Glenn enjoys collecting amazing vintage items as a fun and educational way to relive the joys of the past.
McCormick Paid Tribute to Historical Events and the People
Back in the year 1976, the United States was 200 years old. This was a huge bicentennial year full of celebrations and many observances during this era. Many companies, like McCormick, paid tribute to historical events and the people that were important in leading up to the creation of this nation, from being a collection of thirteen colonies to the United States of America winning its independence and becoming its own republic. The Whiskey Decanters by McCormick was a huge success in this marking strategy. The Bicentennial Vintage "Patriots Series" Whiskey Decanters by McCormick had as its focus the central events of 1776 and the memory of the American Revolution.
Washington: The Central Figure of the McCormick Collection
George Washington was the central figure of the McCormick's Bicentennial Decanter collection. George was born in Colonial Virginia into a family of a wealthy planter. His family owned many tobacco plantations and many slaves. When he reached adulthood, he inherited a great deal from his family. In his youth, George Washington became a very well-known and respected senior officer in the colonial militia during the early stages of the epic French and Indian War. It was in the year 1775 that the Second Continental Congress commissioned George Washington to be commander-in-chief of the newly formed Continental Army, which was going to be known throughout Europe and the world during the American Revolution against the British Empire.
McCormick Decanter, George Washington, and the Continental Army
George Washington, Aristocrat Turned Rebel, McCormick Decanter, George Washington of the Continental Army, First President of the United States of America, the man who could possibly have been king but refused, has come through two hundred years of American History as "The Father of His Country." George Washington was General Washington in command of a hodgepodge of untrained, undisciplined, and often unwilling militiamen with terms of service that were due to expire in six months or less. Yet, he took these green troops to relieve the Massachusetts Militia in their siege of Boston and, moreover, was able to hold seasoned British regiments in check until the colonists could organize themselves for the ordeal to come.
Things to Know When Collecting McCormick's Bicentennial Decanters
- In collecting McCormick's Bicentennial Decanters, you will find that a full decanter is worth the same as the empty one.
- Not having the liquor tax stamp on the McCormick decanter will not lower the collector value of the piece.
- Some McCormick collectors do prefer to empty their decanters for safety reasons. This is a very good precaution measure in the long run. It is better than allowing the whiskey contents to ruin the delicate and porous ceramic that the decanters are made from.
- These decanters were made with a great deal of care by the American Porcelain Company. As always the collector should keep the beautifully painted American Patriot’s decanters out of direct sunlight to prevent fading of the brilliant colors.
1976 McCormick and the Patriots, American's Best-Know Patriots
It is especially appropriate that the McCormick Distillery is the one to bring out this fully authentic series of collector bottles representing American's best know Patriots in Commemoration of the Bicentennial celebration. McCormick is American's oldest operating distillery. And McCormick was founded in 1856 by Ben Holladay, the legendary "king of hurry", operator of the Overland stage, a backer of the Pony Express. The lore of America...and McCormick straight bourbon whiskey can be considered so too.
McCormick Collector Bottles Sculptured by Skilled Craftsmen
Ben Holladay started the McCormick Distillery at the booming frontier town of Weston, Missouri, beside a sparking pure limestone spring that had been charted by Lewis and Clark. Over the years Ben's enterprise has endured and is now American's oldest operating distillery. The McCormick Collector Bottles in this series are as true to life as a serious study of historic records and portraits can make them. They have been sculptured and hand-painted by skilled craftsmen to be authentic portraits of the Patriots they represent. Every serious bottle collector and student of America's early history will want the entire McCormick Patriot Series.
The McCormick Decanter Should be Empty Before Displaying
In the McCormick Bicentennial decanters that I have collected over the years I found it is best not to keep the whiskey in the bottle, because keeping any strong alcohol or whiskey in sealed porcelain decanters does not increase the value of the decanter, if anything it will weaken the aging cork, and it makes the collectible decanter harder to sell. You cannot sell alcohol on the internet without proper licenses, and most collectors will not ship the collectible Bicentennial decanters full of whiskey in the mail for it is not allowed. It is best to empty the decanters in your collection, as over time the porcelain my become discolored from the whiskey in the container. Porcelain by its delicate nature is porous and over time the liquor could leak out and this could be a hazard, especially for children.
Keeping Your McCormick 1976 Bicentennial Decanter Safe
- I would also suggest that if you find a McCormick Bicentennial Decanter that still has a seal on it, and is full of whiskey, please use wisdom to make sure to keep it someplace safe, dry, and out of reach of children.
- When storing your McCormick Bicentennial decanters you need to handle them with great care. Being made of fine porcelain they can easily get chips, scratches, and cracks; and this type of damage will affect the value of the collectible McCormick decanters.
