Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Past Finds 4

This week I’m feeling bold, and have decided to lead off with a soda bottle!  During a Little Rhody Bottle Club meeting, I traded some Boston bottles to Bill Rose.  He had recently found a Frank P. Casey North Smithfield, RI blob soda.  While these are around, this unlisted version had very bold embossing in a large tombstone shaped slugplate.  Besides the amber bottles Casey put out, this has to be his nicest clear one.  As always, I owe Bill some nice Boston bottles…

I recently obtained an amusingly named RI medicine via ebay.  Dr. J. Lariviere Female Health Regulator from Manville, RI (of all places).  While listed, I noticed two things about this example.  First, the first line simply read Dr. J. Lariviere (no apostrophe or S).  Second, the lip was a square collar, not the usual double collar lip (see online picture).  I had to haggle with the seller over his asking price, and again over the shipping because the wandering bottle had made its way to Canada.  Thankfully, it showed up at my door intact.

I’m going to mention another soda now, so hold your breath.  I recently returned to the place where it all started.  Roughly 14 years ago I visited a neighbor’s Llama farm, which had a nice cellar hole and 1950-60s dump next to it.  I found an innocent 1890s unembossed medicine bottle, and here I am now, 3,000 bottles strong!  One place I dug of interest on this property was a cistern.  It was filled in with a ton of cans and bottles.  Previously it had produced some ACL soda bottles in superb condition.  With help from my new digging friend Mike E., I was able to get to the bottom of it.  Two unlisted embossed RI sodas came out of that cistern.  One was a quart What Cheer Bott. Co. Inc of Providence, and the other a more exciting Shiloh Beverages art deco soda.  It was missing the top, but you don’t see many new art deco RI sodas.  I found it right next to a broken Shiloh Club Indian ACL, which can sell for up to $200.  Ah, so close!

Just when you thought I was done, here’s another soda for you!  At another club meeting, I bought a neat one off of Des, a collector from Mass.  It had that mysterious nature to it, simply embossed J.H.S. (maltese cross) 119 Snow St. Providence, RI.  I had to search a Providence street directory for Snow St. to find a John H. Scheminyer, a German immigrant.  After seeing his name I can see why he must have chosen to abbreviate it.
UPDATE:  I recently dug a matching porcelain stopper with the last name spelled out!  Given the scarcity of this bottle and the obscure location of the dig, I was amazed at the coincidence.  The address is different, but the street is the same.

I’ll finish off with two local medicines.  Some of you may be familiar with the Bottle Collectors group on Facebook.  I was appalled that there were no bottle collecting groups, so I decided to make one.  I almost forgot about it due to its inactivity, but it is currently 270 members strong.  As a token of appreciation for my work fostering the group, collector Steve Anderson gave me a Thomas A. Barber Pharmacist Ashaway, RI medicine.  There are a few pharmacy bottles from Ashaway, but all are scarce, and this unlisted example has a nice TAB monogram on the front.  Sure David Smith and David Gates have some Barbers, but perhaps not this size…
I also got lucky again on ebay and was able to expand my G.E. Greene collection.  Green was a pharmacist out of Hope Valley (and for a brief stint Wyoming) RI, and was the only pharmacist from the town to have embossed bottles.  A nice unlisted square example with an embossed mortar and pestle was found at an estate sale by a local ebayer, and well, the rest is history!  
I must apologize again, for some reason I never took pictures of some of these bottles, so I'll have to add them in the future.  I'll include a similar picture of the rectangular Greene bottle for now.

Those of Mystery

Hello again (and pardon my weeklong absence).  I figured that by now I’m probably boring you with all of these stories, so I’ve decided to dedicate this post to mystery bottles!  These are embossed bottles not marked with towns or states, but are from Rhode Island.  And to make it even better, they’re unlisted!  It took quite a bit of research to pin them down, but it paid off. 

One of my earliest mystery medicines was a Russell’s White Drops.  A Google search showed it was produced by the Russell Medicine Company of Providence, RI.  Looking in the online list you can find a Wm. Russell Jr., who preceded the company named after him.  This product for babies was sadly like most quack medicines, and the ingredients included alcohol and codeine. 

Another medicine I purchased simply because I liked the name was a Quick Stop for Headaches.  A Google search turns up an 1889 article advertising “Mattison’s Quick Stop for Headaches”.  E.F. Mattison was a druggist from Providence, and this was apparently one of his patent medicines.  Who knows, maybe it was an early version of aspirin!

There are a number of other unlisted no-town embossed RI medicine bottles I don’t have yet, including the following:

Oxolo- found with label for the People’s Chemical Co. Providence, RI

Dr. Seth Arnold’s Infantile Regulator- that’s one I predicted would pop up!  From Woonsocket

Dr. Samuel’s World’s Dyspepsia Cure- sold exclusively by S.W. Baxter of Providence, RI
 It is aqua, 4-3/4" tall, and is embossed on the sides only.

And just for fun, here are some marked (unlisted) RI bottles of exceeding rarity:

Parker’s Compound Indian Vegetable Bitters Cranston, RI
Two were dug in a cellar hole in Shannock, RI.  It's a rectangular aqua bottle from the 1870s. Probably the rarest RI bitters out there.

F.H. Perry & Co. Providence, RI  Pat. Aug. 8th, 1882
A very rare base embossed fruit jar.  The patent date is on the lid

S.S. Thompson Newport, RI/ This jar not sold, to be returned
A rare cream jar with ground screw cap lid

Krealin Co. Providence, RI
Somehow I was present at two different digs when two examples of this were dug.  Both times they went to my digging buddy.

James. W. Finn/ Family Liquor Store/ Mineral Spring Ave./ Pawtucket, RI
I missed this one on ebay when I was just getting familiar with it.  As a rule, never pass up an unknown embossed RI whiskey!