Original Billhead - A. Finke's Widow, San Francisco, California

By: A. Finke's Widow

Price: $25.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Collectible-Very Good


Original billhead on blue paper with printed text in black ink. Billhead has a decorative letterhead that reads, "A. Finke's Widow, Manufacturers of High Grade Sparkling Wines, Growers and Dealers in California Wines and Brandies; Established 1864." No date, circa 1910. Billhead has a blank fill-in date for the 1900s ("19__"). San Francisco, California. 7" x 8 1/4." Billhead is very clean and intact. Center vertical fold line and very slight wrinkling and few small, faint stains at the top. Also printed on the billhead are the names of the proprietors, E. O. Schraubstadter and E. A. Groezinger, cable address "Finke," telephone number "Kearny 709," and address of the "office and vaults" at 809 Montgomery St. "Schmidt Litho. Co. S.F." printed in upper-right corner. Alois Finke was an Austrian-American winemaker who specialized in artificially carbonated white wines. The brand name, "A. Finke's Widow," came into use after Gottlieb (or Gottlob) Groezinger, a German-American businessman and food and wine connoisseur, took over the business after Finke's passing in 1874. The name is a nod to the famous Veuve Clicquot ("widow Clicquot" in French) champagne. Notably, A. Finke's Widow was indicted for mislabeling by the federal government after a 1906 federal rule deemed that any artificially carbonated beverages cannot be called "sparkling" (as seen here on the billhead). In a similar case, A. Finke's Widow was also indicted for using the term, "champagne," which is reserved only for wines that originate from Champagne, France. By 1915, A. Finke's Widow was among the most popular "sparkling" wines in the western United States and Canada. Prohibition brought about the end of the company, but its brand name reappeared years later after Prohibition's repeal and exists to this day as "Finke's Widow."