December 1999 Questions

Digger Odell Publications © 1999

Dear Digger, I have two whiskey bottles from the late 60's or early 70's that pertain to the Indianapolis 500. One is shaped like a race car and the other is shaped like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway emblem. If you could point me to somebody who would be interested in these, I would provide more details on them. Your response would be very much appreciated. Thank you. Rod Cain Summitville,

The best place to put these is on Ebay to see if there is any interest. I have not kept up on the more modern collectible bottles. An Ebay search might turn up similar examples. Digger

Hello could you give me any info on where to find the bottles called starboy the only thing I know is where it was from which is Charlottesville VA and that it is by Pepsi. the other thing I have is Horton Pilstner beer bottle made in New York. And also Grapette made in Kansas. Thank You so very much Have a wonderful evening Lisa

Maybe one of our Virginia readers can help. Your other two bottles sound relatively new. The Grapette if it is a figural elephant has a value of $4-5.

I am new to bottle collecting. I would like any information you might have on this Sperm Sewing Machine Oil or could you point me in the right direction. Thanks. Ramon

Ray, Your bottle is common one that contained just exactly what is says. Oil from the Spermacetti Whale. In the 1800s whale oil was a commonly used commodity. At the turn of the century, it’s main domestic use was as a sewing machine oil. The value is about $5-7. There are a growing number of sewing machine oil collectors and quite a variety of bottles available. I had one with a label at one time and it showed a picture of a whale.

I've never bought an old bottle before, but I found one today in a consignment shop that was too interesting to pass up. I'd like to find out more about it, so if you could help that would be great. Here is a description: The bottle is about 10" tall in the shape of a tall, narrow arch. It isn't really one bottle at all, it's four separate bottles connected within a gold colored metal frame. The top bottle says "Flacon Quadrille, Granier Liquers, Enghien Paris France, Liqueur D'Or." The second bottle is labled "Abricotine", the third is "Triple Sec," and the fourth is "Prunelle". More interesting, each bottle has a small spout on the side with a screw-on metal top. Each metal top is embossed with " Garnier Liquiors Enghien-Paris France." Like I said, I know nothing about bottles, but this one is beautiful, and so unusual I just had to buy it. Obviously it is a French liquor bottle, and the arch suggests some art-deco era things I've seen. I haven't been able to find any information on the web, so I thought I'd contact you. Thanks for your help... Leigh Stevens

I am not familiar with the bottle perhaps a reader can help.

White house vinegar bottle patent no 650 with 7 peneding handles on top flowers around base what can you tell me about it

I found reference to two White House Vinegar bottles. Despite the fact that these containers are machine made and clear, they are still highly collectible. They are products of the National Fruit Product Company of Winchester Virginia. The bottles were designed to be reused. Over-all the bottles from this company date from 1900-1940. It was still in business in the late 1970s on the East Coast. Your bottle sounds like one of the company’s vases. They made two different ones. One had a spiderweb background and 4 roses around the base and was made in 1929. The other had a double eye handle on the neck and embossed leaves around the base. There are a couple of books out on White House bottles. The oldest one is by Levin J. Smith of Independence, Virginia (I do not know if it is still in print). Digger

 

 I was wondering if you could tell me if a unopened bottle of Windex from about the 1950's is worth keeping Thank you Kristy at

Kristy, Sounds like a flea market or mall collectible. It probably does have a value of a few dollars.

Dear Digger: I have two small clear bottles that I'm sure aren't worth much but have intrigued me. My dogs dug them out from under a tree stump that I think is at least 75 years old. One stands about 3 1/2 inches high. It is ABM with a flared lip (I think - that was the picture that seemed to come the closest). It is a flattened oval shape. It has a stylized "3" embossed on one side hear the neck; it has graduated measuring marks down two sides. It has "Owens" embossed on the bottom, with the O surrounded by a square (typical, I think). Below "Owens" is a faintly embossed "67." The other bottle is about 4 1/2 inches high. It is ABM with a lip similar to the other one, but more squared off than flared. 

It has the Owens "O" on the bottom, with a 3 and a 6 on either side. Any insight you can offer is appreciated. I'm more interested in the history than the value, since I'm sure I'd get more out of them putting little sprigs of wildflowers in them than trying to sell them to a dealer or collector. Also, do you have any tips on cleaning? I can't seem to find a bottle brush small enough. Thanks for your time and expertise, Tracey McCartney

Tracey, While your bottle might not be worth a great deal it does have a fascinating history. Mr. Michael J. Owen sought to invent a device which would automatically mold both the bottom and the top of a bottle. At the time he first began his experimentation about 1899, finishing the mouth of a bottle was a job which had to be done by hand. Initially he conducted experiments himself, but shortly thereafter the expense was assumed by the Toledo Glass Company. His first device was a crude hand-held piece of equipment which gather glass by means of suction into a two-part iron mold. The bottom part of the bottle was form first and a second mold was used to form the lip. His second machine was much more elaborate and more automated, built on wheels to move forward and back to the glass pot. Successive experiments and model machines eventually got him to the point of the fully automatic bottle machine signaling the end of the era of the use of the blowpipe and the hand finished bottle. The Owens Bottle-Machine Company was organized in 1903 with a capital of three million dollars. The new company took over the plant of the Toledo Glass Company. His invention was to revolutionize the industry. He promised a production of nine pint and quart beer bottles per minute (12,960 an hour). While this might seem small by today’s standards, his invention almost immediately revamped a thousand year old industry.As for cleaning out bottles, a little sand or kitty litter with some soap will do a fairly good job on dirt. Stain cannot be removed except by a professional bottle cleaner. Digger

My father , A commercial fisherman in Northern California, found this bottle in his net some twenty-five years ago. It came up from approximately 100 fathoms off of Crescent City, Ca. We have always wondered if it came from a sunken treasure or is just some garbage dumped over by some passing freighter. The bottle is 27" high including the neck, or spout. It is 18" round and has a flat bottom. It is hand blown, dark green, and formed around the neck are the letters "RIA RIGIA" The neck was not cut or ground off from what ever they used to blow it with, but chipped off with some kind of tool. When it was found in the net, it was encrusted with undersea growth and had some kind of liquid corked up in it. As far as I know the liquid was never identified. If anyone has a clue to what we've got, I would love to hear from you. Any ideas on the "RIA RIGIA" ? Please respond.

Interesting story and interesting bottle. Parts of your description make me think that the bottle might indeed be quite old. The lip is a sheared lip. The color and size are about right for a demijohn. The lettering around the neck and the base are key to identifying its age. The lettering is on a ribbon of glass and applied to the neck and the lettering was stamped in while the glass was hot.  The bottle should have a pontil mark (sharp or rough glass in the center of the base).  In all probability the bottle is foreign. In checking out the word "Ria" I found it means "river" in Italian, but I could find not reference to Rigia (except possibly as a city or region in Eastern Europe, but I couldn't pin point it). "Ria" means "laugh" in Portuguese. Your bottle is certainly old and probably dating to the early 1800s.  What a great bottle and a great story to go with it.  Hard to put a value on something like that.  I'd expect the bottle to bring between $100-200, but I am guessing.  I have only seen one other bottle similar to it.  Digger

Dear Sir, I was at a building being demolished in Seattle. I asked the construction workers to save any old bottles for me. At the end of the day I was delighted to find 2 big card board boxes full of old bottles, some in perfect condition like Dr Bells Pine Tar Honey ,and Pain Killer bottle some have old corks in them some still have booze in them. I know nothing about these bottles. How can I find out what they are worth. some are green, blue, brown, olive, green and clear. some have labels some do not. Thank you for your time Dan White 

Dan the best way to find out is to do a search on Ebay for your specific bottles. I recognize the Bell’s and can guess that most of the bottle are from the turn of the century or later. The earliest reference I could find to Dr. Bell’s Pine Tar Honey was 1913. I would guess that most of the bottles you found were unembossed. The Pain Killer is probably a Perry Davis Pain Killer bottle. Those without embossing will have a limited value and there are not many bottles from that time period that have great value. The two you mention above have values less than $5 each. Digger


Many of the following contain the medication. I am not sure of the legal ramifications involved in transferring them by mail or carrier. Perhaps you do.
AMOLIN DEOD POWDER (Norwich Pharmacal Co)
ANNETTE'S PERFECT CLEANSER (Annette's Perfect
Cleanser Co)
ANTICKAMANIA TABS (Antikamnia Remedy Co)
ANTIPHLODISTINE - TUBE (Roberts Proprietaries Corp)
ATOPHAN TABLETS (Schering and Glatz, Inc)
B & B CORN PLASTERS - slide box (Bauer & Black)
BELLANS TABLETS (Bells Co Inc)
BiSoDol - Prof Sample (The Bisodol Co)
BLACKBURN'S SU_THOL TABLETS (The Blackburn Co)
BLAUD'S TABLETS (Brewer & Co., Inc)
BLUE CROSS BANDAGES (Hampton Mfg. Co)
BOROLEUM TUBE (Sinclair Pharmacal Co)
CADET SEALSKIN (Sealskin Sales Co)
CAL-RINEX CAPS (E Fougera & co)
CASCARETS TABS (Cascarets Inc)
CHI-CHES-TERS (Chichester Chaemical Co)
D-I-E-S-T-A-N-S TABLETS (Pond Chemical Co)
DAVOL NURSING BOTTLE CAPS 3's
DOANE'S REGULETS (Foster-Milburn Co)
DR EDWARDS OLIVE TABLETS (Plough & Co)
FELSOL POWDERS (Americal Felsol Co)
FRU-AT-IVES COMP TAB (Fru-At-Ives Co. Inc)
GASTROGEN TABS (Bristol-Myers Co)
GUDE'S PEPTOMANGAN TABS (M J Breitenbach Co)
HAARLEM OIL CAPS (United Drug Co)
JAYNE'S P-W (Glenbrook Labs)
JOHNSON'S ANODYNE LINIMENT (Etna Chemical Co. Inc)
KALDROX POWDER - Prof Sample (The Bisodol Co
LAPACTIC PILLS (Sharpe & Dohme)
LOZILLES (White Laboratories)
MARMOLA TABS (Raladam Co)
MARSHALL'S CUBEBS (Marshall Cigarette Co)
MEXANA - Formally Mexican Heat Po (Plough & co)
MILES NERVINE (Miles Laboratories)
MOTHER SILLS AIRSICK REMEDY ( The Mother Sill Co)
And much much more.

