SODA/MINERAL WATER & BEER
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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. $300
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! $100
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 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 flake 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. $95
The light blue green (or very deep blue aqua) 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 bit of "ground" wear (aka cleaning polished case 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 body chip 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. $120
I would sell the pair together for $200.
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.) $250
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. $95
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
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. $55
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. $45
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!
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. $45
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. $50
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. $50
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! $35
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.) $50
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
Bottle Website. All things considered, this is a
pretty good example of an Oregon beer bottle that one doesn't see that
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
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. $90
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!
BELOW ITEMS ARE ALL SOLD!
(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!
C. & K. / EAGLE WORKS / SAC. CITY - These Sac (Sacramento) City blob soda bottles are seen fairly frequently in various shades of cobalt and sapphire blue...and apparently, to my knowledge, don't come in any other glass colors like the later versions (1867 to 1871) embossed with Owen Casey. The "C" is for Casey - as in Owen Casey - and the "K" is for Kelly; these bottles date from about 1858 to 1866, according to the late Peck Markota's great book on Western blob sodas. This example is a clear, pleasant shade of (what I would call) medium sapphire blue - see the images which represent the color well. It is a tad over 7" tall, has an applied blob finish, smooth indented base, and very strong embossing. The condition is excellent - near mint - and it almost certainly has been lightly cleaned at some point; there is no staining whatsoever. There are no chips, cracks, or significant dings except for a bit of minor scuffing and a few very tiny (pin head or less) impacts marks here and there from handling during it use period. It is in better condition that most of these I've seen over the years. Nice bottle - you'll be pleased! SOLD!