Saturday, July 8, 2017

Ephriam S. Wells Was “Rough on Rats” And People?


 R-r-rats!  Rats! Rats!
Rough on Rats,
Hang your dogs and drown your cats;
We give a plan for every man,
To clear his house with “Rough on Rats.”

Recently my doctor suggested that I begin a regimen of a blood thinner called “warfarin.”  When I suggested that this medicine began existence as a rat poison, he readily agreed.  That encounter got me thinking about an artifact I recently bought at a bottle show, a small metal box containing an earlier, very popular American vermin poison called “Rough on Rats.”

Shown here, the box lid is a colorful celluloid picture of a Chinese gentleman with  a long pigtail, a cooly hat, and an embroidered tunic who apparently is about to eat a rat while in his other hand he holds a second rat, apparently also about to be consumed.   The racist image perpetuated a long-held belief among some Americans that the Chinese on a regular basis ate live rats as a snack.  The Chinese also appeared in “Rough on Rats” advertising.  

Trading on anti-Chinese prejudice in the U.S., however, was not the primary sin of Ephriam S. Wells, a New Jersey druggist who invented “Rough on Rats.”  It was his seeming indifference to the other effects of his product that soon became associated with a significant increase in murders and suicides by poisoning.  As Professor Loren Gatch has described:  “Thanks to Wells, Americans were poisoning each other in increasingly large numbers.  Newspapers of the era were littered with lurid accounts of the despondent and depraved.”

Unlike Europe and other European countries, the United States had no national poison control laws and state regulation often was weak and inconsistent during the late 1800s.  Despite “Rough on Rats” being largely white arsenic with some fillers, Wells was able to able to elude laws some state laws that outlawed the sale of poisons to minors or required registration when sold to adults by marketing his arsenic under its trade name.  Nowhere in its ads or packaging were there warning to humans.

“If Wells felt any ethical qualms about the abuse of his rat poison, he never recorded them,”  noted Prof. Gatch.  Rather he concentrated his effort on merchandising the product through humorous and often colorful magazine ads and trade cards.  “I desire to state,”  Wells announced, “that I have written all my own advertisements and designed all my own cuts and illustrations without a single exception.”  The lighthearted treatment of the druggist’s nostrum also acted to deflect concern among the public about its lethal qualities.  Above, for example, are six variously colored cats all gazing in astonishment at a can of “Rough on Rats.”  The caption reads:  “Our occupation gone — Rough on Rats Did it.”  

What more amusing subject for an ad could there be than a bespectacled rat with     pointer who is describing to smaller rats the dangers of Wells’ product.  “This is what killed your poor father.  Shun it!” the ad reads.  Avoid anything containing it throughout your future useful careers.  We older heads object to its special roughness.” 


A similar card, shown below,  includes the other pests “Rough on Rats” was to eliminate, including gophers, chipmunks, mice, flies, roaches, ants and even down to bed bugs.
Still another colorful Wells trade card depicted a rat being chased in turn by a cat, a dog, a boy with a hatchet, a man with a whiskey bottle, and a woman with a broom.   The druggist took advantage of this card to market other proprietary medicines he had invented, including “Well’s Health Reserve,” and “Mother Swan’s Worm Syrup.  Wells also featured a series of “Rough on” medications to remedy toothaches, itches, corns and even piles (hemorrhoids).

In 1982 Wells took the additional step of publicizing his rat poison by commissioning sheet music to sing its praises, anticipating the advertising jingle.  The song was created by two well-known music men of the time. W. A. Boston wrote the lyrics including the chorus, repeated several times, that opens this post.  The music, by Juniper Jones, was suggested as suitable for dancing.  

Working from his factory located at the corner of Grand Street and Summit Avenue, Wells concentrated on selling “Rough on Rats” and his other products full time through mail order sales, with extravagant spending on advertising in the United States and other English speaking countries. It paid off.  Over the next twelve years his profits exceeded $2 million, equivalent to $50 million today, from individual sales of items costing ten to twenty-five cents.  Shown here is a company check that features the rat poison and various other Wells products.
Beginning as a lowly drug store clerk and often on the brink of bankruptcy, Well’s concoction of a powder that was odorless and tasteless to its rodent victims but deadly, eventually brought him fame and fortune — even though “Rough on Rats,”  a name suggested by his wife, too frequently also was administered to humans.  In the last decade of his life Wells retired to his summer house in Glenmoore, New Jersey, living like a country squire and raising horses.  

