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Located on Oregon's Williamson River - renown for large redband trout (a rainbow subspecies - 26" example shown below). We are near the north end of the Klamath Basin in south central Oregon - a beautiful area with BIG lakes (Klamath & Agency Lakes), near Crater Lake National Park and within sight of two snow covered peaks: Mt. Shasta & Mt. McLoughlin (well, some snow most of the year with McLoughlin).
The Klamath Basin is on the extreme western edge of the high elevation, "cold desert" of eastern Oregon at over 4100' (valley bottom; mountainous elevations go up from there). Not real high for the Intermountain West, but just right for cold (but not too cold) winters and warm (but not too warm) summers. It's flora & fauna reflect its proximity to the Great Basin - the so-called "sagebrush ocean."
I (Bill) am a collector (over 57 years!) of all kinds of older, mouth-blown American bottles and flasks produced by hand craftsman methods from the late 18th through the very early 20th century (pre-1910 + or -). My collecting tastes run the gamut from early American figured flasks (aka "historical flasks"), bitters, California Gold Rush era soda & mineral waters and other Western American bottles, early American utilitarian bottles & flasks, Oregon bottles, medicinal tonic bottles (more later), etc. I really don't have huge amounts within many of the recognized types or categories of 19th century bottles, but do have something within virtually all types - even some canning jars which are frankly among the most fascinating of the many bottle collecting genres.
My only specialty collecting has been medicinal tonic bottles, which is discussed further down the page. However, I've given up that quest and am in the process of selling many of the tonic bottles I accumulated over the years. The page devoted to a listing of all the medicinal tonic bottles I've encountered (but many were never acquired) is available at the "Medicinal Tonics" link in the box to the upper left of this page. The page devoted to selling some of the medicinal tonics I acquired over the years is found at this link: Medicinal Tonics For Sale
New England & Midwestern "Pitkin" flasks produced between the 1790s and 1830s...beautiful!
Bottles, Books & Collectibles For Sale
I offer a small assortment of bottles, bottle related items and other collectibles for sale via this website; see the hyperlinked list in the green box below. Now retired, I need to pare down the amount of "stuff" I have including divesting myself of the hundreds of bottles purchased to illustrate the information and concepts contained within the Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website - my other very large, educational website hosted by the Society for Historical Archaeology (discussed further down the page).
Click Bottles For Sale to access the main page for these items. On that page one will find links to the various category specific "bottles for sale" pages. Check back frequently as I periodically add new bottles, books and other related items to the pages...so stay tuned! The links in the box below also takes one straight to each of the category specific "bottles for sale" pages:
PAGE/WESTERN AMERICAN BOTTLES
I also offer
some Western Americana related books via my
Western Americana Books For Sale webpage.
My email is -
Monument Valley (Arizona) just before an early season snow storm, September 1974
Want to know more about historic
If you have general questions or want to learn more about historic bottles, click Historic Bottle Website (HBW) to view a very in-depth website I have created (and still working on). The HBW is now hosted by the Society for Historical Archaeology as a joint effort with my ex-employer (I'm retired now) the Bureau of Land Management. This site was designed to answer general bottle age & type (i.e. typology or what a bottle was used for) questions for American-made bottles produced from the late 1700s into the 1950s. It also provides a wealth of information on glassmaking, bottle & bottle use history, references, glossary, glass makers markings and a LOT more. The Historic Bottle Website will continue to be refined, expanded and enhanced as long as I'm able, so check in frequently.
If the HBW does not answer your questions you may send an email. If you provide a good detailed description of the bottle in question and include a clear digital picture(s), I will try to help. Be aware, however, that there were hundreds of thousands of uniquely different bottles produced just in the U. S. during the time span noted above and published information is available for only a very small percentage of them. For example, researcher Ron Fowler (http://www.hutchbook.com/default.html) has cataloged over 21,000 differently embossed Hutchinson style soda bottles alone made from about 1880 to the mid-1910s! Fortunately, many of a bottle's physical manufacturing related features as well the specific shapes give clues to the age and use (aka "typology") of most bottles. I may not get back immediately since I do get LOTS of questions, but I try to answer all friendly and reasonably descriptive (including those images!) emails within a couple weeks.
Medicinal Tonic Bottles
My one incursion into bottle collecting specialization is MEDICINAL TONIC bottles. Not hair tonics, but medicinal tonics where, for example, the word "tonic" is used in the place of the word "bitters" or "cure" - i.e. a Fever & Ague Tonic instead of Fever & Ague Cure. I do not generally collect items where the word Tonic is descriptive instead of the actual product, i.e. Dr. Jayne's Tonic Vermifuge is not a tonic, but a vermifuge with "tonic effects". But I would consider the Wilson's Tonic & Sarsaparillian Elixir to be pretty much of a true tonic bottle. It's a fine line of course, but I'm just after what I consider to be "true" tonic bottles.
I am in the process of compiling a list of all the known, embossed medicinal tonic bottles (though I am also interested in label only ones). My goal is to get as complete a list as possible, including different embossing patterns of the same brand; color, lip and size variations; and all the unique American and Canadian brands. I'm currently well over 400 different tonic bottles! I was at one point striving towards some kind of book on the subject in the future but have backed off of that goal as too ambitious. At this point in time (I'm 70 years old) the educational Historic Bottle Website discussed above is more important to me in regards to additions and maintenance than the work involved doing a comprehensive published book or expanded website on medicinal tonic bottles.
I will, however, continue to periodically update the online list of medicinal tonic bottles that is connected to this personal website. Click on Medicinal Tonics to see my most updated running tally of medicinal tonic bottles and for more information on the subject. I am also in the process of divesting many of my bottles, including many medicinal tonics. See my for sale page that is devoted to just medicinal tonics at the following link: Tonic Bottles For Sale.
If you are aware of any embossed medicinal tonic bottles (as defined above) NOT listed on my Medicinal Tonics page - or distinct variations to listed ones - please contact me at the email link below. Credit will be given on that page to contributors for new additions and/or variations to that list.
My email is -
Smith Rocks State Park in central Oregon's high desert (near Redmond), August 2008
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