2016 Notes

Click on the links below to jump to the notes:

         William Penn Brewery?
         Solomon Haak Maverick Identified
         Wrong Patent?
         Baltimore Glass Works Bottle Opens Possibility Of New Bottles
         Aletic China Water Maverick Identified


William Penn Brewery

I got an email from James Etheredge on a pair of beer bottles he Wm Penn Brewerybought at a local coop. One of the bottles was marked Wm. Penn Brewery of South Chester (Pennsylvania). I didn't recall that brewery and it was not listed in my database, but that is not surprising as my coverage of Chester Pennsylvania is not all that good.  A check of American Breweries III, (yes there is now a third edition) turned up nothing.  It lists one brewery in Chester, through much of its history it was known as the Chester Brewing Company.  American Breweries lists this brewery as starting in 1888 with Franz X. Haser as the proprietor at 2400 W 2nd and later with several other operators and finally being incorporated as the Chester Brewing Company in 1898.  It operated until 1953.  Today this location is a vacant lot.  My initial searching found nothing on the William Penn Brewery.

At the Bethlehem show Jim brought his bottles for me to see.  To my surprise, the bottle was an export beer, bore a great full image of William Penn, and was identical in size and form to the other bottle Jim bought embossed the Chester Brewing Company.  Dale Van Wieren and Rich Wagner, both local brewery experts saw the bottles and both noted that William Penn was associated in later advertising of the Chester Brewing Company and all agreed that it was highly unlikely that there were two breweries in South Chester and there had to be some relationship between the William Penn and Chester breweries.  Another mystery.  Lets see what we can dig out on a deeper search.

I found a number of articles on the early days of this brewery.  These are from the Chester Times:

May 29, 1885
  The stakes were driven yesterday for the new brewery that is to be located on the corner of Second and West streets.
May 30, 1885
  Thomas Moore, Chester, to Morwitz Weidman, of Woodale (sic), Delaware-Lot 170x68 at the corner of 2d and West street, South Chester.  Price $2040.
June 9, 1885
    The New Brewery.
  George Weigand, contractor and builder, of the South ward, has received the contract for the erection of the new brewery in South Chester for Morris Wedman, of Woodale (sic), Del, and began work this morning.  The new building will be a brick structure, 18 by 62 feet
June 27, 1885
    A Brewery in South Chester.
  The temperance people in South Chester are by no means delighted with the prospect of having the new beer brewing industry in their midst.  The structure is to be erected at Second and West streets, and has already progressed as far 'as having the cellars dug.  The building will have a front of 28 feet and a depth of 65 feet, four stories high, to be of brick.  It will be located over a run and the refuse will thus be carried into the Delaware river.  The basis of the temperance peoples' opposition is the allegation that there are already too many places in the borough when (sic) intoxicants can be secured.
July 17, 1885
  Chester ought to have a brewery.  It will never do to allow South Chester to ??? brag us that way.
August 13, 1885
  South Chester will make faces at Chester when the new brewery gets in operation and she is full of beer.
September 2, 1885
    The New Brewery.
  South Chester is soon to have a new brewery.  The building is located at Second and Ward (sic) streets and is nearly completed.  It is three stories in height and of very moderate dimensions.  the vats have arrived, but are not yet in place.  The brewery will be operated by a Wilmington man, who expects to move here with his family and have personal supervision of the business.
October 29, 1885
  The new brewery will soon be ready for business.  The manager is getting in the machinery.
November 2, 1885
  South Chester should ask all hands ??? to see her when that brewery commences operations.
November 7, 1885
  The Plainspeaker we received this week looks as if it had been loafing in that new brewery.
December 21, 1885
 Some of the New Buildings Erected ... During the Year.
  Brewery, three stories high, 21 by 65 feet, on Second street, for Moritz Widman.
January 28, 1886
  The proprietor of the brewery proposes to have a beer garden in the rear of the building next summer

From this we learn that this brewery was built in 1885 for Moritz Widman, who was likely operating it in late 1885 and in early 1886. That there was only one brewery in Chester and there was an emerging temperance movement in Chester that strengthened until Prohibition. Therefor later ads for beer and alcohol and notes on these businesses were pretty sparse. In today's world having a creek nearby as the preferred place to dump your waste so that it would flow into the Delaware River would be unheard of.

