Smith’s Green Mountain Renovator East. Georgia. Vt
Smith’s Green Mountain Renovator
East. Georgia. Vt
Silas Smith, East Georgia, Vermont
Yellow Olive Amber to Deep Olive Amber Medicine Bottle
Provenance: Chris Bubash Collection
Smith’s Green Mountain Renovator was first advertised in 1858 in a St. Albans, Vermont newspaper. Silas Smith of East Georgia, Vermont, put out his purely vegetable preparation as a cure and remedy and sold it for “$1,00 per bottle, or 6 bottles sent free of expense, for $5.00 to any express office in Northern Vermont, or New York.”
Smith’s new medicine was said to take care of Impurities of the blood, Torpid and Diseased Liver, including debility, Head-ache, Pains in the Back and Limbs, Bilious derangements, Jaundice, Stomach ailments, Old sores, Ulcers, Scrofulous humors, Erysipelas, Biles, Carbuncles, Sore eyes, Fever, Ring-worms, Salt-Rheum, Kindred diseases, and Asthma to name a few. Advertising claimed, “The Renovating properties of this article are truly surprising—it can be relied upon to clease (sic) the system from all foul taints, bad blood, evils arising from the improper use of mercury and &c.”
When confirming the 1858 origin, we find the 1898 passage: “Smith’s Green Mountain Renovator is the peer of medicines today as a renovator and a blood purifier. This great specific was prepared 40 years ago from a prescription written by a certain Dr. Mack, who at that time was a very eminent Scotch physician. Dr. Mack was in Vermont, and being a close student of herbs and plants, as well as a great believer in their use for medicines, he compounded a preparation made entirely from vegetable ingredients, material for which is found growing only in that state. Thousands of people were living today who are examples of the good that can be accomplished by Smith’s Green Mountain Renovator.” – Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York) October 31, 1898.
This outstanding example of a proprietary medicine bottle was named after Silas Smith of East Georgia, Vermont. Georgia was named after King George III by New Hampshire, which was meant to sway the king in a land dispute over Vermont between New York and New Hampshire, both claiming to have the land rights. Green Mountain State is the official nickname for the state of Vermont and was named after the Green Mountains mountain range, a prominent geographic feature of the state.
Silas Smith (1807-1881) and eventually his son, Ransom J. Smith (1839-1910), and a later proprietor would sell Smith’s Green Mountain Renovator up to 1902 when advertising stopped. Ransom took over the company in 1884 and moved it to Saint Alban’s, Vermont, which was the more cosmopolitan side of Georgia, and the medicine gained popularity with judicious advertising. At least two other variant bottles were made. New owners bought the brand in 1898 and were determined to introduce it “throughout the whole country.” They wanted the public to obtain the genuine Smith’s Green Mountain Renovator when they asked for it and said they would allow but one druggist in each city to sell. By 1902, the business and medicine were finally gone.
Our 7-inch tall museum example was probably made at the Granite Glass Company of Stoddard, New Hampshire, in the late 1850s. The glass color can best be described as yellowish olive amber on the shoulders, shading to a deeper olive amber near the base. The form is rectangular with beveled corners, and the tall tapered neck has an applied ring collar with a bevel. There is an iron pontil scar, and the condition is outstanding with no issues. The provenance is ex Dewey Heetderks collection.
When looking a the blank face (panel 1) of the eight-paneled bottle, all embossed copy uses a san serif typestyle. This copy occurs on the short, tall panels from shoulder to base and reads, ‘SMITH’S’ (panel 2 flush left), ‘EAST GEORGIA. VT.’ (panel 3), ‘RENOVATOR’ (panel 6), and ‘GREEN MOUNTAIN’ (panel 8). Both large panels (obverse and reverse) would have been where paper labels may have been affixed.
Primary Image: Smith’s Green Mountain Renovator bottle imaged on location by Alan DeMaison, FOHBC Virtual Museum Midwest Studio
Primary Image (Museum Example): Auction Lot 203: “SMITH’S – GREEN MOUNTAIN – RENOVATOR – EAST. GEORGIA. VT”, Granite Glass Company, Stoddard, NH, 1850 – 1860. Yellowish olive amber in the shoulders shading to a deeper olive amber near the base, rectangular with beveled corners, applied ring col-lar with bevel – iron pontil scar, ht. 7”, attic mint. Odell, p.324. Outstanding color, character, and condition! Also included, is a “Smith’s Green Mountain Renovator” Dose Glass, c. 1900. Dewey Heetderks collection. – John Pastor, American Glass Gallery, Auction #20
Support Image: Auction Lot 87: “Smith’s / Green Mountain / Renovator / East. Georgia. VT” Medicine Bottle, a Stoddard glasshouse, Stoddard, New Hampshire, 1846-1860. Rectangular with wide beveled corners, medium olive amber, applied double collared mouth – iron pontil mark, ht. 7 inches; (pinpoint flake on the corner of the base, one corner of base has been polished to remove a chip). AAM pg. 481 A crisp, clean example. Generally fine condition. – Norman Heckler Jr. & Sr., Norman C. Heckler & Company, Auction #195
Support Image: Auction Lot 178: “SMITH’S – GREEN MOUNTAIN – RENOVATOR – EAST. GEORGIA. VT”, Granite Glass Company, Stoddard, NH, 1850 – 1860. Beautiful yellowish amber below the shoulders shading to a deeper amber towards the base, rectangular with wide beveled corners, applied double round collar – iron pontil scar, ht. 7″, virtually attic mint; (just the slightest trace of light wear including a paper-thin, partially open interior bubble in the shoulder). A great example with nice character. – John Pastor, American Glass Gallery, Auction #30
Join the FOHBC: The Virtual Museum is a project of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors (FOHBC). To become a member.