1976 McCormick Bicentennial Decanter: A Good Historic Center
I think these McCormick Bicentennial Decanter make a good historic center to add to other decanter collections, McCormick has many more decanters to build a collection with, and many of these masterpieces can be found on eBay. There are gunfighters, presidents, famous people like Elvis and much more. Some of the most breathtaking I have seen made by other liquor companies are thoroughbred horses, and war heroes on beautiful horses.
1779: Betsy Ross, A Young Widower, Made the United States Flag
Early in June of 1776, Betsy Ross, A young widower keeper of a small upholstery shop in Philadelphia, received three distinguished visitors. Towering authoritatively, over six feet tall, was George Washington. Almost in his shadow came Robert Morris, Know for his liberal financial aid to the cause of independence; and ushering them in, the florid Colonel George Ross, member of the Continental Congress, eager signer of the Declaration of Independence, and uncle of Betsy's late husband John. It was his influence that had brought this secretly empowered committed to Betsy Ross's parlor.
1976 McCormick Bicentennial Decanter, Betsy Ross
1776: Betsy's Thoughts for the Flag Were Accepted Enthusiastically
With greetings and introductions completed, the three men came to the point of their visit. "We want you to make a flag for us," Betsy told the story to her grandchildren many years later how George Washington produced a drawing of what he and his committee thought the flag should be. She related how she had studied it and made suggestions: the stars should have five pints, not six; and all the stars should be equal in size and position...in a circle...so none of the newly united states should be jealous of, or claim superiority over the rest. Betsy's thoughts were accepted enthusiastically, and George Washington, pencil in hand, sketched the new flag as she described it. Thus the stars and stripes were born!
Betsy Ross Was the Only Woman on the McCormack Decanters
Betsy Ross was the only woman on the commemorative McCormick decanters for the Bicentennial year of 1976. She was well known as the woman who made the United States Flag, she made many flags for the colony, and soon to be state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania had formed its own navy during war with Great Britain during the American Revolution. The flags that Betsy Ross made for the Pennsylvania navy were overseen by the newly formed Pennsylvania Navy Board. They were very impressed with Betsy’s flag designs and so soon the word spread of her designs and she became a legend.
McCormick Bicentennial Decanter Collection: “Thomas Jefferson”
McCormick Bicentennial Decanter Collection made one of the model subject “Thomas Jefferson”. He was the master many disciplines, which ranged from the surveying of large tracks of land for development, making mathematics practical of every day usage, and Thomas Jefferson made many advancements in horticulture and the mechanics of structures and equipment. Thomas was an amazing architect and designed many fine structures that have wonderful classical beauty.
Jefferson: A True Renaissance Man for the Bicentennial Collection
A true renaissance man, Thomas Jefferson had a very keen interest in the study of religion and his knowledge of philosophy also earned him the presidency of the prestigious American Philosophical Society. Although Thomas was a deeply spiritual man he shunned organized religion, but he was greatly influenced by both the study of Christianity and of deism. Thomas Jefferson was well versed and had a great interested in linguistics, he spoke several European languages.
The Bicentennial McCormick decanter of Patrick Henry (1736-1799) is very well made. Patrick was known as the orator of the Revolution, and he inspired many others in the colonies to accept the Declaration of Independence as written by his patriotic friend Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. Patrick famously said, "I know now what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death". Decanter produced in 1975 for the 1976 Bicentennial and is part of the Patriots Series. This beautiful decanter is a whopping 13.5 inches tall.
1976: Patrick Henry, Orator of the Revolution, by McCormick Distilling
Patrick Henry, Orator of the Revolution, by McCormick Distilling Company, the American Porcelain Company ... A tense uncertainty had gripped the British colonies in North America since the Boston Port Act had been passed by Parliament in March 1774. The colonists had reacted to this burdensome port closure by organizing a provincial government body called the First Continental Congress which met in Philadelphia. Virginia had chosen the young and audacious Patrick Henry as one of that colony's delegates.
Patrick Henry Had Already Gained Fame as a Colonial Lawyer
Patrick Henry had already gained fame as the lawyer for the colony in the celebrated "Parson's Cause", as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses representing the Piedmont area, and for his part in opposing the obnoxious Stamp Tax. He had become a favorite politician of the back-country small farmer and attempted to justify their faith in him. Though the early years of the Revolution, Patrick Henry struggled with the organization of Virginia's government while opposing attempts of the Continental Congress to usurp the rights of his state. He also defended George Washington from the intrigues that tried to put command of the Continental Army in other hands.
The Wonderful 1976 Bicentennial Decanter of John Hancock
The photo below shows the wonderful Bicentennial Decanter of John Hancock. John was one of most influential leaders in Boston during the economic crisis that led to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War against Great Britain in 1775. John served more than two full years in the newly formed Continental Congress in Philadelphia, and Mr. Hancock was the very first man to sign the Declaration of Independence, and his signature is the most prominent. John Hancock held his position as the president of Congress.
