Glenn Poch's Bottle Collecting Newsletter 15

Bottle Newsletter #15
Jan/Feb 1997


Well a lot of bottle activity on the net in the past few months, new sites, new collectors, new ideas. One site that has put together a great collection of all bottle related places is Reggies Antique Bottle Page found at :
http://www.ipass.net/~rlynch/bottles/
Reggie is trying to start a use-net (chat group) for us bottle collecting folks, we need one hundred yes votes when the time comes: he has the whole proposal on his site above, as well as rec.antiques and some others, This mailing goes out to over a 150 names as it stands now so your help would be appreciated to start this new chat group.

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Commerative and Reproduction Bottles

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Some of the biggest producers of these bottles were Wheaton GlassWorks in Millville, New Jersey, the Clevenger Brothers who worked out of The Clevenger Brothers Glass Works in Clayton, New Jersey, Old Sturbridge Village from their gift shop in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and bottles reproduced by the Historical Bottle Colelctors Guild from Owens-Illinois, Inc.

The most accurately reproduced bottles were most like those from the Clevenger Brothers who were extremely gifted glass blowers in their own rights, they blew the bottles from many of the original molds making discerning these bottles difficult: some of the bottles that were reproduced by them were Washington-Taylor Flask GI-37 in many colors, Eagle-Cornucopia Flask GII-46 in many colors, Eagle-Bunch of Grapes GI-55 marked on some examples Clevenger Bros, Success to the Railroad GV-5 flask, Scroll Flask GIX-10 initals CB on it, and the “famous EG-BOOZ bottle” GVII-3, and GVII-4 which were very similar to the originals. The Clevengers blew numerous other bottles and freehand pieces all of execeptional quality, The fact that they were blowing glass from the early 1900’s give even some of the early glass and reproductions some merit of worth of their own. Many of the flasks and were blown in the early 1930’s and 40’s some as late as the 50’s perhaps 60’s. The only way to know for sure if a piece is clevenger or not is to handle the originals and study the very small differences, look for wear (although some will have because they are 50-70 years old now), look for odd colors, and to look close at the pontil and lip finish.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is making some great early glass reproductions, particularly in the Blown Three molds, the reproductions look orignial they are light in weight, I don’t belive any are pontil but I may be mistaken, You can identify these bottles as being reproductions by the initals MMA on the bottom of the piece.

The reproductions by the Historical Bottle Collectors Guild put out by the Owens-Illinois Inc. Works, were very acurate with the molds being made from the original bottles, there were four bottles commisioned by the HBCG they are all marked on the base with the logo of Owens-Illinois an I within an O. They made 3500 of each which originaly they sold for $27.50 in 1971. The four bottles are the Concentric Ring-Eagle Canteen Flask GII-76, Jacob’s Cabin Tonic Bitters GII-6, Columbia-Eagle Flask GI-117A, and the Star Whiskey Bottle in Slug plate. Also put out by the Owens-Illinois in 1929 was the A.Yoerger & Br., Alton, IL soda bottle with blob top, 600 were made.

Around 1964, Old Sturbridge Village sold some bottles at its gift shop, many were adaptions such as the fictious Cornucopia-Grasshopper flask , another made for this shop was the GIV-1 Masonic-Eagle flask some bearing the words Old Sturbridge Village. These bottles were made in Italy and Spain, I don’t know much about the bottles they produced.

Wheaton Glass-Works, has been making many adaptions and reproductions from the last 50 years +, they are the single largest bottle reproducers in the United States (if not the World). Everything form 2 inch minatures to 10” colored bottles, from fantasy bottles to real bottles in different forms. All of the bottles are marked Wheaton, N.J. on the bottom. Some of the more collectable bottles they put out were the presidential series in the late 60’s early 70’s, 22 different bottles in this series honored the presidents of the past and in 1974 over 1 1/2 million were sold. Wheaton bottles are regarded as a secondary bottle market item more of a collectible then truly valuable. While not having great worth now, they have potenital in time to gain substanital value.

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Distinguishing Colognes, Perfumes, Scents, & Toilet Waters

Can you tell the difference? Colognes, Perfumes, Scents, & Toilet Waters: (written by Wendy Poch)

For most of us, collectors included, these four terms generally mean one and the same. We see a bottle, whether a new one at a department store counter, or one that is 200 years old in someone's collection, and make comments like "What a beautiful perfume bottle!". People who have been collecting these unique bottles their whole lives are just as guilty at generalizing the terms as is the new collector or passer by at an antique shop or show. And while there is no harm in doing this, there really is a difference in these bottles, both in what they look like and what was inside them.The Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary describes these four terms as follows:

While these explanations may be fine for the scientist in a perfumery lab, they do nothing as far as the collector's world is concerned! So let me give the definitions as found in several different collector's books.

Our ancestors did not bathe very often and probably didn't smell that great most of the time. There was no such thing as "deoderant” as we know it today, and taking a bath was really quite a chore. It is no wonder that the perfume and cologne business was so incredibly popular back in the old days! The mixture of the contents dictated the size of the bottle that they were put in.

Scent bottles were generally very small. They usually, but not always, had a metal screw top to keep the ammonia inside the bottle. When the top was taken off, a sharp perfumed ammonia vapor came out which would revive a person who was fainting- These were most frequently used on women and were extremely popular due to those very tight corsets and many layers of clothing women had to wear in those days. Scent bottles were frequently free blown in a wide array of brilliant colors and shapes. By the 1800's they were often mold blown with the most popular colors being greens, blues, and yellows. These often had either the screw top or a metal stopper with a cork on the bottom of it. Scent bottles were often made to fit into one's glove or to be tucked 'into a sleeve for use when needed or to hang on a chain, often as a piece of jewelry, around a young lady’s neck.

