Sealing is Believing

August 5, 2020

Before the middle of the 20th century, whiskey and bourbon bottles weren’t very appealing. But one woman changed all that in the late 1950s. Her name was Marjorie.

When Marjorie entered a liquor store, she was tired of seeing the same bulbous-shaped bourbon bottles with names like “Old Cornelius” or “White Horse”. Marjorie knew, as co-founder of her own bourbon brand, that hers would need to stand out. So she set up a drafting table in her basement and went to work.

Marjorie liked the look of French Cognac decanters and the wax that was used to seal the cork instead of industrial tape. But she wanted her wax seal to stand out more, so she fired up the deep fryer in her kitchen and played with different viscosities of wax and added different color pigments until she had exactly what she was looking for. She would then dip the curvy bottle into her wax invention, and let the wax form bright red tendrils down the side.

Next, she needed a name for her bourbon. One of Marjorie’s hobbies when not creating her signature bottle was collecting fine pewter. Marjorie always made sure to search for the “mark of the maker” when she added to her pewter collection. And that’s when it dawned on her.

Marjorie’s bottle design revolutionized liquor packaging. Today, when you walk into a liquor store and see the red wax dripping down the bottle, now you’ll know the story of how Maker’s Mark came to be, and the women, Marjorie Samuels, who proved that the outside of the bottle can be as good as what’s inside.