Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Baldwin Bros.....

No, not the actors, Alec and his bros... I'm talking, the Superior family of Western "Fleur d Lis" cylinders, A.R Baldwin and his successors Wilmerding & Kellogg !!

I had seen ads over the yrs for "Baldwin's Superior" while researching, but as Bruce mentioned a few days ago, sometimes the obvious is not apparent. My brain must of been full of privy-cone dust, as I did not make the connection back then !

Thanks to Numa's, Sole Agent's, and KY Gem's research here on the blog,we now know a lot more about the SHM fleur d lis' origin.... and the earlier ARB fleur d lis base embossed ARB (Baldwin) sixth, which are all part of the Superior Old Bourbon family. The ARB is the size of an Evans & O'Brien or Jockey Club.

As requested, I took some (unfortunately not so good...taken at night) pics of the sixth, and decided while I was in the "fleur" spirit, to include a family shot as well, of the examples I've dug over the yrs (the C&I was found by a friend).

Monday, December 19, 2011


Here is an ad I found tucked away in some stuff I received from my old mentor.   He had it dated "1875".   But I will need to find which local paper it was in and verify the date.

N. & E. Boukofsky were Utah Territorial agents for J.F. Cutter and Miller's Extra as early as 1871.   We did a post on these boys mid 2010.    Nelson Boukofsky continued with the business,  and became agents for Wilmerding and Kellogg brands.   McKennas and S.H.M. fifths have been found whole and broken in Utah.
In 1875 Boukofsky is advertising the main Wilmerding and Kellogg brands:  United we Stand/Divided we Fall WhiskeyMckennas Nelson County Kentucky Extra Old Bourbon Whiskey (the long version);  and of course Baldwin's Superior Old Bourbon Whiskey.  

The United We Stand-Divided We Fall  and the Baldwin's Superior Old Bourbon  being marketed at the same time.  Of course the United We Stand embossed bottle is later than 1875.    Wonder why there wasn't an earlier embossed United We Stand container, indications are that it was a very popular brand.  

Even More Evidence

Here it is, the likely link between A R Baldwin's "SHM" and Wilmerding & Kellog's "SHM".

A R Baldwin & Co. > Fargo & Co (Wilmerding & Kellog) > Wilmerding & Kellog

Could we consider this a 'new' western whiskey ?  Too bad the 1850s and 60s mold makers chose base and shoulder embossing instead of the later full face style !  A.P., could we get a photo of your intact example ?

March 29th, 1867 Sacramento Daily Union

January 7th, 1869 Daily Alta

MORE ON BALDWIN (answers? questions.. plenty)

California Digital Newspaper Collection — Sacramento Daily Union 24 August 1866 — Page 2 Advertisements Column 2

Here is an ad from Aug. 1866.   Baldwin is selling a couple of products that were later made famous by Wilmerding and Kellogg. 

What is with the S.H.M. designation in the description of several of the fine whiskies - United We Stand,  Eureka,  Old Homestead??      "Superior Hand Made"  ???    Something else?

Mr. Obvious....  or the "Fleur de lis"  trade mark for Baldwin's Superior Old Bourbon  may have been originally registered in California.  ?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mr. Obvious?

At the risk of opening myself up to criticism for my choice in radio, I'll admit to listening to the Bob & Tom Show. It's nationally syndicated and pretty popular around here, even if it has taken on the air morality to new lows at times. I wouldn't call myself a devotee, but there are a few regular sketches, intermingled amongst the rest of the mindless dribble, that I enjoy.

One of them is called the Mr. Obvious Show. And I feel like Mr. Obvious this morning.

Am I the only one that spotted the similarity of the base of the greenish amber cylinder to the face of another whiskey that graces a few of our shelves?

Here, let me give you a hint...
And yet another...

OK, I'll let the cat out of the bag.

"Gee Mr. Obvious, I never would have thought".


Thursday, December 8, 2011

More 60s Glob Tops

Perhaps the A R B initials represent A. R. Baldwin & Co.  Based on the above ad, Sacramento Daily Union April 26th 1866, they had a whisky on market.  Most of the bottles that were dug next to this base were mid 60s, so the timeframe fits perfectly, but it's still just a theory and likely the closest we'll come to knowing the truth.

Here are two more interesting pieces. Both were dug in a mid to late 1860s layer in California and exhibit characteristics of early western glass. I have seen intact examples of both, so there may be a few of these floating around, but as far as the possible companies or people these symbols represent, I'm at a loss. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Newman goes for the gold.......

While going thru my stuff this wk looking for more C & I notes, I came across this. Thought you guys might enjoy seeing it. Some interesting stuff written to the State Fair gold medal committee in 1867 by Carlton Newman, proprietor of the San Francisco Glass Works . Gives some insight on what they made, recyling tonnage, earlier glassworks. Newman seems to downplay the successes of the Pacific Glass Works. The broken glass recycling numbers blow me away !
Warren probably covered all this thoroughly in his book, but for those who may not have seen it, here it is reprinted exactly as it appeared in an 1868 publication.....

