Marx & JörgEnsen

Provenance: Stephen Hubbell Collection

The Marx & Jörgensen bottle is an extremely rare amber fifth from Portland, Oregon. It is so rare that our museum specimen may represent one of only two examples known.

Marx & Jörgensen

In 1876, Daniel Marx and Emil C. Jörgensen went into business as partners as Marx & Jörgensen. The pioneering wholesale liquor dealers were located at 28 North Front Street in Portland, Oregon. They would move in 1885 to 210 Third Street and remain there until they dissolved in 1905. Marx would retire first in 1901 and Jörgensen would continue as E. C. Jörgensen & Co. and then sell the remaining stock and shut the doors four years later. Two of the primary brands they represented were Belle of Bourbon and Commodore’s Royal Old OK Bourbon.

Lawrence, Ostrum & Company

In 1887 and 1888, Harry C. Lawrence and Benjamin A. Ostrom were partners in Lawrence, Ostrum & Co. located at 110 3rd Street in Louisville, Kentucky. Their flag brand was the ten-year-old Belle of Bourbon. They advertised that it was for “Medicinal and Family use” which is pretty amazing. Actually, it was a Sour Mash Whiskey touted as the “Water of Life”, and the great appetizer. They worked out deals and arrangements around the United States for distributors and agents for the Belle of Bourbon. One such was Marx and Jörgensen. We suspect at some point, you could have seen a window display of labeled amber Belle of Bourbon fifths for sale in the local liquor store window in cities such as Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, or New Orleans. The bottles would proudly have the Marx and Jörgensen name embossed on the face. This scenario didn’t last very long.

The subject bottle was evidently not made in large quantities based on the few shards and examples that are known in collections.

Primary Image: The Marx & Jörgensen bottle imaged on location by the FOHBC Virtual Museum midwest studio led by Alan DeMaison.

Support: Reference Whiskey Bottles of the Old West by John L. Thomas, 2002

Support: Reference to, Bruce Silva.

Support Image: Secondary example from Dale Mlasko.

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