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Soda/Mineral Water

NOME / BREWING / AND / BOTTLING CO. - Offered here is a rare Alaskan soda bottle...from Nome, AK!  No road still runs to Nome from the rest of AK and it was the location of one of the late 19th century "gold rushes" to Alaska with discovery in late 1898.  The "rush" part of gold mining petering out by about 1910 although there is gold mining going on there still today (according to Wikipedia).  Nome was one of the stranger gold rushes of the "West" in that the gold was found in the beach sands along the shore - all placer gold, no hard rock.  (Gold Beach Oregon is the only other beach one I can think of but it was very short lived.) the gold was "easy" to get if one ignores the fact that it was far enough north to not see the sun at all for 2 months in the winter along with permafrost to deal with in part.  It was the furthest "west" gold rush in the United States being on a longitude of about 170 degrees west (Sutter's Mill is at about 121 degrees west).  This bottle dates from the "rush" era of the first few years of the 20th century.

This is one of those taller bodied Hutchinson soda bottles - like many are from Hawaii also - and stands 7.75" tall.  It was made in a 4-piece mold with the upper leaves beginning just above the "NOME" which one can see in the images.  It has a tooled blob finish (aka "lip"), the original good condition stopper and is embossed very boldly with NOME / BREWING / AND / BOTTLING CO.  Like the example offered above, this is another of the few Hutchinson soda bottles used in Alaska - all rare (10 or less known) according to Ron Fowler's Hutchbook.com website.  There were two different variation of the "Brewing and Bottling Co." bottles, the other about an inch shorter and with the makers marking P.C.G.W. for the Pacific Coast Glass Works (SF) whom likely made this bottle also.  This offered example is cataloged as AK0006 on Ron's Alaska list and is not makers marked.  According to Van Wieren's book "American Breweries II" this company was in business from 1900 to 1904 under the name "Nome Brewing and Bottling Co.", with "Bennet & Kern prop." being located at "D. St. and Dry Creek" in Nome.  After that time (later in 1904 to 1919) it was called the Nome Brewing Co." only...apparently producing just beer.

Condition of the bottle is essentially dead mint; I don't believe it was ever buried as it still had the original stopper in it.  It has a bit of very light case wear to some of the letters (which is visible barely in a few of the images enlarged) and at the heel and essentially is scratch free with a shiny, blemish free surface.  Bottle also has some nice bubbles scattered in the glass.  More images of the bottle are available at the following links: right side view; left side view; back view; base view.   A quick look at American Bottle Auctions shows they have offered only two of these soda bottles back in 2007 and another in 2011 selling for $1200 and $950, respectively (plus commissions).  Probably can't find a finer example...if you can find one at all.  $1000 


DISTILLED / SODA WATER CO. / OF / ALASKA - That is embossed inside a somewhat oval "slug" plate.  This is a rare "Western" soda bottle from Valdez, Alaska.  If you're an Alaskan bottle collector or trying to complete your 50 state Hutchinson collection with a key state, this is a very nice example.  It is one of just a few Hutchinson soda bottles from Alaska - all rare (10 or less known) according to Ron Fowler's Hutchbook.com website.  It is the first listed Valdez variant (there are four almost identical variants) listed as AK0011 on his Alaska list.  Which is appropriate since this is probably the oldest variant of the bottle which is discussed below.

It has a 10 sided "mug" base, a greenish aqua color, 7.5" tall with an smooth, unembossed base.  It has a tooled blob finish; click HERE to see such with the original stopper still in place and having the rubber still present.  The lower portion of one panel on the back is embossed with SB&GCO which indicates manufacture by Streator Bottle & Glass Company (Streator, IL.) who used that marking from 1881 to 1905 when it merged into the American Bottle Company.  Click HERE to see the makers marking.  (The slightly "later" variants have the ABCo marking for the successor.)  One of the other panels also has the number 5 embossed towards the bottom which is almost certainly a date code for 1905.  (The apparent next variant with ABCo has a "6-S" indicating manufacture in 1906 at the Streator plant of the newly formed company.)

This example appears to never have been buried as there is no staining whatsoever.  It is essentially sparkling near mint condition with some scattered  bubbles in the glass.  Click LEFT SIDE, BACK, and RIGHT SIDE to see views of this bottles showing the nice clean, almost unblemished glass.  What body scuffs/scratches there are are very slight; there is also almost no wear to the points of the mug base at the heel which is typical of soda bottles which were used a few times.  For accuracy, there is just the slightest bit of wear to some of the lower parts of the ALASKA embossing.  This is about as pristine as a re-useable Hutchinson soda can get and it appears to have been only used a few times and never buried.  This one was found along with a few more Alaskan sodas by an early resident of Alaska back in the 1940s and 50s and recently acquired.   They just don't get any better than this!  SOLD!


MT. HOOD SODA WATER / TRADE / (lions head) / MARK / PORTLAND, ORE. - This is a pristine example of a somewhat scarce Hutchinson soda bottle from Portland, Oregon.  According to Ron Fowlers excellent book on Oregon soda bottles (An Illustrated History of Oregon Soda Pop Bottling) the Mount Hood Soda Water Works began business in 1904 at 368 Front Street and operated until 1932 (Depression failure?) with a couple nearby address changes (652 then 648 Front) during that time.  This Hutchinson style bottle was the first bottle they used later followed by a couple variations of mouth-blown crown top bottles which were likely used until about 1915 when machine-made bottles became the standard. I've not seen a machine-made example with embossing so apparently the company went to label only bottles without their name embossed on them (like many soda companies did in Portland).  The Hutchinson style bottles were probably used for the first 5 or 6 years of operation (until the first move in 1911) but that is just speculation. 

This example is sharply embossed as noted in a plate (aka "plate mold", click on the embossing close-up) and has a 10 sided "mug" base.  It is 6.75" tall, has a tooled funnel type "blob" finish/lip, 362 / H embossed on the base (like all the Hutch's do - same mold) and the original stopper still in place.  It is a nice blue aqua color with an assortment of bubbles in the glass.  The condition is essentially perfect with no chips, cracks, dings or staining.  There is hardly any wear showing on the bottle including the points of the "mug" base at the heel which is a typical case wear location.  If there is scuffing to the surface of the bottle it is extremely minor and one can't see it. 

Incidentally, I've seen the trade mark figure called a beaver as well as other animals including a seal!  I personally have seen a broken example of one of the seltzer bottles that the company used and the etched trade mark on it was unmistakably a lions head.  Great example of this soda bottle!  $80


BERLIN MINERAL WATER CO., BOSTON U. S. A. -  This is embossed inside of a large German cross that has a heraldic eagle trade mark.  It is also embossed with "REGD. 1873."  This is a typical round bottom soda type bottle that unlike the vast majority of such bottles, is actually of American origin - Boston, Mass. to be exact.  It is 9" tall/long, has an applied blob finish, and likely dates from the 1880s.  The majority of these type bottles found in the United States were imported from Great Britain and frequently embossed with company names and cities from England and Ireland - Belfast being a very common point of origin.  However, some were - like the bottle pictured - made in the United States (or made overseas for a U.S. bottler).  Condition of the bottle is excellent with just some wisps of faint haze inside (totally non-distracting), a tiny bit of external wear, and a very small indented (3-4 mm) imperfection to the underside of the lip that appears to be in-making as it is smooth (and doesn't appear under a hand lens to have been buffed).  Bottle acquired for and used/pictured on the Historic Bottle Website.  A relatively rare item I believe.  $35


STEINIKE & WEINLIG / SCHUTZ (hand holding stick with snake wrapped around) MARK - SELTERS - (Click close-up view of front embossing to see such.) These are imported mineral water bottles (SELTERS is German for "soda" as in carbonated water) that are often found in the U.S. - including this one which came from the Portland, OR. area.  The vast majority of these bottle - called the "apollinaris" style in glass makers catalogs of the era.  The following is from my educational Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website at this link: Apollinaris Bottle discussion.