San Francisco, October 20th, 1867.

To the Committee on the award of Gold Medals for the State Agricultural Society :

Gentlemen : In accordance with public notice to exhibitors at the late State Fair, given through its Secretary, the undersigned herewith present their claims to your body for the gold medal which the Agricultural Society has authorized you, as its agent, to award to the most deserving exhibit made in the Third Department of the late State Fair.
Your memory will enable you to call to mind the exhibit of flint and colored glassware made by us on that occasion, comprising about one hundred articles of different patterns and construction, all of which were made at our works on Townsend street, near the foot of Third street, in San Francisco, and which comprised prescription bottles from one half drachm to sixteen ounces; also oval, panel and fluted prescriptions; extracts, oil bottles, ink bottles, mustard bottles, both plain and French; also wine bottles, soda and bitters bottles of colored glass; also carboys and retorts, the latter both plain and tubulated; chemical ware in great variety, such as flasks, matrasses, tubing, funnels, proof bottles, oil sample bottles; also lamp chimneys of all sizes, as well as locomotive and light-house chimneys, etc.
We beg leave to call your attention particularly to the fact that all this large variety of patterns and colors were produced from a single furnace—a work which has never before been accomplished with the same economy in the history of glass making. The means by which this is accomplished is a matter of our own invention, which will hereinafter be more particularly alluded to.
For this exhibition we claim the gold medal to be awarded to the Third Department, and for the following among other reasons:
"We have been the first to introduce upon this coast the manufacture of flint glassware ; and to make its introduction successful, we have been compelled to depart from the usual routine of glass manufacture in order to meet the special wants and necessities of the people of the Pacific coast, whose isolated position and paucity of numbers render it necessary that the variety of work which, in other countries, is distributed among a number of different establishments, must of necessity be comprised in one. This has been done at great hazard of pecuniary loss, and only by the employment of a rare combination of skill and experience.
In the establishment of any new enterprise of special importance to the public, the projectors are entitled to credit and encouragement in some respects commensurate with the difficulties to be encountered. It is a fact quite universally admitted that the business of flint glass making, even under the most favorable circumstances, is liable to more inherent contingencies, to be more carefully and constantly guarded against, than, perhaps, any other industry known to man. Unlike most other branches of industry, this is governed and aided by no motive power, and has no analogy to the productions of labor by the aid of machinery. Constant care and attention, directed by skill which can be acquired by experience alone, and a large outlay of capital, are here the only conditions of success.
There is no regular business where, in proportion to the capital employed, greater liability to loss is incurred, none demanding more untiring vigilance on the part of its immediate directors, none requiring so much personal skill and interest in the work. Hence it is that so many failures have occurred in the establishment of the business, both in this country and in Europe. It is a well known fact that nearly or quite two thirds of the efforts to establish flint glass manufactures in England have proved failures, and mainly through the lack of skill or want of application on the part of those in immediate charge, as managers or superintendents. The history of the business in our own country has been generally unfortunate. On this coast, no better success has attended similar efforts, as will be shown in the sequel. In no other business is success more dearly bought or more deserving of being honored and encouraged.
The ingredients of which glass is composed are taken from the earth in a form which is next to valueless until manipulated by the g]ass manufacturer. None of these ingredients are transparent by themselves. To make them perfectly so requires the highest skill of the mixer. The proper proportions of materials and the necessary degree of heat to submit them to must be made a matter of constant study and experience. It is in these manipulations and this experience that the chief skill of the glass worker is called into action. Formulas and receipts from the books are of no avail for this work, and cannot be depended on. Such dependence, or on that of faulty experience, is the usual cause of failure.
The incessant variations of Nature in her productions, and the difficulties of determining and controlling high degrees of heat, call for the highest and most careful exercise of human judgment. This tact, if it may be so called, is rarely to be found, and when found is with difficulty imparted to others. So rare is this acquirement that in a large glass establishment in Massachusetts, employing some seven hundred or eight hundred hands, the success of the whole establishment depends upon the skill in the above particular of one man, or, in his absence, singular as it may appear, upon that of his daughter. When such skill is found it is, or ought to be, duly prized. It need not be mentioned that without this kind of experience the manufacture of flint glass could not have become a success on this coast. Hence, the presence here of such skill should be warmly encouraged, especially as it exists in a form and to an extent which insures, as fast as pecuniary means and encouragement can be obtained, the ability of the San Francisco Glass Works to add to
their present variety of manufacture that of all the other varieties employed on this coast.