Perfume bottles, which are much more con-common beginning in the early 1900's, are mainly found in the more modem collections. There is a very large market for perfume bottles 1900-??9 of all different types and sizes, although (outside of store displays) none are very large. However, a popular form of perfume bottles that were made from approximately 1880 - 191 0 are the "Throw-Aways". They contained only a small amount of perfume in them which was usually contained in a tiny glass tube in the center of the bottle. They were often found in gift shops, carnivals., etc.. and were designed to get you to try this long lasting fragrance in hopes that you would buy a bigger bottle. This brings us to colognes. Colognes were often made in the same fragrance as perfumes (as they are today). They come in bigger bottles, but they don't last as long. So, of course, you will have to buy more. Pretty Clever huh! In the antique collector's world colognes make up one of the most popular categories of collecting. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. These include many pontiled figural varieties. They were often very fancy, and have been dubbed "fancy colognes" because these bottles were found on display on one's dresser in a bedroom. They were most popular in the 1800's and were considered a luxury and for some, a symbol of status. Toilet waters are the biggest bottles that you will find. However, many cologne bottles were also used as toilet waters and vice versa. You may find a cologne bottle with a label that marks it as such and then later find the same bottle with a label that says "water for the toilet" on it, or better yet "cologne water for the toilet" - not that this would be at all confusing! There could be may reasons for this such as the glass houses wanting to save money, or a particular form of bottle was so popular that people wanted to have another. No one knows for sure. But while the looks of the bottle might be the same, the contents were different. The fragrance could be similar, but toilet water was incredibly diluted. It was made for splashing on after a bath not just for a dab or two. So you guessed it, you would have to buy a lot of it to keep using it!

Enclosed is a page of Click to view photo bottle pictures that may help to give you an idea of some of the different types of bottles in this family. Please keep in mind that this won't even scratch the surface of all the different types of bottles that are out there. But perhaps it might eliminate a little of the confusion about their names and contents.

(I'm going to attach a graphics file - I know many of you have text only browsers, so I hope some of you will get to view it, let me know how this turns out for future mailings)

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Applied Color Label SODAS

Since the beginnings of the bottled soda industry during the mid-1800's, competition has been fierce among bottlers. Making an easily recognizable package that would differentiate one bottler's product from another's has been almost as important as making a palatable beverage.

Early bottlers had their names and trademarks embossed on glass bottles or used paper labels to identify their bottles. However, the embossing was not very easy to see and paper labels had to be replaced each time the bottle was used.

A major breakthrough occurred in 1915 when the familiar hobble skirt Coca-Cola bottle was designed. For the next 20 years, most soda bottles had heavily-embossed, patented designs.

The technology to apply an extremely durable layer of paint to glass was introduced into the bottling industry during the 1930's. The APPLIED COLOR LABEL (also known as the "painted label") revolutionized soda packaging. The bottle labels were as easy to read as paper labels, but lasted for the life of the bottle. The bottles were also cheaper to produce than the design patent sodas, which required intricate, expensive molds.

The ACL glass soda bottle has now been replaced by metal cans and plastic bottles. Despite the recent trend toward recycling, there is little chance that the returnable ACL glass bottle will make a comeback. Most paints used on ACL bottles contained lead, now subject to stringent environmental laws.

There is a national organization for ACL soda collectors, the Painted Soda Bottle Collectors Association. Members receive a bimonthly newsletter (SODA-NET). Membership information may be obtained by writing to: PSBCA, 9418 Hilmer Drive, La Mesa, CA 91942.

Courtesy of Craig Wright

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STONEWARE

While a relatively small number of clay bottles were domestic in origin, just the opposite is true of stoneware jugs, most of those used in this country were produced here.

Beginning early in the 1800's, utilitarian items of stoneware (except bottles) were made almost exclusively in the United States. American stoneware jugs and crocks, like those manufactured elsewhere, were fired at high temperatures. The resulting jugs were so hard that they defy scratching even with a steel knife.

The salt glazes so common on the earliest of American jugs and crocks were achieved by throwing common salt into the kiln at the time of firing when the temperature was at its highest. The intense heat turned the salt to vapor, releasing the chlorine and leaving the soda to combine with the acid in the clay. The resulting glaze is in reality soda glass which is extremely hard and acid resistant. Salt glazing gave the jugs and other items a pitted surface likened to that of an orange peel.

The color of early jugs and crocks was usually grey but some were light to dark brown. Later potter jugs (after 1890) were made in a larger variety of colors; they are the usual browns, white, mustard color, red, and cream color.

Jugs made after 1900, approximately, are glazed on the inside. Early jugs were not glazed on the bottom outside, but later ones were. These two facts will be of help in dating these containers. Jugs made in America from approximately 1800 to 1900 are pleasantly curved, starting with a narrow neck, going to gently sloping shoulders and ending at a bottom which is usually smaller in circumference than the shoulder. Jugs made after about 1900 are rather bulbous in shape or cylindrical in the body, with a severely tapered shoulder going all the way to the neck.

Early jugs were generally decorated in cobalt blue lettering and or designs. Another interesting feature of American stoneware jugs is that many were marked with a number which indicated their capacity: gallon, pint or quart.

General information extracted from the book AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO COLLECTING BOTTLES by Cecil Munsey.

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Classifieds

Alwalys looking for quality Antique bottles one or a collection : Bitters, Flasks, Inks, Scents etc. email me at pochg@phl.alibrary.com (Glenn Poch)

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Root Beer Wanted, serious collector looking for all advertising etc, also Calabashs and Target Balls email at : D.K.Nader@worldnet.att.net (Dave Nader)

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for sale / want ads (free) email me at pochg@phl.alibrary.com

looking for diggin' stories, finds, informative info email me at pochg@phl.alibrary.com

Glenn


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