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It's thought that the first proprietor of Red Jacket Bitters was Bennett Pieters and Company from Chicago, Ill. In the Chicago City Directory they are listed from 1860-1861 as Bennett Peters, John F. Stafford and John D. Smedley. The company was located at 149 Water Street but no mention of manufacturing bitters. In 1864 Red Jacket Bitters became a patented medicine. There is an advertisement of Red Jacket Stomach Bitters produced by the Bennett Pieters and Co. now located at 21 River Street. By 1866 the Bennett Pieters Company would move again this time to 31 and 33 Michigan Ave. The company was listed as distillers and whole sale liquor dealers. Also in 1866 Edward Mcquaid, Charles H. Schwab and John B. Smith would now have their own wine and whole sale liquor business located at 149 Water Street, which is the same address from 1860-1861. In 1868 they partnered with Leon Monhiemer and P. Cavangh and by 1869 this company would merge with the Bennett Pieters and Company. Now the company was called Schwab, Pieters and Co. This company had a long and successful business with Red Jacket Bitters along with other liquors. They would have to expand and had a five story brick building built.

Here a little about the name Red Jacket. Between the years of 1756-1830 there was a Seneca Indian Chief who lived in the New York area. They called him Red Jacket because of a red British military jacket he wore. The jacket was given to him by the British Army. There are five variants of this amber square bitters bottle. One is embossed with Bennett Pieters & Co. This is the oldest. One is embossed Schwab, McQuaid & Co. with Schwab Pieters on the base. One is embossed Schwab, McQuaid & Co. with WM. MCC & CO. on base. One is embossed Schwab, Pieters & Co. and one is embossed Monheimer & Co.

Below are photos of the RED JACKET / BITTERS // MONHEIMER & CO. The word Schwad & Mcquaid & Co. has been peened out and Monheimer & Co added.

red jacket1.red jacket2


1860-1896 Chicago City Directories.

McGuire E. Bottle products and U.S. Patent office 1991.

Dr. Cannon Medicine Article.

Bitters Bottles by Carlyn Ring & W.C. Ham.

Frank & Frank Jr. (Wicker) Bottle Collection.

red jacket a..red jacket b

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