The San Francisco Glass Works are conducted by two practical and experienced men, with but limited capital for the extension of their business into the numerous branches demanded by the wants of our people. The proprietors have had a severe and protracted struggle to build up their business to the present extent, not the least part of which has been in consequence of the efforts of Eastern manufacturers to keep the white glass business of this coast entirely in their own hands by breaking down our incipient efforts at manufacturing it here. In our efforts to secure the trade for ourselves, skill and industry have had to take the place, in a great measure, of capital. It is with pleasure and pride that we refer to what we have accomplished in this direction. The display which we were able to make at the late State Fair furnishes the fullest evidence of our ability to meet the fullest wants of this coast in our line, provided only a reasonable degree of encouragement is extended to us on the part of the people.
We feel confident that with such encouragement the day will soon come when our citizens can have every article of glass which enters into consumption on this coast made- in our midst, and thus be placed independent of foreign or Atlantic made goods.
There exist here all the necessary materials, and a small portion of the capital that is yearly spent in California in wild and visionary schemes, if invested in this and similar legitimate enterprises, would be productive of incalculable wealth, would save millions to the State, and add immensely to the prosperity of our rapidly growing cities and towns.
The San Francisco Glass Works now employ about forty hands and have already the capacity for making one hundred thousand dollars worth of glass per annum, the amount and character for producing which are about as follows: Nine hundred tons of coal, two hundred cords of wood, two hundred and fifty barrels of crude petroleum, three hundred tons of sand, one hundred and fifty tons of soda ash, eight hundred barrels of lime, two hundred tons of old glass, one hundred and fifty tons of fine clay, besides red lead, saltpeter, arsenic, manganese, etc. It will be seen from this enumeration that nearly everything required in the manufacture is produced in our midst, giving employment to a great number of outside hands, so that the entire cost of the glass produced here may be set down as about so much value created here, the transmission of which to the East in bullion is saved to the State.
We have little or no data by which to calculate the annual value of the glassware on this coast; certain it is, however, that it is very large, forming an important item in our imports. Perhaps no better idea of the amount consumed can be formed than by referring to the large amount of broken glass which finds its way to our establishment monthly, almost all of which is from wholesale dealers and importers of glassware, in whose hands it accumulates from breakage in store or in transportation thither. A small portion only of broken glass is collected from private families, on account of the great cost of such collection, and the notorious lack of economy on the part of California housekeepers and others in their general neglect of saving anything in the shape of waste. The average amount of our monthly purchases of broken glass is about seventeen tons. This great loss, mostly from breakage in transportation, presents a most important reason for the necessity of such manufacture on this coast.
We would conclude by asking particular attention to an important feature in our exhibition, with which at least a portion of your Committee are familiar, and which all will probably be able to call to mind. We refer to a patent glass pot, the invention of Mr. C. Newman, one of the proprietors of the works, and which has been patented by him as a California invention.
In" establishing the business on this coast, as has already been remarked, it was found necessary, for several reasons, to embrace, as far as could be done, all the possible varieties of manufacture in one establishment. In carrying out this idea we found it necessary to accomplish, with variations in the melting pot, that which has elsewhere ever been done by differently constructed furnaces. In no other establishment than our own has the glass manufacturer been able to produce, economically, in the same furnace, both flint and common glass. We have been able to do this by the peculiar construction of the melting pot, a model of which was included among our articles of exhibition as above alluded to. This invention we claim as one of the most important which has been introduced into the glass business for many centuries. Its value has already been acknowledged by practical glass manufacturers.
It is impossible, within the limits of this statement, we fear already extended beyond the patience of the Committee for its perusal, to give anything like an intelligent description, of this invention and its advantages. Suffice it to say that we consider it the most important item of our exhibit, and of itself sufficiently meritorious to make it worthy of especial consideration in making up the award for the Third Department.
In conclusion, the undersigned would beg leave to state that we entertain a most lively appreciation of the benefits which must accrue from the awards of the Committee, and feel most sensibly our need of the endorsement of the society which you represent as an encouragement for a proper continuance of the arduous struggle in which we are still engaged, in the effort to place upon a proper foundation on this coast the more difficult branches of a most useful and important branch of industry.
Believing, for the reasons above cited, and for numerous others which might be adduced, that the award of the Third Department fairly belongs to us, we earnestly ask your particular attention to our request, hoping and believing that it will meet with your most hearty acquiescence and approval.

