Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fall Finds #2

As the digging season reaches its prime, so does the time for bottle shows.  This year there are four shows I have the option of going to.  The first in line is the Silver City Treasure Seekers annual show.  While they are a metal detecting club, their “treasure” has grown to include bottles, so there were four bottle dealers that set up.  For a bargain $2, I got a chipped William R. Potter Broad, Opp. Fenner St. Providence, RI medicine.  Out of the few Potter bottles listed, this was a new one!

A newcomer to the LRBC club Barry set up across from Jan and I.  He had recently bought a collection of around 800 bottles, so I had fun poring over his acquisitions.  I purchased two unlisted blob sodas.  One was an A. Hasselbaum Co. Providence, RI with “This bottle to be returned” on the front heel.  The other was a beautiful sun-colored amethyst Francis Gavin Pawtucket, RI.  I had never seen one in a slugplate before, and sure enough it wasn’t listed!

By far the most exciting bottle that Barry had was a L. Delany & Co. Celery Salt Paw’t, R.I.  In the shape of a salt shaker, it had a pewter cap and ground lip.  Lyons, Delany & Co. were prolific dry goods dealers, and this is only the second bottle known from their company.

While not an unlisted bottle, the squat soda made by the Crescent Bottling Co. of East Providence, RI was called a blob top while in fact, it was a Baltimore loop seal.  This is only the second RI soda I have confirmed to have this style lip.  And, who knows, maybe some of them have plain blob tops as well!

My good friend Al Otis has amassed quite a respectable collection of RI bottles and jugs.  He was recently kind enough to gift me with a Turbitt & Orme Wickenden St. Providence, RI soda that he had a few extras of.  My favorite feature is the embossed blurb on the heel: “Two cents will be paid for the return of this bottle”.  This neat embossing is listed, but on a nearly identical bottle marked “Turbitt & Co.”, which dates to right when Mr. Orme left the company around 1912.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fall Finds #1

Ok, to make sure I’m true to my word, I’ll pick up where I left off.  Last week’s yard sale produced two more unlisted RI sodas.  The first was a Shiloh Club Beverages Providence, RI.  It’s an unlisted 8oz. size of the shoulder and heel embossed version.

The last bottle was a striking Venus Bottling Co. Providence, RI crown top quart.  It was a pretty deep aqua, and is only listed in smaller sizes.
Sadly this was broken before I could get a picture. 

While brand new, exciting unlisted bottles usually come once every 5 or so years, this year has been quite the exception.  After digging my Leonard’s Electric Pain Lotion, I saw a bottle on ebay that nearly excited me just as much.  It was a Hopkin’s Magic Gold Dust by J.H. Hopkins (of Providence, RI).  It was in similar design of the A.J. Hopkin’s Magic Healing Powder, only a later version, perhaps put out by his son.  With a name like that it was no wonder it wasn’t too successful, but I have to admire his creativity.  I scooped this damaged example up for a bargain $10, the second brand new quack medicine to show up this year!

One of my favorite towns to find bottles from is East Greenwich, RI.  I somehow didn’t realize there were three different pharmacists from this town, so when a Charles D. McGettrick PhG Main St. East Greenwich, RI bottle showed up, I had an obligation to acquire it.  It was a beauty with fluted shoulders, Oz. and CC markings, and a packed slugplate.  I was even more surprised when a large size came up for auction a month later!  Now I have two unlisted sizes, 4” and 7-1/2"

This September I was excited for the return of the Little Rhody Bottle Club’s monthly meetings.  While we had a small turnout, a newcomer brought a nice mix of RI bottles to sell which produced a new J.A. Hebert 472 Broad St. Central Falls, RI blob.  

Late Summer Finds 3

After my recent large find of Newport, RI bottles, I was kind of bummed that they would be hard to find once more.  But, as luck has it, an exciting bottle turned up on ebay.  I have an unlisted size of a W.S.N. Allan Pharmacist Newport, RI, but this was a completely new version.  A larger 6-1/2” bottle sported a fancy ground throat (for a glass stopper) and the 1780 date in a banner rather than on the heel of the bottle.  Needless to say I was all over it and surprisingly won it for the minimum bid.

The ongoing construction site in Providence that produced the nice unlisted Edwin P. Anthony medicine is still churning out bottles, but admittedly at a slower rate.  I recently discovered a nice layer of ash which produced some bottles including a damaged W.R. Green Apothecary 1 Westminster St. Providence, RI.  Dr. Greene was a prominent pharmacist, and was know for having his shop open 24/7.  None of his known bottles have an embossed address, well that is until now!

Out of the few hundred different RI soda manufacturers, I seem to come across numerous versions from certain companies either due to their popularity or chance.  Finding my 4th version of an Empire Bottling Works Cranston, RI blob is rather surprising.  This example had the 133 Chestnut Hill Ave. address and “This bottle not to be sold” on the front heel.

After the successful yard sale in Charlestown, I returned to a house in Carolina, RI I haven’t visited for close to 8 years.  I went there as a youngster and bought a few bottles, and recently came into contact with the owner.  He was having a yard sale, and it was certainly a case of déjà vu.  After making a decent pile of bottles, he showed me a back room with bottles hiding in dusty boxes that had been packed in the 70s or 80s.  I battled cobwebs and mouse nests to rescue some neat bottles.  Among them was five unlisted soda bottles (including the previous bottle).  My favorite was a T. Blanchette Broad St. Central Falls, RI blob.  It had a different embossing pattern than the examples listed.

Also present was my 6th version of an Augustin Vitale Providence, RI blob.  This was really surprising since only one version is listed.  This one had a round slugplate with a bold monogram (as opposed to the example with the plain lettered monogram).
As for the other two you’ll have to wait until next week!

Late Summer Finds 2

This past August was time for the LRBC summer show at the Richmond Antique Center.  Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate, but we held it on the rain date.  While the turnout could have been better, it was still good, and I found some RI bottles.  I obtained a damaged blob soda from veteran digger Mark Thatcher, a Louis H. Meyer Library Court Olneyville, RI.  It was an early version, as most of his bottles are marked Providence.  Hopefully an undamaged one is out there!
From the same digger I acquired a nice local medicine, a Dr. M.W. Thewlis Wakefield, RI.  While it is listed, this was a new version with a fancy line between the two lines of embossing.  Dr. Thewlis became a doctor in 1911, so his bottles are fairly late examples to be handmade.

A recent tip led me to a yard sale in Charlestown, RI where a small time digger was selling off some bottles.  I was able to get a nice selection of sodas and two medicines from him.  Out of the medicines, one was a nice unlisted local.  It was simply marked Dr. A.B. Briggs Ashway, RI.  It was round with a flat front panel, which is one of my favorite medicine bottle shapes.

Another find was an exciting unlisted version of a local soda.  The Gladstone Springs Water Co. Narragansett Pier, RI bottles aren’t rare, but when I saw this example I knew something was different about it.  Sure enough, it had Contents 16 Fl. Oz. embossed on the rear heel.  An unlisted large size!  That’s the second new Gladstone bottle I’ve found in two months.

The other unlisted soda was a familiar face.  I had recently dug an unlisted S.H. Farnham Westerly, RI “narrow style”.  This example was simply embossed Registered above the slugplate, and was surprisingly unlisted with the narrow body.