Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter Finds #2

Welcome back!  I will continue to cover the finds from the Bristol purchase.  A nice Patrick Sheehan Newport, RI blob seemed a little different.  Sure enough, all the listed versions have P. Sheehan instead of Patrick.

I was excited to find a Shiloh Bottling Works Providence, RI soda with an embossed Indian among the fray.  I had one of these which met an untimely demise.  My first example was listed and had a round slugplate.  This one has an oval slugplate and additional embossing.

Another soda that I hadn’t seen until last year was a Star Soda Bottling Works East Providence.  This version is listed in aqua, but not in clear.

A rather familiar bottle was a McKenna Bros. Eagle St. Providence, RI.  It was one of my first RI blob sodas, but this might be a variant.  The listed version has the maker, Karl Hutter New York on the base.  This one simply says K. Hutter NY.  I will have to check my other example to make sure.  Update:  I checked, and it is indeed a variant!

Another bottle that has appeared with some regularity was a Phosa ABM crown top.  It comes in handmade and machine made versions.  I noticed this one had 7oz. embossed on the heel, which my other example lacks.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Winter Finds #1

Well, I finally caught up to the present season!  While the weather is hostile towards diggers this time of year, there are plenty of other ways to find bottles!  That's not to say I get the occasional case of cabin fever, and go out and give the frozen ground a run for its money.  Luckily I have plentiful options to keep me busy right now.

The Little Rhody Bottle Club has an annual Christmas party, and of course what is a club party without bottles?  I was happy to be gifted a J. Scheminger Providence, RI blob.  I had two examples from this unlisted bottler, and thought this was one of them until I took a closer look.  I’m proud to be the owner of this third version!

I had bought a few bottles from another club member, and one of them was a McKenna Bros. Brovidence (error), RI blob.  I didn’t realize it was an error bottle until I was holding it!  There is an error version listed, but it does not mention the embossing being on the shoulder.

Another find from the club meeting was a Jacob Wirth & Co. Prov., RI blob.  I almost automatically pass these by now that I have so many, but I noticed Registered was embossed on the back of the neck.  I had a crown top example like this, but not a blob.


It was about time for Craigslist to produce a good lead (there seems to be 2-4 per year on average), and sure enough it did!  I met a collector from Bristol, RI who was thinning out his collection.  It was an early Christmas for me, which included a handful of nice unlisted RI bottles.  A plain but still neat find was an Echo Bristol, RI ABM crown top.  The listed example of this soda has the proprietors names (Moren & Sullivan) embossed as well.

I kept my embossing error streak alive with a The Ewd. Smith Co. Patwucket, RI whiskey.  While Ewd can still work as an awkward abbreviation for Edward, I’m sure Mr. Smith wasn’t too happy with the engraver!

Fall Finds #10

The next dig at the Warwick dump was wet and wild.  I had invited a few fellow diggers, and despite the drizzle which turned into rain, we all stuck around.  I was happy to find an Empire Bottling Co. Cranston, RI blob, which was my 8th version.

Next I uncovered a large and plain looking food bottle.  It had a sun embossed on the front, and I was in near disbelief when I saw the back heel was embossed Queen Cordial Co. Providence, RI!  There are only a handful of embossed food bottles from RI, so this was an exciting find.  A later dig turned up an unembossed (sun only) example, which adds to the mystery.

I had found a few dozen “slicks”, or plain unembossed bottles in this dump, which is typical.  The ratio of unembossed to embossed medicine bottles in this dump was somewhere around 20 to 1.  One of these so-called slicks had G.L.C. & Co. embossed on the base.  Typically a base mark like this is almost a trademark for the company that produced the bottle.  However, I remembered seeing a label only Geo. L. Claflin & Co. medicine on ebay with this embossing on the base.  While it is questionable, I am fairly certain this is a RI bottle.

At the last RI club meeting, I was happy to get a nice Jones & Davis Pharmacists Central Falls, RI medicine.  This is a much earlier and more ornate example than the typical bottles from this company. 

I also acquired a nice G.T. Dana & Co. Pharmacists Pawtucket, RI.  The round with flat front panel shape and 8” size make it the most impressive bottle from this company.

Fall Finds #9

A few months ago I had eyeballed a Yacht Club Bottling Works Centerdale, RI shoulder embossed soda.  It sported a higher than appealing price, but I made a note to check the size.  Sure enough, it was a pint sized bottle, which was unlisted. 

Responding to a Craigslist post almost turned out to be a wash.  Aside from one RI blob, I finally added an amber ABM Otis Clapp & Son Incorporated medicine.  It is only listed as BIM.

It was finally that time of the year again!  After a lot of procrastinating at river sites, I finally revisited the Warwick dump.  It had met the owner back in March, and we had made an agreement of $1 per decent, undamaged bottle.  I had found enough to see the site had immense potential.  Summer brought an impenetrable blockade of Japanese knotweed.  This revisitation was an exciting one, as I got a hand from a backhoe.  The landowner dug up a spot I was skeptical of, and before long I had my hands full!  One semi-crier was a Cappelli Bros. Spruce cor. Sutton St. Providence, RI blob.  This is an early (1880s) blob from before A.F. and Nicola Cappelli went their separate ways.  This example had a period after Spruce and Providence.

The Warwick dump produced a lot of Roger Williams Bottling Co. Cranston, RI sodas.  A crown top with the HK monogram turned out to be another variant, this one being my 13th!

Last but not least was a Natick Bottling Co. Natick, RI blob.  Crown top sodas from this small town are uncommon, and a blob is unlisted!

Fall Finds #8

On my final visit to the Providence area river for the season (this was early November), braving the frigid waters rewarded me with an Antonio Gasbarro Providence, RI blob.  This unlisted version was slugplated and had a comma after Gasbarro. 

There aren’t many RI bottles from the east side of Narragansett Bay.  I was happy to acquire a T.M. Morris & Co. Bristol, RI crown top soda.  Thomas M. Morris was one of the more successful bottlers in Bristol.  There are no listed handmade crown tops with the & Co. after Morris.
Another nice crown top I got in a trade was a Girard Spring Water and Bottling Co. Prov., RI.  This nifty example has a footed base, which is unusual for a beverage bottle.  The Girard Spring Water Co. is still in business today.

A scarce blob soda from the Valley Bottling Works River Point, RI has long eluded me.  I was completely surprised when a friend of mine had an etched wine bottle from this company in his trade pile for an enamel sign I dug.  Now for the blob!

Another bottle that I had seen online was an Ochee, the Sign of Quality seltzer bottle.  This is the second RI seltzer I have found that does not have a location on it.  While not earth-shattering, it will go well with my diverse group of Ochee bottles.