This post is dedicated to a rather uncommon occurrence. During my research, I have discovered that a few RI bottles listed as RI bottles are, in fact, not!
When I acquired a Silver Spring Brand Bowles Brothers Company I did some research on it. William A. Bowles was a resident of Brockton, Mass. Then a sign popped up on ebay for the company. It also had a Brockton, Mass. location. So how did this bottle get in the book? Well, it turns out that there are a lot of Silver Springs. I can think of three in RI alone. One of these bottles was probably found in close proximity to the site of a RI Silver Spring and the rest was history.
Another popular RI bottle is G.W. Davis’ Inflammatory Extirpator & Cleanser. This nicely named medicine was assumed to be a product of G.W. Davis, a botanic druggist in Providence. He does have a bottle marked Providence after all. A lot of research showed that there was a G.W. Davis in New York, and he is the only one mentioned in relation to the Inflammatory medicine. The earliest versions are pontiled, and later ones are smooth based. Some later examples are marked C.L. & J.W. Isherwood on the side. This company was located in Fall River Mass., which explains why some were dug in RI.
Note: The example I own on the right has been artificially irradiated with UV rays (sigh).
A bottle that I was almost sure was from RI was Dr. S.A. Weaver’s Cerate. While pontiled examples of this bottle are certainly from RI, the newer, smooth based ones are not. It is likely some were, but at one point Dr. Weaver died and the company was taken over by the Davis & Lawrence Co. of New York and Montreal. A bottle with the original label and box confirmed this. The early smoothed base examples come in aqua, and the newest ones can be found in amber.
One bottle I had long hoped was truly from RI was Crary & Co. Stag’s Head Worcestershire Sauce. There was a Crary & Co. in Providence that dealt in meats. After seeing a labeled example from New York, I checked to see if it was a mismatch. I found a listing advertising Stag’s Head Worcestershire Sauce by Crary & Co. of New York. Sigh, well now we know!
Lastly the very last medicine bottle on the Little Rhody website got my attention. It is simply embossed Zipp's Pharmacy Cor Sumner & Putnam Ave. I tried to research it, and I could not find the roads in Rhode Island. A search for Zipp's Pharmacy solved the mystery. Unfortunately I found an article stating it was from Brooklyn, NY. Alas, another goes to the Big Apple!