November 2000 Questions

Digger Odell Publications © 2000

Hi Digger: I was digging in Birmingham Alabama and found these two (a coke blob top from Birmingham (a brown Pepsi cola from Birmingham) the bottler here tells me they never made a brown Pepsi here and the coke cola blob top I have been told was rare, can you give me values Thanks Randy

Well, the bottler is wrong.  There is listing for a brown (amber) Pepsi from Birmingham, AL.  The bottle was there about 1907-1908 and is marked with the "C. G. Co." at the base.  The bottle in mint condition sells for about $300.  I would also say that any blob top marked with the familiar Coca Cola Script is a great bottle.  I suggest one of the many price guides available on Coke bottles for a price. I am not an expert in this area but it certainly should be worth what the other one is and maybe a good deal more depending upon condition and type.  Digger

Dear Mr. Odell, I work for the National Park Service's Southeast Archeological Center and was hoping you could provide some assistance with a bottle I am researching. Found at Cumberland Island National Seashore in GA, this bottle is similar to the Dr. Sanford's Liver Invigorator shown for sale on your web site. It is pale aqua with a down-tooled lip and chamfered corners. I believe it was manufactured using a two-piece mold. There is embossing on the sides of the bottle only reading "Dr. Rose's" on one side and "Philad a."(Philadelphia) on the other. I have seen other products going by Dr. Rose's in ca. 1900 Sears Roebuck catalogues but not in the form of the bottle I have. Any assistance or information you may have would be very helpful. My ultimate goal is a date range when such a product may have been produced and sold. Thank-you for your time, Kris Campbell

Kris, The bottle is probably a product of Dr. Jacob S. Rose.  He put up dozens of products including a Carminative Balsam, Fluid Extract of Buchu, Hive Syrup, Sarsaparilla, Eye Water and many others.  He appears listed from about 1830-1859 in the Philadelphia Directories.  He advertised widely in the newspapers of the day. You do not mention a pontil on the bottle and the Rose bottles I have seen are Pre-Civil War period.  He may have died or sold out to another proprietor who continued making some of the products. Digger

To Whom It May Concern, I am trying to locate someone who could assist me in finding out the value of a H.J. Heinz ketchup bottle that was made between 1892-1904. I received and email back from the folks at H.J. Heinz on October 20, 2000 that dated the bottle and told me where it was made; but they did not tell me the value of the bottle. Can you suggest someone that could tell me the value of this particular bottle that is in perfect shape? If so, please feel free to contact me through this email address. I do ask that you do not reveal, or sell my email address to anyone. Sincerely, Mrs. Siefke

Heinz bottles such as you describe are common.  They usually sell for under $10.  Use the search feature on my home page to find out more.  Digger

Dear Mr. Odell, I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to find out the ingredients in blue-green glass. I know metalic oxides are used and how blue and green are made separately, but is blue-green (aqua) glass made by just mixing cobalt and nickel, copper, or iron? What is the recipe for making blue-green glass? You help would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Kris Campbell

Kris, Everything I have read or heard regarding aqua glass is that it is glass in its natural color neither colorless nor artificially colored.  It was considered an inferior quality often called "bottle glass" or "green glass." To my knowledge, no special materials outside of less pure course sand soda and lime were used.  The coloration is a natural result of the blend of materials used.  Significant amounts of iron oxides in the sand often caused a greenish (sometimes deeper apple green coloration) and if present in significant amounts you'd get "black glass." Digger

Hi Digger, I was wondering if you could shed some light on a certain bottle I saw at the Finger Lakes Bottle Show. It was a pint Whiskey Strapped Flask with a double collar mouth, BIMAL, with a slug plate in the center and it said KERR & DEVITT PURE LIQUORS AUBURN, N.Y. It was light yellow amber, 7 1/4 inches high and in mint condition. The polite man said it was a extremely rare bottle and more so in this particular color. Because I collect Auburn glass, I have honestly never seen or heard of this bottle. The man wanted $400 and someone else bought the bottle before I could find some information on it. My question is - is the bottle rare in this color or any other color and did I miss a good deal? Thanks for all the help you give us folks out here and the hard work you put into your website. Jerry Tennant

Jerry, I hate it when that happens.  The polite man was apparently correct.  If you collect it and you've never seen it, it is probably rare.  As for the least two people, the dealer and the buyer thought it was acceptable.  Sometimes you gotta leap before you look.  Digger

I have what appears to be an old milk bottle that only has "Since 1852" embedded on it but am unable to find any information or pictures on it. Could you please send me to a web site that might help me?

I do not know of any website that might help.  I am afraid I can't help much either.  Without a city or state and in clear instead of any other color, the bottle has limited value.  Milks are mostly collected by regional collectors or those interested in certain styles or colors.  Digger

hi my name is Shawn an I have some bottles I found on the railroad track can you tell me any thing about them 1 is Joe cuy beauty aid with #6 on it another one is Pepsi cola 19 64 15 a 5 57 those #s are on that bottle another bottle with no name just #s they are 18-60-3-d if you have any info please email me back thank you so much for your time Shawn

Shawn, It has always been my opinion that if you like a bottle then it is priceless.  I generally keep ones I find that I like.  Neither of your bottles sounds like they might be of high monetary value.  Check out the article on my site about determining values to help give you an idea.  Digger.

