Went on Etsy the other day and was able to find an item I have been wanting for sometime, a Horseshoe Bitters bottle.
There's a story behind these bottles having to do with long ago Collinsville history and the history is not entirely known even by those who were avid historians of the city. Here is a note from a Roy Weinacht
"I was raised in Collinsville. I’ve talked to several people involved with the historical society. Lucille Stehman from Collinsville published a book about the history of Collinsville. In it, there is a picture in her book of a baseball team from the Hardscrabble Mine. They were also known as the Horseshoe Bitters. They started playing in the late 1800′s. The field they played on was the Hardscrabble field. There also used to be a saloon in Collinsville known as Hardscrabble. Lots of Hardscrabble references there. I sometimes think that the saloon might have been the bottling location. Such an ornate and expensive bottle to manufacture, yet little information about the medicine co.
What is most likely is the Horse Shoe Bitters company began in St. Louis and then moved to Collinsville in the late 1800's. That's about all that is known for sure. Here is what Lucille Stehman were in her Collinsville history book:
The bottle is horseshoe shaped and on one side it reads "Horse Shoe Medicine Co. Collinsville Ills. On the other side of the bottle it reads, "Horse Shoe Bitters." There is a large head of a horse above five stars."
Then there was this note about the company's move to Collinsville found in the Edwardsville Intelligencer on November 11, 1891: "The Horse Shoe Bitters Company which recently moved its laboratory from St. Louis to this city (Collinsville), will largely increase their output. An addition to their building will be necessary."
It seems that at a later date the Wheaton Glass company from Wheaton New Jersey, made reproductions of these Horse Shoe Bitters bottles. That company has its mark on the bottle of the bottle.
I'd sure like to know more about this.