Listed prices DO
include shipping at the media mail rate but not insurance.
Please read the Important Information for Buyers section on the main "Bottles For Sale" page for complete buyer information.
A note on bottle books: Like with all collectibles and antiques, good advice is always to "Buy the book before the bottle." Knowledge is power and even safety (of your money) when dealing with any collectible - bottles even more so than many other fields of collecting because of the incredible diversity of historic bottles. Beyond that, the history behind the glass companies that made the bottles - as well as the individuals and businesses that ordered and used the bottles - is simply fascinating...and isn't that a big part of why we collect bottles?
The bottle books listed for sale here are selected for their utility in the fascinating field of identifying and dating American made bottles generally made by hand, i.e. "mouth-blown" to use Grace Kendrick's term. Virtually all of these books are out of print and variably hard to obtain, but are still of high utility because of the historical information that they contain. There are no old purely price guides here - those types of books become quickly out of date and then are simply useless lists of bottles with no real utility. Bottle books with historical information about the makers of bottles, the processes involved in producing bottles, and the companies and individuals that purchased and utilized the bottles never loose their value, though the information may be later refined or added to by others. Those are the books found here. In the end, isn't it the history behind the bottles that intrigues we collectors (and archaeologists)?
Please note that for most of the books listed I only have the one copy listed available for sale; once it is sold it likely would be hard to replace and may not appear for sale again here for some time. I am offering these books as a adjunct to my work on the Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website. It is primarily a service of sorts to those interested in the history of glass containers and I sell them for close to my expense in acquiring them.
Coffins, Shoo-Flies - by John Thomas. Copyright 1974, second
printing January 1977 (there were only two printings of a few hundred each).
Maverick Publications, Bend, Oregon. One of the few books published by the
publisher of the long defunct Old Bottle Magazines and one of the best.
This is one of the handful of books by the late John Thomas
who was a pioneer in the research of Western liquor bottles and the companies
that used them. This is about the flasks used by Western liquor companies
from the 1870s to National Prohibition. It keeps to Mr. Thomas's high
standards of research and delves in depth on the companies that used these type,
now highly collectible flasks in largely California, Oregon and
Washington...with a few other Western states having a few additions. Over
400 flasks are covered. Like the other Oregon & Washington Thomas books listed
below, this is a larger format (8" x 11" approx.) paperbound soft cover book.
There is no substitute for this book if you collect or are even interested in
this genre of Western liquor bottles, especially for California flasks (the
Oregon & Washington books below do have those states flasks listed).
Condition is good/very good with very light wear and/or soiling and tightly
bound with no loose pages (many are split at the glued binding). No
writing that I could find inside either. Hard to find...here is a nice
example. $50 postpaid*
A Bit About Balsams: A Chapter in the History of 19th Century Medicine - by Betty Blasi. This is certainly one of the "good" bottle books in that even though it is somewhat narrow in focus (balsam medicines) it includes a lot of history about a lot of the bottles listed - which is in the hundreds. This is the first (and only I believe) edition (softbound) published in 1974 and printed by Farley-Geopper Printing Company, Louisville, KY. It has about 175 pages with numerous illustrations, bottle photos, advertisements along with great historical information and the things one wants to see in a "timeless" bottle book. This example is in very good condition with only slight soiling and wear, creamy supple pages, the title written by hand on the spine, ex-owners name inside the front thick paper cover and a bit of updated information in pen added to the information about the Californian (Oroville) Abietene Cough Balsam. Other wise the book is basically tight and sound with no other issues. Very hard to find book, especially in this good of condition. $50 postpaid*
19th Century Medicine in Glass - by Bill & Betty Wilson. Copyright 1971 and published by 19th Century Hobby and Publishing Co., Amador City, CA. Softbound (there were no hardbound versions) larger format (8 1/2" x 11") book with around a 160 pages. As the image shows (a stock image though this offering is at least as good looking) this is the "gold" cover version; others were printed with gray covers but all seem to have been printed at the same time by the same printing outfit. This hard to find and well researched book is an excellent source of information on of the common and not so common medicine bottles made during the 19th century. Profusely illustrated with pictures of all of the covered bottles, advertising, and very large section at the back of the book that describes the history behind the bottles listed. Condition of this example is among the best I've had - very good to with only minor soiling, wear, and no writing inside. It is overall very tight and sound for this book which is prone to having multiple loose pages, there are no loose pages in this offering. The book is has been lightly read and certainly never fully opened up; the spine is uncreased. it also includes a very good copy of the 1971 "Price Guide" included loosely inside, not attached. It in itself makes for entertaining reading with prices we've not seen in decades. As fine an example of this classic, almost 50 year old, book as you can find. $75 postpaid*
