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Monday, April 9, 2012

Thistledew. Well I'll be; again~

My old pal, TQ, once again came through with some amazing "stuff" and what he provided is nothing short of the smoking gun in the Thistledew mystery. Here is where things really start to gel. Look at the broadside in the window. It advertises none other than, Thistledew Whiskey. And, it clearly shows F. Mandlebaum as the Sole Agent for the Pacific Coast; in San Francisco!

An invoice dated 1879 from Mandlebaum clears up two decades old questions. The address on the invoice matches that on the broadside; 312 Sacramento. But this invoice is for Nabob Whiskey! And so, Mandlebaum was responsible for both Thistledown and Nabob. But, check out the fine print on the invoice~ We always assumed that the product, like most whiskies was available by bottle or in bulk in the form of hogsheads. Notice though, the reference to flasks? Ones mind whirls with visions of grandeur when the possibility of a picture flask exists. Look out N. Grange and J. Moore!

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. If you recall in the first write-up, I mentioned the movie Deadwood, as being one of my all time favorites. Little did I know that Deadwood would figure prominently into the Thistledew / Nabob saga. By 1886, Mandlebaum disappears from the picture and Geo. Simmonds is handling the Nabob product himself out of his place over at 215 - 217 California St., less than two blocks away. Note the invoice mailed to... you guessed - Tombstone!

Although Wyatts residency in Tombstone was from 1879 - 1881, he or brothers Virgil and Morgan may well have imbibed of Nabob at one time or another while dealing faro in the Oriental Saloon.

To sum it up, Thistledew had two Sole Agents handling the brand consecutively. F. Mandlebaum had the sole agency for the Pacific Coast in 1879, pushing the product hard, along with Simmonds Nabob. But by 1886, Geo Simmonds was handling the Nabob product on it's own. Thistledew had gained popularity in the silver camps of Nevada by 1887 and was being hyped by a W.O.H. Martin out of Reno. After that point in time, Martin disappears and the Thistledew saga comes to a close.

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