Friday, April 22, 2016

A Life Found in a Bottle "Adolph J. Linser Pharmacist Amsterdam Ave. & 167 St NY"

An old purple medicine bottle was found with a pharmacist's label stamped into the glass: Adolph J. Linser Pharmacist Amsterdam Ave & 167 St. NY.  This bottle allows us to look into the life of this individual at a particular point in the history of this city near Highbridge Park.

Adolph Joseph Linser was born in Austria on July 2, 1869 to Joseph and Hannah (nee Malin) Linser. The family immigrated to the United States in 1870 when he was one year of age.  He was apparently educated in the United States and as a youth of 14 years of age he matriculated in pharmacy training.

One can only imagine the state of pharmacological science education in the 1880s. After all, this was in an era before the Food and Drug Administration which was created by the establishment of the FDA in 1906.

The Pharmaceutical ERA, 1887, shows that Adolph Linser passed the examination of the Board of Pharmacy as a Pharmacist, in Brooklyn, NY at the age of about 18.

Adolph Linser married Anna Loewe, age 17, on March 15, 1891 in New York City.  Anna's parents were August Loewe and Frances Neuschwanter. Anna was born in New York City in 1874.

The Bulletin of Pharmacy for 1894 shows Adolph J. Linser is operating as a Pharmacist in  New York City.

The Pharmaceutical ERA March 3, 1898 shows "A. J. Linser has succeeded  Dr. H.M.S. King in the proprietorship of the pharmacy long operated by the latter at 2161 Amsterdam Ave. in Manhattan. This is the location that is stamped on the the medicine bottle illustrated above.

The Printers' Ink, April 6, 1898, shows Adolph J. Linser at  having a business at 2161 Amsterdam Ave. near 167th St.

Trow's Business Directory of Manhattan for 1898 shows Adolph J. Linser, Pharmacist, 2161 Amsterdam Ave.

The 1900 US Census shows Adolph Linser and his family of two children living in Washington Heights section of Manhattan.

The ERA Druggists' Directory for 1906, shows A. Linser operating a pharmacy at 2161 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY.

Sometime between 1906 and 1910 Adolph Linser appears to have ceased operating his pharmacy on Amsterdam Ave. and opened a pharmacy in Newark, NJ.  Therefore, the bottle pictured above is from between 1898 and 1910, and more likely from between 1899 and 1909.

The ERA Druggists' Directory for 1908 and 1910,  does not show A. Linser.  However, the 1910 US Census shows Adolph Linser as living in Newark, NJ.

The ERA Druggists' Directory for 1911 and 1913, show A. Linser at 108 Bowery, Newark, NJ.

The 1915 New Jersey State Census shows Adolph Linser residing in Newark, NJ.

The Newark, NJ Business Directory for 1916 shows Adolph J. Linser, Pharmacist,  located at 108 Bowery in that city.

The Practical Druggist, March, 1916 "A. J. Linser succeeds Chas. Turner at 1759 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn"  So, it appears that Adolph gave up his business in Newark around 1916 and moved to Brooklyn.

In the Journal of the National Association of Retail Druggists in 1917, it states "at a meeting held December 13, the Greater Ridgewood (Brooklyn, NY) Pharmaceutical Association elected the following officers:  A. J. Linser, President..."

The New York Times reported the Federal Court Calendar for the Eastern District of New York on Sept. 19, 1919 including a motion in a Bankruptcy Proceeding for Adolf J. Linser.

The 1920 US Census shows Adolph J Linser living in Queens, NY.

The New York Times reported on April 19, 1928 that A. J. Linser of Englewood, NJ has bought two plots in the Country Club Estates development at Teaneck, NJ. 

The 1930 US Census shows Adolph J Linser living in Bergenfield NJ.  Virginia B. Linser is listed as his wife.  Did Adolph's first wife, Anna, die prior to the 1930 census?  She would have been 56 years of age in 1930.  Or, more likely, was Adolph divorced from Anna?  Records show that there was an Anna Linser who was also born in 1874, died in Brooklyn in 1948. This would certainly point toward divorce.

The 1940 US Census shows Adolph J Linser, age 70, born in 1869 in Austria, being a naturalized US citizen and living at 166 Jefferson Ave., Tenafly, NJ., married to Virginia B. Linser, age 64.  It also shows that in 1935 the family lived in Essex County NJ (Newark?)

Adolph Linser died on April 1, 1963 at the age of 93.  The death certificate indicated that Adolph resided in New York City.

Adolph Linser and his first wife Anna (nee Loewe) had at least four children, including August, Elsie, Helen, and Ruth. 

Social Security number 141-14-0350 [indicating New Jersey, Social Security was enacted in 1935 and taxes were first collected in 1937].

Bottles stamped with the pharmacist's name and address were common during this period of time.

The bottle immediately above is from another local pharmacist on Amsterdam Ave. about 18 blocks to the south. It is embossed  "C.A. Henrichsen Pharmacist Cor. Amsterdam Ave and 149th St. N.Y. "
The bottle immediately above is yet another pharmacy bottle from F T Schmidt at the corner of Amsterdam Ave and 86th St.

In fact, embossed bottles were quite common during this era. Here (below) is a beer bottle embossed with  the initials JA and "Registered  Joseph Adler 1488 Amsterdam Ave., New York  This bottle not to be sold"

1488 Amsterdam Ave. is located in Harlem between 133rd and 134th Streets.

If anyone can add any additional information it would be greatly appreciated.
last revised 1/6/17

1 comment:

  1. That's amazing! There wasn't even a message in that bottle to tell you any of that, was there?