American Bottles & Flasks and Their Ancestry - by Helen McKearin and Kenneth M. Wilson. Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, copyright 1978 (implicit first edition, though I think there was only one edition and printing anyway). This is hands down (in my opinion) the best, most well researched book ever done on the subject of American made bottles - particularly those made from the late 18th through late 19th centuries. I consider it one of the top five bottle books every published as it is of use by students of American glass making, archaeologists, collectors and those just interested in the subject of American bottle making. I list it as part of the essential bottle book "canon" on my other, purely educational Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website. This is a very thick (779 pages), larger format (about 9" x 11") book with a hardbound blue cloth cover and a dust jacket (this one neatly price clipped). Condition of this copy is very good+ to fine for the book itself - it is tight and sound with no spine weakness or splits (these large - 5+ pound - books are prone to such), no writing inside, with a bit of foxing to the top and side page edges, and otherwise very minor wear and soiling. The dust jacket has some corner, spine & edge chipping and some short, closed edge tears though overall a pretty nice condition jacket for this book. The dust jacket is in a mylar cover protecting from future impacts. (Note: The image is not of the offered book cover; the offered book's dust jacket is actually in a bit better visual condition so I'm just re-using the image of a previous offering of this book to show what the dust jacket looks like in general.) Overall this is a better than average copy. I advise people who ask that this is probably the first book to buy if interested in the history of bottles and bottle making in America...maybe just the first one period. $50 postpaid*
Bottle Makers and Their Marks - by Julian H. Toulouse. Copyright 1971, the first edition, first printing (there were only two printings of the first edition). This popular and relatively hard to get book is the best reference on the subject of bottle manufacturers and their markings and desired by archaeologists and collectors alike. Dr. Toulouse was the chief engineer of the Owens-Illinois Glass Company and an acknowledged expert on the subject of glassmaking and glassmakers; he died a few years after publishing this book which was essentially his last work. Condition of this first printing is about fine condition with few "issues" besides a bit of yellowing and some edge wear/chipping to the mylar protected dust jacket; original price is unclipped. The book itself is also fine as it is pretty tight, and sound with no writing inside or major, just a bit of a very faint and fading musty-ness, lower corners slightly bumped, and a bit of light foxing to the page edges. Overall this is a very nice example! I consider this book as part of the essential bottle book "canon" on my other, purely educational Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website. (Note: Photo is not of the currently offered book although the currently offered example has a dj that is in at least as good of condition.) $45.00 postpaid*
FRUIT JARS - A Collector's Manual - by Julian H. Toulouse. Copyright 1969 and published by the Thomas Nelson & Sons. This book is an essential one if you are into fruit jars and the dating and history of them, though it also covers lots of related patent and glass making information. This is the second (and last ) printing from September 1970 and is in fine to very fine condition - book itself is very fine+ with just some very minimal soiling on the page edges and is otherwise very tight & sound (little used) with two pages where the previous owner underlined a few sentences with a fine red pen....otherwise no writing inside the book. The dust jacket (not price clipped) is very fine with just some light scuffing and a little bit of chipping at the top of the spine area and a small closed tear on the back with a crease. (Note: The photo is a stock photo of mine and not of the actual book, though the cover condition is at least as good with this offered example.) This book is an important work also from the perspective of glassmaker history and really a companion work to Toulouse's classic Bottle Makers & Their Marks which was published 2 years later. (Note: Fruit Jars was recently reprinted by Blackburn Press, denoting it's importance. However, this new version is softbound and priced at $62.95 + postage. Get the version here for less!) I list this book also as part of the essential bottle book "canon" on my other, purely educational Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website. $40.00 postpaid*
Whiskey Bottles and Liquor Containers From the The State of Oregon - by John Thomas. Published in 1998, this softbound book is the best historical and collector work on liquor (or any) bottles from this great state. The late Mr. Thomas was a pioneer in the research of Western liquor bottles, this being - with the Washington book - his last works. Great books with very nice illustrations, pictures, and history. This one is in new condition, having never been read or opened. Get one before they become unavailable like all good bottle books do eventually. $20.00 postpaid*
Whiskey Bottles and Liquor Containers From The State of Washington - by John Thomas. Published in 1998, this softbound book is the best historical and collector work on liquor (or any) bottles from this great state. The late Mr. Thomas was a pioneer in the research of Western liquor bottles, this being - with the Oregon equivalent book - his last works. Great books with very nice illustrations, pictures, and history. This one is in new condition, having never been read or opened. Get one before they become unavailable like all good bottle books do eventually. List price $24.95, get it here for $20.00 postpaid*
The Heddon's Story Handbook of Proprietary Medicines by James Seeley White. Copyright 1974, softbound (all were to my knowledge), 95 pages, with a nice glossy photographic cover. This is a fascinating book based on the contents of an old drugstore in Portland, OR. The research of the bottles (all photographed) included is excellent making this book of broader appeal than one would think. Condition is essentially perfect (very fine+) with little to no soiling or other problems; tight and sound. $20.00 postpaid*