So what do we know of Moritz Widman other than he was from Wooddale, Delaware?  According to American Breweries III, there was a Weidmair in partnership with F. Chester Brewing Co.Hermann Biederman at Wooddale from 1884 to 1886.  This "Spring Hill Brewery" was located "opposite" the "Wooddale quarries" "on the Landenberg branch of the B. & P. railroad" according to the Morning News on May 7, 1885. Actually his correct name was Moritz Wiedmaer.  Census records indicate that he came to the United States from Germany in 1880, likely after the Census was completed.  The 1888 and 1889 Camden, New Jersey Directories list Wiedmaer as the proprietor of the Gloucester Brewery and Hotel on Grove below Charles.  Wiedmaer was listed as residing in Camden in 1891 with no occupation and was naturalized in Wilmington that same year.  American Breweries III states that Wiedmaer was in control of the Gloucester Brewery again during 1893 to 1895.  He shows up in New Brunswick in 1896 as a partner in the Waldschloss Brewing Company, which appear to be only in business for two years.  A Sheriff's sale ordered on December 18, 1897 and advertised the The Daily Times as to occur on February 9, 1898 several times during the month of January.  It was actually sold to the National Bank of New Jersey for $3,750 on March 22, 1898 according to the Daily Times the following day.   After this failure, Wiedmaer was involved with a court case involving his purchase of refrigeration equipment under a mortgage and his subsequent sale of this equipment to the Waldschloss Brewing Company.  This case was resolved in 1901.  Wiedmaer disappears, but we find him residing in the Suffolk County Alms House at Yaphank in Brookhaven Township on Long Island.  His 1916 entry record states that he resided in the State of New York starting in 1904 and was in poor health at age 70.  He was last listed as living there in the 1930 Census being 84 years old.

Back to Chester.  Having started brewing in 1885 the question is when did Wiedmaer sell the brewery?  American Breweries states that the owner in 1888 was Franz X. Haser.  An article in the Daily Times for September 8, 1911 recording Haser's death in Germany, states that Haser founded the brewery in South Chester and had moved to Chester from Philadelphia.  A check of the Philadelphia Directories finds Haser last listed as "lager" at 3924 Lancaster Avenue in the 1887 directory, which was published in early 1887.  He is also listed in the 1887-1888 Chester directory as the owner of the brewery on Second Street, which was published mid-year.  So the sale of the brewery by Wiedmaer to Haser appears to have occurred during the first half of 1887.  This article also states that Haser moved to the "fatherland" after he sold the brewery to the "present owners." 

Haser was listed as the proprietor of the Chester Brewery and an Adolph Haser was also listed as a brewer in South Chester in the 1891 Chester directory.  Haser was still listed as the proprietor in the 1895 directory.  I was able to find a newspaper article on a attempt to murder Haser, by a disgruntled employee, in August of 1895 and mention that Haser's brewery and home were damaged by a severe storm on December 27, 1895.  The 1896 directory was not found.  The 1897 directory list the Chester Brewing Company as the firm running the brewery.  This company was incorporated on April 1, 1897 with $25,000 of capital stock.  It also lists John G. Forstburg as president and manager and William J. McClure as secretary and treasurer. In 1896, Forstburg is listed as a manager in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and in 1895,  McClure was a liquor and cigar dealer in Chester.