Digger: Really enjoy your site and answers. I recently came across a pair of screw top jars that I cannot identify, if you have the time could you take a look and see what ya think. Many Thanks Grammy Barbie

My mother had a similar jar when I was younger.  She always told me it was a candy jar and I believe that is what you have as well.  Sometimes they have a wire attached to the glass lid.  the lips are usually ground, like a fruit jar lip.  These typically sell in the $30-45 range. They come a wide variety of styles, but almost always in clear glass.  Digger.

I have a very, very old amber bottle. The markings on the bottom of the bottle are: Cherry Malt Phosphites - Scott & Bowne, New York. The bottle is decorated with flowers and leaves made from putty. I was told it's called a putty bottle. Who knows. Can you help me with information on this bottle. Thank you

I have seen a number of such jars and bottles over the years.  I would say they fall in the category of early 20th century folk art.  Without seeing the bottle, I can only guess that it is a unique item made by someone out of an old bottle as one would make a craft item today.  I would guess a value of $20-30 depending upon the quality, character and attractiveness of the work.  Digger

Hi I have another question if you don't mind. Have a chance to buy a full unopened 1930's bed bug poison bottle. Bottle is very fancy with a lot of ribbing. Paper label in good shape. It is a Montreal bottle. How much would you guess it's worth?

Without know the color (which is probably clear or aqua) I'd guess in the neighborhood of $15-20.  Some poison collectors  do not include bug bottles in their collections.  Digger.

Hi...I found this bottle in the wall of an old barn of an old deceased friend. The bottle has two open ends and sits horizontal. It is approximately 8" long and has raised letters on top which say Webfare in script. Also it says Made in England and has measurement lines along the sides of the bottle. The bottle is clear and when held to the light has pearlescent colors in it. I have no idea what type of a bottle it is and what is was used for. An antique dealer didn't know either and said it seemed to be used for medicinal purposes. Any and all information you have in reference to this bottle would be greatly appreciated. I have attached the bottle for your convenience. Thank you in advance for your help, D. Sanders

Your bottle is called a "Double Ended Nursing Bottle." All bottles of this type are believed to have been made in England where they gained much great popularity than here in the States.  It was difficult to use because of the fitting which went on the end opposite the nipple (take your choice).  The design required constant venting.  I suppose cleaning would have been easier however.  I am not sure about a value, but I would guess about $30.  Digger

I have a sealed wired shut FULL mint bottle of Caroni Grenadine Fruit Liquor from the early to mid 1930s. Do you know if anyone collects something like that and if it is worth anything. I have a second one which has been opened but still in excellent condition. Mike Ravnitzky

Well, Mike up until a short time ago when I started noticing some 1930s whiskeys with full labels contents bringing some good money at auction, I would have said no.  I still think it might be borderline and not really considered an alcoholic beverage.  The best way to find out is put it up for auction on Ebay and see what happens.  Digger


There are a few fellows out there who repair old bottles, but they are few and far between.  Many years ago there was a fellow who gained a national reputation amongst collectors and his work set the standard.  He simply quit and as far as I know never shared his secrets.  More recently a fellow from Minnesota was doing some minor repair, but I have not seen his ad for a couple of years.  I have fiddled with it a bit and doing it well requires both skill and patience.  I have not heard of anyone new offering to repair professionally.  I have heard of NU GRAPE soda if that is your bottle it is probably worth in the $4-5 range.  Digger

Hello there. Well, Maybe you can help me. I am searching for a value on this bottle. It is a Pure Rye Whiskey, Bottled in Baltimore, MD. the bottle reads Bottled Spring 1927, Made in Spring 1914. 100 Proof. It has never been opened, the whiskey has evaporated over the years giving it the appearance of it being tasted. It has a permit # MD. A-25 on the back just above the Caution Notice. It says it is to be sold for Medical Purposes ONLY. The seal is still in tack. But has been a bit worn due to handling. Please help me if you can. I don't have a clue as to where to start looking I have been all over the web so far with Nothing for Luck. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Thank You. Caren & George

These prohibition era whiskeys have been gaining favor lately.  I'd not be surprised to see yours bring in excess of $50 and possibly twice as much.  A few years ago you couldn't give these bottles away, but the limited supply of items in unopened condition has begun to appeal to collectors.  The "for Medical Purposes ONLY" was required as was a "prescription" from the druggist.  When you think about it, it has not been that long ago that whiskey was considered a medicinal product.  I think I feel a headache coming on.  (Just kidding)  Digger.

hello I have a 1/2 gallon Meister Brau beer bottle I think I drink it in 1970, is it worth anything? thank you