The Bottles, Breweriana, and Advertising Jugs of Minnesota 1850-1920 - Volume 2: Whiskey, Druggist, Medicine. Editor & co-author Ron Feldhaus. First edition 1987 (#131 of 1000), softbound, larger format 11" by 8 1/2", 200 pages, signed by the author on the title page. This is Vol. 2 of a classic two volume work on the bottles of Minnesota. This is also one of those collector based books that is exceptional in providing excellent regional history as well as hundreds of photographs/illustrations of the bottles and lots of related items. Condition is very good with just some cover/page edge wear, almost invisible soiling, and a couple notations of value lightly penned in on one page - otherwise the book is tight and sound. Also includes the 1987 price guide booklet and a flyer advertising the books. $25.00 postpaid*
Whitall, Tatum & Co. 1880 - This is a Pyne Press (Princeton University) reprint from their "American Historical Catalog Collection" series from 1971. Softbound like all versions of this book. Contains the entire 1880 Whitall, Tatum & Co. Druggists', Chemists', and Perfumers' Glassware catalog that is an invaluable guide to bottle types and shapes from 1880. Whitall Tatum was very big in the world of plate mold druggist bottles (lots of plate examples illustrated within) as well as all types of druggist glassware and products. This book is desired and used extensively by archaeologists and researchers in their work, but also is quite useful and informative to collectors as well. Condition is very fine+ and is very tight and sound with virtually no wear and appears to have never been opened. (The image is a stock image - not of this particular copy.) Hard to find and often selling for much more. $20.00 postpaid*
Bottle Identification (reprint of the 1911 Illinois Glass Co. catalog) - by H. E. Putnam. Softbound larger format (8 1/2" by 11") book copyrighted in 1965. Though not stated, this book is a reprint of the 1911 Illinois Glass Company "Bottles of Every Description" catalog (I have an original and compared) produced during an important time of transition from mouth-blown to machine-made bottles, though most of the bottles listed in this catalog were still mouth-blown. Profusely illustrated with hundreds of bottles, sizes, prices, etc.., this book compliments the IGCo. 1903-1904 catalog reprint (sold). These books tended to weather poorly, though this example (the image is a stock image - not of this particular copy) is in very good+ with very slight cover soiling and wear on the spine and cover edges and a <3" tear to the cover which was taped on the inside. A tight and sound book in great condition inside and which, like the other reprint (and sometimes original) catalogs listed here, are valuable tools for the identification of bottles by shape. $18 postpaid*
Sarsaparilla Bottle Encyclopedia - by Phyllis Shimko. If you are interested in the history behind sarsaparilla bottles, this is the book to have (DeGrafft's more commonly seen book has no history behind the bottles). Long out of print and very hard to find. Privately published in 1969 with around 200 pages, softbound cover (they were all softbound), first and only edition. Shimko (from Aurora, OR. and a founder of the Oregon Bottle Collectors Association) did an excellent job of researching sarsaparilla bottles and the amount of information in this book is exceptional. Loads of illustrations (line drawings) of the bottles with advertising and lots of company related historical information. Condition is good to very good being very functionally sound and tight for this particular book; these books are notorious for "weathering" poorly. There is no writing inside with the primary condition "issues" with this book is some light to moderate soiling to the spine and the covers near the spine (click on thumbnail to see the front cover), some roughness to the paper at the spine (one <1" spot appear to have been re-glued), and some minor soiling to the page edges. Overall a quite decent copy and better than my "keeper" which I bought from Phyllis in 1969 (and consulted a lot since). $50.00 postpaid*
The Bertrand Bottles - A Study of 19th-Century Glass and Ceramic Containers - by Ronald R. Switzer. This book, published by the National Park Service (Department of Interior) in 1974 is one of the classic works in the field of historic archaeology as it pertains to bottles. The Bertrand was a steamboat that sunk in the Missouri River on April Fools Day 1865. It was relocated in 1968 on U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service refuge lands in Iowa (I think) and subsequently salvaged as it was now in a farm field the river having meandered away. The Bertrand went down with several thousand items of bottled goods destined for the gold fields of Montana and created a "snap shot" in time of bottle types that were in use in 1865. This is an overview and catalog of the items found and the information in this 100 page softbound book is exceptional; also long out of print. The condition of the offered copy (the image is not of the offered copy) is in very good to fine condition with some scuffing to the cover (typical), no writing inside, or other significant problems...and the book binding is very tight and sound. $20.00 postpaid*
The Mouth-Blown Bottle - by Grace Kendrick. Edwards Bros., Ann Arbor, MI., copyright 1968, hardbound yellow cloth cover with dust jacket, 200 pages, first edition. This example is signed by the author on the front loose endpaper along with the usual first edition stamp & hand written number (FIRST EDITION BOOK NO. 251). Another classic long-out-of-print book that is one of the best, easy to read, discussions of glass blowing using hand and mouth techniques. Scores of pictures showing all aspects of the blowing process, molds, pontil rods, etc. The condition of this copy - book and dust jacket - is the one of the better I've had. It is in essentially near-new condition and appears to have little been used. These books typically do not "wear" very well, but this is the exception. It is essentially perfect with no writing inside (besides signature and the authors stamp/numbering), little or no scuffing to the dust jacket (which was put in a mylar covering long ago), it is not price clipped, quite tight binding and overall very sound. (Note: The image is not of the actual book dust jacket which is in better condition.) If you want the best copy available this is it (it is better than my "keeper" one). Great addition to any bottle collectors or archaeologists library. $35.00 postpaid*
