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antiquebottles THEMEDICINE CHEST --- BY DR. RICHARD CANNON

HONDURASSARSAPARILLA

Patent and proprietary medicine vendors were often quiteimaginative when naming their products. Some chose to insert afar away place like Scandinavia or Himalaya or West India toarouse consumer interest. However, when Honduras was made part ofthe name of a sarsaparilla product, it likely was because thesarsaparilla root had been grown in Honduras. The Dispensatoryof the United States of America, 1894, tells us that “Thecommercial sarsaparillas are conveniently divided into the mealyand non-mealy sarsaparillas. The first class comprises especiallythe Honduras, Guatemala, and Brazilian varieties; the second, theJamaican, Mexican, and Guayaquil sarsaparilla.”Apparently the major difference was that non-mealy sarsaparillayielded a larger proportion of extract and contained less starch.Most commercial sarsaparilla was derived from the two species Smilaxmedica and Smilax officinalis; either might be mealy ornon-mealy depending on the growing conditions.

Dr.Wynkoop's / Katharimichonduras / Sarsaparilla - New-York,

101/4" tall, open pontil, cobalt-blue.

I know of four sarsaparilla bottles withHonduras embossed in the glass. Three of these I own and willtell about. The fourth is a 9 5/8 inch tall, aqua, rectangularbottle, embossed on one panel The Honduras Co's, on the nextCompound Extract, on the next Sarsaparilla, and on the nextAbrams & Carroll/Sole Agents/S.F. Richard Fike includes thisin The Bottle Book. Phyllis Shinko also refers to Hobart'sHondurasparilla with a trademark issued Feb. 25, 1896, to FrankHobart, Topeka, Kansas; this may have been a labeled only one.

Honduras Sarsaparilla /D.H. Joel / Fitchburg, Mass.,

8 3/4" tall,smooth base, aqua.

Wynkoop's Sarsaparilla bottles are verydesirable due to their cobalt color, age, and rarity. The onesembossed Dr. Wynkoop's/Katharismic Honduras/Sarsaparilla on thefront panel and New York on the side panel vary in height from 97/8 to 10 1/4 inches. These rectangular bottles are crude andoften embossed lightly. Some have a double strike effect. Onethat I've seen rocked back and forth when placed upright. Thesebottles occur with an open pontil, iron pontil, and a smoothbase. A broken one has been found with Katharismic spelledKathmerithic.

A recently discovered variant is a 9 1/2 inchtall, rectangular, cobalt, open pontiled bottle with a doublering collar rather than the usual single band tapered collar,embossed Dr. Wynkoop's/Balsamic Honduras/Sarsaparilla on thefront, and New York, on the side.

Dr. IraBaker's / Honduras / Sarsaparilla,

101/2" tall, smooth base, aqua.

The variant embossedWynkoop's/Katharismic/Sarsaparilla/New York on the front is 9 5/8inches tall, rectangular, cobalt, and has an iron pontil. The onepictured is from Dr. Sam Greer's collection. There is a sapphireblue variant the same height, with an iron pontil, embossedWynkoop's/Katharismic/Sarsaparilla on the front and New York onthe side.

The “giant variant” is amost impressive bottle! It's 12 3/4 inches tall, rectangular,cobalt with an open pontil and embossedWynkoop's/Sarsaparilla/For The Blood/1/2 Gallon New York, all onthe front panel. Dr. Greer's is pictured. He says two other arenow known to exist.

Robert D. Wynkoop received his training as aphysician with his father in Albany. He established a medicinallaboratory and sales outlet in New York City in the 1840s.Wynkoop copyrighted the words “Dr. Wynkoop's KatharismicHonduras Sarsaparilla” on November 16, 1847. Sometimein the 1850s, the firm was billed as Health, Wynkoop & Co.located at 63 Liberty Street, New York. Katharismic was probablyderived from the Greek word “Kathra” or “Kathario”meaning to cleanse, purify, or restore. Other products includedWynkoop's Fever and Ague Cure, another great cobalt pontiledbottle, Wynkoop's Iceland Pectral, and Lyon's Kathairon, probablyfrom the same Greek word. Wynkoop sold his products to DemasBarnes and John Park about 1858. However, even in 1896, someonewas putting out a Wynkoop's Sarsaparilla according to the PeterVan Schaak Price Current & Illustrated Catalogue.

Ira S. Baker was a well-known physician fromthe mid-West who went into semi-retirement after he moved to aranch near San Bernardino, California. Richard E. Miller, founderof the Owl Drug Co. of San Francisco in 1892, me Dr. Baker on atrip to Southern California and persuaded him to formulateseveral medicines during the late 1890s. These were subsequentlybottled under the Owl Drug label. His sarsaparilla, put out in a10 1/2 inch tall, aqua, rectangular bottle embossed on the frontpanel Dr. Ira Baker's/Honduras/Sarsaparilla, was among them.There was also a Cough Balsam and a Tar and Wild Cherrypreparation.

(Giant varient) - Wynkoop's / Sarsaparilla /

For The Blood / 1/2 Gallon New York, 12 3/4"

tall, open pontil, cobalt-blue.

(Sam Greer collection).

Wynkoop's / Katharismic / Sarsaparilla /

New York, 9 5/8" tall, iron pontil,

cobalt-blue.

(Sam Greer collection)

Honduras Sarsaparilla/D. H. Joel/Fitchburg,Mass., embossed on the front panel of a bimal, 8 3/4 inches tall,aqua, rectangular bottle with a smooth base is unlisted. TheFitchgurg Public Library provided this information. David HenryJoel was born at Springfield, Mass., on April 12, 1861, and atfour years of age moved to Fitchburg with his parents the JoelJoels. He attended the local public schools, and became a clerkat John Choate' Drug Store in 1879. Joel and W.C. Wing purchasedthe Choate store at 207 Main in 1885. In a year or so Joel becamethe sole owner and was described as a popular and honorablebusinessman. He served as president of the Fitchburg DruggistsAssociation and director of the local merchant's association. In1903 he developed diabetes and by 1906, his health was so poor hehad to sell his business to Roscoe Howe. Joel died February 9,1907, leaving his wife, Florence David Joel and sons Carl andIra. Insulin was not discovered until 1921, and Warner's SafeDiabetes Cure was around until 1907. I wonder how many bottlesthe poor fellow must have taken?


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