So who controlled the brewery between January 1, 1896 and May 31, 1897?  In the March 14, 1896 edition of the Chester Times lists "Haser, F. X., brewery" accessed $7.00 in tax.  In March of 1896, the Haser Brewing Company was incorporated in Camden, New Jersey and South Chester, Pennsylvania with $50,000 capital for both.  Haser applied for a passport in July of 1896 and he lists his occupation as a brewer and he and his wife returned to the United States from Germany on September 1, 1896.  In the 1900 Census, Haser was listed as "beer brewer" residing on Broad street in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.  Well that is all the further that I was able to get using the sources at my disposal and their search tools. But this did narrow the the windows a bit and I did have another tool at my disposal, but there was no effective search tool.  One of the newspaper sites had the Chester Times available form 1896 to 1897, but would require a manual or page by page search!  This could take weeks.

I decided to start backwards to see who sold the brewery to the group that formed the Chester Brewing Company.  I found several notices and notes during the month of March 1897, but hit gold with the following in the March 8, 1897 edition:

 The most important industrial deal that has been consummated in this city for some time was finished up on Saturday when William J. McClure concluded arrangements for the purchase of a half interest in the Chester Brewery, at Second and West streets.  John M. Forstburg, who has been the owner of the property since it was sold by Franz X. Haser, who founded the industry, will retain the other half and the business will be conducted by Messrs. McClure and Forstburg.
  It is proposed to form a company under the title of the Chester Brewery and take out a charter, but Mr. McClure and Mr. Forstburg will retain the great bulk of the stock.  The business will be pushed to its fullest extent and every effort will be made to build up a large business for the establishment and its product.
  Mr. Forstburg came here last year from Lancaster, where for many years he was the brewer at Reikers' brewery.  He made a splendid rescord (sic) at Lancaster and established for Reicker's product an excellent reputation throughout that section of the State, increasing the business of the brewery several times over.  He is a practical man and understands the business thoroughly, and his establishment has been spoken of as a model for cleanliness and purity of product.  Every effort will be made to establish a great reputation for Chester beer, and Mr. McClure will push the sale o fthe (sic) beer among his patrons and friends.  Every appliance will be added to the establishment which will increase its efficiency.
  Mr. Forstburg will be president of the new corporation: Mr. McClure, secretary and treasurer, and the other directors will be Edmund J. Oliver, Robert Chadwick and John Paul.

That provided some insight to the ownership of the business just prior to the Chester Brewing company. but when did Haser sell the business to Forstburg?  This article indicates it was sometime during 1896.  The search backwards of the Chester Times continues.

November 2, 1896
  On petition of Josiah Smith the license of the South Chester Brewery, formerly held by Frank X. Haser was transferred to John G. Forstburg, the new owner of the brewery.
October 19, 1896
  NOTICE is hereby given that John G Forstburg has filed his petition in the office of the Clerk of the Court of Quarter Sessions of Delaware county, for the transfer to him of the license heretofore granted to Franz X. Haser, for the Chester Brewery, situated at Second and West streets, in the borough of South Chester, in said county, and that the same will be heard by the Court on the first Monday in November, A. D. 1896, at ten o'clock, a. m., at the County Court House in the borough of Media in said court
                                       W. L. MATHUES
October 16, 1896
  South Chester-Frank X. Haser, of South Chester to John G. Forstburg, of Lancaster, brewery plant, brick building, ice house, stable and other improvements, and lot 239 by 170 by 71 by 168 feet, at northwest corner of Second and West streets subject to a $34,000 mortgage, $34,500.
October 12, 1896
  For several months there has been negotiations going on for the sale of the brewery of Francis X. Haser, at Second and Palmer streets, South Chester.  The parties interested in the purchase have paid a forfeit and the business of the sale is being pushed by attorney William B. Broomall for the past three weeks to the point of filing the papers and advertising the transfer of the license.  The business of the transaction is not not ready to give to the public, but it has been learned that the parties who have made the purchase come from Lancaster and that the head of the concern is an energetic men (sic), who will push business as soon as he gets possession.  The price paid for the plant is in the neighborhood of $75,000.  Notwithstanding the fact that the transfer is being advertised it is impossible for the deal to fall through, as there are one or two things depending on the sale of the plant at Lancaster which may result in the setting aside of the whole business.  The matter is in the hands of Mr. Broomall, but he will not give out any information until he hears from the Lancaster lawyer, who is attending to the business at the other end.