Glassblowing - The Technique of Free-Blown Glass - by Frank Kulasiewicz. Watson-Guptill Publications/New York, Pitman Publishing/London. First printing (only printing I think), copyright 1974, hardbound red cloth cover with dust jacket, 215 pages, larger format book (8.5" x 11"). In my years of doing the Historic Bottle Website this book on glassblowing has been by far the most useful in understanding materials, processes, tools, etc. of the process of glass bottle blowing. If you want to understand the actual nuts 'n bolts process of how bottles were manufactured by mouth-blown or handmade methods, this is the book. Text is comprehensive but easy to understand and follow and it is all illustrated profusely with hundreds of large b&w images (some color). Condition is very good or better with few issues - a bit of bumping to the hardbound cover corners, name written in ink on the front & back attached endpapers, a slightly toned dust jacket with only a bit of edge/corner bumping and wear but with little in the way of the typically common short edge rips. The book is tight and sound, with supple pages, no staining, a strong binding and no other writing in side....and a great dust jacket for this book. $35.00 postpaid*
Handbook of Glass Manufacture - Volume II - The following from the title page of this volume: Handbook of Glass Manufacture Volume II. Complied and Edited by Fay V. Tooley, Industrial Consultant and Professor of Glass Technology Emeritus, Department of Ceramic Engineering, University of Illinois. A book of reference for the plant executive, technologist and engineer. Published by Books For Industry, Inc. and The Glass Industry Magazine, Division of Magazines For Industry, Inc., 777 Third Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10017. This example of Vol. II is copyrighted 1974 and apparently the first printing of this totally revised edition of the classic manual for industry glass makers first published in 1953. I have never seen an example of Volume I of this edition (or until this example, Vol. II) though I believe this is the last version of the set published. The "Contents" page of this version does list the 9 chapters for Volume I and fortunately, the best chapter from the original set of books discussing bottle making and bottle making machines IS included in this Volume II of the revised set versus towards the end of the first volume in the original. This 100+ page chapter is the most valuable one for students of bottle making and is entitled "Section 10: The Processing of Bottles and Other Hollow Ware Articles" and is more or less an update of the original books "Feeding and Forming" chapter although in looking through both versions of that chapter, this most recent version does contain quite a bit of new information and illustrations including machines invented since the early 1950s.
Condition & other details: This book has no dust jacket (certainly as issued) and is in very good, tight condition, though was part of a Pittsburgh glass makers library so does have some of the usual library additions, i.e., a small stamp inside the cover, pocket in the back for the check out card, catalog number on the lower spine, and the like. Very limited wear and soiling (but some) and a true hardback book (the originals were a soft hardback). If a person wants to really understand glass making processes and terminology, this is the book to have (though having Volume I of this set would also be useful). I used - and continue to use - my copies of the earlier printings of this book extensively in my work on the Historic Bottle Website. Fantastically detailed with great illustrations of machines and glassmaking processes, in depth information on the chemistry of glass, and SO much more. Check the internet used book places and you'll see these are typically priced much higher than what I'm asking here. This is one of the more important books for any serious student of glass and bottle making to have...really. $50 postpaid*
*Books are postpaid in the United States via media mail (aka "book rate"); priority mail or outside the U. S. would be additional cost. Insurance extra if desired.
BELOW ITEMS ARE ALL SOLD!
Bottle Makers and Their Marks - by Julian H. Toulouse. Copyright 1971, the first edition, first printing (there were only two printings of the first edition). This popular and relatively hard to get book is the best reference on the subject of bottle manufacturers and their markings and desired by archaeologists and collectors alike. Dr. Toulouse was the chief engineer of the Owens-Illinois Glass Company and an acknowledged expert on the subject of glassmaking and glassmakers; he died a few years after publishing this book which was essentially his last work. Condition of this first printing is fine++ condition with no real issues at all besides a bit of yellowing and the slightest of wear to the dust jacket, i.e., a bit on the dj spine corners and couple very tiny closed tears to the edges; unclipped price. The book itself is essentially perfect, tight, and sound with no writing inside or other detractions. Very nice example! I consider this book as part of the essential bottle book "canon" on my other, purely educational Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website. (Note: Photo is not of the currently offered book although the currently offered example has a dj that is in at least as good of condition.) SOLD!
Western Collector Magazines - August through December 1969. I usually don't handle magazines, but these are an big exception. Included with this 5 issue set are the November 1969 and December 1969 issues which have the two part series by Dr. Julian Toulouse entitled "A Primer on Mold Seams." If you haven't read or heard of these exceptionally fine article you have missed out. These articles are the best overview of bottle molding, mold seams, and related subjects ever written and are among the most quoted of references (next to maybe Grace Kendrick's books) in the professional and collector worlds. Also included in this deal are the August through October 1969 issues since I received them as a set and I already have copies of all of them. They have some more great articles, though not of the milestone character of Toulouse's work. The condition of these magazines is essentially mint - they have never been really read (I looked at them gently) and have no writing or addresses marked on them. They are much better than my own copies actually. Not sure where they were sitting for last 36 years, but it was a well protected place. Rare and significant magazines. SOLD!
