Masury's Sarsaparilla
"The Largest Bottle in the World"



Around 1850 there was a lot of competition between sarsaparilla compound medicine makers. Two of the biggest selling products were A B & D Sand's Sarsaparilla and Masury's Sarsaparilla. These companies were always looking for gimmicks to help peddle thier nostrums. One successful approach was to offer a larger bottle for the same money. The customer would feel like they were getting a real deal while there would be little increased cost in manufacturing. Both medicines sold in massive quart bottles and their advertising emphasized the volume deal. The proprietors of Masury's Sarsaparilla, J & T Hawks of Rochester, decided to go for broke and they produced the product in an enormous two quart bottle which they claimed was the largest in the world. Apparently customers were not enthralled with this huge bottle and a relatively few seemed to have sold. It may have just been too big to haul home from the market or the manufacturing cost may have caught up with them.

The 1850 ad at the right indicates the medicine price was $1.00, quite a lot of money in at the time. Note near the bottle the claim "The Largest Bottle in the World"


A competing ad (right) for Sand's Sarsaparilla portrays a huge bottle.

The dollar size bottle (below) is quite impressive.

By comparison the one quart Masury's Sarsaparilla Compound was very bulky looking even though it probably held a similar volume.

The enormous two quart bottle stands and impressive 11 inches tall and was one of the largest medicines made. (sorry about the poor photo off fleabay, I don't own one to photograph). The bottle was embossed ...


In addition to being famous for his huge bottle John Masury also produced a rare cobalt version of his Sarsaparilla. I'm not sure if this was done as another gimmick or if it was produced as a limited show room/presentation model. Whatever the reason it is one of the rarest medicines.