Gold Seal Rye Shot Glass. Hellman & Co St Louis, MO

The A.M. Hellman Company was one of the most prolific whiskey distillers in the United States prior to the turn of prohibition in 1933.   The company was known for their Old Crow brand of whiskey, but as this shot glass shows, they also advertised often for their Gold Seal brand of rye whiskey.   The company produced many brands of whiskey, including names such as Arlington Club Bourbon, Arnold’s Rye, Elk Spring Bourbon, Elk Spring Rye, Hellman Cedar Grove Bourbon, Home Place Rye, O.V. F. Bourbon, and Silver Spring Rye in addition to the Old Crow brand of whiskey.

The Hellman clan eventually got sued by another company which claimed they had started the Old Crow Brand prior to the Hellman’s taking on the name also.  Keep in mind this was a time when the internet was not available, and brand names were often used interchangeably, sometimes without ill intent.  The names simply were seemingly appropriate for a brand, and companies hundreds of miles or thousands of miles from each other may not realize another company was using a identical name, especially a common name like Old Crow.  Needless to say, the Hellman Family lost the lawsuit, and at the same time, lost one of their flagship brand names at the same time.  The start of prohibition in 1919 pretty well ended the Hellman companies great run in St. Louis.  However, etched shot glasses like this remain today helping remind us of their once dominant industrial run in the early 1900’s.