Wells died — of natural causes — in March 1913, leaving a substantial estate.   The “Rough on Rats” brand continued to be sold into the 1950s.  Like other successful nostrums, it attracted copycats, one of them perpetuating the racist Chinese image. 

Note:   Thanks to Professor Loren Gatch for much of the information provided in this post as well as for a number of the images shown here.  Professor Gatch was associated with the University of Oklahoma when he published an article on Wells and his anti-Chinese bias.




























Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Putting a Woman on the Moon — with Beer

                                    
Long before the U.S. space program had put men on the moon, the geniuses responsible for beer advertising had put a woman there.  The most iconic of these is the “High Life Girl” shown here on a bar mirror exactly as she looked 110 years ago when the Miller Brewing Company made her their symbol.  The mirror currently can be bought at Home Depot.

The Miller girl, however, was not the first young maid to grace a beer promotion.  That honor may go to a French poster dated 1895 that was entitled “Bieres du Croissant”  showing a damsel with a large bread product in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other.   It is done in the “art nouveau” fashion so popular at the time.  Her large hat may have had an influence on subsequent images.

A Canadian brewery was also ahead of Miller in depicting a moon maiden.  That image, shown here, seemingly dates
from about 1900.  Eugene O’Keefe, a wealthy banker, purchased an existing Ontario brewery and renamed O’Keefe & Company.  It was the first to produce lager beer in Canada, along with ales and porters.  O’Keefe was one of the first brewers to use trucks for beer delivery, first to build a mechanically refrigerated warehouse and one of the first to advertise extensively.

Nor did Miller Brewing immediately set the girl swinging in the heavens.
Miller High Life Beer first hit the market on December 30, 1903.  Soon after its release, it was advertised with a drawing of a woman in what looked like a circus costume, complete with whip, standing on a crate of Miller High Life and offering up the “Champagne of Bottle Beers.”  Over the years various members of the Miller family have claimed an ancestor as the model for the girl but none has proved definitive.

Why Miller decided to send her aloft has been lost in the mists of time.  One account has the company advertising manager, A. C. Paul, hiking alone in the Wisconsin North Woods — possibly lost — suddenly struck with a vision of the High Life Girl on a moon.  When he returned to Miller’s Milwaukee headquarters he ordered the sky-high images.  And the rest is history.
The image was promoted vigorously and seemingly caught on quickly with the drinking public.   The brewery provided its customers with wall signs, bar mirrors, and serving trays featuring the girl in the moon.  Retail customers were gifted with metal “pin backs” at beer gardens and festivals.

I have been particularly taken with the enameled watch fobs bearing the Miller High Life Girl.  Those items were given away to special customers and meant to be displayed on the outside of a vest or coat, attached to a watch stowed in a chest-level pocket.  The two shown here clearly were produced by different artisans, each with their own ideas of appropriate colors.  On the one at right the girl’s hair appears to have obscured her eyes.

With the coming of National Prohibition in 1920 the Miller girl got a rest.  With Repeal in 1934, the brewery resumed normal business and she returned, this time with a somewhat different look.  While earlier she had been in profile, seemingly looking off toward some distant star now she was facing the public directly, no longer a girl but a mature woman, a “glamor girl” perhaps.  This more realistic image was equally promoted with manifestations in many forms, including the crown tops on Miller beer.

With the further passage of time, as shown on a Miller bar sign, the figure of the High Life Girl evolved two more times, with the last manifestation the one at far left, an illustration meant to convey a symbol rather than a realistic pose.  Its more contemporary look has found favor.  The image shown here is a bar stool seat that can be purchased on-line.  Thus, this icon in its several forms continues to fascinate the beer drinking public. 

As with other successful symbols, Miller’s girl-in-the-moon had its imitators.  Falstaff Brewing had its roots in a brewery founded in 1940 in St. Louis by a German immigrant named Johann Adam Lemp.  The name was changed to Falstaff Brewing with the featured brew of the same name.  The company about 1910 issue a trade card called “The Falstaff Serenade.” drawn by Swedish-American artist, Valentine Sandberg.  The card shows a garlanded young woman playing a mandolin and singing to an shining Falstaff logo.
  
