Selected Questions July 2007

From: Wendy MacQueen
Subject: Help identifying an ink bottle please
Date: 7/31/2007 5:30:24 PM

We discovered this bottle when digging a garden in Southwestern Ontario. Our house is turn of the 20th century, but we have thought that there was a home here prior to that based on some other items we have found. Can you please identify if this is indeed an ink bottle and the age of the item? (Information on its rarity or value would also be welcome. We like to share our finds in display at our local library so any information we can put in the display would be most welcome.)

Height: 2" Diameter: 2 3/8" Round shape There are markings on the bottom that look like they might be and F and a D. While there isn't a noticeable pontil marked, there is a a circular spot with swirls within the glass radiating out from it. At this same area, there are two small indentations, side-by-side lines. It has prevalent seams along both sides (you can see in the picture). The mould seam stops approximately 1/2" below the lip I believe the closest colour choice would be aqua It is not damaged, but has a sheen on the outside that throws rainbow colour (rather like the interior of an abalone) Thanks so much for any information you can supply. Wendy MacQueen Alvinston, ON

Wendy, yes you found an ink bottle.  Yours dates to the 1870-1880 period. the markings on the base are probably FDA for Fredrick D. Alling of Rochester New York. He began making ink there about 1867. He died in 1910 and no mention of the company was listed after the end of World War I. Digger

From: mitch pevey
Subject: coca cola bottle from late 1800's
Date: 7/29/2007 10:17:41 PM
We bought a coca cola bottle that I believe is dated 1887. We cannot find a picture of it on the internet. It has a blob top and it is tinted green. It is in very good condition. It is about seven inches tall. The bottle is about 2 and 1/4 in diameter from the bottom up 5 1/2 inches, which is round and from there up is a blob top. It says property of Coca-Cola Bottling Company. It is a raised print made into the glass. On the bottom of the bottle it has the copy right date 1887, the coca-cola company all rights reserved. We were wondering if you knew how much it is worth. Thank you, Toni

I am far from an expert on Coca Cola bottles but I do not think this is really an 1887 coke bottle. the early coca cola bottles were hutchinson style bottles.  I have never seen such a bottle with the wording, "all rights reserved". that has a distinctly modern sound to it.  My guess is that the bottle is a commemorative bottle. Digger

From: Kenneth Tanguay
Subject: De Kuyper's SquareFace
Date: 7/29/2007 4:30:30 AM
I realize after going through your web site that you get a lot of information requests! If you can't get back to me that's OK I appreciate the look any way. Hoping you can tell me a little about this I have Included pictures.

Your bottle is interesting in that it is a case gin bottle, a form which has persisted for 100 years apparently.  Your bottle has the "Federal Law Forbids the Reuse or Resale of this Bottle" embossed on the reverse.  If you were to remove the screw top, it would match, at least in shape and style, case gin bottles which were made in 1870 and similar those made in 1830 as well. Your bottle dates after 1932 and probably has very limited collector appeal aside from a curiosity.

The company history goes back to 1695 with Petrus de Kuyper who was making casks for Dutch gin and beer. According to an article on Wikipedia, De Kuyper started domestic sales in 1920.  Give Prohibition was in at that time they probably had a slow start. In 1932 they opened their first plant here in New Jersey.


From: Tracy Bittner
Subject: Beer Bottle Found
Date: 7/30/2007 10:14:43 AM
Hi Digger, We are renovating our home, built in 1906 in Baltimore Maryland. In the ground surrounding the home, we found an old beer bottle made of heavy green glass with the following information embossed: on the bottom half of the bottle in an oval shape was the writing: The Cottlieb Bauernschmidt Straus Brewing Company and then in the center of that writing are the words Trademark, "G" or "C" B S, Registered and then at the bottom it says Baltimore, MD. All writing is embossed in the glass. What can you tell me about the bottle, history of the company, dates of production and if it's worth anything? It's in very good shape with the exception of one very small chip in the mouth of the bottle, most likely happened when we were digging up the ground when found. Any info you could tell me would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks, Tracy Bittner

Tracy, the actual name is Gottlieb Bauernschmidt Straus with a "G". This company was in business under that name from 1901-1920. With the chip, this pre-prohibition beer bottle has little value. The company was in business a while and the bottles are probably not all that rare. Digger

