Noakes House Silent Auction Items: Bromo-Seltzer Bottles

The reception and silent auction to celebrate the completion of the Samuel Noakes House on March 9 is drawing closer. While we count down until March 9, a number of items that will be available at the auction will be highlighted in the PHW blog.

This attractive blue Bromo-Seltzer bottle is one of several uncovered in the Noakes House. Originally produced by Emerson Drug Company of Baltimore, Maryland, Bromo-Seltzer was an antacid with pain relievers. It was touted to cure “Nervous Headache, Neuralgia, Brain Fatigue, Sleeplessness, Mental Exhaustion, Alcoholic Excesses &c.”

The product took its name from a component of the original formula, sodium bromide, a tranquilizer. It also contained acetanilide, an analgesic ingredient. Both sodium bromide and acentanilide were identified as toxic and potentially lethal substances. Bromo-Seltzer survived the Pure Food and Drugs Law of 1906, aimed at clearing out dangerous and ineffective medicines, with only minor alterations. Production of Bromo-Seltzer continued with an altered formula until recent years.

The Bromo-Seltzer bottles found in the Noakes House likely predate 1916, as they lack the Maryland Glass Works company mark typically seen embossed on the bottom of the bottles. A postcard postmarked 1913 found in the Noakes House features the Bromo-Seltzer Tower, constructed in 1911, which seems to corroborate this timeframe for the bottles.

Find much more of the fascinating history on Bromo-Seltzer, its bottles, and its signature tower in Baltimore at, and

If you’d like to own this piece of history, tickets are still available for both the afternoon and evening reception and silent auction on March 9. The Bromo-Seltzer bottles will be part of the afternoon auction items. Reserve your spot online via PayPal, or make your reservation by mailing in a check payable to PHW to 530 Amherst St., Winchester, VA 22601.

Afternoon Showing, 3-5 p.m. – $20 admission

Evening Showing, 6-8 p.m. – $30 admission