Apollinaris is the name of a famous German spring the water from which was first bottled in 1852 (Wikipedia 2010).  At that time it was most likely in tall, relatively narrow handled earthenware jugs which were commonly used for other German mineral waters.  It was later (probably by the 1870s) also bottled in the distinctive type bottle shape shown, which is usually olive green in color.  Apollinaris water continues to be sold worldwide today

These bottles were also used and reused extensively - at least in the West - for beer.  See the etched San Francisco beer bottle that I also have for sale down the page a bit.  (It was also purchased to illustrate the multiple use nature of these thick glass bottles.)

This example was certainly made in Germany as evidenced by the base which is embossed with a GLASFAB. / H. HEYE / HAMBURG A/W.  (Click base view to see such.)  This embossing indicates the bottle was manufactured by Herman Heye, Glassfabrick ("glassmaker") Hamburg.  Click Heye Family Glass Works to view the article on the company on my other website.  The bottle is 9 3/4ths" tall, and 2 3/8th" in diameter, blown in a three-piece mold and has an applied short "blob" finish (image to right).  It is commonly found in North America, apparently being popular and imported in quantity.  These probably date from the 1870s to early 1900s.  It is the smaller size apollinaris bottle one sees; most are the 25-32 oz. "quart" sizes (like the beer below) which are essentially never embossed - at least the ones used in the U.S.  These Steinike & Weinlig bottles seem to just come in this 12 oz. + or - size in my experience, but could be found in a larger size also.  This bottle is essentially mint with just a few tiny scratches but hammered whittle, sparkling medium olive green glass, and no staining whatsoever (or chips or cracks or dings) and just a beauty!  $35


EAST SIDE BOTTLING CO. / PORTLAND / ORE. - This is a pretty rare (first I've seen or had) soda bottle from East Portland (east of the Willamette River) which was at one point a separate city in competition with Portland (west of the river).  Yes, it is "just" a crown top soda, but is hand blown (aka "mouth blown") and is a genre of Oregon mouth-blown bottles that have yet to be discovered...maybe?  The company was, according to period business directories operating for only one year - 1912.  This according to Ron Fowler's great book on Oregon soda bottles.  It was located in the "Brentwood Addition" (there were lots of "additions" in that area in the 1890s to 1920s) at the NW corner of Cooper and Spring Avenue.  This bottle has a hand tooled crown finish, is embossed in a "slug plate" (really a "plate mold" according to bottle makers), and is a nice greenish aqua color. 

It is also embossed at the reverse heel with O - S  A B Co. What does that mean?  Well, it indicates that the bottle was produced by the American Bottle Company (various plants in the Midwest).  More specially the "0" is a certain date code for 1910 and the "S" the plant code for the companies Streator, IL. plant; the old Streator Bottle and Glass Company.   (For more on the company see the very recent article available on my other educational website at -  http://www.sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/AmericanBottleCo.pdf   Fowler's book does note that some bottles have the same heel codes but with a "9" instead of a "0" (i.e., 9 - S A B Co).  In fact, this particular bottle appears (with magnifying glass) to have the "0" cut over a "9"!  So this indicates that East Side Bottling ordered at least two batches of bottles - one in 1909 and one in 1910....cool!  Apparently, the company was in business earlier but it wasn't picked up in the business directories until 1912, then likely disappeared by 1913.  (Isn't this history sleuthing fun!)  The bottle is in essentially mint condition with very little wear (even to the embossing), some very faint wisps of internal haze, and a couple very tiny peck marks which all adds up to very fine shape for a a re-used soda bottle.  Rare item from Portland!  $30


CAPE ARGO / SODA WORKS / MARSHFIELD, ORE.  -  Mouth-blown (aka "hand-made") soda bottles from about anywhere in the state of Oregon besides Portland tend to be scarce to extremely rare.  There are a couple different soda bottles from Coos Bay/North Bend which are among the more obtainable ones from outside Portland.  (Coos Bay was known as Marshfield until the 1930s or so, if my memory isn't failing me.)  Hutchinson soda bottles with this same embossing are fairly abundant, though in my experience, these tooled crown top Cape Argo (Cape Argo is a ocean headland nearby) bottles are much less frequently seen although Ron Fowler (author of the Oregon soda bottle book) notes that both are "common."  This crown top example has PCGW (or Pacific Coast Glass Works) embossed on the lower front body (as shown in Fowlers book) but also has PCGW embossed on the base...which may be an unlisted variant as he was good about listing base embossing as well as the rest of the body embossing.  Click base view to see such.  The company was in business in Coos Bay from about 1904 to 1920 with the Hutchinson's certainly being used during first - maybe 1904 to 1910 or so - and these tooled crown cap versions likely being used from about 1910 to 1915.

This example is a pale greenish aqua and blown in a four piece mold like the Hutchinson's are.   The condition of this example is very good with some high point wear on the embossing and around the heel (case wear from reuse) and two open surface bubbles above the CA in CAPE with some dirt in one of them.  Otherwise no chips, cracks or noticeable staining (ok, a few internal wisps).  Since non-Portland Oregon Hutchinson's are getting prohibitively expensive (evidenced by a Lakeview Soda Works selling on eBay for $600 recently!) this could be a good addition to an Oregon, mouth-blown crown soda collection.  Bottle procured for and used on my Historic Bottle Website.   SOLD!


CLARKE & WHITE / large C / NEW YORK - Although Clarke & White bottles are generally fairly common in most of the myriad of varieties, this one has uncommon - though very esthetic - crudeness to it.  I actually don't really want to get rid of it as it is so cool looking, but here it is...I can't keep everything.  The bottle is about 7.75" tall, has a fairly crudely applied "mineral" finish/lip (the Saratoga mineral water bottles are the origin of the finish name I believe), smooth (non-pontiled) somewhat domed base (embossed with an "X" in the middle and a "7" off to the side - see image), and is from the 1860s.  The special thing about this bottle is the zillions of tiny and not so tiny bubbles in and on the glass; click close-up of the glass surface to see this semi-orange peel look to the glass surface.  Otherwise the bottle is essentially mint with no chips, cracks, staining, or other issues...the only thing I can see is a very small scuff (not chip) on the edge of the heel on the back.  There is probably some minor scratching and such mixed in with the rough surface but they are unobtrusive.  A great example!  $85




ALBANY BREWING CO. / (fancy ABCo. monogram) / ALBANY, OR. - This is embossed within a somewhat oval ("slug") plate on this larger, 24 to 26 oz., blob-top export style beer bottle from somewhere in Oregon that is NOT Portland.  Mouth-blown, non-crown top beer bottles from other smaller cities/towns in Oregon are relatively far and few between.  Just a bit over 11.25" tall, this example has a tooled blob lip (aka "finish" in glassmaker parlance), is a medium to slightly darker amber with a reddish tint, and was blown in an post-bottom/base mold with several air vents on the front and back shoulder.  The base is embossed with S. B. & G. Co. indicating manufacture by the Streator Bottle & Glass Co. (Streator, IL.) who used that marking from 1881 to 1905 prior to be absorbed into the American Bottle Co. (A.B.Co.), which was later (1929) absorbed into the Owens-Illinois Glass Co. where they still maintain a plant I believe (Toulouse 1971). 

The Albany Brewing Co. operated under that company name from 1892 to 1906 being operated by William Faber at the corner of 9th & Lyon streets (Van Wieren 1995).  On the back heel is embossed the number 98 which is very likely a date code for 1898, which would fit nicely into the two known date ranges already noted above.  Streator was known to have used date codes a few years after this when under the umbrella of the A.B.Co., so this is an example of early date code use.  (Obviously, I love the history behind bottles...particularly Oregon ones!)  This example is in excellent condition - much better than the few other examples I've seen or owned and most re-used beer bottles in general - having almost no scuffing/wear on the body and basically no staining that I can see.  There are a couple tiny and hard to find "ping" marks near the base from reuse, a bit of faint and non-distracting scratching and is otherwise an exemplary example of this bottle!  Also has some bubbles and minor crudity and almost no wear to the embossing, which is unusual on reused beer bottles.  Nice glossy, bright example!  $75


FREDERICKSBURG (arched) / (dashed line) / BOTTG Co / S. F. CAL. - That is all etched on the body of this medium olive green, "Apollinaris" style beer bottle.  These etched San Francisco beer bottles seem to be pretty rare in my experience.  I remember seeing images of a few etched "export" style beer bottles in Grace Kendrick's book from the early 1960s, but had seen very few in real life.  Until this example I had never seen this style etched though I have had and sold several of the similar shaped but embossed Fredericksburg Bottling Co. beer bottles in past years (see SOLD BOTTLES below).  I picked this one up years ago at a California bottle show to illustrate the style on my other educational "Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website."  The Apollinaris style of bottle was used extensively for both beer and mineral water - particularly in the West. 