Well that identifies the owners of this brewery, but there are a couple of loose ends.  American Breweries III list a firm by the name of Fossberger & Killinger as operators of this brewery between Haser and Forstberg.  It could be that Fossberger is actually Forstberg.  I could not find a Killinger in Chester or Lancaster that was involved in the brewing industry.  It could be that this was a brief purchase or failed purchase that occurred after Haser attempted to Incorporate.  No further record of the Haser Brewing Company could be found.  Both these should be run down.  A page by page search of the April 1 thru September 30 Chester Times may provide some more insight.

Why is one bottle marked Chester and the other South Chester?  South Chester was a borough in Delaware County.  Chester was a City, and had its eyes on incorporating South Chester into its boundaries.  A public petition was circulated and in early 1897, Chester annexed South Chester to make it part of Chester City.  This was not without some level of drama and controversy, with those politicians in South Chester doing all they could to stop the annexation.  William McClure was a politically connected and a mover and shaker in the Republican party of Chester and his interest in the South Chester Brewery and its naming of the "Chester" Brewing Company, during this time of annexation rebellion only served to cement the fact that this brewery was in a "Chester" institution.

What about the William Penn Brewery.  The statue of William Penn was hoisted to the Top of Philadelphia's City Hall on November 28, 1894.  This event was just under two years before Forstburg purchased the brewery form Haser in October of 1896.  At the same timeframe, the following article appeared in the Chester Times:

October 28, 1896
   Anniversary of His First Visit to Chester Soil in Days Gone By.
  It is 214 years to-day since William Penn landed on the shore of the Delaware river, at the foot of Penn street and laid the foundation for the great Commonwealth which we now enjoy.  Justice John J. Hare, who represented "Uncle Billy" some time later, was in Chester to-day looking looking to see what he could do to remind the city authorities of the event and get them to hoist the flag on the city hall.  Justice Hare thinks Chester should celebrate the event every year at least, by hoisting the flags on the public buildings.

The unusual coincidence of this request and the recent installation of William Penn to the top of City Hall, perhaps motivated Forstburg to call his brewery the "William Penn Brewery" to celebrate this fact.  The image on the bottle is the identical to the sculpture atop of City Hall, even down to the garb and tree stump.  The just later Chester Brewing Company bottle is identical in form and measurement to the Penn Bottle.  I believe that when the McClure jointed the firm, that the Front leaf of the mold, containing the image of Penn, was replaced with that of the "Chester Brewing Co."  The reverse of both bottles from this private molds are identical.

In summary, this South Chester brewer was founded by Moritz Widman, a iterant brewer from Wooddale, Delaware, in 1885.  During the early part of 1887, Franz X. Hauser, a Philadelphia lager beer saloon owner, who was from a brewing family, purchased this brewery.  In 1896, Haser sold the brewery to John M. Forstberg, the brewer at Reicker's brewery of Lancaster.  Forstberg, perhaps lacking the capital needed for improvements and modernization, took in a partner William J. McClure, a liquor and tobacco dealer in March of 1897.  The pair incorporated the brewery as the Chester Brewing Company on April 1, 1897. This is where my research stopped.  This brewery continued to operate into the 1950s.  The location is now a vacant lot.

The following are the needed updates to American Breweries III:

PA 88.x Moritz Widman 1885-1887
  88.x Franz X. Haser 1887-1896
  88.x John M. Forstberg 1896-1897
  88.x Forstberg & McClure 1897-1897
  88.x Chester Brewing Co. 1897-1920


Solomon Haak Maverick Identified

At the Elkton Bottle Show, I saw an aqua porter bottle simply marked "SOLN HAAK."  The bottle was purchased with a grouping of South Jersey bottles.  Who was Solomon Haak and where was this maverick from?

Solomon Haak was born on Jan 26, 1835 in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania to was George and Mattie (Sarge)  Haak.  On January 15, 1857, Solomon married Catharine Shaud.  In the 1860 Swatara Census of Lebanon County, Solomon Haak was listed as a 28 year old boatman with a net wealth of $100.

