Bromo Seltzer Bottles

Digger Odell Publications 2007

For headache, disordered stomach and hang-over, to cool the blood and brain, to quiet pulsing nerves and drive the clouds of care away, not to mention nervous prostration, Bromo-Seltzer was the modern cure-all. Isaac E. Emerson, a Baltimore Druggist began widespread Bromo-Seltzer in November of 1890.

Early Bromo Ad of 1890

The company incorporated in 1891 with factories in Maryland and New Jersey. The Maryland Glass Corporation was the original manufacturer of the famous blue bottles. By 1929, they had the capacity to manufacture 72,000,000 bottles annually.

Needless to say, the bottles, which come in a variety of sizes, are extremely common, yet because of their pretty blue color, they often will sell, if only for a few dollars.

The company expanded rapidly and made Capt. Emerson a millionaire within a short time. The Downtown of Baltimore was for many years marked by the Bromo-Seltzer building which sported a giant, iron replica of a Bromo-Seltzer bottle on the top of the building. This landmark was synonymous with Baltimore for many many years.

Emerson, who died in 1939 at the age of 71, was known as a lavish entertainer. He was an accomplised yachtsman who as a young chemist worked out and patented the formula for what he termed, "Bromo Zeltzer". After graduating from the University of North Carolina he set up a drug store in Baltimore in 1880. He earned the rank of Captain during the Spanish American War.