Bottles in the Charles B. Gardner Collection - by Norman C. Heckler. Published by Robert W. Skinner, Inc., Bolton, Massachusetts, 1975, first (and only) printing/edition. Hardbound pale green cloth cover, medium format 8" by 10.25" size, with the original unclipped dust jacket and the prices realized list in the back of the book. This is the auction catalog for the sale in 1975 of what was likely the best collection of American bottles ever assembled - the Charley Gardner collection. I had the privilege to see his collection in 1972 and a finer couple (Charley & Nina) of people couldn't have existed. Both are long gone now as is the collection to all points of the earth and including mythical bottles like the cobalt Homestead cabin, Jared Spencer flask, blue Columbia, and so much more...over 3000 exceptional bottles. This book is pretty good and fairly tight condition with the book itself in fine condition with only some very minor page edge soiling and a few small penciled in numbers here and there near some of the listings (which would easily erase) which may indicate that the past owner of this book actually attended the auction. The dust jacket pretty solid but a bit rougher visually with some edge wear, creases, and short closed tears...and one small piece missing from the lower front cover (visible in the image), though it pretty solid otherwise. Hard to find book and a classic which includes color plates of some of the noted mythical bottles. (Offered here, even though it is a bit outside my usual noted bottle book listing parameters.) SOLD!
A Choice Listing of the Most Desired Older Whiskey Bottles by John L. Thomas. Here is a scarce first edition of Thomas's first (1969) book on the subject of western liquor bottles (earlier cylinders and flasks) which is SIGNED by John inside the front cover. Even though the pricing information is woefully out of date (wish I could get a California Club House bottle for $1000!) the historical information found in this book is still of current utility and not much different than the most recent manifestation of this book from the 2002 (I think). Condition of this example is good to very good with some roughness to the top cover where a sticker was attached and largely pulled off (visible in the image; click to enlarge); also some light soiling to the cover and page edges but otherwise a tight sound book with no loose pages or writing inside beside by Thomas ("Hope you enjoy the book. John L. Thomas"). Classic Western bottle book and collectible in its own right. SOLD!
American Bottles Old & New - William S. Walbridge - The following from the title page: American Bottles Old & New - A Story of the Industry in America by William S. Walbridge, Vice President, The Owens Bottle Company, Toledo, Ohio 1920. That about sums up the theme of one of the classic books in bottle historical research. On the reverse of the title page it says: Copyright 1920 by the Owens Bottle Co. Though small in size (113 pages or so) it is often quoted by many scholars in regards to American bottle manufacturing. This period book was published right after machines began to dominate bottle production though before mouth-blown production ceased. Condition is very good with an exceptionally clean and bright cover, no dust jacket (as issued), and no writing inside. The book is a bit loose though no pages are loose or even close to that - just a bit looser than tight (if that makes sense) and one of the better condition ones I've seen actually. Full of illustrations of bottles, bottle machines, and much more, this is an indispensable addition to a complete bottle historical library as it is an important work. I used the book in my work on the Historic Bottle Website. SOLD!
Handbook of Glass Manufacture - Volumes I & II - The following from the title page of the first volume: Handbook of Glass Manufacture - A book of reference for the plant executive, technologist and engineer. Complied and Edited by Fay V. Tooley, Professor of Glass Technology, Department of Ceramic Engineering, University of Illinois. Ogden Publishing Company, Publishers of The Glass Industry and The Glass Packer, 55 West 42nd Street, New York 36, N. Y. Vol. 1 is copyrighted 1953; Vol. 2 is copyright 1960. These are the first editions of both books, I believe. Both are sort of "soft hardbound" books (the only way they were published I believe) with no dust jackets (as issued). Vol. 1 has upwards of 600 pages; Vol. 2 has 350 or so. Both are in used condition but in very good shape - see the images (click to enlarge). Only Vol. 1 has a previous owners name/address inscribed in the front in ink and both books are very tight and sound with no particular problems besides the evidence of some use (almost no use evident with Vol. 2). If a person wants to really understand glass making processes and terminology, these are the books to have. I used - and continue to use - them extensively in my work on the Historic Bottle Website. Fantastically detailed with great illustrations of machines and glassmaking processes, in depth information on the chemistry of glass, and SO much more. Check the internet used book places and you'll see these in combination are priced several times what I'm asking here. However, I got a good deal on them as extras and will pass the savings on. (I have a set too, of course.) These are two of the most important books for any serious student of glass and bottle making to have...really. SOLD!
The Cumberland Glass Mfg. Co. 1911 catalog - This is a scarce reprint of a very good - and well illustrated - bottle catalog from something other than the Illinois Glass Company. This reprint is 4.5" by 8.5" in size with around 80 pages and is of a catalog dated January 1st, 1911. This transitional era catalog has mostly mouth-blown (aka "hand-blown") bottles but does have at least 5 pages of bottles made by the new fangled bottle machines - almost certainly a semi-automatic machine as the bottles noted as "machine made" are wide mouth & ink bottles which were the first types made on those earlier machines. Condition of this catalog is essentially perfect with a tight binding and not real issues and the lightest of wear (if any). Great resource for collectors, researchers and archaeologists. SOLD!