Dear Sir, I am fairly confident that to ship such things across state lines is not legal. I expect it is also illegal to sell them them unless you are a registered pharmacist. However, in the bottle collecting hobby it is done quite often. If you feel uncomfortable dump the contents (this however reduces the value). I have never heard of anyone being prosecuted.

My husband found a bottle while digging in Galveston Bay. It says Man's Size and was bottled at Lone Star Bottling Works in Galveston. Have any ideas?

Your bottle is obviously a soda or a beer. If its clear or aqua it is probably a soda. If amber then it’s likely to be a beer. My sources show 6-7 brewery concerns in Galveston but not a "Lone Star" I believe it is a soda bottle. Maybe a reader can tell us more. Digger

Hi, I came a cross this old medicine bottle and bought it as a joke for my father, He said it might be worth something but I just dont know. it's about 5 inches tall. with a screwtop lid and has the original label in great condition and it is Chigger Bite Lotion. still half full there's no wording on the bottle just the label shows what it is. If you have any information about it please let me know. Thank You, Lora Gardner

I would expect that the medicine is not too old probably made in the last 40 years. I would not think it had a great value being a screwtop bottle. I’d guess $2-5. Digger

Digger, I just found your site and it's very informative. I am an amateur bottle collector. Just last week I found a bottle and would like to know more about it. The bottle is aqua in color, 5 1/4 inches in length, a little over 1 1/2 inches wide, it has a smooth bottom and is rectangular in shape, the lip appears to be an applied taper (judging from your descriptions), and has two mold seams (one on each side, with a slight spiral with one of the seams touching the bottom of the lip), on the bottle is written in raised letters "HALL BALSAM FOR THE LUNGS", and on the side is written "NEW YORK". I am very interested in finding out what I can about this bottle. I would like to know everything I can; age, rarity, value and history. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much. Steve Heath Bunker Hill, WV

The history of this bottle and thousands of others can be found in my latest book, Digger Odell’s Pontil Medicine Encyclopedia. Your bottle was a product of one Wm Henry Hall and was first put up about 1848. The brand was controlled by Hall & Ruckel (1850-1860) ). I found it still listed in 1913 under the name Hall’s Lung Balsam (Hall & Ruckel). John F. Henry & Co. of New York about 1888 was producing the product. The earliest bottles with either an open pontil or an iron pontil are quite rare. Yours being a smooth based bottle is much more common. The bottle however is very attractive with arched panels and usually sells for $15-30 depending the age, crudity and condition. John F. Henry controlled a number of very successful brands including B. Denton’s Healing Balsam (see below) Sometimes the history is confusing and it may have owned jointly or one company might have been producing a product with a similar name. Both companies were in New York. Digger.

I have a very old Davis pain killer bottle, in mint condition. Could you tell me anything about the bottle’s history and value, and age. Thanks I would really like to know.

This is another bottle you can find in my newest book Digger Pontil Medicine Encyclopedia. Perry Davis of Providence, Rhode Island was the inventor. He was a carpenter when he "discovered" the formula and first began selling his product by foot and carrying the bottles in a basket. His neighbors told him he was foolish to desert his trade. He began in earnest to manufacture the medicine in 1843 and quickly built it into a top seller. The product was available well after the turn of the century. The bottle is common in most variants including the pontiled one. The smooth based bottles sell for $4-8. You can find out more in my Pontil Medicine Encyclopedia. Digger.

Mr. Odell  I have come across a bottle: * no embossed wording * clear * approx. 10 inches tall * appeares to be ABM * fairly pronounced rolled lip with 1/2 inch wide paper label just below lip that reads "HARMONY OF BOSTON" (outlined block letters) * corked top * smooth base (slightly concave) Can you help me identify this bottle or "Harmony of Boston"? Thanks Vic

Vic, I have no idea…I checked but couldn’t find the name. Maybe a reader will help. Digger

HI THERE. I HAVE A BOTTLE MY FATHER FOUND ON A FARM IN MISSOURI. I DON'T COLLECT BOTTLES OR KNOW A THING ABOUT THEM, BUT I DO WANT TO KNOW IF IT MAY BE WORTH SOMETHING. HERE GOES. IT'S DEFINITELY A LIQUOR BOTTLE, IT SAYS SO ON THE FRONT ALONG WITH NAVIP BEOGRAD YUGOSLAVIA. IT'S CLEAR AND IS ABM AND THERE IS ONE CHIP ON THE VERY TOP LIP. SO PLEASE RESPOND EVEN IF IT'S NOT WORTH ANYTHING, IT WILL BE NICE TO KNOW. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. ANTHONY AND JESSICA CAVINESS

Given the condition, age and origin I doubt the bottle has much value to American collectors. Digger

Hi, I saw your web site and thought maybe you could give me some information or led me in a direction that I may find the information I am seeking. I am doing my family genealogy and recently discovered my 2great grandfather's brother was AW Buell, MD who created DR. BUELL'S MAGIC RELIEF and BUELL'S HEALING BALM. He was written up in an 1873 Cyclopedia on Homeopathic Physicians and Surgeons. I believe he would of being selling his patent medicine around 1850-1880's. Are you familiar with any of his product? Do you know a good reference book, I may find to research this product? Do you have a picture or even a bottle of these medicines, or any other's bearing his name. According to the article, the medicine was popular in Colorado mines. AW Buell was from Ohio, later in life (sometime after 1880) moving to Iowa. He died in 1911. Any help or information on this gentleman or his medicine or bottles would really be greatly appreciated, Do you know of any photographs of his medicines? Thank you for your time and consideration. Nanette Styer 

Nanette, I check the 1905 Pharmaceutical Era which has a list of about 20,000 patent medicines. I did not find the name Buell listed nor have I heard of it. It is very likely that the product was only locally distributed and tracking it down will be very difficult. You best bet is to check the local history files of the place he was living prior to his death. Sorry, maybe a reader will have heard of the product. Digger

I found an amber bottle about 10" tall with the name OZOMULSION embossed on the side. I would be interested to know what OZOMULSION is and is the bottle valuable. Thanks, ANNA

Ozomulsion was advertised as a flesh forming food medicine for thin women, emaciated men, and thin children. It was introduced in the 1880s by the T.A. Slocum Company, 96-98 Pine St. New York City. The bottle is very common.

  I am looking for some info on this oil bottle...history-value-etc. Spout reads:The Master Mfg Co /Litchfield Ill./Patd. Sept 14 1926. Thanks Stan Dombrowski

Maybe one of the readers can help.  Most of the time I have seen bottles like these sell for $20-30.  Digger

I recently found a bottle while digging a trench in NAPA,CA. I can’t find any info on it in the books I`ve looked in or on the internet. The bottle is old. It is 7inches tall, aqua in color, tubular pontil and probably had any type of closure except the John Allender clousure because there are no holes in the bottle for that type of closure. On the front of the bottle it reads "AZULE" SELTZER SPRINGS And on the back there is a bear with the word TRADE on one side and MARK on the other side also there is grass under the bear. All this is part of the glass, no paper labels. There is no other markings on the bottle. Any info you can send me would be appreciated. THANK YOU JERRY SISEMORE

Jerry, If the bottle were exactly as you describe with a pontil and picture and the embossing it would be a fantastic bottle. However, one thing about the description doesn’t fit. The words "trade mark" on either side of the bear indicate a date of manufacture after 1876. It was in that year that the government began issuing trademarks. Pontil bottles rarely were produced after 1860. Pontiled mineral or seltzer spring water bottles are also exceptionally rare, I know of only a few. If the bottle does not have a pontil it still could be a great piece. I suspect that having the embossed bear suggests the bottle is from California. Further evidence of this is that there is or was an Azule springs in Santa Clara County near Palo Alto (I hope my geography is correct) Western bottles are very much in demand. If it is it not a common bottle, which I do not think it is, it is probably is worth at least a couple of hundred dollars maybe much more (assuming it is not machine made) A picture would be helpful to determine this. Digger

I have a bottle of Seagrams VO 4/5qt with a seal on it dated 1934 in its original display wooden box. I am trying to find out what it is worth. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

I quit drinking…maybe a reader can help. Digger

Can't seem to find anything like this one. Nothing seems to steer me in a particular direction so far. Do you know what this is? It's 14 1/2 in tall about 4 in at base and almost 2 in at top. Is BIM smooth top with inside of top beveled for a cork of some type. Has C&O on front with a curtan draped behind it. and says federal law forbids sale or re-use of this bottle. Appears to have a seam at the base also. 4/5 quart and on the bottom in the center has the # 9-8-1 and 66.43 Any info would greatly be appreciated! Thanks, Ron Clark

The bottle is clearly a Whiskey or alcoholic beverage of some type. The Federal Law….dates it between 1932-1964. It probably has little value. Digger

I have a bottle that I would like to know how old it is and how much it is worth if you can help me. It is a "blob top" bottle that is 7 inches tall, on one side it has " JACKSON'S SPRINGS NAPA SODA". On the other side it has "NATURAL MINERAL WATER" and then "M. SILVA" . It is aqua in color and has a twisted wire top retainer with no top. Please tell me what you can. Thank you in advance.

