For sale is an early 1900s vintage SCOTT’S EMULSION COD LIVER OIL Bottle. This apothecary bottle is embossed with a fisherman carrying a man-size cod over his shoulder. Bottle is embossed “SCOTT’S EMULSION COD LIVER OIL WITH LIME and SODA”. Bottle stands about 9 1/4″ tall. No chips or breaks but bottle has some surface scratches and residue inside the bottle. A great collectible.
Even the most steadfast proponents of cod-liver oil, such as de Jongh and Bennett, admitted that the highly disagreeable taste and smell presented a significant hurdle to its use. In 1873, Alfred B. Scott came to New York City and, along with partner Samuel W. Bowne, began experimenting to produce a less nauseating preparation of cod-liver oil. Three years later they established the firm of Scott and Bowne, and began marketing their product as Scott’s Emulsion. Though not a doctor or pharmacist by training, Scott had the eye for opportunity that was necessary for achievement in business. Advertising, the two men believed, would propel their product to success.
The man with the fish on his back first appeared on Scott’s Emulsion around 1884 and became Scott and Bowne’s trademark in 1890. As Scott told it, he saw this fisherman with his record-breaking catch while on business in Norway. A photographer was quickly found to record the scene; later the photo was faithfully reproduced and registered as the company’s trademark. Trade cards and booklets featured the fisherman and his catch along with the words, “Scene taken from life on the coast of Norway” and “This Codfish, weighing 156 pounds, was caught off the coast of Norway.” The realistic image, a direct reference to the natural source of the medicine, served as a reassurance of quality in a marketplace of adulterated goods.