Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer Finds #3

My second trip to the Coventry, Ct. bottle show wasn’t very productive.  I bought three bottles total.  I then made a choice I should have made last year, and went into the museum.  Who would have guessed they had a whole table of bottles for sale inside!  Most were common, but they were all for sale for a $3 donation per bottle.  Needless to say, I donated $30 and left a happy camper.  My favorite bottle of the bunch was a Doctor Bannon’s Emulsion Cod Liver Oil.  While I have no concrete evidence that this is a RI bottle, I do have a strong argument.  Thomas J. Bannon was a pharmacist from Westerly, RI.  I have a bottle of his embossed “Doctor Bannon’s Red Root Balsam.”  The fact that doctor is spelled out, and that I cannot find reference to any other Dr. Bannon in the northeastern US has me pretty much convinced that this is a very rare (even unique!) Westerly, RI medicine bottle!

Another Otis straggler was a U.S. Bottling Co. Providence, RI ABM crown top.  I had already acquired this 7-1/2oz. bottle from the Otis collection in aqua, and this example was in clear with embossing variants.  They are both unlisted.

I have been pretty negligent when it comes to spur-the-moment stops at active construction sites.  I noticed two months ago that a slope in front of an old house had been graded to make visibility on a side road better.  A quick stop revealed glass shards, but the owner was not home.  So, when I drove by it last month and saw a car there, I had to stop.  The owner was a very cool guy who showed me all around and was all for me looking for bottles!  So, I took out the gear and went to town.  I had to be careful not to make a huge mess on the side of the road (less I incur the wrath of the DOT).  The best find was a real crier.  I liked it enough to bring the shards home and tape them together.  It was a Lymansville Soda Bottling Co. Raffaele L’Bello, Prop. Lymansville, RI.  As far as crown top sodas go, this is about as good as you could ask for!  There is a very rare blob soda from Lymansville, but it is not related to this company.

Last time I went to the Stillwater Antique Center I saw a Royal Carbonating Co. Providence, RI. shoulder embossed ABM crown top soda.  I didn’t even debate paying the $12 asking price for the badly damaged soda, it was way too much.  What would the odds be when two weeks later; I found one during my first river dig of the year?  It was free, and in better condition!

As I mentioned above, I was excited to finally buy some waders that did not leak and get back to wading the rivers of RI.  I also found a James Lavell Fountain St. Providence, RI blob soda.  While very common, this unlisted version had a comma after St., and a comma after the R in R.I. (whoops!).  

Summer Finds #2

While they are not officially documented online, there is one listing under the miscellaneous group for a dose cup from Rhode Island.  Dose cups (or dose glasses) were used to measure out doses of liquid medicine.  Compared to bottles they are very hard to find, and I have never heard of one being dug (though I imagine some must have been).  After many years of failing to obtain one, I was delighted to find one at a local antique store.  It was marked A.J. Heon Drugs Warren, RI on the base.  Dating to the 1920s, it is too late for this druggist to have an embossed bottle, but the conical dose cup is an exception.

Last month (in May, in case this post is late, which is fairly inevitable), I made my first pilgrimage to the massive Antiques Marketplace in Putnam, Conn.  It was four stories and 22,000 square feet of bliss.  While bottles weren’t coming out of the woodwork, there were enough to make me happy!  My one unlisted find was an ABM quart Crystal Beverage Co. Providence, RI soda.  It is nearly identical to RI-915, but it lacks a slug plate.

I’m still working on a handful of Otis bottles that are yet to be documented.  Among them was a Chemical Industrial Co. R.DeAngelis Providence, RI 7” screw cap medicine.  All screw cap versions are unlisted, and this example was a size I haven’t reported yet.

A J.H. Branaghan 6 Pawtucket, R.I. crown top soda was also not listed.  The only listed “6” version was a blob top.  The numbers are a date code, so this bottle would be from 1906.

I never get tired of the United States Bottling Co. Providence, R.I. sodas with the embossed eagle.  This example was machine made, and embossed 11oz. on the base, which made it unlisted.  Quite often early ABM bottles have weaker embossing than their BIM counterparts, but this bottle is certainly an exception!

