This 10-inch amber bitters bottle is easily recognized by bottle collectors as the S.T. Drakes 1860 Plantation X bottle. The original log cabin figural bottle was patented in 1862 by founder and druggist Patrick Henry Drake who lived in upstate New York. Over its 50-year history as a cure for almost any affliction, the bottle changed only slightly with variations that did not change its overall cabin appearance with the three tiers at the top often described as the roof of the cabin. The contents were described as a concoction of witch hazel, water, and nearly 40% alcohol. Advertised as medicinal, it was ideal for a gentleman to have a few sips after dinner to settle his digestion and thus offer no opportunity for recrimination. However, in the early 1900s after scrutiny by officials, the FDA declared bitters to be alcoholic beverages effectively putting an end to the bitters industry.
This one was inherited from an antique collector many years ago and is clean and perfect for window display. It has six logs on the two blank side panels label display areas. Fourteen logs on the opposite two sides. The bottom has a single dot or bump in a molded circle. Embossed lettering is a bit difficult to read. On the top tier S T Drake is nearly smooth. Second tier reads 1860 Plantation. The bottom tier of the “roof” reads X Bitters embossed in two lines both centered. On the back side the second tier reads Patented. The third or bottom tier reads 1862. There is a hairline crack at the base of the applied lip which wasn’t seen until held to the bright light. For this reason it is offered at half its current value.