These, like the embossed examples, were likely blown in Germany although American bottle makers listed these in their catalogs implying they made them.  See the following linked page from the 1906 Illinois Glass Company catalog I have scanned and posted on the noted website:   https://sha.org/bottle/Typing/IGCo1906/IGCo1906page250.jpg   The right page at that link shows these available in several sizes including this offering which is the "quart" size which really only held about 25 ozs.; what was called a "scant" size.  The catalog also notes that the company did sell "Full Measure" 32 oz. quarts also.  I believe that the offerings in those catalogs were actually imported from German and sold as though they were actually produced by the American company.  But who knows...

Anyway...this example, like those noted in the catalog, was produced in a turn mold which is very evident as the horizontal spinner rings are pretty noticeable - they can be seen on the enlarged examples of the images to the right.  (The guys that produced these bottles were called "twister" blowers in the trade.)  This example has an applied "blob" finish (lip) with the usual short conformation typical of these bottles and likely dates from the 1890s to maybe early 1900s.  It has no chips, cracks or other post-production damage but does have some wear and scratching on the outside indicating that it was reused many times.  This is also obvious on the base which has a lot of wear around the resting surface; click base view to see such.  It also has a sediment stain ring inside (visible in the close-up shot above) which is a bit detracting but not too bad.  In any event this is still a nice example of a rare and historic type beer bottle that as far as I can tell, was only used in the West.  $50


NORTH WESTERN BREWING CO. / CHICAGO, ILL.- This "quart" (approx. 25 oz.) aqua champagne style beer bottle is embossed as noted - with a monogram that includes a buffalo head - inside of a raised circle (likely plate) on the shoulder.  The bottle is made of a heavy/thick pale greenish aqua glass and is almost 11.5" tall.  This bottle is another obtained and used for illustrating my Historic Bottle Website - specifically, on the beer and closures pages.  Below is most of the write-up from my other website dealing with this bottle:

This bottles base is also embossed with S. B. & G. Co. indicating manufacture by the Streator Bottle & Glass Company (Streator, IL.),  in business under this name from 1881 to 1905.  This beer bottle has a Baltimore loop seal closure accepting finish.  Click Bottle Finishes & Closures, Part III: Types of Bottle Closures to move to the... page which covers this closure type. This bottle also has a tooled blob finish (with the distinctive Baltimore seal "groove" inside the bore), multiple air venting marks on the back shoulder, and was produced in a post base mold.  This brewing company was in business with this name from 1888 to 1909 (Bull et al. 1984).  The makers mark and company information in combination gives a pretty positive date range for this bottle of 1888 to 1905, entirely consistent with the manufacturing features noted.  Click on the following links to view more images of this bottle: base view showing the makers mark; close-up view of the embossing and shoulder.  Streator's cross-state rival the Illinois Glass Company (Alton, IL.) offered a very similar champagne style "Monogram Beer" in their early 20th century catalogs, though this shape of bottle also fits the "select" beer style definition noted earlier.   Click IGCo. 1906 catalog - pages 254-255 to view an almost identical bottle which was offered with any finish (including the Baltimore seal) and as a plate mold like this Streator example.

Condition of the bottle itself is essentially perfect with no chips or cracks though the bottle does have a couple small scratches and scuff marks on one side, a little case wear, and some splotchy whitish staining on the outside on maybe 1/3rd of the bottle.  Interesting bottle with the raided "medallion" that has the embossing contained within it.  $15 

E. HINCKEL / BREWING CO. / ALBANY N.Y. / BOSTON MASS. / MANCHESTER N.H. / REGISTERED - I wasn't sure what this script lettering read - Kinchel or Hinchel or something else - as the first letter is quite stylized and hard to read.  However, I was recently notified that it is for Hinckel who made a variety of bottles from the 1890s until Prohibition (thanks Ted!).  This is a nice example of a "pint" (i.e., 11-12 oz.) Eastern beer bottle from the early 20th century and pre-Prohibition, ca. 1905-1915 I would estimate.  The embossing is largely diagonal across the front and in script.  The bottle also has C. G. W. embossed on the rear heel which certainly stands for the glass works/company that made the bottle, though which one that starts with a "C" is unknown...although it is unlikely to be any Western producer like Colorado Glass.  The bottle has a tooled crown finish, a medium amber color, thick side mold seams, is 9.25" tall, and in near mint condition with a few very minor wear marks on the body.  The brewing company is listed in Van Wieren's "American Breweries II" book as being in business from 1884 to 1920 though this bottle would be from the latter end of that lengthy span.  $15







(shoulder star) /E. ROUSSEL / PHILAD.A - DYOTTVILLE GLASS WORKS PHILAD. / SILVER MEDAL / 1847 / AWARD / THIS BOTTLE IS NEVER SOLD - This is a great, dated, mineral/soda water bottle from Philadelphia, PA.  The contained product was good enough to win the silver medal at some unstated competition in 1847.  Tod von Mechow's great website on soda/mineral water bottles dates these as being made/used from 1847 to 1849 - an early soda by any standards.  The bottle is just under 7.5" tall, an olive toned medium emerald green color to my eye which passes the light easily, has some nice whittling to the surface and bubbles in the glass, and a nicely distinct iron/improved pontil scar on the base with light but even iron residue remaining.  Click base view to see such.  The shoulder has a very boldly embossed star and the finish/lip is what is referred to as a "tapered collar" - a one part, early and crudely applied finish that has flattened sides and flares out distinctly from the rim to the base.  Click close-up of the shoulder, neck and finish to see such.  The embossing is generally quite good: the E. ROUSSEL side is all very boldly embossed; the 1847  dated side - which was engraved much less deeply and with very small letters compared to the ROUSSEL side - is still pretty bold for these bottles with only the IS in BOTTLE IS NEVER SOLD nearest the heel being very hard to see.  The condition is very good for these bottles having been lightly cleaned.  The only issues being a minor bit of residual (post-cleaning) case wear/scratching, some scattered, small, and hard to see ("pin prick" size) contact marks on the body/heel, a narrow wisp of light discoloring from the upper neck gradually disappearing in the shoulder (this could be some minor post-cleaning stain but could be some glass mixing discontinuity), and a small (2-3mm in diameter) impact mark at the heel...no other chips, cracks, or other post-manufacturing damage.  Overall this early soda is very appealing to the eye and much better looking than that litany of minor issues implies - see the images.  Bottle acquired for and used/pictured on the Historic Bottle Website.  Great dated mineral water made during the earlier days of the "blob soda" era.   SOLD!

FREDERICKSBURG / (emblem with F B Co inside of a shield) / BOTTLING CO. S. F. / THIS BOTTLE NOT / TO BE SOLD.   This large (24-26 oz. & 11.5" tall), crudely made, heavily whittled, applied blob finish, thick olive green glass, champagne style beer bottle is very reminiscent of the "apollinaris" style mineral water bottles.   According to Tom Quinn (in an excellent article in Thomas's 2002 book which was based on a lead in May Jones's books from the 1960s) - these bottles, as well as scores of other different beer (export and champagne) and cylinder liquor bottles, were made in Germany (like most apollinaris bottles) for various far West Coast brewing and liquor companies (primarily California with some in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia); often for companies with German surnames or themes (like Fredericksburg).  These German-made bottles - or at least the ones with U. S. specific embossing - seem to be a phenomena of just West Coast brewing and liquor companies which is believed related to a connection with several importers in the Bay Area of German ancestry (Abramson & Heunisch in the early 1880s; possibly others later).   Anyway, this example is in about mint condition with just some very minor wear/scuffing and a small nick at the base edge (visible at the linked image at about 11 o'clock).  This bottle was used for illustrating my Historic Bottle Website.  And interesting piece of Western American history with European roots.  SOLD!