In the meantime we are, very respectfully, yours,
CARLTON NEWMAN, For the San Francisco Glass Works.


Perhaps the following brief summary of the history of glass making may be considered by the Committee of sufficient interest to merit a place in the Agricultural Society's forthcoming report, although it is not offered as any part of the above communication :
Very few, if any, branches of industry have contributed more than has glass making to the advancement of the sciences. To this industry is especially due the great progress which has of late astonished the
world in the science of astronomy. It has revealed the wonders of the heavens—the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars are followed in all their phases and movements with a most astonishing accuracy—while with the microscope the naturalist has discovered innumerable phenomena among the minutias of creation. Muspratt says that "the discovery of glass is, without contradiction, one of the most important services which accident or chemistry has rendered to civilization." Another writer says that " the importance of glass and the infinite variety of objects to which it is applicable, cannot be exaggerated; indeed, it would be extremely difficult to enumerate its properties or estimate adequately its value. This transparent substance, so light and so fragile, is one of the most essential ministers of science and philosophy, and enters so minutely into the concerns of life that it has become indispensable to the daily routine of our business, our wants and our pleasures. It admits the sun and excludes the wind, answering the double purpose of transmitting light and preserving warmth ; it carries the eye of the astronomer to the remotest systems of space; through the lenses of the microscope it develops new worlds of vitality, which, without its help, must ever have been imperfectly known ; it renews the sight of the old, and assists the curiosity of the young; it empowers the mariner to descry distant shipping and trace far-off shores; it preserves the light of the beacon from the rush of the tempest, and softens the flame of the lamp on our tables; it supplies the revel with those charming vessels in whose bright depths we enjoy the color as well as the flavor of our wine; it enables the beauty to survey the charms of her person ; it reflects, it magnifies, it diminishes; it is a medium of light and of obscuration; its uses are without limit; and as an article of embellishment, there is no form into which it may not be moulded and no article of luxury to which it may not be adapted."
The discovery of glass is lost in the depths of antiquity. Pliny ascribes its discovery to the Phoenicians. He tells the story of a vessel of that nation which had been driven ashore, the crew of which made a fire of seaweed on the sandy beach, the heat of which converted the saline material and sand into a coarse glass. The story is no doubt a fiction. The origin of glass was more probably due the early process of assaying silver, or rather obtaining that metal from argentiferous galena, from which description of ore the chief part of the ancient silver was doubtless obtained. Carbonate of soda, a natural substance, was doubtless a flux in those operations; and nothing is more reasonable than to suppose that with the use of this flux, in the presence of great heat, the oxide of lead, which would be formed from the ore, and the silica, either of the crucible or the ore, migfct form a glass, the utility of which would have been readily observed by the ancient workers in precious metals. Being obtained in small quantities, it was readily cast or shaped into small ornaments, such as beads, etc., which have in modern times been found in the ruins of Thebes, Nineveh and Babylon. On some of these small ornaments have been found hieroglyphics, which fix the date of their origin as far back as fifteen hundred years before the Christian era.
For many years glass must have been made only in small quantities; in no other way can we account for its having been so costly and rare— its price being much above the value of gold. It has been stated that Nero paid for two glass cups a sum of money equal to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in our currency.
The first establishments to make glass on a large scale were located at Tyre, near the mouth of the River Belus, where very pure silica was obtainable in great abundance. The " ships of Tyre" were often freighted with this beautiful ware, which was thus transported to different parts of the world. Many years afterward the art was carried to Rome, and from thence to Bohemia and Venice, where glass was greatly improved in quality. From Venice it was next carried to France, where the Government, with a wise forethought, gave it great encouragement by creating the glass makers noblemen and giving them, for many years, the exclusive right to manufacture glass in that country. In the year sixteen hundred and seventy, the Duke of Buckingham became the patron of the art in England, and greatly improved the quality of glass. He procured a number of Venetian glass makers and settled them down in London. The Government gave them liberal bounties in cash upon all glass exported or sold by them for export. By this means they became the successful rivals of the Venetian and French manufacturers, even in foreign markets.
In the year seventeen hundred and forty-six, the glass business was started in America, at Jamestown, Virginia; but the first successful establishment was in Massachusetts, started in eighteen hundred and three. That State, in order to encourage the business and to secure its firm establishment, gave liberal bounties on all glass made at those works. The business steadily increased from that time forward, until today there are about two hundred establishments in various parts of the Union, producing over twenty-five millions of dollars worth of glass annually. There are about fifty glass works in the City of Pittsburg alone, which manufacture about seven million dollars worth annually.
It is an interesting and important fact to note that the glassware made in the United States is considered equal to any in the world. At the International Exhibition in London in eighteen hundred and sixtytwo, the United States carried off the first premium for the best quality of glass; and again at the present Paris Exhibition we have been victorious, the first premium having been awarded to J. B. Lyard & Co., of Pittsburg.
The first glass works on the Pacific Coast were started in eighteen hundred and fifty-nine, by Baker & Cutting. These works were located on Beale street, and produced only the common varieties of glass—green and black. These works were soon discontinued, the company sustaining heavy losses. The next attempt was made by Lambert & Company, on Fourth street, who also made only common glass. This establishment was also soon closed. In eighteen hundred and sixty a small experimental furnace was started at North Beach, which was soon closed, and the company reorganized as a joint stock concern, under the name of the Pacific Glass Works, with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, which was soon increased to one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars. This company also meeting with heavy disappointments was dissolved, and the works are now carried on by private parties. These works manufacture common glass only. In March, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, C. Newman and P. T. Brennan started the flint glass business on Townsend street, between Third and Fourth streets, being the first attempt to make flint glass on the Pacific coast—which has since been enlarged and increased until they have now a large establishment, making flint and German flint, as well as common black or green glass. They have a large furnace, containing eight pots, which hold one thousand four hundred pounds of glass each, and employ forty hands. They manufacture about two million bottles and vials annually, valued at about one hundred thousand dollars.

