Bottle Database
Bottle Tops
Bottle Base
Bottle Closures
Rarity Guide
Dating Guide
Condition Guide
Purchasing Bottles
Digging for Bottles
Diving for Bottles
Bottle Articles
About Us
Bottles Wanted
Bottles For Sale
Photos of the Past
Bottle Humor
Bottle Puzzle
Contact Us


Frank Rice was born in January 20, 1843 in Mackinal Island, Michigan. His parents were Justin and Mary (Throop) Rice. Frank got his education in Detroit's public schools. Frank enlisted as a private in the First Michigan Infantry in April 18, 1861. He was wounded in the Battle of Fredericksburg, Va. and lost his leg. He was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps in June 27, 1863. Here he remained as a second Lieutenant of the Forty Fourth Infantry until he retired as a Captain in January 15, 1871. In 1871 he and a partner named Byers started a business in St Louis, Mo. as dealers in cigars and tobacco.

Below is a trade token.

rice coin

The company changed their name to the F. R. Rice & Co. in 1879. Frank would marry Emma F. Lock in 1883 and would have two children named Kathleen and Justin. In 1892 the business would incorporate and was now called the F. R. Rice mercantile Cigar Company.

The F. R. Rice Mercantile Cigar Company was located at 305 North Fourth Street in St. Louis, Mo. until 1932. The address changes to 411 Olive Street.

Below is a post card.

f r rice mercantile post card

Below are Photos of a wood carved Indian Chief with a full and colorful head dress. This carving was carved by artist Samuel L. Anderson from New York for the F. R. Rice Mercantile Cigar Company.

f r rice indian

This carving sold at the Conan Auction Company in 2003 for the realized price of $ 51,750.00.

Below are photos of this amber jar embossed Mercantile (Air Tight) Havana Cigars St. Louis, Mo. Patented Dec. 11-94 June 24-02 Patent Nov. 13-94 Jan 15-95 The base is embossed Factory No. 305 1st Dist. of Mo. 50 Cigars.

f r rice jar 1.f r rice lid

The trade mark is an Indian on horseback above 1890. The label reads " Colorado Maduro F. R. Rice Mercantile Air Tight No. 1 F. R. Rice Mercantile Cigar Co.

Below is a photo of a label.

f r rice label

f r rice label lid

Below is a press glass tobacco cigar jar from the F. R. Rice Mercantile.

f r rice press clear jar.

Below is a patent drawing from June 24, 1902.


John J. Ford Jr. paper Collection.

A.B. & G.C. Magazine July 2010 article The Label space by Tom Caniff.

Frank & Frank Jr. (Wicker) Bottle & Jar Collection. No long have.

f r rice jar 1a

Back to Articles