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F.O.E. / (next lines script) Rye Whiskey / 'Finest on Earth' / Distilled and Bottled By / James Thompson & Bro. / Louisville Ky.

ID#: PVV104
How do I buy this glass?
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Glass Category:Liquor advertising
Glass Type:Thin-walled shot
Label Type:Enamel transfer on side, gold border, black label on white enamel background, gold border.
Dimensions:2-7/16 " x 1-15/16 " x 1-7/16"
Edmonson:OASG, p. 76, entry #7
Jas. Thompson & Bro. listed from 1891-1919.

There appears to be no concensus on how James Thompson and the Glenmore distillery fits into the pre-pro landscape: every printed and online source gives a different version. The following knits together the common threads where substantiated by impartial government and city records:

James Thompson is reported to have been born in Londonderry, Ireland on May 5, 1855. He emigrated to the US in 1871.

In 1876, Thompson joined Brown, Chambers & Co., the company that was to become the Brown-Forman Co.

Somewhere around 1889 or 1890, Thompson leaves the company and sets up in partnership with his brother Francis P Thompson as Jas. Thompson & Bro.

In 1898, the R Monarch distillery in Owensboro (RD #24, 2 nd Dist.) enters bankruptcy.

In 1901, the Monarch distillery is put on the auction block and Jas. Thompson buys it for $30,000. It then becomes known as the Glenmore.

Downard (1980) maintains that Thompson renamed the Monarch after the castle that had stood near his home in Ireland, but Monarch had long been producing brands that included Kentucky Tavern and Glenmore at the plant. The distillery is also recorded to have been doing business as Glenmore Distilling Co. in 1889 or earlier. It is possible that Thompson & Bro already had a business relationship with the distillery before the acquisition, but regardless, the Glenmore Distilleries Co. name persisted.

Thompson's brother-in-law, H.S. Barton was made master distiller and manager, positions he held until 1919. The plant, one of the largest in the state at that time, had a capacity of 5500 bu. The Thompsons maintained the Glenmore as a concentration warehouse, bottling and distributing medicinal whiskey during prohibition.

Brand names used by this company include: "Kentucky Tavern", "Old Black Thorn", "Old Chauncey Bourbon", and "Old Velvet Corn."

Company name timeline:
James Thompson & Bro.

Address timeline:
138 W Main (1891-1897), 100-102 E Main (1902-1907), 143-145 W Main (1908-1909), 127 W Main (1909-1919)

Find out more about Jas. Thompson & Bro.

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