What was good enough for beer also provided a symbol for Lafayette Club Whiskey, trademarked with the federal government by the Frank Murphy Co. of Chillicothe, Ohio.  Murphy registered as a trade mark a woman in a gown sitting on a moon while another woman holds up a globe (presumably the earth) on which is written “Old Lafayette Club is unexcelled by any whiskey on earth.”

In addition to imitators any successful icon is sure to get its caricatures.  Such is the drawing here of the girl-in-the-moon.  The cartoon is by George Coghill who contends that Miller is one of his favorite beers and that after seeking a t-shirt with the image to no avail, so he made his own drawing after deciding she should look more “witch-like.”  On his website he wrote: “I also decided to give her a shorter skirt, as well as hike it up a bit and show more leg. She's also a bit more busty than the previous version. Definitely going for more of a pin-up style with her this time around.”

My guess is that the Miller girl-in-the-moon will be with us in one form or another for a very long time to come.  Having survived 110 years even as advertising fashions and social mores have changed massively, this icon has demonstrated staying power matched by few other ad symbols.  Whatever kind of epiphany Mr. Paul may have had, lost among the pines, it has proved to be a winner. 































Friday, June 2, 2017

Celebrity Women in Ads: The Good, the Bad, and the Shootist


The British started it.   Their advertising geniuses by the mid-1800s had figured out that by putting celebrity faces in ads — people like Queen Victoria — the attention of the public was virtually assured.  Their U.S. counterparts were not long in copying.  Among those singled out were the Good — the young and beautiful wife of a President, the Bad — the notorious wife of a millionaire, and the Shootist — a woman whose rifle was her livelihood.

The Good — Frances Folsom Cleveland.  A close friend of Frances’ father, Grover Cleveland met his future wife shortly after she was born.  As she grew up, he doted on her and the bachelor’s feelings toward her turned romantic while she was still in college.  Now President, the 49-year-old Cleveland proposed, she accepted, and at 21 she married him in the White House in June 1886.  The ad men had a field day.   Her face appeared on trade cards in both photo and illustration advertising a wide range of products.

At right is a colorized portrait of Frances that frequently was used.  This one was issued by the Philip Best Brewing Company of Milwaukee, the forerunner of the Pabst Brewery.  It advertises the “Best” Tonic, an alcoholic elixir that was alleged to be concentrated liquid malt and hops, capable of curing dyspepsia, strengthening the system, and just the thing for nursing mothers.  Identified on the cards as “Mrs. President Cleveland,” Frances’ image could be obtained by sending 12 coupons obtained — one each — on bottles of “Best” Tonic.

My favorite image of Mrs. Cleveland is the illustration above on a trade card for Ivory Tooth Polish.  Done pointillist style it is a strong representation of the First Lady, one that increases her appeal by showing a few strands of hair out of place.  It clearly was drawn from the photograph shown right.  There Frances is advertising “Seal of North Carolina Plug Cut Tobacco,” claimed to smoke cool, last long, and “not bite the tongue.”  By softening the eyes and providing a fuller mouth, the drawing presents a much handsomer woman.

The Sparks Medicine Company of Camden, New Jersey, found it expedient to use a photo of Frances to advertise its “Sparks’ Perfect Health” nostrum, said to be a remedy for kidney and liver distress.  Dating from about 1885, her image appears on in a transfer printed ironstone plate that likely was available upon submission of coupons.  Issued by the Sparks Medicine Company of Camden, New Jersey, it was designed by Robert H. Payne of another Camden firm, “Porcelain Show Cards.”

The “Lady of the White House” was not done any favors by the Yatisi Corset Company for its trade card picture of her.  She seems intensely absorbed in some task, perhaps getting accustomed to her Yatisi corset, claimed on the back of the card to be “recommended by all the prominent physicians in all the leading cities of the U. States and Canada.” She was, however, guaranteed to to be able to return it after wearing for ten days and have her money refunded.  

A final look at the First Lady is a trade card from W. F.McLaughlin Company, a coffee merchant located in Chicago. William Francis McLaughlin came from Cloneybecan House in county Laois, Ireland, from a well-to-do family and a college graduate.  He started from the bottom in Chicago, however, first selling coffee beans from a wheelbarrow and then from a wagon. He eventually owned several mansions on Rush Street and the family had several estates in Lake Forest. 

