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Smith & Davis - Portland, Oregon - First Druggists in the Oregon Territory

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Medicine Bottles240 of 240My antique pharmacy/medicine collectionBoxed, Labeled, Embossed, Filled Stearns' Tonic from Detroit.
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Posted 5 years ago


(4 items)

Smith & Davis were the first druggists to operate in the Oregon Territory. As such, the bottles have some great historic appeal and significance. The drugstore/company was founded in 1850 and lasted until about 1879 according to business directory entries.

The square bottles (first two images) are embossed with "SMITH & DAVIS / PORTLAND, OREGON. These are certainly the oldest bottles from the company dating from the early to mid-1850s to early 1860s. As such, they are also the oldest bottles from Oregon.

None of the square examples are known (to this author) to have pontil scars though I personally dug the aqua one in my youth - in the downtown Portland urban renewal area back in the 1960s - that was in the context with nothing but pontil scarred medicines and snuff bottles...the Smith & Davis bottle being the only non-pontiled bottle...alas. There are no known pontil scarred Oregon bottles; these are the closest to that honor.

The two cylindrical bottles are probably from a bit later, i.e., late 1860s to late 1870s. They are both embossed with SMITH & DAVIS / DRUGGISTS / PORTLAND, OREGON. The example with the double ring lip was likely used for Citrate of Magnesia.

All the other bottles pictured were used for the myriad of concoctions that Messrs. Smith & Davis conjured up and produced for treating the ills of some of the earliest non-native Oregonians.


  1. Bryce, 4 years ago
    I recently found some old bottles saying: Smith & Davis Drugcist - Portland, Oregon I was wondering what they are worth?

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