on the Border in the 1970's. I believe Jon has one of these flask. My Buddy Rick M. dug a busted one where the Padres Stadium is, and I dug a broken one between Lone Pine and Indepenence, also Dug a broken one on the corner of 9th and G in Dago, that one was busted right in half. I read in the that San Diego was a distributing Point for the Miller's Extra. I am not sure where they were sending this stuff, maybe Julian, the 1860's mining town in the mountains? Yep, thats my story and I am sticking to it. DB

  2. Nice flasks Lance and Larry!
    Miller's both large and small design are about as good as it gets in my book...the example shown are a beautiful spectrum of color, and crudity.I have never dug an intact Miller's, but hope to someday.Nice collection!
    Dale M.

  3. I had one that was dug in Perserverance, Alaska of all places !


  4. Dr. B,

    The double-roll top seems to be tougher to find than the single roll top for the large design Miller's. The best overall top in our collection of Miller's flasks is the amber colored one on the far right of the photos. It has a pretty insane drip going down the neck. It's one I got through M.E. and was owned by Dennis before that.


    I had heard rumor of one small design Miller's flask being found by a scuba diver in Sitka, Alaska years ago. That would make at least 2 known examples from the AK state....


    A Miller's flask and Miller's fifth are both at the top of my list for bottles to try and dig some day....Sure there are other bottles that are even more sought after (like a California Clubhouse, Dr. Wonser's or Cassin's), but the Miler's bottles are right there on my "Wanted" list of bottles to dig! Maybe we'll find ourselves in a hole with a few of them someday down the road?


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