I am not going to be much help here. I suspect your bottle to be a California Soda, but cannot find anything about your bottle in particular. I found a listing for a similar bottle with the Jackson’s Springs Napa Soda, not with the name M. Silva. The one I found was listed as rare and had a price in the hundreds of dollars. Western bottles are hot and with all that money in Silicon Valley etc…some big bucks are being paid. Check out Pacific Glass Auctions on the Web for their comments. They specialize in selling Western bottles. Digger

Hi I'am trying to find some info on a bottle I found at the beach today, I hope you can help me . I learned a lot from your site just now ( I walk the beach looking for Indian artifact's) but today I found this old bottle with no letters or numbers on it , it's roughly the size of a beer bottle with an "applied blob" the funny thing about it is that it has a rounded base! you cant set the thing down vertically. I am guessing it had some sort of larger protective case it sat in (explosives perhaps!!)I would love to find out and any help would be appreciated thanks Tim Meakin

Sorry Tim, No such luck. Your bottle is a round bottom soda. Common and you’ll find a picture and further discussion in the questions section here, I am not sure which month. Digger

Hello. A good friend asked me to research a bottle that she has. She believes it is an old milk bottle. It is pink tinted glass. It says it is a 3 cent bottle, says "STORE BOTTLE", has the letters MTC embossed on it, and also says "REC U.S. PAT OFF 1 B11". Her husband drew a rough picture of the bottle, with front, back, and bottom views. I have scanned his drawings and am sending them as attachments. If you need more information, please email me and I will relay your questions to her. Any info you could give on age, value, and what exactly this bottle is would be of great interest to us. Thank you so much for your time. S. Jones 

Your bottle is indeed a Milk. Usually I see 5 cent store bottles in the quart size.  Yours must be a smaller bottle such as a pint. The bottle was a generic one used by many dairies that couldn’t afford or didn’t want a private mold bottle. You’ll find many similar bottles in the antique malls selling anywhere from $3-15. Digger.

I am inquiring about a bottle I have in my collection. It is embossed on the base 'P. Dawson Duff Town Glenlivet.It is about 8" in height and is a short mallet type shape. It has a double applied top with the mold seam disappearing below the lip. The color is a dark amber black glass. It has a few small chips inside the lip and has a barely noticeable crack just under the top. I was wondering the age, history and value of this bottle. Thank you for your help, K.Sircy 

Probably Scottish made possibly made about 1880. Value $10-20. The only whiskey allowed to call itself "The Glenlivet" is historically the most famous Speyside malt. The glen of Livet is also the home of two other malt distilleries, one of which is today owned by Seagram. It is in the parish of Glenlivet that these distilleries used the word Glenlivet on their labels. The practice dates from the glen’s pioneering position in commercial whiskey production. Merchants in the cities wanted whiskey "from Glenlivet" because that was the first specific producing district that they knew by name. The glen of livet has clean spring water it makes especially delicate whiskey. There are said to have been a couple of hundred illicit stills in the wild, mountain country around the Livet in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. For a lot more information check out http://www.scotch-whisky.org.uk . Digger

Sir, I have the following two bottles in excellent condition. Could you tell me or refer me to someone who could tell me the value of these. 1846 John Puhl Product Company, Chicago, IL, "Fleecy White" Brown Jug 1882 Heinz 7 Bottle Thank You.

I am not sure if the first item is crockery item or not so I will address the second. The bottle with Heinz 7 on the base is a Heinz catsup bottle. It was patented in 1882. In clear they are common, rare in aqua. They sell for $8 or less. Digger

Hi, I'm trying to find the history of Ball Brothers who made fruit and vegetable jars in Muncie, Indiana and their connection with Ball State University. They also put out an annual book called "Blue Book". Is there any history available on the internet? Thank you, Donna Gordon

I’d suggest find the site for the Federation of Bottle Clubs. Check out the guys who collect Fruit Jars. There are several books out on Jars and they would know if anyone has the Ball Bros. History. Indiana State Historical Society must have some material. I think the Ball company was in Muncie, Indiana the local library there also would be a good place to check. The company was in business 1887-1973.

while on a walk in the woods we came across a (light colored) green, quart size , bottle. it has PLUTO WATER ,america' physic-- on the side and on the bottom it has a picture of PLUTO with # 5 beside it. the sides of the bottle also has horizontal lines about an inch apart running aroud the the lower half of the bottle.. can you give us some imformation on this ----THANK YOU VERY MUCH---ALAN & KAREN

I have addressed your question elsewhere in the questions I get for previous months. Digger

Are any bottles like Bayer co. , Jergens or Ponds co. worth any value.

Probably not much. Digger

Hello. I have found a bottle that is about 12" tall and orange/brown in color. It has a small handle near the top on the back. No lid. There is a logo on the front. It is a circle that has the letters RHENS around a object I cannot make out. Beneath the logo it reads: RHEIN:PREUSSEN. Could you tell me anything about this bottle. I have a decent bottle collection, but this is the "oddest" bottle I've come across. Thank you for your time.

I have no idea. Sounds European to me, maybe German. In German the words Rhein Preussen translate as Rhine Prussian. Digger

Mr Odell, I have a rather large light blue glass jug bottle- 18" high and 10" across. The bottle is round with a 4" wide screw cap. The only marking on it is at the base which reads 1930. My question is, what was it used for and what is the value if any. It resembles an old water bottle with a wide mouth. My other question concerns the best way to clean old bottles. Some of mine have rust looking deposits in them. I am new to the bottle collecting scene and would appreciate any help or links. Thanks Bill


Bill, I do not have a good answer about your bottle. The shape often reveals the function so a picture might help. Cleaning off rust can be accomplished with any number of rust removing products. Weak acids may also do the trick safely. Digger.

Dear sir, I found an old Heinz bottle 2o years ago; on the bottom are the words Heinz no.17 any info would be appreciated.

The Heinz No. 17 I believe is a pepper sauce bottle. It is a pretty scarce Heinz bottle and worth about $20-25.   Here is a link to some Heinz history http://www.heinz.com/js/about_index.html
Digger

Happy New Year Digger,  During the Christmas holidays I found a bottle washed up on the beach at the southern end of Assateague Island in Virginia. I took it to an antique dealer, who had no idea of its history, except to say that it had been in the water a very long time. Part of the bottle has been exposed to sand abrasion from the currents. Here is a description of the bottle: It is 10 inches tall with a 3 1/4 inch base circumference. It is made of clear glass with a smooth bottom and there is a number 6 on the bottom of the bottle. The best way to describe the shape is to imagine putting strips of glass side by side and forming a circular shape and then bending those strips toward the neck of the bottle. The area that is bent toward the neck is approximately 1 inch in length. The neck of the bottle has a ring attached to it and the lip is molded into two sections with 2 upside down "L's" facing each other and running through both sections, probably for some type of cap. The mold seam of the lip goes up over the top. The circumference of the mouth opening is 3/4 inch. The bottle has an embossed circle with the word "WAYNE" inside it and then below that on a curve, that is parallel to the circle, is the word "TRADEMARK". Below the "TRADEMARK" is a design with an embossed "X" in the center with four embossed graphics that look like elementary rough outlines of tulips running up toward the neck in a curved manner and stopping slightly above the circle containing "WAYNE". If the tulips were to continue past the top of the circle, the tulip-like design would also form a circle. Below the design are the embossed words 'REG. U.S. PAT. OFF." Near the base of the bottle is the embossed number 714. I checked trademark 714 in the Official Gazette and it was granted to the Boston Lead Company for lead in paint, so I am back to square one and have no idea how to research this bottle's history. Do you have any idea as to the age of the bottle, contents, and history in relation to the "WAYNE" trademark? There are a number of shipwrecks off the coast of Assateague Island, so the bottle could have come from there or else garbage buried on the island in years past. Your help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for taking the time to read this request. Linda L. Pentony Cleveland, OH

Linda, you had the right idea. Go back to the Library and check the Patent Office Gazettes. You can narrow down the time period I’d guess that the bottle was made in the 1920-1940 period. You will need to do what I have spent hours doing, which is searching the trademark section of each issue. They show a small reproduction of the trademark. I couldn’t find anything, but would guess your bottle to be a food product of some sort, possibly vinegar. Digger

Hi, So, you're the expert. My question is how much does the value of a bottle increase if it has a glass "swing" in it. I found a great Allen's Lung Balsam about a year ago. Has a great swing in it and although I have always found it very special, I just recently realized it may be worth more since these were to have been destroyed rather than making it to the market. Please contact me with any assistance you can. Sue Andersen  Thanks much!

