April 1999 Questions

1999 Digger Odell Publications

Dear Sir,   I am trying to identify and date a bottle which I acquired.   The description is:   Amber color Height:  3-7/8" Diameter:  1-3/4"   Around the neck, just before it narrows, is Lysol, written in script and repeated four times.   The bottom has around the outer portion, LYSOL INCORPORATED  BLOOMFIELD, N.J. Around the bottom in a circle inside the above, BOTTLE MADE IN U.S.A In the center of the bottom is maker mark (?) which looks like a letter H with an A inside the bottom of the H.  Directly below that is a 6 (?)   The cap is cork (I believe).  Centered on the top of the cap is Lysol, again written in script.  Around the outer circle of the cap is Lysol Incorporated  Bloomfield N.J.   Any help you could offer would be appreciated.   Thank you,   Joe King

Joe, your bottle is very common and dates to the begin of the century. According to the advertisement it came in three sizes. Value of this bottle is $1-2. It was a disinfectant.

Digger, Recently I bought a bottle at a roadside antique store. It is light green and thick glass with some bubbles. On the bottom there is a raised impression of a devil with the word (also raised) PLUTO under the devil figure. Any ideas what it is, value, etc. The store owner said he found it in Alabama.   Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.   Jenny

Jenny, You have a "Pluto Water" mineral water bottle. This bottle was put out by the French Lick Springs Hotel Company, a corporation of French Lick, Indiana. They were fined $50 in 1909 by the Food and Drug Administration for false advertising and under filling their bottles. The label claimed the bottle held a quart but it actually held only 1.6 pints. the bottle comes in at least two sizes. Company also ran a resort on the property where people, believing the mineral water would have health benefits would both drink it and bathe in it. In 1905, the Pluto Water was advertised in Druggist magazines as being available from Henry Drug Company, Louisville, Ky. It changed hands sometime before 1911 to the French Lick Hotel. It was under their management that it became a widely used product. The bottles are quite common. It comes in a pint and a quart size, but you'd better check the actual capacity. Value is $2-4.

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Dear sir,
I just read that no one collects old Clorox and other old product bottles; Could I ask why? Wouldn't the company possibly want them?  I also have some old bottles that I found in the woods back in the 60's. They have no names on them. They are like bottles which contained syrup and seem to have been sealed with a cork? Would anyone be interested in these? They were found by the edge of a powerline cut, and it was built in the early 20-30's or so. Should I bring them to a bottle collector? and if yes, do you know of any in Connecticut?
Thank you for your time....Just a beginner, Paul Carrier

You'll probably find Clorox bottles for sale at nearly every Antique mall you stop in. You might even find them priced from $2-10. Pretty much no one collects Clorox bottles because the supply is simply too large. Literally millions of them were made annually for 20-30 years. A second reason is that bottles of this era are machine made and have little variation. Each one is exactly like the next one. On the other hand, hand blown bottles have many unique features which collectors find attractive, some have bubbles, others have stretch marks on the necks, some have gloppy crudely applied lips while others may have comparatively thick or thin areas. The fact of having been created at least partly by hand means: 1) each has certain unique features; 2)comparatively fewer were made because of the limitation of production by hand methods.
Most bottles made after 1900 have little embossing. collectors like the addition of embossing, which enhances the value. I'd suggest reading the article on this web site about
determining values for more information. As for interest in such bottles, it is usually beginning colectors who purchase them. Wanna learn more? Wanna find out about collectors in your area? Sign up for the Antique Bottle and Glass Collector Magazine. Jim Hagenbuch, publisher, will send you a copy for a couple bucks and you can see what you've been missing. Click on the links section of this web site to get there.

Here is a site which will tell you the history of the Clorox Bottles. http://www.clorox.com/company/history/

Hi, I just found a small medicine bottle washed up on a beach in Ontario, Canada, and was looking for any info, ie- age,value. The embossed words that run up the side are: MURINE EYE REMEDY CHICAGO.U.S.A. The bottle is clear, 3 1/2" tall, 2 5/8" around, the neck is 2" around and 1 1/4 long (including slightly flared lip).  The top of neck is flat, the base is smooth, slightly concave with the number 3 embossed on it.  The bottle appears to be Blown In Mold.  The bottle is corked, empty except for a toothpick.  The majority of he cork is intact.  There is one blister shaped air bubble on the side.  The bottle is almost blemish free except for the lip which has a few small chips and one large one (about 30% of top of lip affected). Any info would be greatly appreciated.  Thank You!

The Murine Eye Remedy Company began in the 1890s in Chicago. They sold the remedy in a trial size for 25 cents standard size for 50 cents, a dollar size, and in 1912 they were offering a "tourist-autoist," in a leather case and a dozen or so other products. the bottles are fairly common and sell for $3-5. The ad below is from the November, 1912, Druggist Curcular.

Dear Sir,
I found a bottle many years ago , and have taken it to many bottle shops over the years, all over the southeast, and can not find anyone who has ever heard of ,or seen such a bottle. It would be greatly appreciated if you could shed some light on the history of this bottle. In raised letters it has " SEA GULL BAKING POWDER ' around the top in capital letters.  It is 4 1/2 inches tall and    2 7/8 inches in diameter.  It's opening is     9/16 inch  and made for a cork  ( the hole is in a raised  section about 3/4" round and 3/4" high.   It is a pale blue color. On the bottom is a " 21 "  and the words " THE POTTER  PARLIN CO "
    Thank you very much for your time,
        Sincerely,  Lee Sanders

Your bottle is listed in Zumwalt's Book, Ketchup Pickles Sauces, She describes your bottle as aqua, 4 3/4" x 2 3/8", listed as common and with a value of $1-2. Ellis M. Potter and Anrew J. Parlin, operated the Globe Spice Mills at 54 Main St. in Cincinnati, Ohio, listed in 1882. They filed for a trademark for baking powder in March of 1885 and were still producing the Baking Powder in 1894.