From: Oliver Kenyon
Subject: FW: Trip Black Bottle
Date: 7/24/2007 11:43:46 AM
Hi I found your website via Google and thought you might be the person to help me! We recently moved into a cottage (next to a pub) that was built in 1778 in Lancashire. Whilst having the drystone wall rebuilt in the back garden, the joiner found a bottle in the flowerbeds, fully intact. It measures (h x w x d) 16cmx6cmx4cm and we think that it is "aqua green." We could not find any side seams on the bottle. We think that the top could perhaps be a rolled lip, but I'm sure you will know straight away! The base is quite smooth and does not seem to have any pontil marks. The writing on the side reads "Old like new by using Trip Black." I have taken the liberty of attaching a few photographs for you to better understand what I describe. I would be very grateful if you could give me some information on the bottle (what was in it, approximate date etc.). We also found an earthenware one but I do not know if that is your field of expertise! I am quite an avid coin collector and on a forum I frequent there is no end to the number of people who ask questions on seemingly common coins, so be as blunt as you wish! Many thanks in advance, Oliver Kenyon.

Oliver, you seem to have found a Victorian era shoe polish or stove polish bottle. I am going to come down on the side of shoe polish. Probably dates 1880-1890.  Digger

From: Taylor
Subject: Bottles
Date: 7/1/2007 2:41:08 PM
Digger Odell, I was researching some old bottles that I have, when I came across this website. I'm interested in learning more about my bottles and how much they are worth. I dug them up in the Cleveland Ohio area. Thanks a lot, Jeff White

Your three clay or pottery bottles date 1880 or before.  The tallest one with the handle is an imported  gin or mineral water bottle. They are quite common and I get about one question a month about them.  There are numerous stampings on these bottles, some with pictures.  The other two are American made probably beer but could be a soft drink like root beer.  This style is typical of the Midwestern pottery bottles found in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and others such states.  Without embossing or other embellishments they bring $45-50.  The one looks as though it might be a "blue top", so called when they have cobalt blue glaze on the lip and neck.  I cannot tell if yours is stained or if that is the glaze. Digger

From: W Hughes
Subject: Bottle identification
Date: 7/5/2007 11:09:12 AM
Hi Digger, I am hoping you can help me identify what type of bottle this is, it's age and approximate value. I've included pictures however I'll also give a description. It is aqua in color Looks like an applied blob top to me?? 9 3/4" tall Mold seam does not extend over the lip Bottom is smooth Embossed writing on side 1 AUGUST SEMISCH (arched over a small embossed anvil) N.E. COR. BELGRADE & SAVERY. STS. PHILA. Side number 2 Large embossed anvil approximately 3" x 1 1/2" THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD Thank you, Wendy

August Semisch was born in Germany in 1848. By 1880, he was bottling beer and porter in Philadelphia. Your bottle looks to be 1880-1890. Value is probably $25-35. Digger

Subject: value of bottles
Date: 7/27/2007 6:22:11 PM
have two bottles that I am trying to get an idea of worth one is a Prepared by Dr. Peter Fahrney & Sons Co., Chicago Ill. U.S.A. and on the bottom it said Patent Applied For (curves around the bottom) with an embossed 49 in the center of the bottom. The top would take a type of stopper - bottle is approximately 7" high - 2 1/2' each side (flat with rounded corners) and the neck is 2" high.

The other is clear glass the the wording THE BLOOD towards the top of the bottle with a heart shaped indentation with the words DR. KILMERS Ocean Weed Heart Remedy within it. At the bottom of front of the bottle there is also the word SPECIFIC. On the side of the bottle it says Dr. Kilmer & Co. - it is approximately 6 1/2" high, by 3" by 1 3/4" with a neck of 2 1/2" and a small opening in the neck that would also probably take a stopper. Dimensions are approximate. Any assistance you can give me would be appreciated.

Your Dr. Fahrney bottle is quite common and worth $5-10.  On the other hand, the Kilmer's bottle is scarce and worth $95-$125, I have not seen one in clear glass.  Aqua is the common color for this bottle.  So if it is really clear and not a light aqua, then it might be worth a bit more.  It is not often the case where the clear example is worth more than the aqua example.  Digger

From: nancy lavender
Subject: just curious
Date: 7/27/2007 12:59:29 PM
i have a Mogen David Wine empty bottle...4 ozs.  it has a State of Illinois Series A alcoholic liquor revenue sticker on it/ 'tax paid at the rate of 15 cents.The patent number is NOJ58213. on the bottle is a picture of 5 people sitting around a table with Jewish(?) writing above them, two Star of David prints...for some reason my mother kept it...could have been a memory...just thought i'd see if they mean anything in the antique world...thanks for any help you can afford.

