St. Drakes Bitters, Upjohn gal Spirit of Camphor, 1 gallon Coca-Cola, and others...Cleaning/Identy

I love glass and there was a box on the curb that was being thrown away...I saw the bottles and stopped and rummaged through them. The one that caught my eye was just a clear glass with a wide opening...but I think I found something good! I read your info on the St. Drakes Bitters and that's what made me want to verify that this is not a reproduction.

So, here's the questions...

1) The St. Drake Bitters bottle is it authentic or a reproduction. I'm pretty sure I identified it as the D-105 version. The 1st tier reads S T/ DRAKE'S, 2nd tier; 1860/PLANTATION third tier; X/BITTERS. On the opposite side, the second tier reads PATENTED/1862. There is a circle on the bottom with a diagonal line on 2 opposite corners. It's the lines on the bottom that worry me because I have not seen the bottom of this bottle posted. Measurements: Approx. 2 3/4" square base, approx. 10" tall, the center opening measures 1". I'm guessing that the coloring is amber, but not sure. Also, there is also some sort of nick on the corner of the X/BITTERS tier, does that affect value?

2.) The Upjohn bottle lid opens it feels like it is possibly something like Bakelite. It is dark amber, almost black. There is no real marking on the bottle except the decoration towards the base. It has the circle and diamond mark with the numbers 7 on the left, 6 on the right, and 2 below. The label reads: One Gallon///Spirit of Camphor/N.F. VIII////Alcohol 84%//For local application, internal use, /or as an inhalant//Internal dosage; Adults--10 to 15 drops in/water two or three times daily. Children over/one year--1 to 5 drops one or two times daily,/according to age/ZKD (tiny MADE/IN/USA) P4082//Upjohn/The Upjohn Company, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Measurements: Base round 5"; With lid, approx. 12.5" tall, bottle opening approx. 1 1/4" (stinks to high heaven when opened!) And that poses the question clean or not to clean. Does cleaning out the contents affect value?

3.) There are (2) 1 gallon Coca-Cola bottles. They are clear glass. I'm not sure if they are really worth much, but the interesting find on one of the bottles was the 76 cent South Carolina Soft Drink tax stamp. Again, is it better to clean the contents out or leave them as is?

4.) The other jars...are they collectors items or better used as decoration?

5.) The last bottle was found in Leadville, Colorado underneath our 1800's house....can you identify it? It is approx. 4 1/2" tall with a 1 3/4" round base, the opening is approx. 3/4". The only thing I can read on the bottom is H 281.


  • Hi
    Good find! The Drakes bottle is definitely original. Looks like there may be a bit of a glob of glass stuck on the shoulder. I would say that does not detract from value. If it is a chip then it does hurt a bit.

    There is little if any value in the other bottles. The Leadville find is an earlier 20th century but still appears to be machine made. I would say sauce or food...
  • Thank you so much for your time. What color would you classify the Drakes bottle and am I correct in the D 105 classification?
  • Yes, that is the correct classification from Bill Ham's book "Bitters Bottles"

    Despite the crystal clear photos you provide, I would still want to hold this in my hand to get a sense of the color since there is so much variation and subtlety of colors in Drakes bottles.

    Yours appears to have a strong orange/red cast and shows light through it very well so this is a definite plus over the standard amber.

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