Tuesday, June 2, 2015

page 30 -- celluloid collar and cuff, Malt Bitters Company

updated 6 December 2017
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Highly recommended for the curious is Jane E. Boyd's excellent article, "Celluloid, the Eternal Substitute" in Chemical Heritage Magazine. Not only does Boyd discuss the characteristics of the process, the author also examines the social implications of its use.

(published by Doerner & Gunther. Lith. 62 Duane St. N.Y., 1870)
Prejudice against Chinese immigrants was rampant in post Civil War America. The quote from the card above conveys the desire of some Americans to send those of Chinese ancestry back to China. This seems to be a repetitive theme in world history. Americans even established a country--Liberia--to receive African-Americans sent back from America. In the 21st century America is trying to send the Mexicans, Bolivians, etc. back to their home countries while supporting Israel as a homeland for Jews. Folks who know about these matters have a name for this--the politics of exclusion.

Here's a quote from Google Books:

From About.com, "A Visual History of Chinese Laundries in Social Culture" by laundry expert  Mary Marlowe Leverette,  illustrates just how widely the anti-Chinese sentiment of this period of American history has been recognized by 21st century Americans. Here's what Leverette has to say about the above card:
While this card advertises the patented waterproof celluloid collars and cuffs available in gents' furnishing and fancy good houses across the country; it also reflects the discriminatory movement to send Chinese immigrants back to China that was prevalent in the 1880s in America. The term "Melican Man" is a racial joke of how the immigrants pronounced "American Man".
In 1882 the US Congress passed and President Arthur signed into law the shameful  "Chinese Exclusion Act"  which was designed to exclude ethnic Chinese from entering the country.

Discrimination against those of actual or perceived Chinese ancestry continues into the 21st century, as demonstrated by this YouTube interview:

publisher: Forbes Co., Boston
The reverse of this card from East Carolina University:

Ad from the Carroll Herald, 15 Sept. 1880:

From the Art of Drink comes this recipe for Malt Bitters:

"Malt Bitters

"Malt was often thought to be the perfect and most digestible food in the 1800s, at least from a medicinal stand point. Malt bitters was often promoted as the perfect combination of medicine and a food. It was recommended for the weak, convalescent, dyspeptic and fickle.  Even though malt is nutritious, in the following bitters recipe it simply adds some flavour and sweetness.

Malt Bitters Recipe:

Sweet Orange Peel
60 g

Bitter Orange Peel
60 g

Red Cinchona
30 g

Angostura Bark
30 g

30 g

Cinnamon Bark
30 g

1.4 L
Malt Extract, liquid
1.4 L
1.0 L


"Nix the spices and reduce to a fine powder and extract by percolation with the alcohol. To the liquid mix the malt extract."

A search for the Malt Bitters Company on Google Images provides a sampling of cards and bottles the company used for advertising:

Other advertising utilized the power of the written word. According to this excerpt from Google Books,

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