Let King George Read My Name Without His Spectacles: Hancock
It was July 4, 1776. Philadelphia steamed with more than the sticky heart of midsummer as the delegates of the thirteen colonies to the Second Continental Congress assembled. They were gathered here to enact the most important piece of business that they as a congress were ever to do. Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, and John Adams of Massachusetts had compose a Declaration of Independence addressed to King George the Third of England. With every though of continued acceptance of British rule forgotten, the delegates listened to a final reading of this Declaration. Having heard the succinct but brief statement of philosophy and grievance, they crowed forward to put their signatures to the document. The first signature, with great flourish, was that of the President of the Congress. Tradition has it as he signed, John Hancock commented, "Let King George read my name without his spectacles, and let him double the price he has on my head!"
The McCormick's "The British are Coming": 1967 Paul Revere
The McCormick Liquor Company did a good job on this decanter. Having Paul riding his horse warning the citizens of the invading British army. Because Paul Revere was immortalized after his death for very brave and patriotic role as a messenger that the British are coming to the American minutemen in the battles of Lexington and Concord, he has become a simple of the spirit of 1776.
Paul Revere: Messenger of Revolution, McCormick Distilling Co
Paul Revere, Messenger of Revolution, McCormick Distilling Co ... Boston, the largest city in New England in 1775, was in turmoil. Being punished by the British Government for its part in the Boston Tea Party, the port was closed and blockaded by the British fleet. There also was a suspicion in the minds of the revolutionary clique in the city that the British Government intended to seize munitions and supplies the colonial rebels had stockpiled at Concord. The government hoped by this action to prevent fourth colonial revolt. Paul Revere a silversmith, was to be the messenger to carry word of British troop actions to Provisional government leaders at Concord as soon as the British Route could be determined. Paul Revere had become a silversmith, following his father in the trade. The family being Huguenot, had fled France when Protestants had faced prosecution in their home land. This probably instilled in the mind of the young man a love of liberty.
Paul Revere, a Patriotic Symbol for the Bicentennial Era of 1976
Paul Revere has been a house hold name for many years in the United States, and his legendary "midnight ride" is well-known to most American school children. Paul Revere is probably one of the most remembered person that is known as a patriotic symbol. In his lifetime, Paul was also a well-known and very prosperous, and creative Boston silversmith and craftsman.
John Paul Jones: A Great United States Naval Commander
John Paul Jones was born on July 6, 1747 and he died on July 18, 1792. In the American Revolutionary War John Paul Jones was the United States very first well-known naval commander … John Paul Jones made many friendsover the length of his military service, and he made many enemies across the depths of the seas, many of whom accused him of piracy.
John Paul Jones Was a Founding Father of the American Navy
John Paul Jones was well known among America's political elites of his time. During the breakaway of the colonies from the British rule his actions of piracy in British waters during the Revolution earned him a rather bad international reputation as a pirate which persists to this day. But in the United States he is usually referred to as one of the founding father of the American Navy, along with John Barry and John Adams he has joined the pantheon of American heroes. Amazingly later in his career John Paul Jones served in the service of the Imperial Russian Navy, and received the rank of rear admiral.
Home base of the 1976 McCormick Patriots Decanters, Holladay Distillery, McCormick Distilling Company, Weston Missouri
Questions & Answers
Question: How many of each Americana Patriots Series decanter was manufactured in 1976?
Answer: To the best of my knowledge the Spirit of 1776 America's 200th Anniversary was a Series of Nine:
Music box (Yankee Doodle Dandy)
George Washington 1732-1799
Betsy Ross 1752-1836
Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826
Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790
Paul Revere 1735-1818
Patrick Henry 1736-1799
John Paul Jones 1747-1792
John Hancock 1737-1793
Question: What would bicentennial vintage "Patriots Series" decanters by McCormick sell for?
Answer: That depends on how MINT they are, a complete collection in mint condition will all the boxes could bring a princely sum up to two thousand dollars from some collectors, but the price is much lower in there are issues, such as missing corks, chips, or damaged or missing boxes. Still, a complete Bicentennial collection of the Patriots that presents itself well could fetch several hundred dollars.
Michael R Davis on March 17, 2019:
Hi, I have the 8 Mccormick Patriot Series whiskey bottles in miniature size 5" to 7", and a wooden case which can hang on a wall for display. All bottles are excellent condition. Any one know what price might I get? Where should I post them?
Glenn Waters (author) on November 09, 2017:
Thank you Mary for your comment, yes they are very Americana :) My Grandfather had the whole set back in the 1970s, he kept them proudly on a built-in den bookcase next to his fireplace, right above his Americana Encyclopedias ... They are very well made hand painted porcelain decanters, and amazingly lifelike. 1976 was a fun time for me, and these little statues help me keep those happy memories alive.
Mary Wickison from Brazil on November 09, 2017:
Wow, I've seen these before. I imagine they have a strong following and are popular with the collectors.
Even people who don't drink but collector Americana articles would love these.