Tired - So very, very tired

Tom brought up an interesting point when he commented that " Wilmerding was selling the snot out of McKenna's, everywhere.... Nevada Comstock,Cal logging coast, Nevada everywhere,SF Bay Area, Southern Cal, even Hawaii. He must've thought he could sell alot more if he had two moulds goin at the glass factory (hell, SF PGW may've even told him his mould was gonna wear-out from so many production runs !). Those later McKenna's are pretty wealky embossed, arent they..."

Here's a recent arrival. It has an interesting anomaly; The bottle is a tooled top, plain base, 4 mould. It has an addition to the mold that is not present on any of the glop or tooled Macs that I've had over the years. The mould on this example was obviously on it's last legs as the strike is all but shot. In an attempt to squeak one last bit of life out of the embossing, a very prominent air vent was cut above the "T" in Extra. It is located directly below the shoulder vent, is perfectly centered and is very pronounced. This would most probably post date it to the circa era that has been taken as gospel for so many years.

Yep, Wilmerding had a true success story on their hands with the McKennas brand, which in turn kept the glass works in overdrive, with the ovens hot and the tired -overworked molds wearing out.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cassin's O. K. Golden Plantation Whiskey Bottle

Here is proof to when Francis & Patrick Cassin had their embossed whiskey bottles in the market. The advertisement on left appeared September 2, 1874, the other on March 14, 1874.

JELLIS CLUTE WILMERDING.......... an original S.F. 49'er

Now that the Wilmerding line of bottles has been brought up again, I felt it would be a good time to share some of the information I've gathered over the yrs. I'll try and add some more to this in the next wk or so.
Within this liquor product line-- Mc Kenna's, S.H.M, C.W. Stuart's, and United We Stand; Jellis Clute Wilmerding (J.C. Wilmerding) was really the key figure. He was more successful than many people realize. According to the 1870 San Francisco census, and years before any of the aforementioned brands were his, he had amassed a "personal worth" of $300,000. The only other person I noticed on that list with a higher worth was Wm Ralston, of Comstock banking fame. J.C. was quite generous with his fortune, and upon his death bequested large sums to various local institutions, associating the Wilmerding name with philanthropy in San Francisco for several generations that followed.

Some other interesting facts about J.C. Wilmerding:

* Born April 28, 1833 in Moscow, N.Y. to Henry Augustus Wilmerding and Nancy Wilmerding
(nee Clute)
* His mother Nancy, died when he was only 12 yrs old (1845)

* His father, Henry, remarried in 1847 a woman by the name of Harriette Elizabeth Kellogg....... yep, I said Kellogg ! (I can hear all yer wheels turnin now !)

* Young Jellis (J.C.) was educated at the Temple Hill Academy in Geneseo, N.Y.

* Barely 16 yrs old, J.C. and two of his cousins, Edward and Felix Tracy, headed from N.Y. for California in 1849 aboard the schooner Samuel M. Fox which they chartered, arriving in San Francisco Sept 21, 1849
They soon pitched a tent on the beach and commenced business (I dont know what the initial 1849 business was..... maybe selling some spirits in those good ole black glass ale bottles ??)

* Bought the Fargo & Co business with Calvin W. Kellogg in Jan of 1869 (they posted several notices in early 1869 in the Sacramento Daily Union stating "Fargo & Co dissolved. Partnership formed under name of Wilmerding & Kellogg, who will continue the business. J.C. Wilmerding, C.W. Kellogg".

* Had $58,500. in liquors on hand during his 1876 property assessment

* He died in San Francisco on Feb 20, 1894 (Lowe Bros registered all of Wilmerding's brands with the State of Ca. later that same year). In 1896, firm becomes Wilmerding-Loewe Co. (J.C. never married nor had children, so there must have been some agreement preceding his death to retain his name and possibly a portion of the business for extended family members (probably his step-mother Harriette Kellogg Wilmerding, who lived until 1901 !)

Calvin W. Kellogg

I believe Calvin Kellogg was still involved financially in the Wilmerding line (after all, he was a banker...), up until his own death in 1895. His initial stayed on the cylinder bottles (W &K ) long after he was not listed officially in the SF Directory with Wilmerding. His initial also stayed on all the Peruvian Bitters square moulds up until the change on the red-whittle mould variant made in the mid 1890's (probably 1895 or 96 right after he died and before Wilmerding-Loewe sold the Peruvian brand ).

* CW Kellogg was a member of the Pacific Stock Exchange in 1875. The 1910 History of the S.F. Stock Exchange Board states: " CW Kellogg was a prominent figure for years in mining matters. He controlled the Julia Mining Co and other listed stocks, and amassed quite a forture in Bonanza days". The 1879 Annual Mining Review has him as a trustee in the North Ophir Mining Co Virginia, Nev; North Consolidated Virginia Mining Co; Julia Consolidated Mining Co; Ward Gold & Silver Mining Co,; Rough & Ready Gold Mine, Gold Hill, Nev; and the Seventy-Six Silver Mining Co, Pioneer, Ariz.