CALIFORNIA SODA WORKS / (upside down deer antlers or some such) / H. FICHEN / S. F. -  Reverse has an "eagle" with wings spread, chunk of string or rope in its beak, and and a couple arrows in its talons; sort of like some of the later historical flasks with the eagle, banner, etc.  This is the well known, but scarce, "Fichen Chicken" soda bottle named as such due to the proprietors name and the eagle on the reverse which is a bit primitive and "chicken" like I guess?  I think it is just that Fichen rhymes with chicken and sounds cool, eh?  Anyway, this example is about 6.8" tall, has an applied blob finish - typical for the style and era - and was blown in a non-air vented mold almost certainly in San Francisco.  It has an embossing pattern reminiscent of the Bay City Soda bottles of about the same era and shares the "deer horns" embossed on the front with another similar but even rarer soda bottle from Vallejo.  The color is a rich blue aqua glass as the images show.  Not quite a "colored" soda but close, and these do come in lighter shades of green and blue I believe.  The company was short lived being around for just a couple years (1878-1879) and somewhat connected to the C. A. Reiners & Co. (Eureka Soda Works) according to the Markota's book on Western blob sodas.  They (Markota's) also noted this was a "rare" bottle and indeed there doesn't seem to be that many around.  This is a really nice example that does appear to have been professionally cleaned in a restrained fashion; the embossing is certainly very bold.  There really are no issues with this bottle - no chips, cracks, or much wear at all - just a couple very tiny open bubbles and I guess a very small and hard to find spot of "ground wear" remaining.  A really nice looking bottle that is even better in "real life" than the images show and they look good.  SOLD!

COTTLE, POST & CO. / (phoenix bird rising from the ashes) / PORTLAND OGN - Here is one of the favorite of Oregon - and Western (maybe all!) - bottle collectors, the colorful medium blue-green Cottle & Post blob soda bottle.  Cottle, Post & Co. owned and operated the "Eagle and Excelsior Soda Works" from 1877 to 1881 on Front Street just west of the Willamette River in down town Portland (precursor to the "Portland Soda Works").  Although older than the E. A. Post blob soda bottles (E. A. Post operated the company in 1881 and 1882 without Cottle), the Cottle & Post bottles have an early tooled blob finish, whereas the E. A. Post bottles always have an applied blob.  Also, even though the embossing pattern is similar on the two bottles, the E. A. Post bottles were certainly blown in San Francisco (SF&PGW) as they have the distinctive "curved R" in the embossing pattern; the Cottle, Post bottles do not have that attribute even though they are of the right era.  Conclusion?  The Cottle & Post bottles were likely blown somewhere else - location unknown - or at least the mold was made by someone else than the famous but anonymous Bay Area mold engraver/maker who left his mark with the distinctive "R"s.  In any event, this is a nice example that has some very nice whittle to the glass...a very unusual attribute for these bottles.  The condition is near mint with very limited case wear and scuffing and only a couple pin point "ping" marks on the body; no chips, cracks, or "flea bites."  It also has some  interesting crudeness and bubbles in the neck and (one small one appears to be open on the inside of the neck) which is somewhat visible in the full bottle image (click to view a larger example).  In any event, this is one of the nice, cruder ones I've had or seen...and these are just not "around" much anymore.  SOLD!

G. & M. BOTTLING CO. / (G&M monogram) / REGISTERED / PORTLAND, OREGON - This is embossed within a somewhat oval plate (aka "slug plate") on this tall and narrow style of Hutchinson soda with a mug base.  These are fairly rare bottles or at least I have sure seen few of them over the decades and this is the only one I've ever had I think.  The "G" is for John Gagen who operated various soda works around the state from the 1880s to early 1910s including the very small (at the time) eastern Oregon towns of Sumpter, Pendleton, Bend and Baker City.  All this according to Ron Fowler's great book on Oregon soda bottles...where he also noted that this particular bottle was used for only one year, apparently for the Lewis & Clark Exposition in 1905.  No mention of whom the "M" was as Gagen's partner.  The bottling works was on Union Avenue in East Portland (now Martin Luther King Blvd. I think).  Guess that explains the rarity of these, eh?  At the heel inside the "mug" panels is embossed with S. B. & G. Co. which is one of the makers markings for Streator Bottle & Glass Company, who used that mark from the 1880s to 1905; this bottle being from their last year operating under that name (they merged with several other companies that year to form the American Bottle Co.).  There is also a 5 embossed at the heel which is almost certainly a date code for 1905...cool!  Anyway, this example is a pale green aqua color and has some wear and abrasions from use along with a some little "bottle bumping together" ping marks and nicks here and there too.  There is also a weird impact mark with a very hard to see though short crack at the shoulder (part of the mark visible in this image) that shows this bottle has had a hard life.  This bottle was sold to me as not cracked - it really is hard to see but is associated with the rust spot visible in the image.  I suppose this is really a place holder bottle until one can acquire a better example...and priced accordingly.  SOLD!

NORTH WESTERN / BOTTLING CO / BUTTE, MONT. - This is embossed within an off-round (slightly oval) "slug" plate on this scarce Hutchinson soda bottle from the famous mining town of Butte, Montana.  I don't know anything about the history of this company or the actual rarity of the bottle but haven't seen that many of these through the years; don't even remember where I acquired this one (probably in Montana).  This one appears to be MT0033 on Ron Fowlers GREAT Hutchinson website (no makers marking, with the NORTH and WESTERN split into two words) though his illustrated example is colorless (pinkish) glass not aqua like this one ( www.Hutchbook.com ).  This example is almost 6.5" tall, has a tooled "blob" finish, a smooth base (no embossing), and probably dates from maybe as early as the late 1890s to early 1910s.  Condition is a bit rough though there are no chips, cracks or heavy staining.  It does have some scattered dirt still inside, has extensive case wear to the heel, the sides (mostly faint vertical scratches from sliding into a case against other soda bottles), and on the embossing which shows in the image.  There is also an assortment of various sized, though generally small flashes or "bulls eyes" on the base (again from the case handling), on the sides and a couple very small ones on the lip.  All sounds worse than it really is and it displays pretty well all things considered.  SOLD!

OWEN CASEY / EAGLE SODA / WORKS - SAC CITY - At one point I had a short run of different colors in these interesting though not uncommon early, smooth base, California soda bottles.  All sold now except for this one which is one of the rarer of the color shades - a true, clear green.  Click comparison image to see this bottle sitting next to another (Oregon) soda in a SFGW blue aqua.  All the posted images show the glass color pretty well.  These bottles date from between 1867 and 1871 (from the Markota's 1993 book) so they are among the earlier of the non-pontiled California soda bottles though almost certainly made in San Francisco.  Interestingly, the bottles do not have the curved "R" lettering as they likely just predate the famous mold engraver/fabricator that left his "makers mark" in the form of that distinctive letter.  It is believed that he started his work around 1870 which was just after when the one mold used for these bottles was initially made around 1867.  (All examples I've seen came from the same mold anyway.)

Anyway...this bottle is an excellent example with hammered whittle, lots of seed bubbles, and crudity befitting its ca. 1870 origin.  It has very minor case wear and appears to have never been cleaned though it has no notable staining.  This example does have a very small "ice pick" nick in the lip with a small (3-4 mm) "flash" coming off of it; this can be seen in the image at this link - close-up of the neck and lip.  That image also shows the color pretty well.  A very similar light to medium green example just sold at American Bottle Auctions for $650 (plus 10%)!  My offering appears to be very close to that examples color and crudity...except for the noted post production nick which is non-distracting to my eye.  You be the judge; priced accordingly. SOLD!