I always referred to these as "monkey swings". I had a nice Warner’s Safe Kidney Liver Cure with one. I am not sure if they do increase the value. It would guess it would depend on the buyer. They certainly add interest to the bottle. There is no formula to answer your question. Your Allen’s is a well known bottle that typically sells for about $15-20. I wouldn’t expect much more. Digger.

My husband found a bottle several years ago, I re-discovered in packed away in the attic. I have searched the web for what this bottle is. I can't find anything to satisfy my curiosity. I am hoping that you can help. I know very little about bottles, but what I have come up with so far is this. It is Embossed on both sides with a very primitive looking eagle holding something like wheat in its grasp. There is a banner like thing above the eagles head. Well below the feet of the eagle is a sort of an oval shape outline The color I believe to be Aqua (very light greenish or bluish glass). It's about 6 1/2" in height. I believe it is BIM - Blown in Mold. Mold lines from the shoulder of bottle and down. TOP-I believe it is referred to as "Applied Top" because it looks like glass is dripping down the top. No bottle closure attached. (I think it may have been sealed with cork). The Bottom is smooth, shows line (I assume mold lines)-not a pontil bottom. Other features: The bottle has a narrow top opening, the shoulders slop away from top, the sides are slightly broader than the rest of the bottle. As it slops downward it tends to straighten out. There is a small dip in the bottom of the bottle not perfectly centered. The bottle appears very thick to one side in a sloping direction in the bottom. There are air bubbles in the glass, a very noticeable one at the neck of the bottle. The embossed design is very crude in nature, not proportioned very well of the eagle. I think it might be a bitters bottle or Historical Flask. The bottle is in very good condition, no cracks. Pretty clean interior. The outer glass has a faint pitted appearance. This bottle was found in the ground in Lucas, Ohio. If you can be of any help in determining the origin of this bottle, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Cindy 

I would say you have a historical flask here. Probably a half pint double eagle. There are at least dozen varieties and without a closer look it is impossible to be precise. The bottle is probably midwestern blown in either Ohio or more likely Pittsburgh. It dates the to late 1860s early 1870s and they usually sell around $40-75. Digger

I hope you can help me out. My wife has an old bottle that we believe is a liquor bottle that her grandfather had given her many years ago. He had owned a bar in Mpls, MN in the 50's and 60's. The bottle is shaped like a fish. The base is the tail and indented in the bottom. The words Made in Italy are in the base. The overall bottle is 13 3/4 inches tall. The fish shape is 11 inches tall and 4 1/2 inches wide at the widest part. The collar is 1/2 inch with a top width of the collar being 1 1/2 inch across. The opening in the collar is 5/16 inches. The collar is smooth an must have been closed with a cork. the bottle is clear. The bottle has a seam on each side up to the collar. It is in mint condition. No cracks, chips, never in dirt etc... My wife did have a mixture of food coloring in water in the bottle for a number of years but I believe that can be washed out. Now, Can you or anyone tell me what this bottle is from or what it may be worth? It has always been a wonder for use but never knew there was anyone who knew about bottles. Thank you for your assistance. Kenny 

These bottles are still be sold in Europe today. They held wine. Digger.

Do you know anything abut KERR GLASS CO. Located in Portland Oregon? If so, i would greatly appreciate it. Any knowledge of places on the internet that i could find information about KERR glass would be greatly appreciated. ThankYou for your time. -Adam Pfannenstiel

Kerr Glass Manufacturing Co. and Later Alexander H. Kerr Glass Co. was located in Portland, Oregon, Sand Spring, OK, Chicago and Los Angles 1912-present. Digger.

Dear Sirs, If you could find any info on my bottle I would appreciate it. The bottle still has part of its label on the front, and it says Atwood's Jaundice Bitters vegetable physical. On the side it says formerly made by Moses Atwood, Georgetown, Mass. It still has some of it's contents and partial cork in top. The bottle itself is in good condition. If you know anything about it please send to: Thanks.

You can find some of the history of this bottle in my latest book, Pontil Medicine Encyclopedia as well as priced in my Price Guide Volume 5 Medicines. The product was first advertised about 1840 by Moses Atwood. In 1889, it was found to have an alcoholic content of 17%. The product was made well into the 1900s and machine made examples are known. Yours is probably one of the later varieties. Since you do not mentioned that the bottle is embossed, I’d date yours closer to 1900 or later. They sell for under $20. It was a very popular product, but the bottle being 12 sided is very attractive.

Hi I was wondering if you could help me. I have a lavender colored bottle that is about seven inches tall. It says Richard Hudnut New York on the front. Also it has his initials on the sides enclosed in a circle. The seam does not go over the lip, and It is in very good condition. If you could tell me the history and value, I would appreciate it. Thanks. 

Richard Hudnut open his first drugstore in New York in 1888. He was primarily producing perfumery and cosmetics. He sold out in 1916 and his products were still being manufacturered in 1982. Your bottle sounds like a toilet water bottle and may have had a small metal pouring spout. The bottles are very common in 1900 period dumps. They sell for $2-3. Digger

I am trying to find out some information about a bottle I have. I have had some touble finding anything about this bottle. Here is a description of the bottle: it is red/amber in color, approx. 11 inches tall,, the closest match for the lip is a "sloping collar", ABM, 20 ribs running down both sides, embossed on the bottle are two phrases "Has had no peers for 50 years" & "federal law forbids sale or reuse of this bottle", the base does not appear to have a pontil, the base is flat and has M3264 & d-9 embossed on it. I would appreciate any info you can give me with this. Thanks, 

The Federal Law phrase establishes this as an alcoholic beverage made between 1932-1964. Digger

Want to find out how much your bottles are worth? Order a copy of Digger's
Bitters Bottle Price Guide, Volume 2 of the Price Guide Series  

I have an old bottle of whiskey that I found unopened in a relatives cabinet. It is called Old Choice Cabinet Whiskey No. 9, Carl F. Lauber, Sole Proprietor, Philadelphia, Pa. If you know anything about this bottle and whether it is worth anything, I would like to know. Please e-mail to Thanks

I do not. Maybe another reader will help. Digger

Hello- I am writing to ask about a bottle I found on the Outer Banks, in North Carolina. It is a collection of islands on the eastern side of the state, in the U.S. I have looked at your site, plus many others, and can not seem to find the origin or even a name for the kind of bottle I possess. It is greenish in color, stands about 8 inches tall and is about 1 inch around the neck, and 3 to 4 inches around the ball at the end. It is similar in shape to the torpedo bottle and nurser bottle, but both of them are to big in size. The neck of the bottle extends about 5 inches from the top to the rounded bottom. It can not stand on its bottom because it is rounded. It has a round lip, with 2 seams that run along the side of the bottle, stopping just below the lip of the bottle, and then there are 2 separate seams running along side the lip. It also appears that there are glass bubbles in the bottom of the glass. The bottom is not perfectly rounded either.If you can find any information about this bottle, please let me know. I thank you so much for your time and help in this matter. Sincerely Tim Stanley

Tim, your bottle is almost certainly a round bottom soda. You’ll find a picture in other months of this site. Digger If you send a picture, I can give you a better idea.

Hello Digger!!! The books I gave my husband for Christmas (all of yours) were a total success!!! He really has enjoyed them and uses them for references--great pictures!!!! I am looking for any "Wallace" bottles (have the name on them). do you have any? He even said he would like some like that---and that's all I need to start looking. Please keep me in mind if you ever find any--no chips or cracks, please. Thanks, Sharon Wallace

I have a few Wallace bottles listed in my Pontil Medicine Encyclopedia. The only embossed bottle I have listed is Wallace’s Rheumatic Discovery, Suspension Bridge, NY. Pile Panacea, Wallace’s Tonic Stomach Bitters, Wallace’s Venereal Powders and Wallace’s Wizard Salve. There was an Andrew C. Wallace Amoskeag brewery in New hampshire and another Wallace Brewery in New York state. Keep your eyes open, you’ll find one. Digger

Need help!!!! Thirty or more years ago I lived at an old fish cannery in Southeast Alaska. I help my father when he was a watchman there. I was twenty some years old at the time and enjoyed digging around behind what was call the China-men's bunk house. They use to do their opium and then throw the bottles out the back into the woods. One day my mother and I found a whiskey bottle about two foot under the top soil. It had no label of any kind and was made of clear glass. The unusual thing was it had a thumb print and four finger prints as if a man was gripping the bottle with his right hand and holding it up to drink out of the spout. I have never seen or heard of any bottle meeting this bottles description. We just recently got on the internet, I thought I'd take the opportunity to try to find out the age and possibly the origin of the bottle. Are you able to help me?

I do not know, maybe a reader has seen one like it. Digger

Would you know anyone who could tell me about a Fislerville Jenny Lind bottle? I am trying to help a reader (I write for a newspaper) find out about his bottle. He did not include a photo --- only that he read the same bottle in discussion has a value of $10,000 (per Kovels). I am not familiar with this bottle. Thanks for any input. Judy C.

The bottle in question is one which has been reproduced a number of times. The common ones in aqua sell for much less than the figure shown. About $9,950.00 less in fact. It is highly improbable that your reader has one in that price range. I have not seen any sell at that price. The local library will probably have a copy of McKearin’s American Glass, Crown Publishers. In that reference you’ll find complete descriptions of all the variants. Digger.

Hi- I've attached a picture of a bottle that a coworker bought at a flea market. She would like to have an idea of what it's worth. If you could help, please email her at: 

Hi- I've attached a picture of a bottle that a coworker bought at a flea market. She would like to have an idea of what it's worth. 