* Lived w/ his wife in 1879 at 415 O'Farrell St. S.F.

* President of the Neophyte Club in S.F. in 1885 (don't know what they did in this club??)

* Owned a famous horse named Sam Purdy (whom he named after Samuel Purdy, pres of the 1855 State Senate). Horse ws foaled in 1866 from a mare named "Whiskey Jane". His horse was assessed at a value of $8000. in the 1876 San Francisco Municipal Report.

* Calvin W. Kellogg died April 12, 1895 in San Francisco (about a yr after J.C. Wilmerding). Kellogg was originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan (Wilson states Syracuse, N.Y. but my research showed otherwise. I still don't know Calvin's exact relationship to J.C.'s stepmother, Harriette. Both were Kelloggs and most likely associated with the same Kellogg family in Ann Arbor of later Kellogg's cereal fame. With his death in 1895, the firm's name change in the 1896 SF Directory to Wilmerding -Loewe Co fits correctly. In my opinion, this is when the Loewe Bros got full ownership (from Harriette Kellogg Wilmerding?) and changed the Kellogg's cylinders to "W.L. Co.". This guy was major invested/ involved, for his name to even replace the McKenna's name as the brand on the Nelson County Whiskey bottles and still appear far after his death.
The embossing change from McKenna's to Kelloggs may have also occurred in 1895 or 1896. The W & Co cylinder was probably one yr only (1895 or 96),also accounting for their extreme rarity,
The timing of the deaths of the two principals is very coincidental with the embossing changes on the McKennas/Kelloggs cylinders.
It appears after Kellogg's death, that another family member opened up shop at a different address in 1897 at 122-124 Davis St. Then moved to 404 Sansome St in 1898, until the last listing in 1901 (same year Harriette Elizabeth Kellogg Wilmerding died). She may have been the one selling the later non brand embossed Kellogg whiskies (but not the WL Co Kellogg's Nelson County brand that Loewe bros obtained and registered in 1894). Some speculationn on my part on this, but there was still a C.W. Kellogg Co. listed in the SF Directory selling liquors from 1897-1901, which started two yrs after Calvin died and up until the same yr J.C. Wilmerding's stepmother Harriette died. Coincidence, probably.......but that's what I came up with, anyways..

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Thanks for the great commentary on the C&I fifths and the relationship of the S.H.M. and the Stuarts moulds.   I went back and reviewed a posting we had two years ago about the Wilmerding bottles ...What a tangled web we weave.   Many of the questions or theories that were raised have been answered/debunked.      Good on you guys!     That is one of the original goals of the site,  to form ideas or theories,  and to put them out for comment.     Sometimes the comments or push back are meaningful and constructive,  sometimes not so much.     I've discovered that no matter how obscure of a little detail that I have noticed about a particular bottle,  when it is finally spoken of... other collectors had noticed it as well.   Some have even formed a theory as to why.    When a few people start commenting on it,  someone will try to find the answer.   It's human nature.. answer the question, solve the problem, dig deeper and prove the prevailing consensus wrong. 

I agree with A.P. about the age of the C&I - S.H.M... post 1880.  Which means the Stuarts ( if using that S.H.M. mould) would be ? ? ? 1882?, 1884?...????

I think the C&I - Mckennas made it's appearance in the late 1870's.   I'm hanging my hat on the fact that I found three broken ones in a privy at a small Utah smelter town that was in operation from 1875 -1879.   Is my sample trustworthy?  I'm not positive.   Other bottles in the hole were '70's,  the hole had not been previously dug.   

Either way,  I have a small problem with the two Mckennas bottles.   Why would they need two moulds?   
Look,  in my little brain,  I'm  perfectly fine with the S.H.M. bottles.  Curved leg R variety.. early 1874-1877/8,  C&I base variety... appeared a few years later - 1880/2 - 1884?  whatever.   Maybe the brand was reintroduced,  ????  maybe the first mould was damaged.   
The Mckenna's bottles overlap in dates of usage!   The curved R variety - what? 1876-1883 or 84 or 1885.  When were the toolies made?   If the C&I Mckennas are running from 1879/80 - 1882/83 or so, there is that overlap!    Reading Warren's glass works research gave me a better idea about how many bottles are being produced from these moulds.    Two moulds for Mckennas, with the western -curved leg R variety being both older and newer than the C&I variety.  Whew!!      I guess there is an answer to the riddle out there,  somewhere.  Will it answer the question as to the origin of these western C&I moulds??  Are they western??     For years, the C.W. Stuarts bottle had the Cassin's back half as part of it's mould.    'Till it didn't !!

