Louis Taussig (ca. 1856-1918)
John Thomas ("Whiskey Bottles of the Old West") and the Wilsons ("Spirits Bottles of the Old West") both note that letterheads from the various Louis Taussig operations assert that he first became established in the liquor trade in 1856. The location remains unknown, but he's most famous for his San Francisco businesses. In 1864 he took over control of the wholesale liquor establishment owned by Louis Altschul & Co. and located at 723 Sansome St. Taussig had been a silent partner in the company up until then. By 1873, the company name had changed to Louis Taussig & Co., reflecting a new partnership with Adolph Eisenbach and Adolph Fried, and the business premises moved to the SW corner of Battery & Sacramento Sts.
|The rare light amber slug plate fifth shown at right is the oldest known Taussig & Co. embossed bottle, dating to around 1880-1883. Less than 10 examples of this bottle are known to exist.|
Taussig Co. became one of the largest wholesale outfits in the west, eventually expanding
into Cincinnati (located at 15 Sycamore St.) and New York City (at 9 Delancy St.). Louis Taussig ceded control to Gabriel Taussig in the 1880's
but the family continued
operations up until Prohibition.
Louis, meanwhile, became a real-estate broker, operating out of the company's wholesale liquor house at 26 & 28 Main Street. The pint and half-pint flasks pictured above are survivors from this business. They date to ca. 1884-1886 and are rare, with less than 10 examples extant. Remember that San Francisco was devastated by earthquake in 1906. Glass and earthquakes are not a happy combination, so it's not surprising that so few bottles from before this time have survived. The Taussig Co. was almost wiped out by the earthquake and fire that followed, but it recovered quickly and continued operations until Prohibition.