Hello. first of all I want to say hi and thank you for your time. My name Is Robert, and Iím an avid "Old bottle" collector .but , just yesterday I found a bottle that is really puzzling me about a number of things. but first ill try my best to describe you the bottle. It is clear, I believe its an abm, because the lines on the side go all the way to the top. at the lip, it has a square band around it that is about one eighth of an inch wide. the neck is about 2 & a half inches long. just where the neck meets the bottle there is two rings about an eighth of an inch wide. the bottom must be a smooth surface, because it isnít an iron point tail. but the shape I cannot find in another bottle, looking directly at the bottom of the bottle its halfway rounded, & it also has three angles to make up the other side. the bottle is nearly mint, because there is in chips or broken pieces ,its not really stained, very lightly only in a few spots. this may be because it wasnít buried. the only thing wrong with the bottle that I can see is only a couple of extremely small air bubbles (in the glass)... another thing I really am curious is what it says on the side. "Price Booker MFG.Co." then under that it says "Houston, Tex." can you tell me what kind of bottle this is? possibly what its worth? ohh yes, the bottle is exactly 6 & 6/8 inches tall. and the hole in the lip is from inside to inside exactly an 1 and a 1/2 inch wide. please help me with this ,Iím really interested in your response, and I will think you once again for your time. ^Robert^


Hope you can help While doing a renovation on a building which was originally constructed in the early 1900 we came across a full bottle of Lemon Hart Royal Navy Demarara which was still sealed and in tact. We are now trying to find any information we can on how much if anything this may be worth or where we can get some more information on this item. Any information would be greatly appreciated Thank you Dino

I really need help on this one. Early 1870 hair bottle embossed , Dimick's Capillary Balm for the Hair, 6 inches by 3 by 1.5 . Flat bottom aqua. Can't find in reference books, calculation of value? Thanks, Scott

Scott,  I checked all available sources and found no reference to the actual bottle.  Nor could I find any name spelled "Dimick." However, I did find an interesting reference in several books to one Marcellus Dimmit of St. Louis who was in business in the mid 1860 through the mid 1870s (the time period appears to be about the same as your bottle.  Now the interesting thing is Mr. Dimmit may have (there is some doubt) produced a product in a bottle with an identical shape to your (round shoulders, square collar) with the embossing Dimmitt's Capillaria for the Hair.  The shape and similarity in embossing suggests the possibility of a copy-cat brand.   Value?  I'd guess smooth based to be in the $35-40 range to the right collector.  Digger

I have a small bottle 2.5 oz Patented date July 11, 1922  has the word 'Smile' on it. Bottom of bottle has a diamond with circle in center below that to the left it has a 7 to the right it has a 4 right in center it has a 10. Has a grip of a ruff indents all the way around it. Pop bottle top shape opening bottle it self is like a coke bottle about 5 inches tall. Never seen one tell now kind of like to know about it and rough value?

I have answered several questions about Smile soda bottle in previous months.  Check  October 1999 for information about the larger size.  Yours sounds like a sample bottle.  The sample sells for $15-25.  they are much scarcer than the large size but they are not rare. Digger

Digger: We're conducting an archaeological dig in Marcus Hook. Pennsylvania, and we've come up with some bottles that we need to date as closely as possible. We have a number of Hires Root Beer extract bottles embossed with the inscription "IMPROVED ROOT BEER / MAKES FIVE GALLONS OF A DELICIOUS DRINK MANUFACTURED ONLY BY CHARLES E. HIRES / PHILADELPHIA PA. U.S.A." We have read on one bottle-collecting site on the Internet that that's a later variant of the Hires extract inscription. Is there any way of knowing when the Hires Company started applying that particular inscription to their root beer extract bottles? Thanks in advance for any words of guidance you can provide. Sincerely, Phil Ruth Director of Research Cultural Heritage Research Services, Inc

Phil,  My experience with these bottles is that most of the pre-machine made bottles are embossed with the wording as shown above.  The later bottles (1900-1920+) have a wider mouth and are machine machine made and while I know the embossing is different, I can't recall or find a reference.  One would think, that the wording, "Improved" would suggest a later variant and  it may be  I have not paid such close attention, but I do not know of any other variant without the word improved.  However, with a brand of this popularity there undoubtedly were numerous molds made and there well may be variants out there.  As to exact dating short of a glass company mark on the base I doubt it will be possible to draw a distinction between on made in the 1880s and one in the 1890s.  Your best bet is to use (as I am sure you know and do) the context of other artifact found to establish a date range.  Maybe a reader could help.  It is possible the company might have some records.  Digger


Hello, I am looking for information on a 5 or 6 gallon Polar Water bottle see description below any ideas. Hello,I recently acquired a large 5 gallon clear class bottle that has Polar Water company on the side it also has a hex symbol similar to what you see on some old mason jars. The jar is inside a wooden frame that looks like a crate and has boards in each corner that are supported with springs to keep the bottle steady. What can you tell me about this container. Regards Ray

While I have not seen your bottle I have seen a two gallon size embossed Polar Water.  I could find no reference to the company in sources dating from about 1870-1917.  It could be a later bottle.  the ones I have seen are aqua not clear like yours which further suggests it to be a 20th century  piece.  The presence of the wooden crate makes the item very collectible in my estimation as finding bottles  in such condition is difficult.  The problem is the size.  Not many collectors want to have a house of full of five gallon water bottles so the value I'd estimate to be in the $40 range.  I wish I could tell you more.  Digger