Friday, November 25, 2011


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Serif Font

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Howdy all;

I received an email from Bill Curtis this morning regarding his acquisition of the C. W. Stuarts, and his observation about the similarity of the embossing area coverage on the Stuarts and the embossing pattern on the SHM. In the email, Bill sent a couple of rubbings along with the possibilty of the Stuarts bottle being a reworked SHM mold. An interesting consideration to say the least.

Bill noted,

Hello Bruce I got a Stuart`s last week after looking at it I dont beleive it is made from the Cassin`s mold you can see the slugged out area on the Stuart`s fits the SHM but not the Cassin`s also the Cassin`s has a different bottom and the shoulders are different and if the Stuarts was made from the SHM that would explain the circle on the front of the Stuart`s let me know what you think maybe you can put this on your site.

First off, congratulations to Bill for having the good fortune to have the opportunity to acquire the bottle and have the funds to do it with (both at the same time). Seems like, at least for me, I have money when there's nothing available or visa versa... The Stuarts is a key piece and Bill should be mighty pleased to add it to his collection!

Rather than offering up an opinion in response to Bills email; I'm going to respond with a number of facts and questions. Maybe we can put our heads together and come up with a reasonable group hypothesis.

As we all know, mold modifications were a common place occurrence and we've seen numerous examples where So and So became So and Co. when the second "So" dissolved the partnership. Same goes for Bottled "For" being peened over, replaced by Bottle "By", etc. etc.

We also know that the glass factories maintained an inventory of blank half plate molds. These blank half plate molds were stocked for two purposes. They were stocked in order to allow the mold cutters ready access to blanks with which to fill an order for an embossed mold. They were also used as the back half (plain label side) of a two piece mold bottle.

We also now know, subsequent to the discovery of the Wilmerding & Co sign that documents both east and west coast distribution, that the firm was actively merchandising C. W. Stuarts, McKenna's, United We Stand, SHM (and a few other brands) concurrently.

John Thomas offered a hypothetical dating of this group as follows; Stuarts - ca. 1875 - 1883 / McKenna's - ca. 1874 - 1878 / United We Stand - 1878 - 1883 / SHM - 1874 - 1878. We discovered that the dating of the Untied We Stand was erroneous and that it was originally produced for the 1876 Centennial celebration. The length of the run, however, is still unknown but the commonality of all four bottles dates to ca. 1876 - 1878.

According to Thomas, the Stuarts was blown excusively by C&I of Philadelphia. The McKenna's and the SHM were blown both by C&I and in San Francisco, the United We Stand only in S.F. since none have been documented with the C&I base mark. Cunningham and Ihmsen remained in business until 1878. The question then begs, if the Stuarts and the SHM were blown at the same time, and by both eastern and west coast glass works, what would be the logic of modifying the mold by slugging out the embossing when both molds were in concurrent use?

We then look at logistics. Assuming that the SHM mold was no longer needed, and that the S.F. glass works decided to created a new half mold for the Stuarts, which makes more sense. Would they 1) Peen out all the embossing and then re-cut the old mold with a new "pattern" or 2) simply take a new fresh half plate mold out of stock and cut in the new "pattern"?
Personally speaking, based on my research, John Thomas assumed a lot without having the facts to back up his statements. As I've stated previously, John did the best with the research tools that he had available and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude for giving us the foundation of research upon which we've continued to build. And in his defense, a lot of his assumptions made sense at the time based on the documentation that he had available.

Regardless, when one takes all the facts into consideration regarding the Stuarts, you have to question whether the shield was a reworked mold at all; regardless of whether it was a Cassins or an SHM~


Hi All;

Thanks for catching the mistake in my original posting. I had two draft copy's open and mistakenly posted and emailed the rest of the gang the one with typos and the oops re the SHM being western only. The correct one posted on the tool site. I've now posted the correct one along with a copy of Bills rubbing and a photo of the Wilmerding sign.

I've got two SHM's at this time. Both came from the same base and front and back half molds. Quite obviously blown at different times, though since one is a rich olive green amber with the other being an extremely light yellow orange (like the color of a dried apricot). Both bases are void of glassworks initials so assume they are western. Since their is no plural or possessive words, no seraph is present.

Another consideration is the back half mold. There's the issue of the shoulder logo on the label half of the mold. The K is vastly different from the W&Co. on the SHM, and much additional effort would have been required to peen out and re-cut it as well. But there's no evidence of a rework on the rear half of either. Finally, assuming that the rear are two different half plates, why re-cut only the front half, but not the rear?

 As far as the point or seraph in between the T and the S goes in regards to the Stuart's, it does have one pictured in Thomas. I'm not sure if that example is the C&I or the S.F. variant. But, according to Bill, the Stuarts was blown only by C&I so it's a moot point. My western McK does not have one but my Miller's, Simmond's Nabob, Blake's and OPS / Hotaling's all do. I suspect that it may have been an intentional omission on the McK mold since it is not present on the sign while the Stuart's on the sign does have it.

Take care & Happy Thanksgiving!


