View Full Version : There's pontils and there's pontils

05-20-2012, 03:51 PM
An early pontiled and late pontiled Henry's // Calcined // Magnesia // Manchester side by side. Quite a difference.


05-20-2012, 05:06 PM
Jerry great post I collect different mold variations of local embossed pontiled bottles. Its interesting how you can see a company's bottles evolve over time.


05-20-2012, 05:15 PM
Great post, concise and to the point...[;)]

05-20-2012, 05:41 PM
So apparently Thomas Husband of Philadelphia started ripping off this british product in the 1840s?
Seems like an amazingly blatent copy... bottle,name, product, etc...
Its crazy what you could get away with at that time.

05-21-2012, 12:16 AM
Maybe Henry and Husband had some agreement?

05-21-2012, 07:58 PM
ORIGINAL: AntiqueMeds

Maybe Henry and Husband had some agreement?

You don't know any more nowadays Matt,the lines have been blurred. Maybe Henry and his husband were only really life Partners ........[8D] Seriously I do have one of those bottles like the one you posted Matt .It is pontiled and it is pale green in color.Nice pictures Jerry

05-22-2012, 07:19 AM
Thanks for the comments.

My understanding of the Henry's / Husbands situation was that it was pretty typical of rivalries between patent medicine makers in Georgian / Victorian times. Just another example of the kind of thing that led to all the 'warnings against imposters' and so on in early advertising, in the absence of effective copyright laws, etc.

Thomas Henry of Manchester, England, invented a process for the manufacture of the magnesia in the 18th century. Good for settling bad stomachs, and an effective mild laxative, it quickly became very successful on both sides of the Atlantic in an age when diet was often bad, and digestive problems were an obsession. There were plenty of imitators in the UK (Moxon of Hull, Butler of London, etc, etc, whose versions also became more or less successful, and whose bottles turn up in the US as well as the UK).

Husband of Philadelphia was in a stronger position in the US because of high import costs from the UK to the US (both transport and taxes) and just took the imitation one step further than most others (bottle shape, embossing, etc).

BTW, the Henry of Henry's Magnesia is the same Co as the T&W Henry of Aromatic Spirit of Vinegar. The Henry's were industrial chemists ahead of being medicine vendors. These were their only two medicines.

05-22-2012, 10:16 AM
Henry's product apparently led to the development of Phillips Milk of Magnesia, one of the biggest selling American medicines.
It seems to be just a liquified version of Henrys calcined magnesia.

05-23-2012, 03:49 PM
A question for privy diggers: Since privys tend to be quite datable, has anyone dug the later type Henry's from good datable contexts? My feeling is that they are quite late for pontiled bottles. Maybe even 1860s - 70s?