Bromo-Seltzer King

The Opulent Life of Captain Isaac “Ike” Emerson, 1859–1931

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About the Book

Captain Isaac “Ike” Emerson, riding high on the international success of his patent, Bromo-Seltzer, lived a storied life of opulence. This first biography of the “Bromo-Seltzer King” traces his path from North Carolina farm boy to Baltimore-based multimillionaire with a penchant for lavish entertaining.
Emerson is presented as an entrepreneur, patriot, civic leader, sportsman, and philanthropist. He was a phenom in his era, and this book, drawing from archival records, newspapers of the day, and interviews with descendants, details the ups and downs of his complex and indulgent life.

About the Author(s)

Bob Luke is also the author of six books about baseball and race in America. He lives in Garrett Park, Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

Bob Luke
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 214
Bibliographic Info: 30 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7482-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3687-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
Introduction 3
1—Arriving in Baltimore 7
2—Inventing ­Bromo-Seltzer 16
3—Leading the Naval Reserves 26
4—Breaking In 40
5—Separation Strains 47
6—Problems with the Nostrum 60
7—Arcadia 69
8—Coping with Marital Strife 78
9—Politics, Buildings and Jim Crow 93
10—Vanderbilts 101
11—Fresh Starts 115
12—Building, Divorcing and Marrying 124
13—New Projects 137
14—Those Marrying and Unmarrying Emersons 148
15—Changes Come to Bromo-Seltzer 158
Epilogue 167
Chapter Notes 169
Bibliography 189
Index 193