PIONEER SODA WORKS / SMITH & BRIAN CO. / RENO, NEV. - This is a nice example of a now very scarce to rare (these days) soda bottle from Reno, Nevada.   According to Holabird's great book on Nevada bottles, these were used from about 1900 to 1906 when the two guys noted in the embossing - a Mr. Smith and Henry A. Brian - became proprietors of the concern (1900) to when the business was sold to A. M. Britt (1906).  They referred to themselves in their advertizing as "The Soda Men."  Holabird noted that these used to be fairly abundant in the 1970s, but were apparently gradually locked up in collections (there is a lot of Nevada bottle collectors) over the years making them a fairly rarely encountered soda these days.  This - as all examples - was blown in a four-piece mold (not uncommon with Western Hutchinson's from the early 1900s), has a tooled "blob" lip/finish, a nice light greenish aqua, and is base embossed with 329 / H.  Many think the "H" stands for the Holt Glass Works from the Bay Area.  However, that probably isn't likely as research has shown that factory bit the dust in the 1890s (an article on Holt is pending soon on my other educational website).  Certainly these were made by some Western glass company, but which one I don't know.  Anyway, this is a very nice example with just a bit of high point wear to the embossing and around the edge of the base, some very minor scuff marks on the body (hard to see), and a faint wisp line of content staining but has no chips, cracks, or distracting faults.  Oh, and it has the original Hutchinson stopper in place.  Great example!  SOLD!

HOLLISTER / & CO. / HONOLULU - Talk about "Western" soda bottles, these sodas have to be the most "Western" or even beyond the West - the Hollister blob sodas from Honolulu, Hawaii.  Not precisely sure where these were made, but the only "R" on the bottle has that distinctive curve or curl to the extending leg that indicates production (or at least mold engraving) at one of the two main San Francisco glass companies at the time of production (early 1870s; Pacific or San Francisco Glass Works).  However, these early Hollister blob soda bottles have the true two-piece "key mold" conformation which is at least unusual on Western blob sodas of that era in my experience (most are post-mold conformation).   (Incidentally, a "key mold" conformation is a type of "hinge mold" with one mold base side "keying" or protruding into an opposing indentation on the other mold base side of the two-piece mold.  See my Historic Bottle Website "Bases" page for more information: http://www.sha.org/bottle/bases.htm  ) 

In any event, this bottle was blown in the long used mold that had the original "H & H" covered over with two little plates (aka "slugged out") and replaced with "& CO." and "HOLLISTER" engraved ("cut") above that work.  According to Elliot & Goulds' GREAT book on Hawaiian bottles (Elliot & Gould 1988) this mold was used from the original "H & H" bottles made in 1869 until the mid-1880s (about 15 years of use!) when the company moved to the use of various Hutchinson style soda bottles.  Using the picture key in the book to date this bottle, it appears it is of the "circa 1873" conformation given the somewhat shortened neck and "applied rounded blob top" finish.  It is a bit over 7" tall, a bluish aqua color (images show it pretty well) and has lots of seed & larger bubbles in the glass as well as some striations to the neck - a really nice "look" to it all round.  As far as condition there are a few very small, shallow in-making open bubbles (the most distinct is inside the "C" in CO.; see the close-up image above which shows it is small); very little spotty haze in a few places inside though the outside is a nice original and likely (but not sure) non-tumbled surface; and a couple small pin-prick type impact marks on the surface from case bumping.  Overall this is an nice crude example in great condition that is getting harder to acquire these days.  SOLD!

SAN FRANCISCO / GLASS WORKS - Many soda/mineral water bottlers in the West (and elsewhere) could not or just did not want to pay extra for bottles that were personalized for them (i.e., with their company name and/or location) via either private mold or plate mold so they just bought "generic" bottles from whatever bottle making company they chose.  Most of the times these bottles were not embossed on the body at all and the user just used a paper label to identify their company and product.  Sometimes the bottles had the name or initials for the glass company that made them.  This blob soda is an example of such a "generic" soda bottle that could have been used by any number of Western bottlers.  it is embossed boldly with SAN FRANCISCO / GLASS WORKS on one side and not embossed with anything else.  These were made sometime between the mid-1860s but prior to 1875-1876 (forget which year) when the Pacific Glass Works and San Francisco Glass Works combined into one company - the SF&PGW.  This example is about 7" tall, has an applied blob finish or lip (typical of the style), and was blown in a non-air vented mold.  This example is pretty crudely made with lots of bubbles in the glass, stretch marks on the neck and shoulder and some decent whittle throughout most of the body.  It is also a nice "San Francisco" blue aqua color.  It is near mint with really no staining, no chips, cracks, or even much wear at all.  The only "issues" I can find are a couple very small virtually invisible scuffs, one tiny pin prick on the back shoulder and a partially open bubble on the right side that is a bit over 1/8" in diameter with a  bit of dirt inside the non-open part.  Click on bubble close-up to see such.  Really not that distracting and around the side so not much of an issue...and likely in-making anyway.  Doesn't appear to have ever been professionally cleaned and is really a very nice example compared to most!  SOLD!

LEADVILLE - That is all that is embossed on the body of this early applied blob lip Hutchinson style soda bottle from Leadville, Colorado.   The base is also embossed with a large "S" that, according to Preble's book on Colorado bottles, is for F. Schmidt an early Leadville bottler that subsequently used several other bottles with the full name on them and "S" on the base.  Preble notes that this bottle is the first one that Schmidt used around 1880-1882. This is another bottle that I acquired decades ago and actually in Leadville, CO.  This style bottle with the long sloping shoulder is really a hybrid between the earlier "gravitating stopper" style bottle (patented 1864) and the true Hutchinson style (patented in 1879) and could easily have been "closured" by either the long glass gravitating stopper or the Hutchinson spring stopper.  (See this section of my educational Historic Bottle Website for more information on both styles.)  In any event, it has the applied blob finish, 6.5"+ tall, smooth (i.e., non-pontiled) somewhat domed base with the embossed "S", and is a bluish aqua color.  Like most of these I've seen, this one has some body (and base) wear from being reused, has some small ping marks on the body and around the edge of the base, one tiny flake at the heel also, and some overall though not too distracting haze inside.  It does have some crudity befitting it's earlier manufacture in the form of bubbles in the glass and stretch marks in the shoulder/neck area.  Not in perfect shape but not real bad either; click on the images above to see more detail.  SOLD!

IMPERIAL / BOTTLING WORKS / PORTLAND, OREGON - This is embossed in a somewhat oval slug plate on this actually fairly rare and hard to find Portland, Oregon Hutchinson soda bottle.  Ron Fowler listed these as "rare" in his great book on Oregon soda bottles ("Ice-Cold Soda Pop: An Illustrated History of Oregon Soda Pop Bottlers") which means he believed there were 10-25 examples extant.  I've only had one other of these bottles over the years so believe they are indeed pretty rare.  These are also embossed on the back heel with McC. 7 which indicates it was manufactured by William McCully & Co., one of the biggest and long lived of the 19th century Pittsburgh glass makers...a "dynasty" according to the legendary Dr. Julian Toulouse's "Bottle Maker's and Their Marks" book from 1971.   Although the company dates back to the 1830s, this particular mark was used from the mid-1870s to 1896 when the company ceased the production of bottles (they made only window glass until they ceased operations in 1909).   Ron Fowler apparently found no history on the company (the date listed is "?") so it remains enigmatic though the McC makers marking indicates it dates no later than 1896.  Condition of this example is excellent - near mint with just some very minor scuffing and a several inch scuff type scratch on the back; otherwise the bottle has no chips, cracks, or other damage and has very clean, non-stained glass.  SOLD!

HATHORN SPRING - SARATOGA N.Y. - This is a very nice golden amber quart "Saratoga" style mineral water bottle from one of the "big" springs there - Hathorn Spring.  This is the variation with the embossing in one line encircling the body of the bottle; both sides shown in the images (click to enlarge).  This example has an applied (with some drippy-ness) two-part "mineral" style finish/lip (click HERE to see a close-up of the neck and finish), was blown in a post-base style mold (like virtually all Saratoga style mineral waters), lacks any obvious air venting, and like dates from the late 1870s to mid-1880s.  It is listed in Donald Tucker's book on the subject as S-34, Variant 1.  The condition is near mint with essentially nothing wrong with it except some very hard to find, tiny scuff marks and I suppose a few virtually invisible wisps of content haze.  Overall the glass is clear, clean and shiny with some nice variably sized bubbles here and there.  A nice, large example of one of the more abundant of the non-Congress/Empire Springs N.Y. mineral waters.  SOLD!

