LINKS TO MY PAGES

Bottles for Sale

Medicinal Tonics

Bottle Glossary

Western Americana Books For Sale

Photos & Links

My eBay Page

Historic Bottle Website

Grouping of 19th century American bottles.Located on Oregon's Williamson River - renown for large redband trout (a rainbow subspecies - illustration 0f a juvenile below). We are near the north end of the Klamath Basin in south central Oregon - a beautiful area with BIG lakes (Klamath & Agency Lakes), near Crater Lake National Park and within sight of two snow covered peaks: Mt. Shasta & Mt. McLoughlin (well, some snow most of the year with McLoughlin). 

The Klamath Basin is on the extreme western edge of the high and "cold desert" of eastern Oregon at over 4100' (valley bottom; mountainous elevations go up from there).  Not real high for the Intermountain West, but just right for cold (but not too cold) winters and warm (but not too warm) summers.  It's flora & fauna reflect its proximity to the Great Basin - the so-called "sagebrush ocean."

I (Bill) am a collector (47+ years!) of all kinds of older, mouth-blown American bottles and flasks produced by hand craftsman methods from the late 18th through the very early 20th century (pre-1910 + or -).  My collecting tastes run the gamut from medicinal tonic bottles (more later), early American figured flasks (aka "historical flasks"), bitters, California Gold Rush era soda & mineral waters and other Western American bottles, early American utilitarian bottles & flasks, Oregon bottles, etc.  I really don't have huge amounts within many of the recognized types or categories of 19th century bottles, but do have something within virtually all types - even some canning jars which are frankly among the most fascinating of the many bottle collecting genres.   My only specialty collecting has been medicinal tonic bottles, which is discussed further down the page. 



Grouping of late 18th to early 19th century American "Pitkin" flasks.
New England & Midwestern "Pitkin" flasks produced between the 1790s and 1830s...beautiful!

Bottles, Books & Collectibles For Sale

I offer a small assortment of bottles, bottle related items and other collectibles for sale via this website; see the hyperlinked list in the green box below.  Now retired, I need to pare down the amount of "stuff" I have including divesting myself of the hundreds of bottles purchased to illustrate the information and concepts contained within the Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website - my other very large, educational website hosted by the Society for Historical Archaeology (discussed further down the page).

Click Bottles For Sale to access the main page for these items.  On that page one will find links to the various category specific "bottles for sale" pages.  Check back frequently as I periodically add new bottles, books and other related items to the pages...so stay tuned!  The links in the box below also takes one straight to each of the category specific "bottles for sale" pages: 

MAIN PAGE/WESTERN AMERICAN BOTTLES
BITTERS
EARLY AMERICAN BOTTLES & FLASKS
MEDICINAL "TONIC" BOTTLES
OTHER MEDICINAL BOTTLES
FOODS & CANNING JARS
SODA/MINERAL WATER & BEER
LIQUOR & MISC. BOTTLES and COLLECTIBLES
BOTTLE BOOKS

I also offer  an assortment of Western Americana related books via my
Western Americana Books For Sale webpage as well as on Amazon as -
High_Desert_Bill

My email is -
 I ask that people trying to first contact me please use the email address above not call me by searching out my phone number on the internet.
 


Dramatic weather in Monument Valley, Arizona.
Monument Valley (Arizona) just before an early season snow storm, September 1974
 


 

Want to know more about historic
American-made bottles?

If you have general questions or want to learn more about historic bottles, click Historic Bottle Website (HBW) to view a very in-depth website I have created (and still working on).  The HBW is now hosted by the Society for Historical Archaeology as a joint effort with my ex-employer (I'm retired now) the Bureau of Land Management.  This site was designed to answer general bottle age & type (i.e. typology or what a bottle was used for) questions for American-made bottles produced between about 1800 and the 1950s.  It also provides a wealth of information on glassmaking, bottle & bottle use history, references, glossary, and a LOT more.  The Historic Bottle Website will continue to be refined, expanded and enhanced as long as I'm able, so check in frequently.

If the HBW does not answer your questions you may send an email.  If you provide a good detailed description of the bottle in question and include a clear digital picture(s), I will try to help...but no guarantees.  Be aware however that there were hundreds of thousands of uniquely different bottles produced just in the U. S. during the time span noted above and published information is available for only a very small percentage of them.  For example, researcher Ron Fowler ( http://www.hutchbook.com ) has cataloged well over 17,000 differently embossed Hutchinson soda bottles alone made from about 1880 to the mid-1910s!  Fortunately, many of a bottle's physical manufacturing related features as well the specific shapes give clues to the age and use (typology) of most bottles.   I may not get back immediately since I do get LOTS of questions, but I try to answer all friendly and reasonably descriptive (including those images!) emails within a couple weeks.

Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website


Medicinal Tonic Bottles

Grouping of 19th and early 20th century medicinal tonic bottles.

My one incursion into bottle collecting specialization is MEDICINAL TONIC bottles.  Not hair tonics, but medicinal tonics where, for example, the word "tonic" is used in the place of the word "bitters" or "cure" - i.e. a Fever & Ague Tonic instead of Fever & Ague Cure.  I do not generally collect items where the word Tonic is descriptive instead of the actual product, i.e. Dr. Jayne's Tonic Vermifuge is not a tonic, but a vermifuge with "tonic effects".  But I would consider the Wilson's Tonic & Sarsaparillian Elixir to be pretty much of a true tonic bottle.  It's a fine line of course, but I'm just after what I consider to be "true" tonic bottles.

I am in the process of compiling a list of all the known, embossed medicinal tonic bottles (though I am also interested in label only ones).  My goal is to get as complete a list as possible, including different embossing patterns of the same brand; color, lip and size variations; and all the unique American and Canadian brands.  I'm currently well over 400 different tonic bottles!    I am striving towards some kind of book (or website?) on the subject in the future.

Click on Medicinal Tonics to see my most updated listing of tonic bottles and for more information on the subject.  I am also looking for good quality images of unusual tonic bottles. 
 

If you know of any embossed medicinal tonic bottles (as defined above) not listed on my Medicinal Tonics page, please contact me at the email link below; proper credit will be given in a future publication - traditional or web book.

My email is -

I ask that people trying to first contact me please use the email address above not call me by searching out my phone number on the internet.



 

Just before a storm at Smith Rocks in central Oregon's high desert.
Smith Rocks State Park in central Oregon's high desert (near Redmond), August 2008


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Page Last Updated: 6/6/2014

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