Hello, I found a bottle in a lake nearby. The bottle  is light blue in color and says "Citrate of Magnesia" on it, there are 3 flanges at the top. If you know the value of the bottle and/or how old it is, please let me know.
Thanks for your time 8)8)

Citrate of Magnesia bottles are often easy to recognize. They are almost always round, are about one pint in capacity,and have very unique style of applied top. Often these bottles will have the words "CITRATE OF MAGNESIA,"embossed other times they will not as shown in the picture (The ones in the picture date in 1860-1870 period). Bottles with applied tops will be more crudely made and older than those with tooled lips, which while still hand made, were shaped with a lipping tools.
I have seen these bottles in various colors as well, cobalt blue, amber, emerald green and clear. Once in a while you will find one with a proprietor's name or drugstore name. They are quite common in clear and aqua, both with and without embossing. Value depends often on the aesthics, of course more color and more embossing would be better. They range in age from the 1850s to the 1920s. Ellis & Co. Phila produced a pontiled example. Pricewise, a few dollars for the clear machine made bottles with porcelain stoppers to over $100 for a cobalt embossed one from a scarce company or an early date.

Was wondering if you know of any historical aspects such as location of business and time period of selling Red Cross Trademark medicine bottles..I know of 6 sizes- 2",3",4",5 1/4",6 1/2" & 10 3/4"   all clear/SCA Do you know of any other sizes or colors I find these bottles very interesting, not as valuable as some others I collect but the size variations are incredible.

Tracking down this company might be a bit difficult. It seems that more than one company was using the words "Red Cross" to make medicines. The first mention I found was in the 1888 Robert Stevenson Whole Druggist Catalog, which lists a "Red Cross Cough Drops". I found a listing for "Red Cross Laxative Bitters", C.C. Kosher, East St. Louis, Missouri; another was "Red Cross Mineral Water Company, "of Big Rapids Mich. circa 1905 they also produced a headache cure. then there was the "Red Cross Chill Tonic," produced by the Pfeiffer Mfg. Co., St Louis, Missouri, circa 1905; Johnson & Johnson of New Brunswick, NJ produced a "Red Cross Kidney Plaster,"; A disinfectant and deodorizer was bottled and sold by the "Red Cross Chemical Co.," in Boston, Ma., circa 1905; There was a "Red Cross Remedy Co." in Pine Hill, N.Y. Circa 1905. Believe it or not the list goes on..but for lack of time and space, I cannot list them all. If I had to guess, I'd guess the Red Cross Chemcial Co..

Many years ago my Dad and I found an old dump in the woods in Southern Ct.  In the dump were many bottles (mostly milk).  One of the bottles was more interesting to me:  It is a lightish green with a ship on the back and an eagle on the front.  Under the eagle were the words "TWD." Recently, I did some research into this bottle.  As you are probably aware, the bottle is quite famous.  It was (if not a fake) made around 1822 by the bottle maker Thomas W. Doyette.  The ship on the back is the U.S.S. Franklin. In my research, I was somewhat disheartened to find that this bottle had been replicated many times in the past.  For example, the bottles were reproduced later in the 19th century and Lestoil produced many such bottles in the 1960s. How do I know whether the bottle is a fake?  I do not think that it is one of the Lestoil bottles for 2 reasons.  First, we found the bottle in a dump with many older bottles.  It seems too coincidental to me that someone would have tossed a Lestoil reproduction into this dump, which just happened to have a lot of other old bottles.  Second, according to the book I read, the Lestoil bottles were produced in 4 colors ( I forget which they were) but the colors were not the light greenish color that of my bottle.  But the book did point out that some of these colors were blended by Lestoil. I would appreciate any assistance that you could provide.
Wes Phillips

Wes, Your question is a good one. I agree that is is unlikely to find a reproduction of an old bottle in an old dump. Yes, the Lestoil Company did reproduce this flask, but it looks very dissimilar to the original in many respects. the lip treatment is completely different from the original, which has a plain sheared lip. The base is very different, the original having a pontil mark and the repro the number "7" embossed on the base. Like you mentioned the color, Lestoil made them in blue, amythyst and clear. An original, will probably have a degree of wear on the base, a pontil mark (sharp glass where the pontil rod was broken off). The original has 25 rays above the eagle, 8 vertical bars on the shield. End of olive branch extends into the oval frame with an inner band of 23 small pearls. I could find no other reference to this bottle being reproduced. Digger.

Hi, I found a bottle recently that is about 10 inches in height. Its a rectangular bottle and on the side it says ' Cod Liver Oil ' on the opposite side it says ' with lime & soda ' and on the front it says 'Scotts Emulsion' .. this bottle is light green/blue in color. A cork type top is present also. Value and more info would be appreciated. Mechelle

Your bottle is a product of Alfred B. Scott & Samuel W. Browne, who began to manufacture Scott's Emulsion around 1876 in NYC. The famous man carrying a fish was their trademark and logo and was embossed on the bottle beginning in the 1890s. Your bottle probably dates between 1876 and 1890. By 1915 they had grown tremendously and had moved their business to New Jersey. The product was a very popular one and so the bottles are quite common and can easily be found for $3-5, slightly more with the embossed trademark.

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