Hi Digger, I'm looking for information on SnowCrest bear bottles. I think I remember them from the 40's. They had syrup in them that you mixed with water to make a sweet drink. When the bottle was empty , it could be used as a bank. I collect them but I have never seen any information written on them. Thank you so much for your help. Pat

I can't offer much.  Maybe reader can help.  Digger

update from a reader 10/15/01

One of your readers asked you about snowcrest bear bottles and you didn't have much to tell him.  I've got about 140 of them and can tell him anything he wants to know about them -- if you refer him to me, I'll fill him in.  Bottom Line, though -- 1940s -1960s -- concentrated syup for home made juice (sort of a fore-runner to Kool-aid) -- similar to Grappette bottles of the same era.  Snowcrest made 3 sizes of bears -- 7.5" is very common -- 11" is very rare and the 4 " is very rare -- also made a seal -- very rare and an amber colored bear bank -- extremely rare.  Grappette made elephants, cats, clowns, etc....  U-Pour it made foxes and elephants.  I've got 'em all. Later, Jim

Dear Digger, While I was hunting for arrowheads along the San Antonio River south of San Antonio Texas I found this whiskey bottle. I was walking the trail known as the "Road to Goliad" which is the actual trail that Santa Anna and the Mexican army as well as the Texican army used during the siege of the Alamo. I was walking a dried up river bed and was probably 10 Ė12 feet below the surface grade when I happened to see the bottle sticking out of the side of the river bank. When I lifted the bottle out of the dirt I felt how heavy the glass was and was surprised that it was all intact with no chips. This area is known for artifacts. The bottle measures 12 inches tall. The mold seam of the bottle begins at the ring on the bottom and ends at the base of the lip. According to what Iíve read I believe the bottle to be BIM. From what I can gather from my reading the lip is an applied lip and there is a small imperfection like an overflow of glass under the lip on one side. The only embossing is on the bottom and it consists of four letters ( FHGW) and under these letters the numbers (43) all within a circle ring. The bottle is round and the neck of the bottle when you rotate it has a slight asymmetrical flaw to it. In other words, it the neck is slightly crooked more like that of a hand made quality. The glass is amber or brownish colored and cloudy and there is some pitting or pocking of the glass surface. 

I have noticed to elongated air bubbles in the glass both about Ĺ inch long and 1/16 inch wide. Since the bottle was buried in the riverbank there is a slight patina or stain of white on the inside of the glass bottle. According to the grading scale I would say the bottle is somewhere between Excellent and Very Good. My specific questions are: Can you tell me what the embossing stands for (FHGW)? What company is this who produced this bottle? Can you tell me what the (43) stands for? Is this a date, and if so 1943 or 1843? Is this bottle worth having cleaned? Because of the location of the find could it be worth significantly more money? The Alamo occurred in 1836, if the 43 on the bottle is from 1843, does this make it somewhat contemporary to the Alamo? If there is any other information that you could give me on this bottle I would appreciate it. Thanks, Gary Faszholz

Gary, Your bottle most certainly was not made in 1843 but it is nice to dream.  I'd estimate the date to be closer to the turn of the century.  While I was not able to locate information on the initials on the base, my experience suggests they are probably the initials of the company that made the bottle and not the company that made the product which came in the bottle.  The initials GW might stand for "glass works".  The number 43 probably refers to a mold, furnace or batch number.  There is a possibility that the bottle is of foreign manufacture based on the style of the lip. Value is not enhanced in this case by the location at which it was found.  I would not say it is worth cleaning. Digger

reader update 12/4/2003

I love your website...and have refered to the Ask Digger pages a lot.  I was wondering if you ever go back and revise any of your answers...if you find more info later on?   While purusing the Nov. 2000 page...I saw Mr. Faszholz's lengthy description of a plain amber (beer?) bottle (from near San Antonio, TX) marked with FHGW on the base.  You told him you did not know who made the bottle based on that marking.  I was curious...and looked in Toulouse's Bottle Makers and Their Marks book (pg 202)...and found FHGW listed as being the mark of Frederick Hampson Glass Works (you guessed that part right, of course)...a company in England that made "handmade beers, amber, and finished for corks" 1880-1900...that have been found in western ghost towns in the US.
This seems to fit that bottle Mr. Faszholz found...but I could not find an email listing for send this info....hence my wondering if you ever go back to add more info to past answers?  Not that he would check back...but others could benifit from this new info.  Call me... Curious California    :o)

I have found an old collection of bottles today and as they were sitting out at my desk, I noticed old labels on some of the bottles. As I was examining them, I noticed that upon drying out, some of the label is fragile and flaking off. Help, How do I keep the label as intact as I can while still being able to clean them?

