S. M. Bixby & Company
Old Ink Bottle Companies & Their History
The firm was started in 1862. Samuel M. Bixby was the founder and president of the Bixby Company, known in the bottle collecting world for their unusual shaped Bixby bottle bearing an 1883 patent date. In 1864, the company was advertising Bixby's Liquid and Paste Blacking (shoe polish). The company had a wholesale depot at No. 478 Eighth Ave. and No. 19 Spruce St. in New York. While shoe polish was the company's main stay, they also produced ink.
In the 1880s and 1890s they were located at 192 and 194 Hester. The officers were Samuel Bixby, president and Willard G. Bixby, treasurerIn 1895, unable to meet their financial obligations, they were placed in receivership. They issued a statement saying:
"Since the financial stringency of 1893 the business of the company has been reduced in volume, and consequently in profit. To overcome this the company has increased its advertising and has added to the number of its traveling salesmen, but without effect in the way hoped for. "
This was not the first time the firm had been in trouble. They declared bankruptcy in 1877 and settled for $0.20 on the dollar. It was reorganized and incorporated in 1878. The company was dealt another blow when a fire broke out in 1901 causing $25,000 in damage. Samuel M. Bixby retired in 1923 and suffered a heart attack in 1934 and died.
The above detail shows accurate representations of the Bixby bottles. Not the large quart (center) which many think is an ink says mucilage. At the right is famous patented bottle.
DIGGER ODELL'S INK BOTTLE PRICE GUIDE
2008 EDITION $35.00