antiquebottles THEMEDICINE CHEST --- BY DR. RICHARD CANNON old bottles


I own three bottles that have had the mold re-cut orpeened, giving me sort of “two bottles in one”: RedJacket / Bitters // // Bennett Pieters & Co and on the baseinside a circle A & Co / No 4, amber, square, 9 1/4 inches tall, rare, which wasRed Jacket / Celebrated Stomach // Bitters // // Bennett Pieters & Co., no examples known [fellowcollector Don Self and I are pretty sure about all but theCelebrated Stomach part; the product was called this and theletters fit the peened spaces]; Dr. Flint's // // Quaker Bitters,aqua rectangular, 91/2 inches tall, scarce, which was Dr. Flint's// Quaker Bitters // Providence, R.I., examples are common; andDr. Morley's // Sarsaparilla / And / Iod. Potass. // St. Louis,aqua, rectangular, 9 1/2 inches tall, extremely rare, which wasDr. Jarman's // Sarsaparilla / And / Iod. Potass. // New York,examples are rare, but I have one.

Dr. Flint's QuakerBitters.

RedJacket Bitters, Bennett Pieters & Co.

Red Jacket was a Seneca Indian who lived in theNew York area from 1756-1830. He got his name from the bright redjacket he wore, which was a present from the British. The firstowner and the probable originator of Red Jacket Bitters was theBennett Pieters and Company of Chicago, Ill. They were listed inthe 1860-61 city directory as Bennett Pieters, John F. Staffordand John D. Smedley at 149 Water St. Their bitters was patentedin 1864. They apparently soon moved to 21 River Street because aBenntt Pieters and Co. ad while at that address refers to theirproduct as Red Jacket Celebrated Stomach Bitters. The companymoved to 31 and 33 Michigan Ave. in 1866, and was listed asdistillers and wholesale liquor dealers. In a Stranger's andTourists' Guide to the City of Chicago, 1866 this given:“This firm had long and successfully pursued themanufacturer of the Red Jacket Bitters, and their businessexpanding beyond the limits of their former building, has erectedand now occupies a store of palatial proportions---solid stoneand brick, five stories high---“.

Back on Water Street in 1866, Edward McQuaid,Charles H. Schwab and John B. Smith were operating a wine andwholesale liquor business of their own. They added partners LeonMonheimer and P. Cavanagh in 1868, and merged with BennettPieters and Co. in 1869. The company was called the Schwab,Pieters and Co., and operated out of the five story buildingdescribed above. Other changes occurred over the next ten years.Ring and Ham in Bitters Bottles, 1998, list five amber square RedJacket Bitters variants: Bennett Pieters & Co [both circa1870] and Monheimer & Co cut over Schwab, McQuaid & Co[1874]. All are rare to very rare.

There is also another Red Jacket Bitters, around, amber, scarce bottle 10 7/8 inches tall, embossed LewisRed Jacket Bitters, New Haven, Conn. and an Indian Head motif.

Dr. Harvey S. Flint and Company was firstlisted in the Providence R.I. Directory in 1864 at 195-7 BroadSt. Quaker Bitters, used since 1869, was patented June 4, 1872.Dr. H.S. Flint & Co. was last given in 1885. It appeared asFlint & Co. in the 1892 Goodwin's Drug Catalog. The QuakerBitters label read: “Try this and thou shalt bebenefitted.”

Dr.Morley's Sarsaparilla and lod. Potass., St. Louis.

Phyllis Shimko gives a Jarman's Sarsaparilla adwith the name Dr. Wm. Jarman. She also has this from a Morleylabel: “Morley's formerly M. Jarman's Sarsaparilla with theIodides of Potash and Iron---“. Maybe he was William M.

Dr.Jarman's Sarsaparilla and lod. Potass., New York.

The Morley Drug Co. was established in 1874 byW.J. Morley at 207 Pecan St. in St. Louis. In two years he wasjoined by his brother, S.K. Morley. A few years later, the firmwas moved to 209 6th St. and into an elegant 3 storyVictorian style brick building with a fašade bearing thecompany's name and date established. In addition to thesarsaparilla, they had Universal Blackberry Balsam, Liver andKidney Cordial, Honey Pectoral, Wonderful Eight, Prickley PearSalve and others. W.H. Morley succeeded his father who retired in1921. The business was sold in 1933, and Grove Drug Store wasstill doing business at the same location in 1974.

Why were the molds altered on the bottles? Myguess is that the glass companies charged by the letter, so thechanges on the Red Jacket and Quaker bottles were to save money.The Jarman mold changed to Morley was also related to expense. Alittle peening should be cheaper than an entire new mold...


  1. Blasi, B.: A Bit About Balsams, 1974
  2. De Grafft, J.: American Sarsaparilla Bottles, 1980.
  3. McGuire, E.: Bottled Products And The U.S. Patent Office, 1991
  4. Odell, J.: Indian Bottles and Brands, 1977.
  5. Ring, C. and Ham, W.C.: Bitters Bottles, 1998
  6. Shimko, P.: Sarsaparilla Bottle Encyclopedia, 1969

Did you enjoy thisarticle? Every month Antique Bottle and Glass Collector magazinegives you neat articles like this one.

Why not subscribe today!

it's easy just clickhere. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

Returnme to: HOME PAGE - Go back to: MEDICINECHEST