I addressed this problem in an earlier month.  I am afraid there is little to be done once the paper reaches this stage.  the problem is the acid in the paper or in the glue holding the paper.  I have seen as an extreme solution bottles which have been sprayed with clear lacquer.  This prevents further loss but also in my opinion reduces the value.  The best method for cleaning is to use clear plastic wrap taped over the label area to prevent water from getting on the label.  Digger

Hey Digger! I've been digging bottles off and on for about 20 years. Most of my excursions have been small farm dumps as well as a few community dumps. I'm located in south central Pennsylvania , you can imagine it's a veritable treasure trove for the ambitious digger. My question regards privies. I've tried a couple of pre 1900 properties with no success. I'm surely an amateur at this method. I use a probe but I may be missing something. Do you know any body in the York area that might be able to help? Also have a Lalique bottle I'm trying to get info on. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. reply to

York, Pa was up until this year the home of one of the best bottle shows in the country.  there is an active club you might want to get in contact with. Try contacting the Pennsylvania Bottle Collectors at 251 Eastland Ave, York, PA 17402. I think there is a book out on Lalique bottles.  I have not had any experience with them. Digger  

Mr. Odell, whatís the next steps when you know there was a privy for this foundation? Looked in all the suggested locations, and this site just has "must see..privy" Im not an experienced privy digger, my bag are the bottle dumps. But, is it going to come down to rodding every square inch, or just let it go? Have you ever forgot about a site you knew had more there than it was given up? It right on the bank (100 yrds) from a major river. has its own family graveyard..8 to 10 sites....plenty of rock wall and road leading to it, and is quite remote from present day town. Pop about 2500. plenty of documentation of census for years of the family structure. 2 or 3 other sites within yellin' distance, and no evidence of dumping over the bank.....given its about 90 to 100 yards to the steep embankment. documented through census this site was occupied 1820-1870's. Iím sorry to take up your time, i do appreciate your input. I do read your publications, it makes this hobby really worth learning more about it. I wonder what the price would be for a huge pickle jar.....14-16 inches tall aqua, with no embossing except on the bottom, which is a kings crown with some dots all around it. it is an applied lip, very simple. Thanks for all, take care from the Pine Tree State, Ed

Ed, I have been to more than my share of sites where I could not locate the privy.  I have been back to sites and found the privy where I was sure I had looked.  Persistence often pays off.  I do not know if you have purchased my privy guide or not, but there is one suggestions on the first page which makes the entire book worth the $10 price tag.  If you have the book read the first paragraph.  If it relates to this situation, move on.  A plain unadorned pickle (square, not multi-sided) has a value of $20.  The embossing on the base of yours suggests an English origin to me.  Often these are harder to sell in this country. Digger

'preciate taking the time to answer these questions, we know were not well, but its fun. Bottle embossed (1st line) "Wm H. McMorrow."...(2nd line) Wines & liquors (3rd line) "wholesale & retail" (4th line) 898 Tremont St Boston....all vertical on one side....bottle is 8 1/2 " tall aqua in color...applied top similar to whiskey w/ring under that...mold line falls short of top by an shape resembles a combination whiskey warranteed flask and a Walpole Med bottle....bottom uniformly indented, but no you have any info on the Los Angeles Co. from Boston...If this hobby gets any more fun, i might name my next kid,, how about Dug?
Ed in Maine

I have no specific information about your bottle.  I'd estimate the value about $35 and the age range 1880+.   the only Lisitng I found for a Los angles Company was the Los angles Olive Growers they mentioned Vermont, but not Boston. Digger

Pinch Haig & Haig old 1930 is it worth anything good condition

I do not know.  Maybe a reader will.  Digger

Hi Digger I have a few pontiled meds that I would like some info on. I recently bought a large bottle collection that has been packed away for the past 20 years or so. I bought the collection mainly for the Baltimore blob top beers that I did not have But ended up with about 120 new bottles for my collection and another 500 to sell. Well any way. 1. aqua open pontiled inwardly rolled lip 3 1/2 inches tall embossed DALBYS on the front and CARMINATIVE on the back. any company info and value would be great. 2. aqua open pontiled inwardly rolled lip 5 1/4 inches tall embossed J.S. BENNETT / DRUGGIST I have never herd of this one before and was hoping that it was a Baltimore druggist but any info you have would be great. I have included some pics of the two bottles in question. Thanks Chris

The Dalby's is an English medicine that was imported into this country for over 100 years.  It was believed to have been invented by one James Dalby of London, England.  His sons continued the business.  It was still being imported by Fougera Company of New York City in 1915. Many variants exist with both rolled and flared lips.  I'd suggest a value of $50-60.  The other bottle is very likely a Wilmington, Delaware bottle.  Joseph S. Bennett was in business there in the mid 1850s.  I have a number of products of his listed in my pontil medicine book.  Frankly you'll probably get more for it since it is a Delaware bottle and not a Maryland one.  I'd guess $100+ depending upon rarity and local interest. It is not common!  Digger

We found an old bottle in a farm field that we are trying to identify. It is a small fluted bottle (similar to an ink bottle shape) 1.4" diam. at the bottom for a inch high, tapers in to about 1 " diam, back out to 1.1" and then down to a .7" diam neck with a band only-no threads. On the bottom is what we think is a Hazel Atlas logo and the number 3-12. The overall height of the bottle is about 3-1/6th inches. The bottle was obviously molded in a two have mold, as it does have parting lines on both sides (opposite) from top to bottom. The bottle has evident metalic (di-croic) rainbow deposits inside, indicating some compound left from the original contents. Can you identify the bottle from the logo and numbers? thanks in advance for your consideration. Mike Fitch

Mike, I can't.  But I'd say if it looks like an ink, it might well be one.  I'd need a picture to be sure.  Digger.