CAMER & JACKY / PHILLIPSBURG / MON - I've never owned many non-Pacific bordering, though still Western, soda bottles...but do have a few.  This is one that I've had for many years having picked it up at an antique store in Eureka, CA. back in the 1970s.  It is embossed as noted in a plate and was used in the still very, very small Montana town embossed on it.  I picked this soda up since when I was a teenager we dug around that area some, i.e., the ghost town of Granite on the mountain above Phillipsburg.  I visited Phillipsburg again a few years ago and it looks the same as it was 40+ years ago...maybe a bit more "groovy" than then (a popular fly fishing region now) but still a small, but neat town with many 19th century buildings still existing.  Anyway, this example is almost 6.5" tall, has a tooled blob lip or finish, smooth unmarked base, a typical aqua coloration and looks to date from the late 1890s to very early 1900s.  The condition is pretty good with some scattered though minor scuffing and wear to the body, a bit of very faint haze  inside and a couple minor "ping" marks to the body - a function of the bottles banging against each other in the case and common with soda bottles.  There is also a very hard to see, <1/4" small "flash" in the lip near the edge in one spot.  Overall the bottle is pretty decent and has no other issues like chips, cracks, or noticeable staining; see the images (click to enlarge) including the window shot to the below right of this and the next bottle listed below.  Not perfect, but a hard to find soda bottle from a great state.  SOLD!

JOHN CLARKE / NEW YORK - Probably the earliest of the "Saratoga" type mineral water bottles are some of the examples made with Mr. John Clarke's name on them...with possibly the oldest ones (1820s and early 1830s) embossed Lynch & Clarke.  The example offered here is a pint sized one used by just Mr. Clarke after he branched off on his own in 1833 (i.e., Mr. Lynch died); it dates from between that date and about 1846 and is pretty certainly known to have been blown by the Saratoga Mountain Glass Works (Mt. Pleasant, NY) as best I can tell from various references including McKearin & Wilson (1978).  (Note:  I cover this particular bottle in more depth on my Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website at this link:  Soda & Mineral Waters Typology page.)  In any event this bottle is about 7" tall, an nice clear medium olive amber, has a crudely applied "mineral" type finish (where this finish gets its name!), and somewhat indented base with a centered dot with the mold seam line (a true two-piece mold indication) cutting through it and a moderately distinct sand pontil scar around the outside edge of the domed base.  (Click on both small images to see larger ones.)  Condition of this example is excellent and it appears to have been lightly cleaned at one point restoring a nice original gloss to the bottle inside and out.  The bottle is near mint with just some very, very light scratching/scuffing in some hard to see spots on the lower back and a tiny impact nick on the base.  Nice example of a VERY early mineral water bottle and one of the precursors to the huge array of very similar shaped mineral water bottles that continued to be made until the end of the 19th century.   (Note: An example from this exact mold sold at Glass Works Auctions recently (March 2013) for $600+ 15%...and not THAT much better of condition.)   SOLD!

HOFFMAN & JOSEPH / (lion on a column) / ALBANY, OGN. - A very scarce to moderately rare Oregon blob top soda bottle from the only other city in Oregon than Portland to use the earlier blob tops soda bottles (and Albany produced two...this and the even rarer H. D. / ALBANY, O.).  Almost 7" tall, light greenish aqua in color, applied blob finish, smooth base, ca. 1880s.  This is the only example of the Hoffman & Joseph bottles I've encountered with a true applied lip.  I'm pretty sure there must be more around, but this is the only one to my memory.  The physical condition of this bottle is about mint with no chips, cracks, digs, etc.  It does have a few very light scuff marks and some relatively faint water staining inside on one side in a pattern showing that it laid on its side - tipping slightly down - for a century or more (i.e., a dug bottle like virtually all these I've seen).  A must for the Oregon collector and a rare variation with the true applied finish.   SOLD! 

HAAS BRO'S / NATURAL / MINERAL WATER - NAPA / SODA - This is one (the first I believe) of a relatively large grouping of various "Napa Soda" bottles used by an assortment of companies over many decades utilizing the (still) famous spring waters in what is now more regarded as one of the premier wine growing regions in the world.  These bottles date from 1873 when a trade mark for "Napa Soda" was applied for by the David Haas.  They were probably not made after that time (1873 to 1874) as - according to the Markota's wonderful book on Western blob sodas - a Col. John P. Jackson assumed the ownership of the Napa Soda Springs in 1873 or 1874 building a large health resort. 

These soda bottles do come in aqua (most common), lime green and cobalt/sapphire blue (both much less common) this being a light cobalt or medium/dark sapphire, depending on ones interpretation.  The images show the color well.  It has an applied blob lip or finish (like all of them), has a smooth base (none are pontiled - too late of manufacture), and were likely blown at either the Pacific or San Francisco Glass Works.  The thick blue glass is very whittled and there are some nice stretched out bubbles in the glass.  Condition is about mint (possibly cleaned?) with some light wear on high points of the body and embossing in a few places from re-use, though it has no chips, cracks, flashes in the glass. I also don't see any "ping" marks on the body which are sometimes common with reused soda bottles.  Take a look at the enlargements of the two images.  Nice example!  SOLD! 

C. & K. / EAGLE WORKS / SAC CITY - This is a nice example of a relatively abundant California Gold Rush era "blob" soda bottle from Sacramento or "Sac City" as they abbreviated it back then.  These bottles were, according to the Markota's, used from about 1858 to 1866 when Casey & Kelly were in a partnership which included the manufacturing and bottling of soda water.  (They were also liquor & wine dealers...something for everyone.)  This example is a beautiful, clear medium sapphire blue which is accurately portrayed by the image.   Also has some nice big bubbles in the glass. It is a bit over 7" tall, smooth base (not pontiled, none are to my knowledge though they slop over into the era a bit), and has an applied "blob" lip.  The condition is near mint as it has no chips or staining (professionally cleaned no doubt) and the only issue is a very minor amount of case wear/tiny peck marks primarily around the lower side/base edge.  A fine example and a beautiful window bottle!  SOLD! 


PORTLAND / TRADE MARK / (phoenix bird rising from the ashes) / SODA WORKS P. O. - There is an array of Portland (P. O. = Portland, Oregon) embossed soda bottles that were used by the same basic soda manufacturer, but with different owners, from the 1870s to the 1930s.  In fact, this soda works traces it roots back to Territorial Oregon in the 1850s when first founded by Dekum & Bickel in 1856!  The embossed bottles of interest and importance to bottle collectors begin with the Cottle & Post blob sodas - the beautiful blue green soda at the top of this section.  In 1883, this same soda company was owned and operated by Northrop & Sturgis who produced this bottle.  In fact, the base is embossed with NORTHRUP & STURGIS

I've made a casual study of the entire sequence of mouth-blown bottles from this outfit (1883 to 1911 according to Ron Fowler's great book on Oregon sodas!) and this bottle is certainly from the second (possibly third) mold used by the company in the 1880s, probably starting about 1884 or 1885 and moving to a second (or third) similar mold in the late 1880s.  (The first bottle used by N&S, apparently for a very short time, was the fairly elusive blob soda Portland Soda Works bottle.  There was also possibly an earlier Hutchinson soda listed by Ron, but I've yet to see one.)  How do I know this is the first (second?) Hutchinson mold?  Because I've bottles from this mold  in both an applied and tooled blob finish; this example being the tooled finish.  Of additional interest (I'm getting into this now!) is that even though both the applied and tooled bottles were certainly made in the same mold, at the time the glass company that produced the bottles (almost certainly the San Francisco & Pacific Glass Works) switched to tooled finishing they also shoulder air vented (i.e., drilled small holes) the front and back halves of the mold since the applied ones do not (in my experience) have the air venting.  Cool, eh? 

Anyway, this bottle is a nice blue aqua typical of the SF&PGW bottles of the era and is essentially mint (don't believe it has ever been cleaned, but not sure) with virtually no visible staining inside or out, no chips or cracks or other issues with the exception of a few very small, light scuffs on the outside and a bit of Hutchinson stopper induced wear on the inside of the lip; typical of Hutchinson's used more than once.  Nice example, with good embossing, some decent crudity to the finish, shoulder and body and in better than average condition.  SOLD!

