In the late 17th century, alcohol was a vital part of colonial life as a beverage, medicine, and commodity for men, women, and children. Drinking was widely accepted and wholly integrated into society, but drunkenness was not. As the Temperance Movement gained momentum, proprietors pushed their bitter’s products as a drink stimulant or a proprietary medicine. The Civil War also played a significant role in bitters use and production. Of course, it was loaded with all kinds of questionable ingredients, usually based on alcohol. The brands, bottles, advertising, and stories that go with the “bitters era” shed light on an important part of American History before Prohibition shut most of it down.
Let’s go into the gallery. Click on a bitters bottle below!