The Bad - Florence Evelyn Nesbit.  While the Clevelands likely looked askance at the use of Frances’ face to sell tobacco, toothpaste and corsets, Ms. Nesbit reveled in the ad role.  She was a celebrity, later to be known as “the girl in the red velvet swing,” for her role in sex parties staged by famed architect Standford White.  Her millionaire husband, Harry K. Thaw, subsequently gunned White down in a rooftop restaurant at Madison Square Garden, insuring her notoriety.

At the outset of the 20th Century Nesbit’s figure and face were everywhere, appearing in mass circulation newspaper and magazine advertisements, and on souvenir items and calendars, often in suggestive modes.  The image left, with bare skin and lily was typical of the pose Florence or Evelyn — she answered to either — adopted for doting photographers and artists.

Rainier Beer, by contrast, chose to present Nesbit on a serving platter looking like a “Phi Beta Kappa” graduate of an exclusive girls seminary.  Note her modest garments and her hands folded if in prayer.  The original brewery dates all the way back to 1854 when A.B. Rabbeson opened Washington Brewery, which was Seattle’s first commercial brewing company.  In 1872, Rabbeson renamed his brewery Seattle Brewery.  They launched Rainier beer in 1878. 
It has been said of this damsel:  “By the time of her sixteenth birthday in 1900, Evelyn Nesbit was known to millions as the most photographed woman of her era, an iconic figure who set the standard for female beauty, and whose innocent sexuality was used to sell everything from chocolates to perfume.”  Make that “supposedly innocent.”   As shown here, she could even be used to sell newspapers.   The ad references her role in a 1902 Broadway musical comedy called The Wild Rose.”  It ran 136 performances.

The Shootist — Annie Oakley.   Our final female celebrity had thousands of performances.  Born Phoebe Ann Mosey, Oakley adopted the stage name after being discovered at 15 years old when she won a shooting match with Frank Butler, a nationally known marksman who later became her husband.  After becoming a famous international star, performing before royalty and heads of state, Oakley became a prime ingredient for the advertising mill.


A prime attraction for the Buffalo Bill Wild West show, she was often showcased in the color flyers and broadsides for the extravaganza.  Note that in the upper right of the sheet above, Oakley is shooting while riding a bicycle.  The Sterling Bicycle Company of Kenosha, Wisconsin, was not long in picking up on that ability and featuring Annie in their ads.  In 1898 Sterling won a silver medal for its “chainless bicycle” at the Trans-Mississippi International Exposition.   Two years later company went bankrupt.

Du Pont, the chemical company of Wilmington, Delaware, also was quick to pick up on the fame of Annie Oakley.  An advertising paperweight showed a gent with five playing cards, each of which had been plugged in an appropriate place by the female sharpshooter.  Her bullets, it suggested, had been with “Lesmok,” ammunition loaded with a substance that was “accurate and clean” with “no corrosive effect.”

A singular difference between Oakley and Nesbit or Folsom is that Annie has continued to be featured in ads.  In the 1950s, for example, she was used to sell Canada Dry ginger ale.   A recent ad, shown here, is from Red Ants Pants, a clothing manufacturer located in White Sulphur Springs, Montana, a town of less than 1,000.  Oakley is presented as a woman who forged the way for those who followed.

Presented here have been three women and three paths to celebrity.   Regardless how they got there — being good, or bad, or a shootist — made no difference to the ad gurus.  Fame was, and still is, the name of the ad game.
































Saturday, May 20, 2017

Tete-a-Tetes with Chiefs of States

                      
After more than a half century living and working in and around the Nation’s Capital, I have had an opportunity to meet a number of Chiefs of State.  The years have brought perfunctory handshakes with three American presidents (Kennedy, Johnson and Carter) as well as with foreign leaders like Tito of Yugoslavia, Marcos of the Philippines, Suharto of Indonesia, and Nguyen Van Thieu of Vietnam.  They do not bestow the same quality of remembrance as do up close and personal encounters with leaders of counties — as recalled here.

From 1976 until 1981 I served in the Carter Administration as the Assistant Administrator responsible for all the Agency for International Development programs from the Khyber Pass to Hawaii.  This brought me in contact with Asian leaders, often a context of negotiating agreements on development programs.  Upon occasion those discussions would involve a Chief of State.  Here are stories of three such encounters.