The bottle looks new to me.  I'd guess about value maybe $10-15.  Digger 

I have an Abe Lincoln Chocolate flavored syrup bottle with a coin collector top. The syrup was bottled by Lincoln Foods, Inc. from Lawrence Mass. How can I find the value of this bottle ?

Ebay on line auctions would be your best bet. Digger.

While salvaging a shipwreck from 1880, we brought up a few cases of Budweiser beer bottles from that era. are these worth anything and if so, where do i go with them? thanks, rusty pace

I’d say they have some value. If the bottles are in good condition and date from that time. Bottles with the Adolphus Bush markings are not rare. The glass company was in business 1904-1907. If your are earlier they might be worth more. Maybe some our readers would like them? Digger

Dear Collector, My husband collects old bottles here in New Zealand. He just gets them off building sites where he works putting driveways in etc. He has a couple of American ones and would be glad if you knew anything about them. One is a small clear glass jar which says 'Chesebrough, Mantg. Co. New York' Another says Chamberlain's cough Remedy down the side and Des-moines.IA.USA. and the other one says "Califig" on two sides and Successors to the cal;ifornian fig syrup co and R4 on the bottom. Are they very collectable? What would have been in the Chesebourough jar? Thank you if you have time to answer.  Thank you. Fiona.

American bottles in New Zealand. Mostly the ones that made it over there were highly successful here. The bottles you mention are very common here in the states and sell for $1-2. The Cheesebough bottle contained Vaseline. Digger

Hi; I have a bottle that is still in the box it was sold in. The company is Sauer and the bottle had laudanum in it. This was used to flavor food like cakes. It was made with 49% opium. Could you tell me how valuable it is? thank you, Arnold Kennett 

Arnold, I guess anything is possible but this sounds improbable. The C.F. Sauer Company of Richmond Virginia did indeed make flavoring extracts. They were issued trademark in 1900, 1906, and 1909. The earliest reference I found was 1894. Given the fact that the Food and Drug Act was passed in 1906 and the Dept. of Agriculture was aggressively pursuing such problems if they did indeed produce such a product it would have been for a very short time. There are some collectors who buy those sort of bottles. Being as yours is not a "drugstore item" I am not sure what to tell you. Digger

Can you tell me anything about this bottle, what it's worth? what year is was bottled? It reads Geo. A. Dickel Old Cascade Brand "Mellow as Moonlight" yellow label 1/2 gallon bottle unopened, tax labels etc undamaged.. The seal is intact, whiskey is drinkable. Has not been fouled. Bottle indicates it was bottled at a Maryland distillery, not the Tennessee one. From what I've read at the www.georgedickels.com website they've always been in tennessee.. The bottle looks very old. Thanks! -Floyd Yancey

I do not have a clue. You can possibly date the bottle from the tax labels. They sometimes have dates on them. Sorry Digger

HI DIGGER, I'VE RECENTLY OBTAINED A RATHER ODD DUCK. THE BOTTLE IS A JOHNSON'S AMERICAN ANODYNE LINIMENT, 4 1/4 INCHES HIGH, PONTILED. (A VERY COMMON BOTTLE IN AQUA) BUT, HERE'S THE KICKER, IT'S CLEAR! I'VE HEARD OF ONE BEING SOLD AT GREER'S AUCTION, BUT, OTHER THAN THAT, I DON'T KNOW ANY THING ELSE ABOUT THIS ONE. IF YOU COULD GIVE ME A HAND WITH THIS IT WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE APPROXIMATE AGE, RARITY, AND VALUE PLEASE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND MERRY CHRISTMAS. MARK GRAY

Mark, I have your bottle listed in that color in my newest book.  Believe it or not the bottle is probably harder to find in aqua. (Pontil Medicine Encyclopedia) . Abner Johnson of Bangor Maine was advertising the product in 1830. The bottle is scarce and worth probably in $65-85 range. Digger

hi there I have just begun to play with bottles , have not focused yet. I recently found an interesting bottle 10 inches high , light purple in colour , stamped on bottom kuntz brewery waterloo when I have snooped I discovered that this co. sold out around 1940 it is quite old by the markings but i just can't find any useful info. Can you help thx steve duchesne sarnia , ontario canada

I was not able to find the name except in New York City. Waterloo?? Maybe a reader can help. Digger

Update from a Reader ( 7/27/01) You recently answered a question about a bottle found with "Kuntz Brewery
Waterloo" -- and said you'd seen references to a Kuntz Brewery in NYC, but
not Waterloo.  Waterloo is a city in Ontario, Canada, where there were a
number of breweries -- type "Kuntz Brewery" on any Internet search engine,
and you'll find out plenty about this brewery and that area of Canada.

 Thanks for the help.  Digger

Hi Digger, I know your ask digger a question format is orientated toward bottles but I was hoping you could help me out with a crock question. In the summer of 1998 my digging partner Frank and I dug this fancy stenciled crock from a privy. The crock is in excellent condition and although we know it probably contained snuff or tobacco that is about all we know. Being a really fancy crock we are curious to know more about it and how much it is worth. I've attached two photos below (front and back) and would appreciate any help you could give me. Thanks

Interesting find. My guess. A snuff crock like you said. Very nice piece. The best way to track down information is through the Rochester City Directories. These maybe available in a large city library near you. They have put them on microfilm. I guess $300-400 to the right person (maybe more). You could clean up the discoloration by using a 20% solution of Hydrogen Peroxide (check drugstore-hair color section). Soak cotton ball and place over the discolorations cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation. Do not use bleach!! You can cause permanent damage. Digger.

Well,  Digger, what I have is what I believe to be a case bottle. Manufactured sometime between 1700 and 1840. It is square in shape 2.25"X2.25" at the base and 3"X3" at the top. It is 9.5" tall. It is amber in color and has v Meerten & Co in 1" lettering on the side. The lettering on the side and the top/lip appear to have been applied after the bottle was made. Though there are two detectable mold lines I was told it was blown in a three piece mold. There are also lines on the sides which look to be wood grain imprints on the glass as if it were blown in a wooden form. There are many bubbles of all sizes in the glass and it appears to be pontil marked. It is believed to have contained gin or grog originally. My father got it while working in africa during the seventies. He told me it was dug from the sand on a beach at the mouth of the Escravos River in Bay of Guinea, Nigeria. does my bottle have a monitary value or is it just a curiosity? Thanks John Loveall, Rockport, Tx.

 

Your bottle has monetary value.  You do not mention an applied seal which is common on many of these bottles.  I am a bit confused by your thought that the lettering and lip were applied after the bottle was made.  The lip would have been, but the lettering was part of the iron mold.  Typically the Gins with embossing are from the second half of the 19th century.  I'd guess about 1860.  These bottles were exported from Europe, primarily from Holland, to the African continent in great quantities. I have put up two pictures of two gins from the 1850-1870 time period. Both have applied seals on their shoulders and one also has embossing.  Notice the two lip styles.  I tend to think the one on the left is a bit older.  The earlier gins had thinner flared lips and no embossing.  I could not find a specific listing for the name you gave, but I can guess the value to be $60-80.  Most of the gins tend to be olive green.  Amber is a very unusual coloration and I have only seen it in later bottles.  Digger

I have 4 green 9" tall by 2 3/4" square bottles, with pewter screw type caps, and key mold bases. The caps are marked "M.V. OLRY'S PATENT SEPT. 25 1866". All 4 are in mint condition.Any idea as to manufacturer and/or value? Thanks for your help, Jim Brammer.

Jim, I couldn't find anything, but I will keep looking.  Maybe one of our readers will help out. Digger.

 

I've been finding some old Frosty , Deleware Punch and Nestles (chocolate milk I think ) bottles while scuba diving off the So. Ca. coast . These bottles have quite a bit of growth on them that dries to a very tough crust .Do you have any suggestions on restoring them . thank-you Jim

Try muratic (dilute hydrochloric) acid unless they have painted labels.  You might investigate some of the sonic cleaners like jewelers use.  Digger

Am attempting to identify three piece bottle, cobalt blue base, clear and frosted strainer and top.Stands (bottle alone, 9 3/4 inches tall. With top and strainer, 12 inches tall. There no markings on any piece and bottle is without seam. Strainer has 8 holes in circle with additional smaller hole at center. There is a pouring lip on strainer. (Photo attached) Anything you can provide would be appreciated. Thank you very much.Joe

Joe you have some apothecary or chemistry apparatus.  The fact that the bottle has no mold seam indicates it was probably made in a paste mold.  It was molded like other bottles but a paste was applied to the mold and the bottle was turned while in the mold and erased the seams.  If you look carefully you can see evidence of the twisting action in the form of concentric rings around the bottle.  I'd guess a date of 1890-1920.  I am not sure about the function although I'd guess that it was used to separate a liquid from something like vegetable matter.  Very much like you would make tea.  It is pretty and ought to be worth $50-60.  Digger.