Patent Medicine Picture - by Kay Devner. Softbound larger format book (8.5" x 11"), 106 pages, copyright 1968, printed by the Tombstone Epitaph, AZ. Condition is very good with some mild discoloring and soiling to the cover and some evidence of use but otherwise tight and sound. This book is a compilation of hundreds (several thousand) patent or proprietary medicine bottles with some illustrations, the dates that the products were advertised, and what claims they made. Fike in his classic 1987 medicine book (The Bottle Book) relied significantly on Devner's information. Long out of print of course and hard to find, like most good bottles books published in past decades. SOLD!
Handbook For The Bottle-ologist - by Richard Fike. Copyright 1966 (fourth printing 1969) and a larger format booklet (8.5" by 11") with 48 pages. Condition is very good to fine with the only issues being on very VERY slight soiling spot to the cover (visible in larger image) and a few places in the book where the previous owner checked off bottles (one they had I presume, as I used to do that long ago too). Otherwise this is a very tight and sound book and firmly stapled. Fike went on to write one of the classics in the field "The Bottle Book" on patent medicines but this is where he started. The book has over 1000 bottles listed with numerous illustrations of various ones apparently found by him and others in the Great Basin. Has some historical information and generally a nice book...and mandatory for the complete bottle information library. SOLD!
Bottles on the Western Frontier - by Rex Wilson. Copyright 1981, 12" by 9" larger format book with full color thick paper covers (i.e., softbound), 144 pages, hundreds of pictures and illustrations, first (and only) edition (like most bottle books). One of the classic books on bottles that was based on the authors excavations at several Western Army forts which were active between 1849 and 1891. This book has appeal to both archaeologists and collectors due to it excellent research and information...and just because it is a great book with good pictures, histories, and information. Condition of this book is above the average for these, i.e., very good to fine with a very tight binding, limited no soiling, and just some edge wear/chipping to a couple spots on the cover, spine and cover corners. There was also some underlining to some of the bottle information in the back section of the book, though it is a minor issue to my mind. (Note: The weird lines on the scan are from the scanner and are not on the book cover which is virtually perfect.) A must book for every collector and archaeologist's library. SOLD!
Spirits Bottles of the Old West - by Bill & Betty Wilson. Copyright 1968. Photographic "plasticized" hardback cover with no dust jacket (never had one originally). This is the classic - and first book - on Western liquor bottles. Actually this book covers Eastern and some imported "spirits" bottles also, but the slant is definitely towards the West as the title implies. The Wilson's book helped to popularize the specialization of collecting Western whiskey bottles, helping to establish forever the distinction between "glob top" whiskeys and "tooled" (or neatly made) whiskeys - a distinction that still seizes the imagination (and pocketbook) of Western collectors. This example is in fine condition with just some light discoloring (or mild soiling) of the spine and cover edges; otherwise this is a very nice, tight book with no writing inside or other "issues"...you'll be pleased! The first of the three classics by these authors (4 if you count Betty Wilson's (aka Zumwalt) book on food bottles listed below). SOLD!
Fort Bowie Material Culture - by Robert M. Herskovitz. Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona Number 31, The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, AZ., 160 pages, 1978. First (and only) edition with no dust jacket (as issued - all are larger format paperbacks). Here is what I say about this useful book on my Historic Bottle Website:
Contains some very useful information on historic bottles from the era of the forts occupation (1862-1894) based on the thousands of glass items excavated at the fort. Also contains a good section on ceramics as well as many other items found at this famous fort.
This is a book important and useful enough to be included in most bottle
collectors reference libraries, though it is of particular note for
archaeologists as it includes a lot of information on other artifacts
found at this famous Western fort besides bottles. Condition of this
example is very good though it is an ex-library item (Museum of the American
Indian). There is, however, limited evidence of such past ownership except
for a book plate on the inside cover (noting the source), the catalog number on
the upper left corner of the cover, a small faint stamped impression for the
Museum on the title page, and a stronger spine added (at least it isn't that way
on my library copy). There is no other stamps I see in the book and
no "check-out" card pocket in this item...probably just an in-house research
item. A nice example priced appropriately.
American Bottles & Flasks and Their Ancestry - by Helen McKearin and Kenneth M. Wilson. Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, copyright 1978 (implicit first edition, though I think there was only one edition anyway). This is hands down (in my opinion) the best, most well researched book ever done on the subject of American made bottles - particularly those made from the late 18th through late 19th centuries. I consider it one of the top five bottle books every published as it is of use by students of American glass making, archaeologists, collectors and those just interested in the subject of American bottle making. I list it as part of the essential bottle book "canon" on my other, purely educational Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website. This is a very thick (779 pages), larger format (about 9" x 11") book with a hardbound cloth cover and a dust jacket (unclipped - original price $29.95). Condition of this copy is very good to fine for the book itself - it is tight and sound with no splits (these large - 5 pound - books are prone to such), no writing inside, with a bit of foxing to the page edges, a little discoloring to the front cover bottom & top edges (covered by the dust jacket), a slight musty smell (which is passing in our dry climate), and otherwise very minor wear. The dust jacket has some minor edge chipping and a bit of edge discoloring similar to the book itself; overall a very nice condition jacket which is protected by a mylar cover. (Note: The image is not of the offered book cover; the offered book is actually in better visual condition so I'm just re-using the image of a previous offering of this book to show what the dust jacket looks like in general.) Overall this is a better than average copy. I advise people who ask that this is probably the first book to buy if interested in the history of bottles and bottle making in America...maybe just the first one period. SOLD!