My first venture into a presidential office was in Bangladesh in 1978.  I went alone to meet Ziaur Rahman, a major figure in the country’s independence from Pakistan who was considered a reformer. He had fostered multi-party politics, freedom of the press, free speech and free markets. He had initiated large agricultural efforts and initiated social programs.  The U.S. was assisting him by massive shipments of food that could be given away or sold to provide funds for government services.

Even before I took office, those shipments had become a problem.  Critics were showing photographs of American “Food for Peace” grain piling up on Bangladeshi docks or in makeshift earthen “warehouses” where rats were feasting.  At the same time, however, some USAID personnel were telling me that there was insufficient food stockpiled and a danger that famine might return to the country.  Reaching the correct balance in supplies was critical — and my responsibility.
That day, however, I was to speak to President Zia about reducing the amount of food on the idea that such imports discouraged domestic production of grains, something Zia was himself interested in doing. It was just the two of us in his modest office.  He was very patient about hearing me out and the said very quietly, “Mr. Sullivan, if food shortages occur the rioters will not be coming to hang you, they will be coming for me.”  Internally I had to agree and left without further argument.

On my way out in the parking lot I noticed the Volkswagon Beetle that Zia famously drove to work in by himself — no chauffeur — and marveled that a man who already had had a dozen coup attempts aimed at him could move about with so little security.  His luck ran out in 1981 when he was assassinated by disgruntled Army officers.  Bangladesh lost a marvelous leader.

My next adventure with a Chief of State was in Sri Lanka. For reason I still have never figured out, one or two scientists at the Smithsonian Institution in 1979 had decided that Sri Lanka was not doing well by its elephants and, through higher ups in the Agency, insisted that I meet personally with President J. R. Jayewardene, shown right, to discuss the problem.  I had been in Sri Lanka before and had no experience of those noble animals being abused.  

Regardless of my personal misgivings, I asked for an interview and Jayewardene granted one on a Sunday at his home.   After a life in political activism he had become president of the country in his 70s and was noted as a “tough old bird.”  Nevertheless, he was very gracious as he ushered me onto a comfortable couch in his library and offered tea.   He was alone except for servants.  I explained why I was there and the concerns of my fellow Americans.  

After hearing me out, almost lounging in his chair, Jayewardene responded:  “I am the biggest environmentalist in Sri Lanka and the greatest protector of the elephants.  Where a railroad crosses a well-used elephant trail, we build a trestle so that the elephants can cross underneath.”  I had seen and photographed just such a structure.  He followed up:  “Do you do that for wildlife in your country?”  I gulped hard and had to admit — no — and left shortly after.

In 1978 the Carter Administration had decided to re-establish an aid program to India that had been cut off at the time of the Bangladesh War.  A skeptical Congress decreed that the Indians first would have to ask for aid.  An equally skeptical Indian government thought the U.S. formally should offer it first.  How to break this dilemma?  One dark and rainy night in 1978 the USAID Administrator, John Gilligan,  and I went to the residence of Prime Minister Moraji Desai in hopes of a breakthrough. 

Greeted by Desai’s aides, we were strictly advised that our meeting could go on for no longer than 15 minutes and that we would be timed to the second.  Desai arrived alone.  The early conversation between Gilligan and the prime minister was theological, comparing Hindu religious thought with Christianity.  Five minutes went by along those lines — and then another five.   I could feel the cold sweat beginning to run down my sides.  Transmigration of souls was dominating  the dialogue as both participants seemed to be warming to the subject even more intensely.  A voice inside my head began shouting:  “Time, time, time” as more minutes slipped by and we had yet to begin the real discussion.

Barely a minute remained when Gilligan broke off the theological discourse and asked abruptly:  “If the United States were to offer foreign assistance, would you be willing to take it.”  In an Zen-like response,  Desai replied, “If we were willing to take it, would you offer it?”  There ensued barely perceptible affirmative nods on both sides.   Satisfied that the Gordian Knot had been cut,  Gilligan immediately stood up,  shook Desai’s hand, told him we would meet with his top government officials the next day to hammer out details, and we left.  Fifteen seconds remained.  We did not look back.

If lessons can be taken from these three interactions with Chiefs of State, it is that they are meetings of high intensity for the visitor whose outcomes can never be accurately predicted beforehand.  One inevitably leaves relieved that the encounter is over — but with memories for a lifetime.
























