Sunday, June 24, 2012
The Missing Link
We are all familiar with the very common J. H. Cutter OK Old Bourbon Whisky with the embossed barrel, as well as the not quite so often seen similar bottle that contained A No 1 Old Bourbon. These bottles were trade marked in the State of California on March 24 1881. Along the the OK and A No 1 the claim of trade marks includes one that has not been seen by the bottle collecting fraternity. This one was for J.F. Cutter Pure Old Rye whisky. The embossing for the bottle and the printed labels for the Cutter Rye are spelled out in great detail in the trade marks claim. It has become apparent that despite the evidence that such a bottle could exist, none were likely produced. If they were manufactured and sold to the public where is the proof? No such embossed bottles, not even a fragment, have turned up in the past half century of bottle digging in the West. I am not suggesting that none being made is an absolute, but given the extreme popularity of Hotaling's products you would think that a few Pure Old Rye bottles would have been dug somewhere in the vast area where his Cutter Whisky was distributed. I could very well be that at least one such bottle will eventually be found, but that outcome remains doubtful. I, for one, would very much like to be proven wrong on this. You diggers out there should pay close attention to shards that you find, don't assume that that the pieces of the Cutters embossed with the barrel are OK or A No 1s. You could find the "missing link' in the A.P. Hotaling J. H. Cutter chain. Following are portions of A. P. Hotaling's Claim of Trade Marks for the barrel embossed fifths.