CHAMPAGNE / NECTAR - Great name which is boldly embossed on this blob soda ("pony" I think it is referred to) bottle that originates from New Orleans, according to Todd von Mechow's great website on the subject of early soda & beer bottles.  Also embossed on the lower back heel is C. I. & Co. which indicates manufacture by the great Pittsburgh glass company of Christian Ihmsen & Co. who operated under that name from 1836 to 1860 according to Hawkin's book on the glassmakers of that area.  (Note: There certainly are a LOT of really great, historically based, "bottle books" available now.  Be sure to get them before they are out of print!) 

Anyway, that makes this bottle a pre-Civil War manufacture though it is a smooth - non-pontiled - base.  It does have, however, a "key mold" type base of the style utilizing the rounded flange (instead of squared off) that fit one side of the mold to the other at the base.  This is an early conformation and a bit unusual for a heavy glass soda bottle, but not that unusual for the 1850s.  Anyway, this example is just under 7" tall, a nice blue-aqua color with neat swirls in the glass, with an applied blob finish with a bit of "slop-over" under the lip.  The condition is very good - it has been professionally cleaned almost certainly - with no cracks or staining.  It does retain some light ground wear here and there and a few little "ping" marks from having bumped into other bottles during transportation, re-use and re-bottling.  There is also a tiny bit of roughness at a few points along the edge of the lip including one pin-head sized iridescence nick in one spot.  Neat bottle from antebellum New Orleans, LA.  SOLD!

J. N. GERDES / S. F. - MINERAL / WATER - That is embossed on opposite sides (embossing split on two panels each on both sides as images show) of this pair of nice, 1870s era San Francisco mineral waters in a rare - for the West - 8 sided configuration.  Being offered here separately or together, these were both blown in the same mold, certainly by a San Francisco glass works sometime between 1873 and 1877 according to the Markota's great book on Western blob soda bottles.  So these were made either at the San Francisco Glass Works or the Pacific Glass Works...or at the combined San Francisco & Pacific Glass Works if blown after their merging in 1875 or 1876 (depending on what source you reference).  John N. Gerdes was the proprietor of the San Francisco Soda Works during the noted time period, so these bottle were used by that company during (and possibly a bit after) John Gerdes ownership. 

The bottles have the distinctive curved "R's" made by the still yet unknown mold maker or engraver doing work on some of the most legendary bottles made in the West from about 1870 to the mid-1880s. To my knowledge there was only one mold used for the blowing of the scarce bottles and all have applied blob lips or finishes.  This pair is in better than average condition for these bottles and described separately here. 

The greenish aqua bottle with the original cork securing fitting has a little bit of spotty wear here and there, but no staining and appears to have never been professionally cleaned.  As with all of these bottles I've seen, there is some ground wear right at the heel of the bottle on the small lowermost "tip" of most/all of the panel points; apparently due to case wear from the bottles inevitable being reused many times.  As is also typical, there is a small nick on one of the reverse panel edges (right below the curved "R" leg in WATER) that is about 4mm by 3 mm in size with a bit of depth.  (It is visible in the enlarged version of the second image to the left).  Otherwise the glass is largely shiny and clean with very minor wear and not other chips, no cracks or other post-manufacturing damage.  SOLD!

The light blue green (deep "fire aqua" to Western collectors) example to the right in the images is also very nice with the same wear at the lower panel corners.  It has been professionally cleaned it appears and has a minor amount of "ground" wear here and there on the body and lip but it is limited and non-distracting to my eye.  There are also a few (3 I can see) very small (much smaller than the small nick noted for the first bottle) edge nicks or pinprick chips on the side panel edges.  As the images show this example has very nice color (the other is no slacker!) and displays very nicely.  SOLD!

SAMMONS BROS / JAMESTOWN - This is a "rare" Hutchinson soda (according to Markota's great book on California "hutch" sodas) used by John & Henry Sammons for their product in Jamestown, CA. - an early Gold Rush town dating back to 1848.  Of course, these aren't that old, the brothers having operated in Jamestown from 1894 to 1900 (during the hard rock mining and railroad era) before moving up the hill to Sonora in 1900.  (The Sonora versions of this bottle are also pretty hard to find.)  So that would be the date range for the use of this bottle.  Here is a bit of interesting early history from the internet:

The first person to find gold in Jamestown was Benjamin Wood from Oregon. He arrived in 1848, a few months after gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill. Woods Creek was named for him. The town was named for Colonel George F. James, a wealthy attorney from San Francisco. James became the first mayor and later presented the town residents with a series of shady get-rich schemes. None of them were successful and James left town under the cover of night and never returned. 

This very nice example is that is 6.75" tall, an embossed "plain" base, and was blown in a 4-piece mold with a tooled "ring type" blob lip or finish.  It is in near mint condition with a very shiny surface as the image shows.  Only things making it a bit less than pristine is some light case wear to a few of the embossed letters on the left side of the embossing pattern, a few light scratches on the back half, and a small (3-4mm diameter), shallow flake at the rear heel...all the type of re-use related wear one usually sees on Hutchinson sodas though on the very light end.  No other chips, cracks, fish eyes, or staining.  I don't believe this bottle was professionally cleaned...just in great condition.  Will price it at the low end of the Markota's "suggested value" range ($125-$225) from 20 years ago.  SOLD!

- This is a rare to very rare (?) gravitating stopper (w/o stopper) soda bottle from San Luis Obispo, California.  It is certainly a product of either the San Francisco Glass Works or Pacific Glass Works (or the merged company starting in 1876) as it has the very distinctive curved "R's" in the embossing which was the work of an unknown (but famous to modern collectors) mold engraver in the Bay Area working from around 1870 into at least the early 1880s. (Click the embossing close-up image to the right.)  This bottle also has the typical base embossing regarding the 1864 John Matthews patent.   Click base embossing to see an image of the base.  

The Markota's book on California Hutchinson soda bottles lists it as a bottle that also comes a Hutchinson style (with a "mug base" - lower body panels), a blob top soda (also quite rare and with a bit different embossing pattern), and an alleged crown cap style.  The crown cap closure version must be in error as the Markota's state that Ceribelli sold the S.L.O. soda works to an L. Martin in 1883, long before the crown cap was even invented in 1892. (Or if there is a crown style it doesn't have Ceribelli embossed on it and used by a later owner.)  S. Ceribelli formed the San Luis Obispo Soda Water Works in 1873 or 1874.  Assuming that the blob style was first (1873-1875 or so although this bottle could have been first or used concurrently) then these gravitating stopper bottles were made/used during the mid to late 1870s with the Hutchinson used in the early 1880s (the style was invented in 1879).

This 7.25" tall bottle has a relatively short, true applied "blob" finish which is typical of gravitating stopper bottles.  Click close-up of the lip to see such. The embossing on the body is very strong, as is most of the base embossing. (See the linked images above.)  The condition of this example is exceptional with clean, shiny glass (may be professionally cleaned?) with virtually no body wear or major condition issues.  There is a small (1/8" diameter or so) flat flake on the inside of the lip in one spot which barely shows in the lip close-up at about the 12 o'clock position.  There is also a very small "bump" (case induced) mark on the extreme lower body which can be seen in the base embossing image linked earlier just above the "T" in GRAVITATING.  These are very minor issues and typical of even "mint" condition soda bottles which were usually reused many times before being tossed.  In any event, a great example of a rare California gravitating stopper bottle.  SOLD!