Summer Finds #1

Welcome back!  I am nearly through with cataloging the Otis collection!  This week I will cover some recent dug and purchased bottles.  I recently met the owner of a very large dump in Warwick, RI.  It was so large, in fact, that 10 years of heavy digging only touched 10-15% of the dumps surface area.  While those I talked to thought the best spots were dug out, I knew it had plenty of life left.  My first meeting with the owner involved a walk-through that produced two unlisted RI sodas that were discarded by earlier diggers.
A crown top sodas from The Hebe Co. Prov. R.I. are quite common.  I have a hard time leaving behind RI sodas at dig sites, and I was pretty surprised to see that this example was an unlisted 9” size.  The listed examples are 9-7/8”.

Another very common RI soda is from the American Bottling Co. Incorporated Limited Providence, R.I.  Their blobs come BIM and ABM, and they have a number of BIM crown tops too.  This example was an ABM crown top, which was unlisted.  The only ABM sodas from this company before now were shoulder embossed versions.

A relatively new member to the bottle club has already proven herself to be a dedicated digger.  Leona has made some nice discoveries at the dumps she visits.  One of her more recent finds was a Roger Williams Bottling Co. (star) 219 Gansett Ave. Cranston, RI aqua crown top.  This makes my 11th Roger Williams variant, there are no listed aqua versions, and none with the 219 address and the star.

One company’s bottles that are pretty much common in any of its forms are those of the Red Fox Beverages Providence, R.I.  When I saw a green sided seltzer bottle, I knew right away that this was the best Red Fox bottle around. 

A few years back I acquired a Somerset Bottling Co. Central Falls, RI art deco soda.  It was in a lot of bottles I had bought at one of the club’s summertime tailgate shows.  This is a completely unlisted bottle.  Somerset, Massachusetts is a good half-hour drive from Central Falls, so I can’t see any connection to the towns. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Spring Finds #3

I must admit all of you must be real troopers as I trudge through minor variants of soda bottles.  Fortunately for you I have the luxury of mixing things up for you this week. 

I was happy to obtain a nice aqua blob Eagle Bottling Co. Providence, RI.  While it sounds a lot like RI-960, the monogram is clearly DC, not EBC.  There is a chance this was an error however.

There are an impressive number of amber variants of McManus & Meade Bottlers Nasonville, RI.  I was almost certain this one was listed, but RI-1273 lists Registered on the shoulder, while this bottle has it embossed directly above the slugplate.

While not rare, I had an arduous time acquiring a handmade Otis Clapp & Sons Malt & Cod Liver Oil Compund.  Upon acquiring two examples, I was again surprised to see that one had a slugplate and the other did not.  It was hard to decided which example should be the listed one, but the online picture showed an example with a slugplate, so the slug-less one was the winner.

My latest trip to the RI Antiques Mall produced a handful of bottles, but one stuck out like a sore thumb.  A large medicine embossed Clark Stanley’s Herbaline rang a bell.  First off, Clark Stanley was the same Stanley of Snake Oil fame, a very popular RI quack medicine bottle.  I had also seen a Clark Stanley’s Herbaline Catarrh Cure on ebay a while back.  There was no doubt of its provenance, and I was delighted to make it my newest addition.

A Burke Bros. Eddy St. Providence, RI blob soda with an oval slug plate got my attention.  Sure enough, I only had examples with rounds slug plates.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Otis Collection pt. 10

Hello and sorry for the delay, I've had a busy summer!  This week I will go over more Otis Collection bottles, including a few interesting variants.

I now have five J.H. Branaghan 62 Broad St. Pawtucket, R.I. rectangular whiskey bottles.  When I was comparing a dug example with one from the Otis collection, I noticed that one had a slug plate and the other did not!  The no slugplate version is unlisted.  To find a whiskey of this style with no slugplate isn’t very common.

One of my favorite “common” RI whiskeys are from the American Bottling Co.  This half-pint example was embossed American Bottling Corp. W. Exchange St. opp. Union Station Providence, RI.   While listed, I was surprised to see it was also embossed 7-1/2 Oz. on the bottom, which made it a new version.

A nice small town Natick Bottling Works D.P. Sons 7oz. Natick, RI handmade crown top soda turned out to be unlisted.  The listed version has the DP initials entwined in a monogram while this version has them simply written out.

A New England Bottling Co. CH (monogram) Westerly, R.I. looked awfully familiar to me.  It was, in fact, exactly like RI-1360, only on the back heel it was embossed Contents, which is missing from the listed example. 

A W.H. Arnold Riverpoint, RI blob gave me another one of those déjà vu feelings.  It was embossed “this bottle to be returned when empty” on the heel, a phrase which none of the listed versions have.  I should also note that some versions have Riverpoint as one word, while others spell it River Point.