Dear Digger,

My mom had a set of three dark amber (almost iodine) colored bottles that ranged in size from 1 qt. to 1 gal. They had heavy glass stoppers that fit down into their tops. The sides of the stoppers, where they fit into the bottles, were similar to apothecary stoppers, in that the glass was not smooth, it was "chalky". Probably a poor description of the stopper sides, but you probably know what I mean. She kept flour, sugar etc.. in these jars. I believe my father has gotten rid of them. I would love to know what you would call these jars, and where I might find some similar. Any information would be appreciated. Thank you and Merry Christmas! Jay Gorham

They sound like an item you might have found in a gift shop.  the "chalky" is where the stopper was ground to fit the mouth of the jar.  It is possible they were apothecary jars, but given the number of unknown chemicals put into them, I doubt anyone would use them for food storage. Digger

Hi, i was wondering if you could tell me something about a bottle that i found. It has the words embossed on the front "Warranted Flask." It is about 6 1/2 inches tall, 2 3/4 wide and 1 inch to 1 1/2 thick. The glass is clear with about an 3/8 inch seem on the side. The neck is about and 1 1/2 long and about an inch wide. The lip if rounded. There is also the number 3 embossed on the bottom of the flask. If you could tell me something about this flask that would be great. thanks for your time. Shawn

Your Warranted Flask is a very common bottle.  Yours sounds like a pint size.  They were made in great quantity (millions) around the turn of the century.  They were generic bottles used by many proprietors to put up there own product.  They can be found pretty much all over the country.  A large portion of them are not machine made, but have hand tooled lips.  

abm,clear crown top,embossed "JARRITOS'. Can you identify. Thanks Bransompottery.

I can't maybe a reader can.  Digger

Hi I thank you for taking the time to read this. I live in upstate ny. I have found 2 tiny brown bottles. I was hoping maybe you something about them. They each have a funny stopper in the top. Have the words "FUNSTEN ANIMAL BAIT" going around them with 2 number 2's on the bottom. One still has liquid in it. I was wondering if you could tell me about them. Origin, age, value? Thanks a lot Roy Waldron I've attached a pic of one of them. 

Judging from the picture and your location, I'd guess them to be from 1900-1930.  Were there lots of trappers in upstate NY about that time?  The stopper is typical of a perfume and was used to limit the flow to a few drops at a time.  Check the mold seam to see if they are machine machine made which would date them after WWI.  Value would not be much as the labels are in poor condition.   collectors of hunting memorabilia would probably pay the highest price for them.  I say in the range of $10-15. Digger 

Hi,

I got this old Ruby glass bottle from my family estate & would like to know any information about it.

Your Flask is a reproduction blown from a good quality glass.  These were produced in light golden amber, cobalt-blue, amethyst, deep ruby and possibly other colors. The Flask is a reproduction of the GIX-11 and was produced as early as 1950, possibly by Blenko Glass Works in Milton, West Virginia.  The distinguishing features of this flask are the high quality glass, giving the bottle a high sheer and glossy finish and the oval-rectangular slightly concave base with rough pontil mark about 5/8" in diameter.  The shortness of the neck also is a clue.  The bottle was molded almost to the top of the lip, which was then reheated and tooled. (information from McKearin & Wilson American Bottles & Flasks)  Digger.

About 20 yrs. ago I dug up a 12in, ABM, clear in the center and frosted at the top and bottom with the word MARLBORO embossed on both sides at the top. It reminds me of the old quart glass Pepsi bottles in design. It also, has the word Duraglas on the bottom. Not knowing what could have come in it makes it difficult to find more information. I've asked a number of people with no luck. Hopefully, you'll know. Thanx

I think I was asked this bottle question once before and did not know.  Maybe a reader knows.  Digger

Digger,

This is Jason Blevins from The Historical Bottle diggers of Indiana and me and Rick have been digging about every weekend. This week we dug up a couple of bottles that I have questions on The first is a Arthurs Balsum of White Pine from Ft. Wayne, IN I am not familiar with this bottle. It's the bottle on the far left of the second picture and it's not a very good picture, the bottle is early to late 1870's The second one is most interesting. It appears to be maybe a honey amber champagne bottle but it is extremely fancy and ancient. If you give me a little info on these I would appreciate it. Also what does an entire set of your price guides cost? Thanks, Jason D. Blevins Bottledigger

Jason
I have not heard of your Arthur's Balsum.  Looks like a great local piece.  I found a listing for an Arthur's White Pine Balsam being made in 1904-1905 by the Pine tree Medicine Company of Burnham Maine.

Your amber bottle is a back back bottle make by W.N. Walton & Co.  Check for the name or a patent date on the back of the bottle.  The bottle had a recessed glass label. in the indentation. The ad from the late 1860s shows all the different types of bottles he made.  I enlarged yours.

I have a "Chicago Heights Brewing Company" beer bottle. Is this old? Worth anything? Amy

Your bottle is probably an early crown top beer.  The Chicago Heights Brewing Company was in business from 1908-1912.  It may have become the Home Brewery in 1912.  Of course no beer was produced during prohibition so production resumed in 1933 under the name Chicago Heights Brewery.  It might have value to local collectors, but not much on a national market. Digger.

Dear Digger,
A digger friend of mine came in today with a bottle and he needed to see how much it is worth, I checked a few reference guides and came up empty with this specific bottle. I thought you might be knowledgeable about Cincinnati bottles. It is 7.25" high with a base diameter of 2.5", iron pontil base with some graphite showing. The color is a light emerald green, with a sloping applied collar. The embossing is as follows: on the front: T. M. RUTHERFORD'S MINERAL WATER CINCINNATTI THIS BOTTLE IS NEVER SOLD back: R

I have listings for six different Rutherford Mineral Water bottles.  Some are embossed vertically some horizontally.  Several of them are 10 sided (you do not mention this so I'll assume your is not.)  I have a listing for one in green 6 panels, but it does not appear to have the exact same embossing.  His bottle is quite rare in that coloration.  Value depends upon how many of the Cincinnati collectors have one.  A green one was listed for sale (note this is an asking not a selling price) for $225. Digger

Hi to you and I hope that you can help, a friend of mine has a question concerning this bottle that he found on Portsmouth island here in eastern N.C. ...from what i can gather this island was a place of trade back when the colonies first started up. the bottle does have raised letters and the following information below is the best that we can read on the bottle. can you help me with this to find out the age and apprx the value. appears to be well over 100 yrs old. thanks so much for your opinion and time, regina parnell Hi : this is the information on the bottle we talked about ; by the King's Royal Paten Granted Robt Turlington for his invented Balsam Of Life other side of bottle Jany London bottle is approx. 2 1/2" tall

I have covered some of the his and variants of this bottle in my latest book on pontiled medicines.  Robert Turlington obtain a patent from the King of England for his formula.  It was a very popular brand in the Colonies prior to the Revolutionary War.  After the war its sales picked up again.  It was regularly counterfeited by unscrupulous imitators.  I believe there are more than a dozen variants of the bottle including some made near the turn of the twentieth century. The violin shaped bottle appears with a variety of dates (1779, 1854, 1751 embossed) your variant is one of the more plentiful ones.  I am assuming it is pontiled (which it might not be).  If it is then the bottle was likely made in the 1840-1850 period.  You don't mention the color, but the earliest ones were of clear glass and they are quite rare.  The example at the left is unique in its coloration (amber) and dates to the 1830-1840 period. Digger

Greetings: Have been collecting for many years in the area of the S.E. However, I recently found a bottle washed ashore that is outside my usual find. Can you assist in it's identification? Clear Screw top Embossed - Side 1 - FRERES GASCARD / ROUEN - Side 2 (opposite) A raised figure of a monk Thank you for any assistance you might offer in identifying this find. Sincerely, Warren Loescher

Sounds French to me.  Gascard Brothers Rouen, France.  Monks and monastaries were famous for producing wine.  Probably relatively new. Digger

I found a bottle digging in our yard. It is amber color. It has the words DAZZLE 32 oz embossed around the top and 3192 on bottom with some symbols. It has a red screw on top it is an ABM it is 91/2 inches tall

Maybe a reader can help, I have no idea. Digger.

I was working on our church, when I dug up this old bottle. The bottle has the word Moroline on it, it's about two inches tall, eight sided,& seems to be made of a leaded glass. I know that the church was build about 1930. I'm interested in anything that you could tell me about the bottle. Thank You. Steven Davis

I found a listing for a "Morrholine" in the 1915 Druggist Circular.  It was apparently a medicine of some kind and produced by the "Norway Pharmacal Co.," 1058 Third St. New York City.  Morrholine was available  ferrated (with iron), Arseniated with Strych (poisonous!!), with Creosote (yuck!) or with malt (my choice).  A competitor was selling Morrhotone available with similar additives.  Also offered were other similar products Morr-arsenol, Morrhistonol, and Morrhuol.  It does not indicate what the product was for.  Digger.

Hi, Hope you can help me identify some bottles have started collecting. They all have the same shape, I think they are classified as decanters, they are round at the bottom and then go up to a long skinny neck. They all have a stopper top that is quite pointed. Most have a hobnail type outside. One of them has a label on that reads "Rossi Empoli Glass" and the word Italy on it. I have search on different combinations under E-Bay and have not found anything similar. There was one bottle that close to it and it was called "Tall Emerald Green Pilgrim Crackle Glass Decanter". Hope you can me. THANKS!

I wish I could help.  You might check several things to help determine the age.  See the section of my website about bottle basics.  Digger.

Dear Sir, I wonder if you could possibly help me? My name is Phil. Very recently while fishing, I came across an old bottle, I believe it is a Cobb. The bottle is in what I would consider very good condition, even having the original orange colour rubber seal. I think that perhaps the mud that it was buried in could have preserved it, and also the marble is intact in the neck. It stands 9 1/8 inches or 231 cm tall, made from clear glass and has air bubbles through it. There are no identifying marks on it or for that matter, no marks at all. The seam finishes before the neck. Could you please email me and perhaps put some light on this matter, I am not a collector and until now have never had any sort of interest in the subject. Thank You For Your Time. Phil Morris.

