Bennet’s Wild Cherry Stomach Bitters

Provenance: Richard T. Siri Collection

Bennet’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters was made from about 1870 through the late 1870s. Joseph N. Souther worked in the U.S. Mint Branch in San Francisco, starting in 1862. He partnered with Richard Chenery who had a Naval background in San Francisco, starting in the 1850s and became a Navy agent in the 1860s. This partnership began in 1869 and they purchased the rights to a bitters product from Henry Bennet. Bennet had been in the syrups, cordial, and medicinal business in San Francisco since the early 1850s. Apparently Chenery and Souther did not pay very much for this brand, as Bennet died broke.

The embossed Wild Cherry Bitters is thought to have begun in 1870 or 1871, and was produced until Chenery decided to go into the real estate business in 1880, and the company became Joseph N. Souther & Co. At this point, the later “Celebrated Stomach Bitters” was produced in an amber square. The partnership of Chenery and Southern ended on August 1, 1874, which is probably the last date that the first variant Wild Cherry Bitters was made.

Henry W. Bennet, drugs and medicines, 21 Third cor. Stevenson, San Francisco City Directory, 1865.

The Carlyn Ring and W.C. Ham listing in Bitters Bottles is as follows:

B 74 BENNET’S ( au ) / WILD CHERRY / STOMACH BITTERS ( ad ) // f // CHENERY, SOUTHER & CO. ( au ) / SOLE AGENTS / SAN FRANCISCO, CAL ( ad ) // f //
9 x 3 (6 5/8) 3/8
Square, Amber, LTCR, Applied mouth, Very rare
Lettering reads base to shoulder on brand name panel
Reverse reads shoulder to base as is usual.
Example found on the surface of Mount Rose near Reno.

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