I have an old bottle can you help me find out ANYTHING about it? Here is what is on the bottle : 1- Mr. Tilford of Park & Tilford 2- Founded P&T in 1840 3- Signed by John Tilford 4- A product of Swiss Harmony Inc, Chicago Ill. Design Pat. Pend. 5- It plays "How Dry I Am" when lifted. 6- Kentucky Straight Bourbon 7- Parks & Tilford Distillers Corportion Louisville, KY. 8- 4/5 Quart 9- 5yrs old, 86 Proof Whiskey Please email me back if you know or have any information on this bottle: Kay Ogle / Lake Lure, NC

Kay several people have written in about whiskey bottles with musical tops.  I am gathering that they are post-prohibition and probably date to the 1940s or 1950s. You do not mention if the bottle is embossed or labeled. Maybe a reader can help Digger

In the woods next to my house I found a BORDEN milk bottle 1 pt. size embossed label with ribbing. Just wanted to know if you thought it was worth anything. 

It has a value of $6-10.  Digger.

Hi Digger, Just wondering if you can help me with a question on Jenny Lind flasks. I am trying to figure out if the Jenny Lind I have is a repro. or there any sure way to tell? The one I have is blue-green, open pontiled, and has Fislerville Glass Factory on the other side. The thing that makes me a bit suspicious is that the skirting at the neck/shoulder looks more "globby" than the pictures I have seen of genuine Jenny Linds (is this a sure sign?) which appear to have a well-defined ring around the base of the neck. Pictures would be a great help, but any info. would be most appreciated! Thanks, Eric.

Eric you are correct to wonder.  Check out the article on my website about Clevenger Reproductions.  They produced a credible repro of the Jenny Lind in blue-green including a believable open pontil. I would refer you to McKearin's American Glass Or McKearin & Wilson American Bottles and Flasks for a fuller description of the differences (Check your local library). Features of the bust of Jenny Lind is one of the points of difference. There are several different reproductions of this flask.  Digger

Hi, I have an opportunity to purchase a Harrison's cobalt ink bottle that is figural in the shape of a turtle. What is a bottle like this worth?? Thanks please answer with a ballpark figure soon, I don't know how much longer I can wait before I get this thing. I need some HELP with a rough value of it, Thanks Matt WATERVIEW

Matt, the bottle is a good one!  If it is paneled with an offset neck I'd have to say in $500+ range possibly more depending upon the size.  Digger

I hope you can help me. I have your book on bitters bottles. Today I dug a bottle which I haven't been able to find in your guide or any others. It is clear glass 8" tall with a double rounded tooled lip. The seam stops befor the lip on the neck. The base is smooth. The bottle is rectangular and has an embossed design. The front has: BURDOCK BLOOD BITTERS The side has BUFFALO, N.Y. The other side FOSTER MILBURN CO It is in good condition and I would like to know value and history if you have any information. Thank You very much, Shlomo Teken

Sholmo,  Your bottle is very common.  I have not seen as many in clear glass as aqua but it difference is not significant.   The bottle is known in aqua, clear and amber and there are a dozen or so variants.  It appears to have been first produced about 1880 and was trademarked in 1881.  It was widely advertised and there are many collectible trade cards for this brand.  It was still being advertised in 1921 and many machine made bottles exist as well.  I'd suggest a value of $15-25.  Digger

Hello, Are you the person I should write to and ask about my bottles? Not sure if you can help me identify what I have, or if I have to buy your books in order to find out? So, I'll give it a try....... About 40 years ago, my husband and I were out riding horses in the Coastal Range of the Napa Valley in CA. we were probably some 20 miles from any paved roads. We stopped to rest under a huge Live Oak tree and there resting at the bottom of the tree was a bottle, covered with leaves. We found it to be what looked like a liquor bottle of some type, but there is no wordage on it to say, whisky or wine. Who ever, and we would assume, a Cowboy, from where we were, had lost the cork or stopper for the bottle, and had "whittled out a piece of Manzanita Wood for a stopper", which we still have in tact, with the bottle. The bottle had already started to turn purple when we found it. And has increased over the years, by exposing it to light on the window sill. I will describe the bottle. In the center front of the body: a large Circle, stamped on the inside of circle, going top and bottom, the words; LOUIS TAUSSIC & CO SAN FRANCISCO.CAL. In the center of the circle, between the words is the Logo. (difficult to describe) in the center....T to the left of center....L to the right of center........Co , An attractive monogram of sorts. just under the circle toward the bottom of the bottle; an embossed DIAMOND SHAPE which is lying horizontal, not upright. within the Diamond are these words and letters. BRANCH No22 (top) Union Made (middle) C.B.B.A. (bottom) on the BASE; 1036 The color is Amethyst Height is 11 !/2 inches It is a Blown in Mold The top is what I would say is a SMOOTH LIP BUT.....There is one exception to this bottle, unlike others. It has INSIDE THREADS. The outside is smooth and the inside has threaded ridges. The shape of the bottle is very nice, looking similar to a Whiskey Bottle, but I have no way of knowing what was the use of this bottle. I would say this bottle is in Excellent to even a tad better condition. We would appreciate any information you could give us on the identity and the value of our little treasure.
I also have a Virginia Dare, Wine bottle...of equal quite a few other types of collections over the years. One little jar/bottle that always puzzled me has "HAPPINESS" embossed down one side. Have never come across anything like that. Also have a dark Cobalt Poison bottle, about 4 inches high with Stopper, embossed on top and sides, POISON. All hobnailed except for front label space. Have never seen anything like this, it looks like a Fine Perfume Bottle! I sincerely hope you will be able to help me with this, or perhaps not? could you forward my letter to someone who might ? Thank You sincerely for your time and interest. Mrs. A. Memmott