Pike's Peak Gold - by John M. Eatwell and David K. Clint III. Effective Graphics, Las Vegas, NV., copyright 2000, 9" by 12" larger format hardbound book with full color dust jacket, and 228 pages. This is one of the best quality, well researched bottle books around. Not long out of print, this book is already much less available and getting more expensive every year. It contains a lot of non-bottle information like a condensed history of Zebulon Pike and his 1806-1807 expeditions, along with glimpses into the famous Pike's Peak Gold Rush, interesting short histories of famous events and cities in Colorado, and much more. The "meat" for bottle collectors is the exhaustive study of Pike's Peak flask grouping (McKearin G-XI series) with 71 pages of full page illustrations for both sides of each flask, many with full color, full page images. The contents by chapter are as follows: Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase; Zebulon Montgomery Pike - The man and his mission; Gold discovered at Cherry Creek, 1858; Pike's Peak or Bust; Pike's Peak Guidebooks; The Pike's Peak experience; Gold - recovering it, converting it; Pike's Peak flasks and their makers; Flask illustrations and identification; Pike's Peak revisited. Exceptional book in content, this example is no less in condition being fine to extra fine with essentially no noticeable wear to the just jacket (dust jacket is protected in a mylar dust jacket cover); the book looks to have been looked at only once as it is almost as tight and sound as new. SOLD!
The Fruit Jar Works - Volume I & II - By Alice & Steven Creswick. Copyright 1987, hardbound cloth covers with dust jackets. Vol. I covers jars made from about 1900-1910 and before (mouth-blown); Vol. II is 1900 or so and after (machine-made jars). In regards to fruit jars, this work from the Creswick's - along with Dick Roller's very rarely offered book - are the best in that it has exceptional historical information on virtually all known fruit jars and the companies that made them. Because of the extensive glass company history in this monumental work, the books have utility far beyond just fruit jars and are a great resource for all students of bottle & glass making. Condition of both is fine+ - both have no writing inside, are tight and sound, and no funny smells. The dust jackets are very good to fine with minimal corner bumping, a few short closed tears on the edges here and there, but little to no soiling or real wear. Both are simply excellent books in excellent condition. (Incidentally, these are the first printings of the pair; another (identical) printing was done in 1995 by Douglas Leybourne the current author and publisher of the Red Book.) Both volumes together - SOLD!
19th Century Medicine in Glass - by Bill & Betty Wilson. Copyright 1971 and published by 19th Century Hobby and Publishing Co., Amador City, CA. Softbound (like all of them - no hardbound version) larger format (8 1/2" x 11") book with around a 160 pages. (As the image shows this is the "gold" cover version; others were printed with gray covers but all seem to have been printed at the same time by the same printing outfit.) This hard to find and well researched book is an excellent source of information on of the common and not so common medicine bottles made during the 19th century. Profusely illustrated with pictures of all of the covered bottles, advertising, and very large section at the back of the book that describes the history behind the bottles listed. Condition is very good being quite tight for this book with no loose pages (very common on these books) and some more or less average soiling to the covers and page edges, some bumping/wear to the outside corners, and a couple small ink stamps inside for the past owner (front loose endpaper) and for the place the originally sold it on the dedication page. (Incidentally, this copy was originally sold at Lynn Blumenstein's "Old Time Bottle Publishing Co." in Salem, OR. Lynn was among the handful of early, Western bottle book writers in the 1960s along with the Wilson's who wrote this book.) I rarely have extra copies of these and this example is better than average and better than my personal copy which I originally got from the Wilson's when published (it's signed by Bill Wilson so I'm keeping it anyway). This offered example also includes the 1971 "Price Guide" loosely taped inside the front cover making this book totally complete. SOLD!
Handbook of Glass Manufacture - Volume I - The following from the title page of the first volume: Handbook of Glass Manufacture - A book of reference for the plant executive, technologist and engineer. Complied and Edited by Fay V. Tooley, Professor of Glass Technology, Department of Ceramic Engineering, University of Illinois. Ogden Publishing Company, Publishers of The Glass Industry and The Glass Packer, 55 West 42nd Street, New York 36, N. Y. This example of Vol. 1 is copyrighted 1953, Third Printing 1961. (There was also a smaller Volume 2 which was copyrighted in 1960, but it is Volume 1 that is BY FAR the most valuable of the two to those interested in the ins and outs of glass and bottle making.) These books are sort of "soft hardbound" books (the only way they were published I believe) with no dust jackets (as issued). Vol. 1 has upwards of 600 pages (much larger than Vol. 2 which has 350 or so). This offered Volume 1 is in very good shape and similar to the book pictured to the left (which is not the offered book but a stock photo; the only difference is that the offered one here has "Volume 1" printed below "Glass Manufacture). This example has a scratched out label (name?) on the inside of the front cover, but is very tight and sound with no particular problems besides very limited evidence of some use. If a person wants to really understand glass making processes and terminology, this is the book to have. I used - and continue to use - my copy of this book extensively in my work on the Historic Bottle Website. Fantastically detailed with great illustrations of machines and glassmaking processes, in depth information on the chemistry of glass, and SO much more. Check the internet used book places and you'll see these are priced several times what I'm asking here. This is one of the most important books for any serious student of glass and bottle making to have...really. SOLD!