Phil, I have addressed your question elsewhere in "Questions I Get."  Your bottle is a Codd bottle.  I do not believe I have seen an American one.  Mostly they are English.  Many have been brought into the country in the last 30 years.  Some have names embossed others have pictures. They are quite rare in colors other than aqua. Most were made in the 1880-1900 era.  Digger.

Digger,  I have a friend who found a bottle that is about 10 inches in height, round, rootbeer amber color, has a turtle image made into the glass, the words around the turtle read: THE CHESAPEAKE BREWING CO OF BALTIMORE CITY, going around the bottom of the bottle it has: THIS BOTTLE NEVER SOLD EHE CO, the top looks as if it had a bottle cap on it or even a cork maybe. The glass looks as though it has air bubbles in it and a seam going all the way down on both sides. If you could tell me anything it would be very helpful, I have looked every where to see if I could at least find out about the brewing company but had no luck. If you could please give us an idea of the value of it or send me in the directions to find out about it.  Thanks will be waiting to hear from you.

Your bottle is from Baltimore, MD.  the Chesapeake Brewing Company was in business there under that name from 1900-1920.  The EHE on the bottle is the glass manufacturer. Edward .H. Everett, Newark, OH (1882-1904).  I'd say your bottle must have been made between 1900-1904.  They were well known for making blob top beers.  Value of a blob top $10-15.  $5-10 for early crown top.  Digger.

I was wondering if you could give me some info about cleaning bottles? There is always some kind of rusty looking stuff on the bottle after i clean the dirt out of it, seems to come off with a scratcher but on the inside, it's very hard to get out. I haven't had much luck. any help will be appreciated. Thanks so much for your time

If it is indeed rust there are a number of rust removing products which might help.  If on the other hand it is stain from being buried it cannot be easily removed except by tumbling.  see the section on my website about cleaning bottles. Digger

Aloha, I have found a few medicines and was hopping for some information. I am including a photo to help out. The larger bottle is 9 1/4" and has "Life Syrup" embossed on front and "New York" on one side and "Reuters" on the other. The smaller bottle is 4" and has "B Dentons Healing Balsam" embossed on it. Is is 8 sided. So far I have pulled 28 of these from the dig area. Any help on ages and price would be great. Mahalo Bob Jensen 

Bob just where are you digging? Both of the bottles you picture are from New York and date to the 1870s.  Your Reuters was advertised at least as early as 1878 and was advertised in the 1915 Druggist Circular as Reuters Syrup, available in 2 sizes, 6 oz and 12 oz. for sale by Barclay & Co., 26 Beaver St., New York.  The B. Denton's was originally a product of Barton Denton of Auburn, NY.  It was advertised as early as 1859 and pontil varieties are around.  Sounds like the fellow who threw the bottles away was sick.  I estimate the Reuter's Life Syrup at $25-30 in mint condition and $15-20 for the Denton's.  However, with 28 of them you better consider two for one money sale.  Digger.

 

 

I have acquired several bottles from a friend of mine who is in her nineties. They vary in shape and color. They all have a seam that goes up and over the lip of the bottle. One of them is an emerald green (that you can see through) with a picture of Benjamin Franklin and a cork stopper. One is the shape of the Liberty Bell (crack and all) also the same green color. One is purple and says Ball and Claw Bitters. Two that are Purple 12 sided That say A LANCASTERS INDIAN VEGETABLE JAUNDICE BITTERS COL.SAM JOHNSON PROPRIETOR RICHMOND VA. 1852. Another is a darker purple that is more square and has a picture of a tree on it and from what I can see says something about health and vitality and on the other side has the tree with the same tree of life since 1880. I don't know if I have given you enough information about the bottles to help me find out if these are really old and worth anything or if their just nothing. They are all about three inches tall Thank you for any help, Tyna Woods 

Tyna, I am afraid all of your bottles are ranther common reproductions.  You can find most of them pictured on this website under the reproductions section.  They were probably made in the 1970s.  Digger.

Hello....I have a bottle and cannot find any information on it. I was hoping you could help. It is 5 and a half inches tall, clear in color, and says in raised lettering,' J.E. McBRADY & Co.' and 'CHICAGO'. ON the bottom also in raised lettering '1851' and '1'. The seams are off-set and run up to top of the lip, it has no closure, and rectangle bottom, a flared lip, and no cracks or chips. If you know anything about where I can find information or an appraisal, please let me know. Thanks for you time. Ann

Ann, I was not able to find any information on your bottle. Digger.

Hi , About 5 years ago I found this bottle on Red River in Louisiana. I am enclosing a pic. It says across the top V. AYELENSE 1850 and the N is turned around backwards. It stands 10 and a half inches.6 and a half inches from base to neck. 15 inches around base and 18 and a half around the shoulder with a C or G on the bottom. It is in near perfect condition. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanx, Greg Hale 

Greg, I am on the fence about this one. While it has an old look, (from the picture) I cannot be sure.  You do not mention the mold seams (see Bottle Basics on this site).  The backwards "N" is fairly common on old bottles.  Your bottle looks much like a demijohn of some sort, probably contained wine or spirits.  It is not from 1850, but it could  possibly be from the 1870s.  I wonder why it is in such good condition if you found it and it is old.  It could could be very new.  Digger.

 

Hi, My son just found a bottle that was uncovered in the front of an arena. I don't know anything about bottles except what I see in front of me on the internet. Could you please tell me what kind of bottle this is. It has in raised lettering J.TUNE & SON LONDON on the bottle. It is clear and you can see some air bubbles in the glass, it is 7 inches high, it seems to be what is described as a BIM, I see the side seems up until almost the lip of the bottle. It has a crown top, and the base is round and sunken and has a raised picture of a deer or antelope, it seems to be in good condition. Thank-you Denise

I can only guess since I do not have good references for English bottles, although many bottles embossed London, were actually made here.  The bottle sounds like a beverage of some sort ( I am basing this on the fact you say it has a crown top).  If the mold stops short of the lip and it has a crown top I can date it from about 1900-1913. Digger

Hello,  I have a problem, I found some old Purex and Clorox bottles (dark glass). I had someone look them up for me, come to find out they were last made in 1921. I would like to find out if they are worth anything, so could you tell me what, if any, website I could find information out about them (without having to order anything). Thanks.

I have addressed the Clorox question in earlier months.  Check back through "Questions I Get" for an answer.  As for the history that is tougher. I checked the 1915-1917 Druggist Circular which listed about 40 brands of bleach, but Clorox was not on the list.  I feel pretty sure from my digging experience that the familiar brown bottle was made after 1921, but I have been wrong before.  Digger.

I have a CARTAN, MCARTHY - SAN FRANCISO whiskey bottle. In the Kovel bottle book it lists an Amber bottle at $390. My bottle is amethyst. Is it worth more or less than the amber one? Thanks.

My guess is somewhat less.  Because the states west of the Mississippi generally aren't as old, they do not have so many old bottles as the eastern ones.  Hence, the popularity of Western bottles, in the West. The amber variant has been sold at auction numerous times.  Typically the clear bottles were produced closer to the turn of the century and are newer.  There are cases where clear variants are rarer than colored ones but I'd say that is the exception rather than the rule.  Given a choice, most of us would choose the color.  Digger

I have an E. G. Booze Old Cabin Whiskey Bottle, Philadelphia with a date of 1840 embossed on the back side. The bottle is a light yellowish amber. It has no seams lots of bubbles and an indentation with swirl marks on the bottom. It is very difficult for me as a 20 year collector to tell if this is an original or a repro. I purchased it for $15 at an antique shop. It is about 7 1/2" tall and in mint condition. It appears to have whittle marks and is not real uniform in shape. I have never seen a photo of an original. How do I tell if this is a reproduction or an original? Please respond  Thank you

For a fairly complete description see the article on Booze bottles on this site.  Digger

I hope you will be able to help me. I recently found some bottles and I cannot find them listed in any bottle books I have found so far. I found a full wooden case of empty 6 oz Canada Dry Spur bottles. They have red and white ACL lettering and on the back they say they are from the Red Arrow Bottling works of Detroit. There are 28 bottles and after cleaning them, I found them to be in near perfect condition. Any information you could provide will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

In my book Indian Bottle & Brands I have listings for five or six "Arrowhead" Sodas from various locations.  I did not include ones with the just the word "Arrow" so I have not collected information ACL (Applied Color Label) collectors are looking for bottles with the following qualities.  1) bottles with a picture, 2) bottles with a picture and two or more colors. Since you do not mention a picture, I'll assume the bottles have none.  This reduces the value greatly.  I say to $1-2.  Digger

Thank you for your informative article on John Larkin and his glasses! Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Bruce Harris. I live in Cleveland, and I am a family genealogist with interests in the Buffalo area. My great grandfather Jesse Harris and his son Jabesh married two of the estimable Weller Girls. And they were also in the soap business. I wonder based only from dates whether John Larkin may have learned the soap business from my great uncle Jabesh, but of that, more later. Your article included a reference to an unpublished genealogy of the Hubbard and Larkin Families. My great great grandmother was Frances (Hubbard) Weller, so I am always interested in more information from that time and place. I have visited East Aurora, but it has been a while. My focus has been on the Harris family, and I am only now reaching out to adjacent lines. In this regard the Hubbard - Larkin family is related and so of great interest to me. Where may one view this unpublished work? Or can I get in touch with it's author? Who did the compiling work? We may be cousins! Bruce Harris 

Bruce, Much of the research material was sent to me by a fellow collector, P. Larkin.  He was very helpful and it was from him I got the copies of a portion of the unpublished work.  If you email me, I'll give you his mailing address.   Digger.

