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Colourful Labeled 'Indian' Tonic

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Bottles4 of 4Old AtomizerVintage Glass Decanter
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    Posted 5 years ago

    (813 items)

    C. 1921 Bark-Root Tonic (technically a bitters, as it's an herbal alcoholic medicine) manufactured by Celro-Kola Co. of Portland, Oregon.

    The company was a major one in the first quarter of the 1900s, but this product seems to be advertised beginning in 1921 and continues till at least 1925. I did not search out an end-date.

    Further dating cannot be done at this time as the glass-maker's mark is illegible. It is very similar to the Illinois-Pacific Glass Co. mark, but it's not their mark. I know of no other glass-house at the time that used a Isosceles triangle with embossing in it, though other glass-houses used similar equilateral triangles.

    This bottle likely came from a small lot discovered after three-quarters of a century several years ago. Though it's newer than what I usually collect, the teal label with Native American gathering roots and bark was just too attractive to let slip away.

    As you can see, I've run out of room in my cabinet for labeled bottles. Hopefully I'll sell a few at the bottle show early next year, so as to make room for better-condition, more detailed pieces.

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    1. Mrstyndall Mrstyndall, 5 years ago
      Very neat display!!
    2. Meowman Meowman, 5 years ago
      poked around a bit...last reference I could find in newspapers for "bark-root tonic" was January of 1936, in a listing of "Home Remedies" on sale at a drugstore in Albany, Oregon.
      Did find a couple other interesting things including a 1915 ad for Celro-Kola itself, as a fountain beverage featuring "Bettie Bubbles" as a character spokesperson, and a 1925 article about David I Wareham "confessed champion bark-root imbiber of America", who had become "gloriously drunk" on the stuff and remained so, to the point of his being arrested and his wife filing for divorce.
    3. billretirecoll billretirecoll, 5 years ago
      Nice bottle SpiritBear, and some good information from you, and Meowman! Thanks! :^)
    4. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      Mrstyndall, thank you.

      Bryan, thank you for researching. My guess is, the beverage was made of celery. Kolatona is still around today as a semi-local (to me) celery soft-drink!
      Interesting character. And at only 25% alcohol, too!

      Billretirecoll, thank you.
    5. feller55, 5 years ago
      That is so cool!
    6. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      feller55, thank you.

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