I think you might have mistyped the patent number, the "J" is probably a "1". At any rate this is the patent I found with your number. The bottle does not show the embossed scene you describe but I suspect it is the same bottle. Wine bottles of this sort are not highly collectible but it should have some value or will some day. Since it would a family heirloom you might just treasure it for that if you like it. Digger

From: Shea Muldowney
Subject: Golden Eagle Ginger Beer
Date: 7/18/2007 8:33:15 PM
Hello I have a bottle I would like you to look at. I couldn't find anything on the net about it. The emboss on it reads "Golden Eagle Ginger Beer Erie, PA" around the neck of the bottle has "Registered Contents 7 1/2 FL. OZ" on the bottom of the bottle is a " G " embossed. The height of the bottle is 7 1/2 inches. The seem does go to the top of the bottle. The color of the bottle is emerald green. There is ribbing all around the neck of the bottle. There is slight pebbling. I would like to know the value, age, and history of the bottle. Thank you very much for you time! shea muldowney

Interesting bottle with nice embossing. Glass ginger beer bottles are collectible. I do not think yours is rare. The style is called a mallet crown top. It probably has a value of $15-20. Age I suspect would be 1932-1940. The embossed "G" on the base was the mark of the Glenshaw Glass Co. of Glenshaw, PA.  The mark was not used until 1932. They had a rather odd system of marking the dates on their bottles.  "On most Glenshaw bottles, a letter appears beneath the lip of the bottle. Starting with "G" to represent 1935, and ending with "Z" for 1954, a letter was used to represent the bottles date of manufacture." I can't tell you much about ginger beer. Prior to being put up in glass they put it up in pottery bottles which are also highly collectible.


From: martin rebhahn
Subject: Bitters Bottle
Date: 7/8/2007 1:35:12 PM
Hello, I would really appreciate your expertise on finding the value of this bottle. I live in Oregon and I used to live next to a lake and the city drained it. While I was walking around the lake bed (about 10 years ago) I found many bottles, mostly beer stubbies and soda bottles. I found a Bitters Bottle and here is the Description. I'm no bottle expert and my bottle vocab isn't that great, so please bear with me. :-) It stands 9 1/2 Inches tall, and it is round. The Bottle says in large bold writing: OREGON GRAPE ROOT BITTERS - (the word bitters is curved) The bottle is medium amethyst, with lots of small bubbles, and the bottom is 'out of round' and the top is "crude" So I assume the original color was clear. Now here is the bad news. The bottle does have a chip/gouge in the side of it, which has somewhat smooth edges, or maybe a defect? (it doesn't go through of course, but it is deep) It's approx. a 1/2 long and 3/8 wide. I've heard of getting it fixed with epoxy resin? Also there are 3 cracks in it, one is about 1/2 inch long one is a 1/4 and one is like a 1/16. The cracks are on an angle pointing up, so if you take the bottle over your head and look up at it, it's hard to see. The bottle has a very light white mineral stain in it that takes up about 20% of the bottle if you were to look at it as a pie chart. I hope that makes sense, any suggestions on cleaning that? This bottle seems to go under the category of 'good' to 'very good'. It is a Sloping Collar top, and it seems to be applied and tooled. But I heard it's either one or the other but not both, I don't understand the difference. There is a faint parting line that goes around the entire circumference about 1 inch from the very top of the bottle. (that's why I think it's an applied top) It has a smooth base. There are two seams that run from the bottom up the sides and stop about 2 inches from the very top. There is also a seam that runs the circumference of the bottle about 3 inches from the top. So I assume it's a 3 piece mold? But with an applied top, I'd think it would be a 4 piece mold? I'm confused. Any information would be absolutely wonderful. Martin

Sounds like a nice find. According to Bill Ham's Bitters Book, the bottle is very rare. I have only one listing for the bottle selling and that was back in 1995 when it sold for $220. I suspect now it would bring three times that amount. The bottle has an applied lip and dates to about 1885-1895. Originally it was made by J. D. Eastman and Co. of Deer Lodge Montana. Later it was made sold by Wolters Bros. sole agents in San Francisco. It was advertised as an infallible remedy for all ailments of the human body.