Warner’s Safe Cure: It’s All in the Lips

Since I began this blog back in March, I have spent considerable time talking about the history of the Warner empire, the products marketed by Warner and the all important bottles that contained his wonderous elixirs. I have talked about the colors of those bottles, their labels and even some of the mistakes. I have, however, neglected one important feature those bottles….their lips. Now, that sounds like a relatively minor omission, but an important one nevertheless.

Over the course of its history, the Warner Safe Cure Company used a variety of lips on its bottles. The lips vary depending one when a particular bottle was manufactured and where it came from. Let me correct my omission, but illustrating some of the lips that graced Warner’s Safe Remedies over the years.

DOUBLE COLLAR – the double collar lip is distinct among the early Warner’s Safe Cures that came from Rochester: Safe Kidney & Liver Cure, Safe Nervine, Safe Diabetes Cure, Safe Rheumatic Cure, Safe Bitters, Safe Tonic and Safe Tonic Bitters. They also appear on the 3-City Cures sold from the Toronto Office and the early 4-Cities bottles from the Dundein Office (which were likely made in the United States).

MEDICINE COLLAR – this lip is noticeably present on some of the half pint varieties of the early Warner’s Safe Cures, such as the Safe Bitters and Safe Tonic, but not the Safe Tonic Bitters.

BLOB COLLAR – The blob collar is perhaps the most extensively used lip among Warner’s Safe Remedies. It effectively replaced the double collar and medicine collar lips and appeared in all variety of Safe Cures from almost all of the foreign offices, with the exception of Toronto. It was also used in the Log Cabin Remedies bottles.

FLARED OR TIPPECANOE – this lip is fairly unique among antique bottles and Warner even took out a patent on the Tippecanoe bottle design to protect it from imitators. Its mushroom lip is attached to the familiar log shaped bottle embossed with a canoe.

SMALL SQUARE LIP – the small square lip was less common than its large brother, but appeared in several Warner bottles, namely the sample bottles both from Rochester and London.

LARGE SQUARE LIP – the large square lip or collar graced later Warner bottles, most notably the Warner’s Safe Remedies Co. bottles in their various colors.

These represent the principal types of lips found on Warner’s Safe bottles. You will undoubtedly find some examples that are exagerated or diminished versions of these styles. Many thanks to Ed Ojea for assistance with the photos and for being the first to categorize Warner bottles based on lip type in his Warner’s Reference Guide. Watch those lips!


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