Your Louis Taussic Bottle is a pretty good one.  The amber strap sided variety sells for over $700.  I have not located your exact bottle but suspect it is not that good, but I am not sure.  It certainly is a collectible piece.  There are few Western Whiskies with the inside thread mouth.  I hesitate to put a value on it. But I'd say at least $100. The Virginia Dare has little to no value.  Can't comment on the Happiness bottle but it sounds neat.  The Poison bottle with stopper is probably a lattice type with a good stopper and in the 4" size I'd say the value was $50.  You'll find pictures of some on my website if you look.  Digger.

Hello there, I've never written about a bottle before, but the company I work for is constructing a new building here in Seattle. Yesterday the guy running the backhoe had a bunch of old bottles. One was a Duffy malt whiskey company bottle which I found on Ebay. The other was a interesting one I'm hoping you can tell me a little about. It's a brown 12'' bottle that has "Red Top Rye" on it, it has a toy top emblem below that. Also, Ferninand Westheimer & Sons- St. Joseph, MO.-Cincinnati, Ohio Louisville, KY. Any help you can provide would be great. Thanks Doug Pigsey

Red Top bottles are well known here and do not command much of a value.  I'd say in the $10-15 range.  Digger.

Hi, I have been digging bottles in a local dump on an Indian reserve for about a year. I have bought books and checked out the net but cannot find most of them. I have two dark green bottles, no seams, crudely applied tops, bubbles, whittle marks, kick-ups, and most fascinating is the acid etching of leaves and wheat. The bottles are about 8-10 inches tall, any info on what these might be and the value? We have also found clay pipes, medicine bottles, ink bottles the list goes on and on. We have all sizes and colors. Jen

Your bottles are wine bottles from the 1890-1900 period.  I have dug a number of these over the years.  They might be foreign but I am not certain of that fact.  There are no mol;d seams because they were truned in the mold when they were made.  I always loved the first one I dug up but eventually parted with it.  I'd suggest a $15-20 value.  Digger

Hi I have an old bottle im curious about. It is olive green in color, stands about 7 inches high, about 3 inches wide, the glass is wavy and has some bubbles and several imperfections that do not detract from its looks, and has the original label intact on it. The top has 2 bands and it has a cork in it. On the neck it the seam starts to disappear and it looks like the area is almost stretched. And at the top of the neck before the bands there is a seam where the top piece was applied. The label says Especialidade, and it has a 6 point star with an A in the center. In large letters below that it says Record, then below that Licor Ultra Fino, triple secco. On the bottom of the label it says Licores grande marca, antartica paulista, av. presidente wilson, 26 sao paulo. Anl. fed.n.3606 Appr.p.S.S do E.des. Paula. On the lower back of the bottle is stamped SM. I have attached some pictures of this please tell me any information you can about this bottle and what its value is. Thanks, Will

Will, You sent very nice pictures which gave me a good close up of the neck and base.  Unfortunately, the rules which apply to American bottles do not necessarily apply to those made out of the country.  By that I mean the dating of when this country stopped making hand finished bottles may not coincide with other countries.  I am nevertheless going to estimate the date at about 1913-1921.  Based on the style of the bottle and mention of President Wilson (whom I am assuming is Woodrow Wilson). There are a number of other bottles in the bitters category which look surprising like this bottle with respect to color and lip style.  Some are Italian and others were made in Puerto Rico.  Value is tough as in this country its appeal would be limited.  I do not have a good guess.  Digger

have found a unique beer bottle am interested in its value it has raised glass printing as follows VALENTINE BLATZ BREWER MILWAUKEE WIS_ ON THE BOTTOM OF THE BOTTLE W M C X CO VERN STALLER

The color and age of the bottle make a difference.  I can not give a good estimate without a better description.  The company was started in 1852 and used the name through the turn of the century.  The mark on the base is probably that of Wm McCully & Co. of Pittsburgh 1869-1885 Digger.  

Just a couple questions, never been to a bottle show, plan on going to one in Minneapolis next time I see one listed. Do people sell and buy alot of bottles at the shows. One of my digging friends said he seen a snuff jar on ebay go for $127.00. It had a lid. I have 5 jars with lids. I have even found 3 foil seals for the top of the jars.. We have about 2 inches of snow on the ground up here after 4 inches of rain so its pretty @#$%^ digging. I wonder how many people are digging in and around the Blackhills. You'd think it would be a goldmine. Ever come across any Deadwood bottles at shows. Talk to ya latter. Here's a link to some of my bottle pictures.

