[Return to the Table of Contents]

Register of the Records of the



10 in.

MSS 59

Historical Background

Originally named Bosak Manufacturing Co., Gold Seal Manufacturing Co. was a wine and liquor distributing business begun by Michael Bosak (1869-1937) at the turn of the century.  Claimed to be "the richest Slovak in America," Bosak immigrated to the anthracite region of Eastern Pennsylvania in 1886.  By 1890, Bosak was working for Slovak merchants, taking orders and delivering merchandise.  He purchased a barroom in Olyphant, Pennsylvania in 1893 and soon established himself as a wholesale distributor of liquor and beer.

Bosak's delivery route turned into a network of Slovak immigrants seeking his help in purchasing steamship tickets and exchanging foreign currency.  Bosak established a private bank in 1897 which grew into Bosak State Bank by 1915.  He organized numerous financial institutions in Northeastern Pennsylvania and was president of the Miners Savings Bank of Olyphant and the Pennsylvania Bank and Trust Company of WilkesBarre.  With the fall of the stock market in 1929, Bosak's banks faltered and finally closed in 1931.  His properties and businesses were eventually sold to cover the liquidation costs and the deposits.

Bosak Manufacturing Co. was an outgrowth of Bosak's wholesale liquor distribution business.  The company made Bosak's Horke Vino, a winebased elixir for ills such as constipation and loss of appetite.  During Prohibition this popular product came under the scrutiny of U.S. Treasury officials who wanted proof of Horke Vino's medicinal qualities.

The company changed ownership in the 1920s, first to James A. Doherty and then to Frank Chipak.  At this time, the name of the company was changed to Gold Seal Manufacturing Company.  They continued to produce and sell Bosak's Horke Vino.  When Chipak retired in the early 1960s, the company closed.


The Gold Seal Manufacturing Co. Records were donated to the Balch Institute in 1984 by Frank Chipak, Jr.  Artifacts were separated to the Balch Museum, and printed materials were transferred to the library.  The photographs are organized in Photo Group 237 and are cataloged in the visual catalog.

Accession # M84-19.


The records (10 inches) are sparse and do not reveal much about the history of the company or the operation of the business.  The early years (i.e., during Bosak's ownership) are not represented at all.  The bulk of the material falls between 1930 through 1958 and covers the process of acquiring from distributors the port wine used in Horke Vino and getting approval and releases from the Pennsylvania Liquor Board.

Of note is the correspondence with the Treasury Department during Prohibition and the laboratory test proving Horke Vino a medicinal wine and not a beverage.  Other interesting items include Horke Vino, bottle labels, advertising blotters, and product catalogs.

Half of the collection contains personal papers, mainly financial records, of Frank Chipak.  The passbooks may refer to the business, but the connection is unclear.

The box list of the register of the records of Gold Seal Manufacturing Company is four pages long.