HATHORN SPRING / SARATOGA N. Y. - Here is a nice example of a relatively abundant Saratoga style pint mineral water bottle which comes in an array of colors like many do.  This appears to be Tucker S-33 B, Type V.  That author notes the Hathorn bottles of all types date from 1864 to 1889; this example is typical of the Saratoga style made from the early 1870s to early 1880s.  This glass is a beautiful deep emerald green in color which the image portrays well.  The body is quite whittled with a nice crudely applied lip, some in-making bumpy crudeness along the mold seam just below the lip on the right side (can see in image) and a typical array of bubbles in the glass.  It is in very good condition with the only minor issues being a bit of a "matte" finish to the outside surface (shows in image) which is even and actually pleasing; the inside of the bottle appears to have no content staining.  There is the tiniest of "fleabite" nicks on the lip in one spot...minor "roughness" would be most accurate.  Otherwise the bottle is near perfect with a bit of wear on the base and a few minor scuffs a scratches from some level of reuse I presume.  A very pleasing to look at mineral water bottle that was in one of my windows for years (with 11 others) but was pushed out by another pint Saratoga that I like better.  SOLD!

FREDERICKSBURG / (emblem with F B Co inside of a shield) / BOTTLING CO. S. F. / THIS BOTTLE NOT / TO BE SOLD.   This large (about a quart & 11.5" tall), crudely made, heavily whittled, applied blob finish, bubbly thick olive green glass, champagne style beer bottle is very reminiscent of the "Apollinaris" style mineral water bottles.   According to Tom Quinn (in an excellent article in Thomas's 2002 book which was based on a lead in May Jones's books from the 1960s) - these bottles, as well as scores of other different beer (export and champagne) and cylinder liquor bottles, were made in Germany (like most Apollinaris bottles) for various far West Coast brewing and liquor companies (primarily California with some in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia). These were usually made for companies with German surnames or themes (like Fredericksburg).  These German-made bottles - or at least the ones with U. S. specific embossing - seem to be a phenomena of just West Coast brewing and liquor companies which is believed related to a connection with several importers in the Bay Area of German ancestry (Abramson & Heunisch in the early 1880s; possibly others later).   Anyway, this example is in near mint condition with just some very minor wear/scuffing and a very small open bubble on the rear heel.  Als0, as one can see in the image, it has the original porcelain stopper and bail; the top of the stopper is stenciled with FREDERICKSBURG BOTTLING CO. S. F.  A very nice example of an interesting relic of Western American history.  SOLD!

COLUMBIA / WEISS BEER / BREWERY / ST. LOUIS, MO. - Virtually unknown as a bottle style out West (at least embossed with a Western company/city), the tall and graceful "Weiss" bottles were not even that commonly used in the Midwest and East.  However, it seems that a large amount of them were made for the St. Louis market, like this example.  Bottle is a nice clear medium amber, 9 1/2" tall (with stopper), tooled blob top with the original lettered porcelain stopper and original bail (click HERE for a picture of the stopper), smooth base, ca. 1900-1910.  This bottle is also embossed on the reverse with "THIS BOTTLE / IS / NEVER SOLD"; click HERE for a picture of the reverse side.  At the bottom of the reverse side, just above the heel, is embossed "I G CO 30A" which indicates manufacture by the Illinois Glass Company in mold #30A.  This mold is listed in the early 20th century Illinois Glass catalogs with the number 30A and was called - of all things - the "St. Louis Weiss Beer" style.  Bottle is essentially mint with no chips, cracks, wear, or staining - just a couple of obscure scratches.  The relatively heavy glass also has some nice bubbles in the glass and is all-round just a neat looking item. (Incidentally, this bottle was illustrated on the Historic Bottle Website.)   SOLD!

GAMBRINUS BREWING CO. / GBCo monogram / PORTLAND, OR. - All of this is embossed inside of a circular "slug plate."  The base is also embossed with S B & G Co / 2 indicating production by the Streator Bottle & Glass Company of Streator, IL. (the "2" is a mold mark of unknown meaning) and the reverse heel is embossed with a very small 99 which might be a date code for 1899.  Click base view to see an image of the base.  This bottle is mouth-blown (aka hand-blown, like about everything I sell) with a tooled crown cap accepting finish, aqua in color, 11 1/4" tall "quart" size (about 22-24 oz. actually), and dates from 1899 to maybe 1905 when Streator merged into the American Bottle Co.  (As a side note, Gambrinus was known as the "patron saint of beer" and a name used by many American breweries during the late 19th and early 20th centuries - and even today in one instance.)  Condition of the bottle is about mint with very shiny clean glass and a few light scuff marks here and there.  The only issues are a small (3 mm wide by 1.5 mm high) shallow flake on the side of the top portion ("bead") of the lip/finish and one small (2-3 mm in diameter) impact mark on the lower back.  This bottle was also used for illustrating my Historic Bottle Website.  All things considered, this is a pretty good example of an Oregon beer bottle that one doesn't see that often.  SOLD!

Pacific Beer, Tacoma, Washington pre-prohibition advertising tray - The Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. of Tacoma, WA. was a major early 20th century Tacoma area brewing company that bit the dust (or possibly moved to California)  in 1915 - according to Dale Van Wieren's "American Breweries II" book - when statewide alcohol Prohibition was self-inflicted on that state's residents a few years prior to National Prohibition.  This tray probably dates from between 1905 and 1915 and was manufactured using the printing techniques of the era, having the "dot pattern" (upon close inspection) similar to what sees on same period trade cards and lithographs. The tray has in VERY small print in the gold strip below "TACOMA" - CHAS. W. SHONK CO. LITHO CHICAGO NO. J4117 - the maker of the tray. The tray has an image of Mt. Rainier which is called Mt. Tacoma in the illustration (above the peak along with the 14,256 ft. elevation) which was the local Indian name for the mountain (though spelled a myriad of different ways over the years).  Condition of the tray is excellent with virtually no wear or chipping to the decorative front side (click image to enlarge) - really just a few light scratches -  and little wear to the solid green painted back.  (Click image of the tray back to see such.)  If I remember right, there were a few lightly to essentially unused examples of these trays discovered somewhere in the NW back in the late 1960s or very early 1970s (when this was acquired) in a couple different color schemes but with the same design.  I see one every now and then on eBay though they still seem to be somewhat scarce and one of the more affordable, pre-Prohibition Western beer trays.  SOLD!

BLATZ - Milwaukee, Wis. - Old Heidelberg Brew beer tray - This is an esthetic beer tray that was reportedly produced during Prohibition (ca. 1920s) for the "near beer" product of Blatz - Old Heidelberg Brew...not "Beer."  The label on the bottle confirms this somewhat as it does state that the product "Does not contain...of alcohol by vol..." (the missing parts are off the edge of label graphic).  This is also confirmed on the www.Trayman.net website (great resource BTW).  The tray was made - according to small print in the lower right corner - by the The American Art Works, Inc., Coshocton, Ohio.  Size of the tray is a rectangular 13.25" by 10.5" by 1.25" deep.  It has some chipping and edge wear as can be seen in the enlarged photo (click to see a larger version) but is overall a nice looking tray with good graphics and pleasing overall nice design...and an embossed BLATZ bottle! (Which is what attracted me to the tray.)  The bottle graphics itself are almost untouched, with most of the wear/chipping in the vicinity of BREW and along the rim.  The back of the tray also has spots where the paint has worn off but the tray has no dents at all.  I actually acquired this tray in Ely, Nevada about 30 years ago of all things; time now to pass it on.  Incidentally, a near mint example sold on eBay for $373 a few years ago; this one is certainly not mint but priced accordingly.   SOLD!


EASTERN / CIDER Co - These are an unusually embossed "soda" bottle from San Francisco and Oakland, CA. according to the Markota's book on Western blob soda & mineral water bottles.  I have always wondered if it was hard cider or just plain old cider?  Did other soda manufacturers in the West also make hard/soft cider?  Cool bottle in any event and the Markota's didn't note anything specific about the contents.  These bottles are pretty scarce but do come in some wonderful shades of amber as well as a few shades of green.  They date from 1877 to 1882.

This example is in basically mint condition.  It is 7" tall, has an applied "blob" finish (aka lip), and was blown in a post-base mold like many of the earlier Western soda bottles.  These have the "curved R" indicating certain manufacture by the San Francisco & Pacific Glass Works with the mold made/engraved by the unknown but still famous guy in the Bay Area that was involved in the production of molds for some of the best bottles made in the West.  I don't know if this example was professionally cleaned or not, but it is essentially flawless in condition with no chips, cracks, staining or any other issues.  A nice addition to your Western (or curved "R") collection.   SOLD!


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