The price for the snuff sounds quite high to me.  I have seen the regularly around $25-30 for the more common white or cream pottery without any debossing or stamp. From the pictures looks like you've been have some fun digging.  I never have seen a Deadwood bottle but lots of things turn up at the bottles shows.  Digger.


I was wondering if you are familiar with any bottle that may have the name "Ritter" on the bottle.


I sure am.  At the left is a pontil age soda bottle from Cincinnati with that name embossed.  I'd be amazed if there weren't others. Digger

Help I need a price on old Dr. pepper bottle on the bottom 15 58 duroglas c or g? 2870 6fl.oz's the side says 10 2 DR Pepper 4 s

I'd say in the $2-5 range.  Digger

Hi Digger, I was wondering if you could shed some light on a certain bottle I saw at the Finger Lakes Bottle Show. It was a pint Whiskey Strapped Flask with a double collar mouth, BIMAL, hinged mold, with a slug plate in the center and it said: KERR & DEVITT PURE LIQUORS AUBURN, N.Y. I was light yellow amber, 7 1/4 inches high hinge mold and in mint condition. The polite man said it was an extremely rare bottle and more so in this particular color. Because I collect Auburn glass, I have honestly never seen or heard of this bottle. The man wanted $400 and someone else bought the bottle before I could find some information on it. My question is - is the bottle rare in this color or any other color and did I miss a good deal? Thanks for all the help you give us folks out here and the hard work you put into your website. Jerry Tennant

Jerry,  Sometimes you just have to jump without knowing all the facts.  Obviously in hind-sight someone else thought the bottle was worth the asking price.  I have often bought bottles because I like them and thought they might be rare and paid what I thought was too much.  In those cases I do not regret having done so.  I do not know your bottle but if you collect Auburn bottles and have not seen it, it probably is rare.  As for the color I can believe if it was any whre near yellow it was probably worth the money.  Color is king in the bottle business and color bring $$.  Digger

Hello, I have several of the old Aunt Jemima Syrup bottles. A friend told me the older ones were valuable. I have spend quite a bit of time on the internet trying to search for information on this subject and have not had any success. Do you know this to be true and if so could you please provide me with more information? Thank you for your time. Debbie Penny

I doubt it. what does your friend mean by valuable?  I can't image an older one bringing more than $15-20 even with an excellent label and cap.  The exception I can think of is that some people are paying premiums for black related memorabilia.  Digger

Ever seen a glass canteen that says "my buddy" at the top and "canteen service" at the bottom. Any idea what it is worth? Thanks, Gordon

Nope.  Maybe a reader has.  Sounds like an interesting item.  If of a good age, it could be a great piece.  Digger

I just started digging bottles this summer. Me and my friend have found an old town dump from the 1800's. So far i have found about 400 medicine bottles with no embossment or labels. I was wondering if they were worth keeping? Thank You. ( Mike from Forest City Pa.)

You might be able to get $.50-$1.00 at the local flea market for them. Digger

I was wondering if you could help me out with any suggestions... My Mother has two perfume bottles that are very old, which were handed down to her... However, the daubers are stuck inside the bottles... and a small amount of perfume, or what ever it used to be, remains inside...My questions is.... do you have any suggestions as to how I can free the daubers up, so we can clean the bottles up? The bottle has a silver or brass metal detailing surround the bottles, so I cannot soak them in any solutions...I thought of maybe putting a small amount of nail polish remover around the top of the bottle and letting it soak for awhile... What do you think? Please let me know if you can help out... I appreciate any input you may have...thank you,

Stuck stoppers.  I have broken a few bottles trying to get the stoppers out. I haven't tried nail polish removed but sounds harmless (the basic ingredient is acetone which you might try rather than the nail polish remover which might have perfumed ingredients which might gum up the works even worse.  I have tried and you can as well to use penetrating oil applied with a dropper around the stopper.  I have tried to heat the neck of the bottle to make it expand while keeping the stopper cool.  I have tried tapping on the stopper (I wouldn't recommend this method however as it had disastrous consequences for me).  Ultimately, you just might have to live with it being dirty. Digger



Hi , maybe you can help me. I used to collect bottles as a young boy. I have a few bottles that I think are very old and may have value. I need a trusted source to appraise what I have. One bottle i found after much digging in an old farm house basment , in Westport massachusetts , was a PONDS EXTRACT bottle. The year 1846 is embossed on the bottom.its about 6 inches tall. I also have some insulators;so if you know of an expert in that area, that would be great too. thanks _PM

The Pond's extract is worth in the $1-2 range.  digger.  Try a search on the net for insulators.  There are thousands of them most not worth more than a few dollars.  the earlier ones (Pre-Civil War) are most collectible.  Digger.

Every once in a while I mess up and leave out someone's question.  If you have submitted a question and do not see it listed please simply resubmit your question and I will include it as quickly as time permits. 

Send your Bottle Questions to:  Digger Odell
Check "ASK DIGGER" for tips about what to ask to get the best results.
© 2000 Digger Odell Publications

HOME                          BACK TO QUESTIONS