Hello, I was wondering if you could help me with a bottle question? I got this e-mail address from the website http://www.antiquebottles.com/questions.html Recently while cleaning my mothers attic I found what seems to be a bottle from around 1905. The bottle is about 9-10 inches tall. square sided, and about 10 inches around. It has raised lettering on to of the sides saying PREPARED BY DR. PETER FAHRNEY & SONS CO. CHICAGO ILL. USA. On the opposite side it says THE RELIABLE OLD TIME PREPERATION FOR HOME USE. The only reason that I am writing is this, the bottle is still sealed. With a cork and a brown wrapper, that bears the Fahrney name. Also its box is still intact. Missing the top and bottom flaps, but the sides are still in excellent condition and it is printed with green ink. One side is in English, the other three sides seem to be printed in "Swedish?" In brief the box on the English side says DR. PETERS "KURIKO" ALCOHOL 14 %. "WHICH ACTS UPON THE BOWLES, INCREASES THE FLOW OF URINE AND BENEFICALLY AFFECTS THE STOMACHE.....". There really is a lot more, all of it amazingly clear and crisp. At the bottom of that side is his mechanically written signature and the price $1.50. U.S. patent. Anyway whether you can help me or not, Thank you for taking the time to read this, because I don’t know if a full bottle would even interest bottle collectors or if I should ask some other type of collector.

Great bottle site you mention.  For my readers who haven't been there you should check it out. Fahrney bottles are quite common.  Dr. Peter's Vitalizer was his best seller.  I'll let you read the story in Fahrney's own words.  The following is taken from a Dr. Peter's Advertising Phamphlet.

Hi "DIGGER" Our San Jose bottle club received a letter from a local person regarding a bottle embossed INDIAN VEGETABLE INJECTION that has additionally the name MONARCH on the bottom . Wondered if you have heard of this one and if it is described/priced in your new book??? Regards Glenn Sievert

Glenn, I have not heard of your bottle and you were kind enough to send a photo, which I now cannot find.  I'll post it when I do.  Digger

HI, I found an old bottle about 10 years ago, and thought it was interesting and just put it on my shelf and never really gave it much thought until I found this sight. Maybe you can help me know more about it. Its a medicine bottle, clear, about 8 inches high, machine made I think (the side seams go to the top). the neck of the bottle is about 1 inch with a flat top, ( it had a cork when I found it,) it has raised lettering on one side, FLINT & DAYTON DRUGGISTS FRIENDSHIP, N.Y. I tried to find a place called Friendship NY, but no luck....do you have any information on this bottle?....thank you for any help you can provide....Art.

Art, Your bottle is one of thousands of local drugstore bottles produced from the 1880 up though the 1930s and even later in some cases.  Yours being machine made and a cork top dates it between 1914-1930.  Information on such bottles requires local research and your efforts to call the library were a good start.  City Directories (similar to phone books) would be the most likely place to find out about the bottle.  Local newspapers from the period might contain advertising that would have information. Sometimes the families still live in the area and can give you an idea.  More likely than not your bottle will remain a mystery.  Digger

I would like information on type and price of the following bottle: 22 upside down embossed near base, whittle marks, bubbles, it is black glass, 8in. in height, 3 piece mold (possibly) with seam running to lip, crown top, base has e & j burke e & j b, it is smooth with a picture of a cat embossed on the base, it has minimal surface scratches and one chip on lip about 1/4 inch.

Your bottle sounds English and is probably an ale bottle from the turn of the century.  The crown top was not invented until 1892.  Digger


I have recently dug up three bottles and was hoping you had some info. on them that you could share with me. Such as when the companies were in business, worth etc. The first bottle is an aqua blob top smooth base with the name Peter Schneider Philada. with a cross embossed on the front and back. Inside the front cross is the date 1870 and in the back cross is 1819. The second is a clear blob top smooth base embossed Mrs.P.Gabriel 2576 Frankford Ave. Phila. all in a raised circle. Above says registered around bottom this bottle not to be sold. Still has bail and ceramic closure with name on it. The third is a clear blob top smooth base embossed FL 12and half oz registered. Stephen J. Bennett 1700 W. Lehigh Ave. Philada. all in a raised circle around bottom this bottle not to be sold. All are in good shape no cracks etc. all have seems that stop just above the shoulder of the bottle. Any info. would be appreciated. My email address is  P.S. Love all your books.

I do not have any information on Philadelphia sodas and there were many of them.  Philadelphia might hold the record for the number.  Your bottles probably date between 1880-1905.  Certainly the clear glass one is probably later.  the ceramic stopper also indicates a date close to the close of the 19th century.  I estimate the the first two bottles to be worth between $10-20.  Less for the clear one.  Digger

 

Recently while hunting, I found a bottle that I'd like to know if it is of value. I have been to local libraries and have not found a book with this particular bottle in it. Details: Embossed "raised lettering: Fellows & Co Chemists St John N.B. The bottle is clear glass (slight aqua tint) It is approximately 8" tall with an oval shaped base 3 1/2" x 2 1/8" The bottle has seam lines vertically but do not completely go to the top. The top is a single flange about 1 1/4" O.D. and about 1/4" thick. There is also a embossed "seam" around the bottle approximately 5 1/4" up from the bottom. The bottom has a roundish indent with a "II" in the middle of the indent. Can you give help identify year, value, etc.? Thanks, Goose

 

Your bottle is very common and contained Fellow's Syrup of Hypo-phos-phites a medicine for the muscles and blood.  The company goes back quite a way it was started in 1849 by Israel Fellows and Donald James.  The company was expanded by son, James I. Fellows, of St. Johns New Brunswick, Canada.  The product was widely marketed in both Canada and the US.  The Syrup was introduced about 1876 according to the US Patent Office Gazette shown above. At the right is an aqua variant dating from the 1880s.   Your bottle being clear probably dates about 1900 and has a value of $1-2.  Digger



Dear Digger Odell, I have a bottle I found that I can't find any information on. Thought you might could me identify the value, if any. Here goes: Ace Of Drinks 2 - For - 1 5(cent symbol) 12 ounces 5(cent symbol) The bottom is 2 1/2 " across. It has the number 18, and an unusual circle with a diamond through it-type symbol, and the number 2. It has the word Duraglas on the bottom. The top is 2 1/8" across. The bottle is clear. It has 4 textured rings around the top and 4 textured rings around the bottom. On the back of the bottle, it has the same info as above except it's enclosed in a circle. Everything is of course embossed and it's in fine condition, no cracks, no chips.
I live in Columbia, Mississippi which is in South Miss and have been collecting/digging bottles for about 4 months now. I get most of my information about my finds from Kovel's bottle book. Any information would be greatly appreciated. You can email me back at: 
Thanks Tommy

 Tommy, I was not able to find out anything about your bottle.  I expect it is from the 1940s as many Duraglas bottles are.  Yours is one of thousands of Mom and Pop sodas that were produced around that time.  It might well be a local bottle if you dug it.

pixmitch Hello I have a very old bottle that has been in my family for many years. It is a whiskey bottle that has four chambers in it with four different whiskeys in it. It has never been opened. It also comes with a large wooden tray with four shot glasses in front of the bottle. Also, there are four corks tied on the side for each one of the chambers of whiskey. It is made by Cointreau Liqueur. It has made in France on the bottom. It is in mint condition with no cracks. I have enclosed a picture for you to look at. I you can tell me about this bottle I would appreciate it. Mitch Barnett 

See below

Help! I have what I like to call a 'genie bottle' that I found (dug up with others dating from about late 1800's to 1940's) and I am dying to know what it is. I hope you can help me with this description: Classic genie shape, fat at the bottom to narrow neck with flared lip top. Color is clear, but it has a slightly pinkish tint, height about 10". Looks like a 3-piece blown in mold make, no marks or words anywhere, yet there are some bubbles in the glass. There are also little dimples around the base for decoration, as well as an indentation mid-way up the neck. Any ideas? Thanks for your help! Kathy Hudson

Due to an email problem I do not have the two pictures above.  If either of you read this send them again please.  Digger

HELLO, WE FOUND A OLD BOTTLE IN OUR CRAWL SPACE. IT READS AS FOLLOWS: ELEPIZONE A CERTAIN CURE FOR FITS & EPILEPSY H. C. ROOT MC 183 PEARL ST NEW YORK. IT IS GREEN IN COLOR AND LETTERING IS RAISED. IF YOU COULD SEND ANY INFORMATION ON THIS KIND OF BOTTLE IT WOULD GREAT TO KNOW. OUR HOUSE IS AROUND 123 YEARS OLD.THANK YOU .

Your bottle is a pretty good one.  in perfect condition it should bring $50-75.  The bottle comes in two sizes with the smaller size being somewhat rarer.  The large size is 8 1/2" and comes in clear and aqua.  The smaller size comes in 5 7/8 or 5 3/4 with some slight variations in embossing.  There is also a small variant with "London" instead of "New York." It was being advertised in 1887 and was still for sale in 1905.  Digger

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