Simon’s Centennial Bitters

Provenance: Ferdinand Meyer V Collection

This bottle is significant as it represents George Washington when he was Commanding General of the Continental Army. Washington commanded American forces, allied with France, in the defeat and surrender of the British during the Siege of Yorktown. He resigned his commission after the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

You can find this figural bottle in various shades of amber and aqua. Our museum example is somewhat special as it changes glass color from a red amber in the torso to a yellowish-amber color in the arms and head. The bottle was patented on December 14, 1875, by Bernard Simon of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The portrait bust of George Washington sits on a wide circular base. The bottle has a short neck and a round applied collar. Embossed on a band at the bottom of the bust front is ‘SIMON’S CENTENNIAL BITTERS.’ Above the copy is a circular label panel. The reverse side of the band has embossed copy reading, ‘TRADE MARK.’ The capacity is 24 oz.

It is interesting that you can find this bottle painted as you can see in one of the carousel pictures above. This would have been more of a craft exercise done in later years.

According to Ring & Ham in Bitters Bottles, “There are many reproductions of this bottle. Some are faintly lettered, some have no lettering. Some bottles have pontils and some do not. Many are in unusual glass colors. Most have different dimensions. Many were made as real reproductions. Others are ornamental bottles with no intent for exact reproduction. Still, others were used as whiskey bottles. They were made at Clevenger.”

The Carlyn Ring and Bill Ham listings in Bitters Bottles is as follows:

S 110 SIMON’S CENTENNIAL BITTERS / TRADE MARK //
Bernard Simon, Scranton, Pennsylvania
9 ¾ x 4 ¼
Bust of George Washington on a pedestal, Aqua, and Amber, DC, Applied mouth, Scarce
Patented December 14, 1875, by Bernard Simon, Scranton, Pennsylvania

Primary Image: Simon’s Centennial Bitters imaged on location by the FOHBC Virtual Museum midwest studio led by Alan DeMaison.

Support: Reference to Bitters Bottles by Carlyn Ring and W. C. Ham. Use of Simon’s Centennial Bitters illustration courtesy Bill Ham

Support Images: Aqua example and secondary amber Simon’s Centennial Bitters images from the Ferdinand Meyer V collection.

Support Image: Painted Simon’s Centennial Bitters picture provided by Lou Hollis.

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