Illinois Glass Company 1903-1904 catalog reprint - Larger format (about 8.5" by 11") reprint of the Illinois Glass Company "Bottles of Every Description" catalog. 60 pages which has 4 original catalog pages per page - many of the original catalogs were about the size of a modern paperback novel (though there was a larger version also). Undated but was apparently done in the 1970's by Collector Books of Paducah, Kentucky and long out of print. Old bottle maker catalogs are invaluable assets when trying to determine the age or function (i.e. use) of different shaped bottles. The reprinted catalog dates from just before the automatic bottle machine began its climb to dominance so everything in the book is of hand-made or "mouth-blown" bottles, with the exception of a few semi-automatic wide mouth jars and bottles. The condition of the offered copy (the image is a stock image - not of this particular copy) is fine or so - nearly new looking with very few flaws (small water spot on the front cover) and very and tight and sound. Great resource for the collector or archaeologist. SOLD!
Bottles on the Western Frontier - by Rex Wilson. Copyright 1981, 12" by 9" larger format book with the much rarer hardbound green cloth covers (most examples are softbound), unclipped dust jacket ($40 original price), 144 pages, hundreds of pictures and illustrations, first (and only) edition (like most bottle books). One of the classic books on bottles that was based on the authors excavations at several Western Army forts which were active between 1849 and 1891. This book has appeal to both archaeologists and collectors due to it excellent research and information...and just because it is a great book with good pictures, histories, and information. Condition of this book is fine to very fine - the book has a very tight binding, virtually no soiling, and very little wear to the book or the dust jacket (which is in a mylar protective cover). In short, this is probably the best condition example of this book - hard or soft bound - that I've ever had. (Note: The scan to the right is of a soft bound example I had some years back, not this copy. The weird lines on the scan are from the scanner, not on this book cover which is virtually perfect.) A must book for every collector and archaeologist's library. SOLD! (A softbound copy is available below.)
...and another copy of "Bottles on the Western Frontier" - I've another copy of this book that is ex-library - and the usual softbound cover - but in very good+ condition. It has a small library sticker on the upper left hand corner of the front cover, lower end of the spine, a few small stampings here and there, the usual check-out card pocket on the loose front endpaper and a playing card size sticker on the reverse of that endpaper for the school that divested the book...which according to the check-out slip was never checked out. Book is tight and sound with no real issues besides some edge wear and minor chipping to the covers which have very minor scuffing, some curled page edges and really little else...a very useable copy. SOLD!
Collecting the Cures - by Bill Agee, Texian Press, Waco, Texas. This 1969 book is the original (and only) source of information on medicinal "cure" bottles - bottles with the world "cure" embossed on them. It was the first volume of the authors two cure books; the other was published some years later covering additional "cure" bottles discovered after this first book. This book covered over 200 cure bottles with many photographed and included as full page pictures. The condition of this book is very good with some minor wear to the cover (visible on the spine side in the image; click to enlarge), the original owners name lightly written on the first title page, and a bit of soiling and a pen marking on the back cover. The book is quite tight and sound with no loose pages and not other writing inside beside the noted name. Great book which is hard to find these days...like most of the good bottle books from the 1960s and 1970s (and even later). SOLD!
Guide To Old Bottles - Contents & Prices Volume I and II - by Richard Fike. The first volume (white cover) is copyright 1966 (fourth printing 1972); the second volume (tan cover) is copyrighted 1967 (second printing 1969). Like the "Handbook" above, both books are also larger format books with 48 pages each. These works continue on from the 1966 "Handbook" and include lots of historical information, old advertisements, illustrations of bottles (nice line drawings like on the cover), and are pretty good sources of bottle historical information from one of the leaders in the field. Condition of both books is also fine+ with no real issues - just a couple very light soiling spots and a price sticker spot on the title page of the first volume. There is no writing that I can find inside (a very faint name on the back cover of Vol. 1) and both are very securely stapled together - loose staples are a problem with these type books. Click on both images to see larger versions (these images are of past examples I've had...these two being offered now are at least as good or better looking). Necessary additions for the complete bottle book library. SOLD!
The Parks Canada Glass Glossary - by Olive Jones & Catherine Sullivan. Revised Edition, 1989, National Historic Parks and Sites, Canadian Parks Service, Environment Canada. Spiral bound soft cover, larger format, 184 pages. Jones & Sullivan's classic professional work on bottle & glass identification and dating is probably the most often quoted reference on the subject in the professional archaeologist/cultural resources world. Impeccably researched and illustrated this book is a must for the archaeologist who records historic artifact information as well as the collector interested in dating and classifying their bottles. This is also one of the books that I list as part of the essential bottle book "canon" on my other, purely educational Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website. A hard to find book; this example is in new condition. SOLD!
WESTERN AMERICAN BOTTLES
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