Bill sent the following to Denny so thought I'd attach it as well;

I went to Ken`s this morning and got a rubbing of the C&I SHM. Here it is. Can you send it to somebody to post it? I have been trying to figure out how to down load a picture onto Roger`s site, it is beyond me. You can see there is a little difference in the size of the C&I embossed area due to the smaller size of the C&I SHM bottle. It fits the pattern on the back of the Stuarts better than the S.F. made SHM. The C&I SHM lettering and the 1 has points/saraphs, and straight legged R's. The SF SHM has curved R's.
Denny replied;
You're right, seems like the C&I SHM lettering fits the area of the Stuarts back pattern even better than the SF SHM in your original rubbing.
I'll forward this along to the website guys via this email. I'm not sure I would be successful either in attempting to post your attached picture correctly.

C&I above with straight legged "R's" vs. S.F. blown mold variant below.

Hi Guys,

Western cylinder collector, Bill Curtiss, did a comparison which may clear up a long time theory that the back of the C.W. Stuarts was the slugged out reverse side of the F & PJ Cassin's Golden Plantation. From what he's found, the back of the Stuarts was the slugged out front of the SHM mold. He also found the the SHM & Stuart bases to match and the Cassin's does not.
Pretty interesting info...

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving,

Monday, November 21, 2011

More interesting information about the Alma Soda bottle

For awhile now I have been studying that bottle as well as a base embossed only PGW soda bottle. I actually have in my possession a Pacific Glass Works soda bottle that is identically embossed to the Pacific Glass Works embossing on the base of the Alma Soda bottle. I am certain that this PGW soda bottle mold was altered and became the MISENHEIMER & HALL / ALMA SODA bottle.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011


Here’s a few pictures from one of our more interesting recent digs. Down we went through eight feet of rubble and then a two foot clean dirt plug layer. Under that there were 5ths stacked in there like cord wood. A fourteen foot deep brick lined privy that produced almost every variety of circle Cutter known. It started out 1890s and went back to the 1870s.
The highlights included thirty Cutters and four rare pumpkin seeds. There must have been at least another 75 busted Cutters as well. Strange thing was that this pit lacked almost any other kind of bottle besides whiskey, all Cutters.................

Click images to enlarge.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Old "Figment" Revisited

While perusing SF directories I saw this ad by Kirkpatrick and McCue in the Langley's 1874 Directory. Again, they advertise the fact that they are the agents for the "Celebrated Signet Whiskey". We do know that the bottle was trademarked as embossed, but were any actually blown? Until concrete evidence proves otherwise it is safe to assume that none were and "Old Figment" will remain just that, fodder for the bottle collector's imagination.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Downieville Show

My first Downieville experience was great! A beautiful mountain town, great company, some awesome bottles, and a memorable experience. A BIG THANK YOU to the D-Ville crew for putting together a killer BBQ & Show. These are 2 pics I snapped of some nice fifths that showed up at the D-Ville BBQ on Friday evening. Does anyone else have any pictures or want to do a write up on the show?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Orange Peel" effect on whiskey bases

The recent post on the possibly pontilled Hassmers and it's appearance made me think of other bottles with the same effect. You can't put photos in responses, so I have to make another post on this thing. This first mold Circle Cutter has the same look, with bumps and sand grain like appearance to the base. I'm certain that this look is only the result of hot glass contacting a only partially heated or "cold" mold. The entire bottle is also wrinkled and hammered to the hilt.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Four Stars

Here is my run of what I believe to be all early versions of the ever popular Star in Shield Cutter.

The first is the earliest "Barrel Top" , and next to it is the "Pointed A" which I believe is the second variant. Third is the "Flat Topped A" and finally the "Curved R" " X Base" type. Sorry for the technical terms...I am not totally up on my Thomas numbers...

Am I missing any in the family tree?

Dale M.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You be the judge

True to his word, Andy V. had his friend shoot photos of his Hassmer. I received them this morning.

The base style of both Andy's, as well as my glop and tool top, are all what Thomas termed style one "1870 - 1890 / Majority of older whiskies". The texture of the base on my glop fairly smooth,

whereas Andy's has the texture of an orange.

One thing is for sure though; whomever applied the tops on both sure didn't skimp on the amount of glass used. Take a look at that spillover!

Anyway; Pontiled or not?

What say ye?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hassmer revisited

Andy V. mentioned the possibility of an oddball Hassmer variant with either a sticky ball or graphite pontil scar on the base. His comment got me curious. As I mentioned before, it's obvious that both the tooled and applied top examples in my collection originated in the same mold. The font, spacing, etc. etc. etc. are identical when compared with photo overlays and caliper measurements.

The mold was modified to improve the finished product by the addition of a couple of air vents on the reverse shoulder, but that's the only thing I noticed. Until Andy mentioned the base on his.

Although the bases proper on my two are identical, a mold number was added when the venting was done as the glassworks transitioned from glop to tool tops.

I sure would like to see a photo of Andy's.