Tuesday, June 16, 2020



I can't help thinking about the brainless cartoons I watched as a kid back in the late 50's and early 60's when I hear that name. The name conjures up remembrances of Rocky & Bullwinkle, Boris and Natasha, and of course Dudley Do-Right, the dim whittled Canadian Mounty. Dudley had a real circle of friends. They included his faithful horse, named "Horse", and his equally faithful dog, ironically named "Faithful Dog". Cornball kids humor by any stretch these days.

Imagine my surprise when a good (I almost typed faithful) friend and fellow whiskey collector called from Northern Cal. the other day and asked if I'd ever heard of a Dudley. I bit my tongue at first and then replied, "only on cartoons". He said, "No really, a Dudley Brandy". "It's got the guys name on it, is a Ginger Brandy, and is embossed San Francisco too". Realizing that he was serious, my response was no; but send me a picture just the same.

He did. And I'll be darned if the photo wasn't of a bottle I've never heard of, or seen even a busted fragment of, in all the years I've been a western whiskey guy. Amber, applied top, heavy play dough type embossing, and shaped like your basic Abernathy or other SF Ginger Brandy with a short neck and a long body. He wasn't yanking my chain after all~ Wow!  A newly discovered western whiskey. I couldn't wait to start my research on this piece.

It took a couple of days but the fruits of my labor were rewarded. At first blush, the bottle had an ever so  slight resemblance to the German Connection late applied tops of the ca. 1890 era. Closer examination though, dispelled that hunch as the embossing style and the top were wrong. Embossed "Dr. Worth's / White / Ginger Brandy / A.A. Dudley & Co. /  San Francisco", it was loaded with seed bubbles, displayed with notable overall glass character, and just had to date ca. 1895 or earlier.

My first stab was in the 1895 SF Directory for a Dr. Worth. Strike one. Working back ward for ten years saw one swing and a miss after another. Numerous Worth's appeared in the listings, ranging from tailors to brick masons (and everything in between), but no Dr's or anything related to patent medicines or liquor.

Flustered, I took a breather. And then the light came on... What if there was no Dr. Worth? What if the brand was simply another of the brandings of a wholesale liquor dealer trying to cash in on the current fad of pushing a combination of liquor and "good for you" stuff endorsed by a "Dr. So and So" !?

Falling back on a target search dating of 1890, I entered his last name and struck it rich. A.A. Dudley appeared in the Crocker Directory as a dealer in patent Medicines. 

Access to another website revealed that Dudley was exactly as suspected; a hustler. The 1889 listing provides a tidbit of info as it lists his name, in addition to just the initials AA. His full name was Arey A. Dudley.

On October 2, 1889, he'd patented Electro Germicide; hoping to cash in on the, at that time, new aged "science" of  electricity and its impact on health. The product was registered as being sold in two tone handled stoneware gallon jugs. No embossed, or debossed, examples of this product have been found so one can only assume that it was sold in paper label form only. And probably not successfully at that~

Working backward, it was determined that Dudley first appeared in SF in 1889 as a patent medicine peddler. Although his business address was San Francisco, his residence is listed as Oakland. It was not uncommon for those of money to reside in the east bay, and commute to their businesses in "The City" via ferry. Thus, we can conclude that Dudley was at least "comfortable".

An even more significant find about A. A. Dudley also popped up during the search of 1889. He was also in the bitters business! Not just some paper label, flash in the pan product, but in reality, one of the rarest of the rare. He was the wholesale agent for "Dr. Harvey's Blood Bitters"; (and not the Cassin Bros. as has previously been taken as gospel).

1891 was status quo.

The 1892 directory shows a move, and his residence is now shown as 1217 Fell in SF. 

And then, nothing. No personal, no business and no obituary listings. A. A. Dudley was a four year splash in the western cure, bitters and whiskey markets; hawking an electric "cure", a next to one of a kind bitters, and a one of a kind western whiskey. 

What a splash he made!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020


Image may contain: text that says 'FOHBC Reno 2020 National Antique Bottle Convention & Expo CANCELLED RENO 2022'

Please note that the FOHBC board of directors is committed to rescheduling the show in Reno in 2022 at the same venue. Given a host of unknown conditions this goal may not be possible but it is our hope it will come to fruition. 

Monday, March 30, 2020

Urgent Notice Regarding Canyonville 2020!

Urgent Notice



Dear Fellow Collectors and Dealers;

Oregon is behind the nationwide curve of the spread of COVID 19 pandemic. Current projections are that Oregon will get hit, and hit hard, well into late spring or early summer.

Seven Feathers Casino Resort is now closed. A reopening date has not been announced.

Out of concern for the well being of our fellow collectors and dealers, it is with great regret that I must notify you that the 2020 JSABC Show and Sale, scheduled to be held at Seven Feathers in Canyonville, Oregon on June 6th, has been cancelled.

With that said, please accept my sincere apologies. Refunds to all dealers that have pre-paid are being mailed today.  

Best of luck to all. Please stay safe and healthy.



Bruce Silva

Show Chairman


Urgent Notice



Urgent Notice


Monday, March 16, 2020

Urgent Notice from Gary Antone, re the Golden Gate Show - Followup 3/17


Howdy Bruce,
In conversation with the Contra Costa Event Park ( Antioch ) today, the GGHBS club's show has been canceled until next year. Can you post this information on your website ? The club and I would appreciate it. Not good, but it's understandable. Also FYI, Morro Bay show has been canceled also.

Take Care & Thanks My Friend,




Hello GGHBS Club Members

I hope this note finds you all doing well – keeping safe and sane during this crazy and uncertain time we are in due to the Coronavirus.
Unfortunately, I need to advise that our 2020 GGHBS Show on 4/10 and 11 has been cancelled.   

Decision made based on:
  • The fairgrounds reached out yesterday and advised they are prohibited from having events until at least 4/5 and it could be extended
  • The government issued self-quarantine until at least 4/7, and who knows what will happen between now and then
  • People need to make plans, and not realistic to do if we don’t know what will happen until the day or 2 prior
  • Even if all the restrictions were lifted in time for the event - the club would lose $ that we cannot afford to do. We could not make up for it in time.    
    • Lost table sales, early birds, raffle and food
As hard as it is, its best just to make the decision now, cut our losses, ensure everyone is healthy and just look forward to next year

Next steps:
  • I have initiated contact with the online sites that promote our show and advised of the cancellation.  You will start to see those shortly (along with Morro Bay that was also cancelled)
  • We are working with the fairgrounds to see what happens with our $1000 deposit. 
    • The additional funds for the event were due this week and we had not paid yet, so no worries on that part.

Let me know if any issues or questions.
Take care of yourselves, stay safe, and will look forward to seeing everyone soon.

Gary PFL
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