Saturday, May 6, 2017

Rise and Fall of Back-of-the-Bar Bottles

           

 While never owning any, I have been fascinated by back-of-the bar bottles (BoBB), the line of fancy containers shown above.  Gifted by distillers and liquor wholesalers in the pre-Prohibition era to favored customers like saloons and restaurants, the bottles were among the most expensive giveaways, often featuring fine glass and gold accents.  They were expected to catch the eye of the patron  — and did.  Because the legislation that accompanied the rollback of Prohibition outlawed them, today most of these bottles are more than 100 years old.  Displaying well, they are eagerly are sought by collectors.

A good example of the value these bottles have achieved is the the one shown right.  It was issued by Julius Goldbaum, a pioneer whiskey man in Tucson, Arizona.   Although most such bottles are clear glass,  Goldbaum chose his in amber with white and gold accents.  The results are a stunning bottle of which only a few are known.  One recently sold at auction for over $22,000.

In featuring back-of-the-bottles, it occurred to me to feature one wholesale house that stood out for the variety of attractive items it issued — Rosskam, Gerstley & Co.  Isaac Rosskam and his wife’s kinsman, Henry Gerstley, both immigrants from Germany,  had settled in Philadelphia and in 1869 opened the doors of their establishment.  The company initially was located at 336 North Third Street but within a year had moved to larger quarters at 402 North Third, where it would stay until 1876.”  Their proprietary brands were “Old Saratoga,” “Monogram," and “Fine Old Whiskey.”

Reflecting the rapid and impressive growth of its business volume, the partners that year moved to two new buildings.  One was five stories at 226 S. Front Street that advertised “Rye & Bourbon Whiskies” on the storefront.  The other at 133-135 Dock Street of six stories proclaimed “Old Rye Whiskies.”  Both locations allowed the firm adequate space to undertake “rectifying,” that is, blending whiskey bought from multiple sources to achieve tastes determined to have broad public appeal.

As their business grew the partners branched out into other cities. In 1870 the partners opened an office in Cleveland at 100 River Street.  About 1882 they located an outlet  in Chicago at 79 Dearborn Avenue, one of the Windy City’s premier commercial locations.  That was followed a year later by their establishing a branch  at 38 Broadway in New York City.   This proliferation of outlets indicated the kind of vigorous national customer base Rosskam, Gerstley built over time.

Because Philadelphia, and indeed the U.S., was loaded with distillers, rectifiers, and wholesalers, the partners had to combat stiff competition for the business of  restaurants, bars and saloons to stock their liquor.  They also had to appeal to members of the drinking public to request their brands from bartenders.  One way of advertising was to provide giveaway items that contained the name of a Rosskam, Gerstley products.  Although the partners gave away tip trays and shot glasses, they specialized in elegant back-of-the-bar bottles.

These included bottles in fancy molded glass with stoppers,ornate gold lettering, and in one case a metal or pewter body.  Shapes varied from bulbous bases to ginger jar shapes to straight sided bottles. At least one was metal.  Lettering might be in script, squared-off letters or san serif, and colored black, gold or cobalt blue.  I have counted at least twenty-one varieties of Rosskam, Gerstley & Co. bar bottles.  Nine of them are illustrated throughout this post.  No other distiller or whiskey house comes close in number or variety.  Isaac and Henry were the kings of the back bar.

At the turn of the Century, things changed at thePhiladelphia liquor house.  In 1899, Henry Gerstley died at age 61 at his residence.  As Rosskam aged he turned over the reins of management to his son.  A 1900 Philadelphia business directory lists William Rosskam as president of the firm.   In 1904 Isaac died, age about 70.  According to the press, he left a large estate.  Although the company continued to prosper for a time under William,  eventually it was forced to shut down by the enactment of National Prohibition.
The banning of bar bottles after the end of Prohibition was the result of their  having been used for purposes that neither Rosskam nor Gerstley would have approved.  Bartenders had a tendency when “Old Saratoga” or another whiskey had been dispensed from its fancy bar bottle to refill it with an inferior brand and cheerfully pour it out to customers under false pretenses.  Today bottles behind the bar must be the container in which the liquor was sold, carrying an original label and tax stamps.

That leaves a treasure trove of back-of-the-bar bottles.  They steadily grow older and all of them will have achieved “antique” status by 1920.  No more will be made and I have seen little evidence of fraudulence.  Many can be bought for under $200.  Attractive and displaying well, they are certain to accrue in desirability and value in the future.