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Antique Bottle History
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Dr. Welch's Inhaler Medicine.

  One of the most unusual of the Western medicine bottles is the Dr. Welch's. It is to my knowledge the only figural Western medicine bottle. This medicine is from Oakland, Cal. and dates from approx. 1882. It is extremely rare, with about 8-10 in collections.This bottle was blown in the shape of a nose. (blown:) There is only one example with a complete label to my knowledge, and it has its original contents, as well as the box it was packaged in. Interestingly, the medicine was actually distributed by a  William H. Brown at 1071 54th St. Oakland, Cal. It would be interesting to know what is there today, and a little more about Mr. Brown. In any case, this is a bottle that now has some concrete evidence of where it was manufactured, and distributed by, as well as specifics of how to take this "inhaler".  This remains one of the most unusual medicines ever made, Western, or Eastern.


   Many collectors are familiar with the very rare Unkweed Remedy, Rheumatic Cure bottle from Portland, Oregon. This large cure is a reminder of just how "out there" you could be in your claims to cure every ailment back in 1870, and actually get away with it. The cure itself was distributed out of East Portland by "Dr." Loryea, who was actually the Mayor of then East Portland.  He also ran an insane asylum in the early 1870s.
    Thanks to Tom Quinn, in the Bay area of California, here is proof that the good doctor also dabbled in mineral baths in San Francisco! He left Portland in disgrace after being publicly embarrassed for unethical public behavior. He apparently moved to S.F. to give it a try in a larger market.  This was after the Unkweed remedy had been distributed, but I wonder if he brought his remaining stock of the "medicine" to California? Let me know if anyone has ever found an Unkweed Remedy bottle in that area.

(click image to enlarge)

    Check out this great grouping of Western square bitters!(and one rare beer). From left to right- Jacob Denzler San Francisco;N.B. Jacobs San Francisco;Alex Von Humboldts Stomach Bitters;Dr. J. Hostetters Stomach Bitters;Dr. Renz's Herb Bitters;Rosenbaums Bitters, San Francisco;E.G.  Lyons; "Star of the Union";Cundurango Bitters. Notice how the tops are applied so crooked, they almost appear to be ready to slide off! Collectors love crudely made bottles, and for some reason, Western squares exhibit this characteristic more than other bottles. Each of these examples are top specimens. Thank You to Dennis Eastley for displaying these in a "Ken Edwards" custom cabinet. Western glass does not get much better than this.