Solomon served in the Civil War. He enlisted as a private on October 3, 1861 for a three year tour of duty serving in Company C of the 93rd Regiment of the Pennsylvania Infantry.  He was wounded at Fair Oaks, Virginia on May 31, 1862 and rose to the rank of 1st Corporal.  He was discharged on October 28, 1864.  Interestingly enough, another corporal named Charles. D. Kaier was discharged on the same day from the same unit.  The later would become a proficient brewer and bottler noted for his many highly collectable Kelley green bottles.

The following are records for Solomon S. Haak that track his whereabouts after the Civil War:

1869 Haak Solomon S. teamster, h rear 144 W Norwegian, Pottsville Directory
1870 Solomon Haak driving a beer wagon Pottsville Census
1871 Solomon Haak sarsaparilla, c. Sunbury near Fifth, Minersville Directory
1875 Solomon Haak bottler, Second ab Patterson, St. Clair Directory
1877 Solomon Haak shoemaker, Second ab Patterson, St. Clair Directory

In April of 1880 Solomon and Catharine Haak baptized their child Le Roy Lewis at Christ Lutheran Church in Schuylkill Haven.  For the next decade, we loose track of Haak and his family.

In a 1890 Census Publication, Solomon was listed as a 55 year old merchant on South Main Street in Shenandoah.  The following records record his time in Shenandoah:

1891 wines and liquors, 120 S Main, Shenandoah Directory
1893 wines and liquors, 120 S Main, Shenandoah Directory
1895 wines and liquors, 120 S Main, Shenandoah Directory
1897 wines and liquors, 120 S Main, Shenandoah Directory

In August of 1897, he vacated his property at 120 S. Main and moved down two doors to 116 S. Main. and shortly thereafter in April of 1898 his wife Catharine died.  On Friday afternoon January 6, 1899, a twin house owned by Haak and T. R. Beddall in Brownsville exploded and was almost totally destroyed with just a rear wall of the kitchen remaining.  At a nearby school, all of the windows were blown out and some students were injured by flying debris.  The following directory listings were found after the move to the new location at 116 South Main:

1899 wines and liquors, 116 S Main, Shenandoah Directory.
1901 wines and liquors, 116 S Main, Shenandoah Directory.

In the 1900 Census , Haak was listed at 116 South Main St as a Liquor Deeler (sic).  In 1902 he petitioned for a wholesale liquor license in Shenandoah, but in 1903 Joseph Kupeczinski was selling liquors at 116 S Main.  So Haak appears to have sold his business as no further records of him in the liquor business could be found.

In 1893, Haak advertised was an agent for Charles Rettig's Celebrated Beer and porter and Bergner & Engel's celebrated India Pale Ales and Old Stock.  In 1894 he was the agent for Rettig & Son's Bock Beer,  In 1896 he received two car loads of Feigenspan Bock Beer.  In 1898, he was advertising he was the agent for the "celebrated Feigenspan Bock Beer" at his store at 116 S. Main Street.  In 1899 he advertised he was agent for Bergner & Engel's Philadelphia Stock Ale, Sparkling Still Ale, Bottled Pale Ale, Brown Stout, Half and Half, Beer and Porter and Lorenz Schmidt's Bock Beer "on tap at all its customers to-day."

On June 5th & 6th 1907, Solomon participated in the 41st Annual Pennsylvania Encampment of the Grand Army of The Republic in Easton, Pennsylvania.  Maybe due to a lack of funds, Solomon moved to Philadelphia in 1907.  The following directory record was found:

1908 Haak Solomon, shoemkr, h 618 E Cornwall, Philadelphia Directory.

Solomon died of paralysis and stomach cancer on April 26, 1908 in Philadelphia.  He was listed as a shoemaker and buried at the Odd Fellows' Cemetery at Shenandoah Heights, Schuylkill County.

The Haak bottle has the appearance of a mid-1870 bottle when Haak was listed as a bottler in St. Clair.  His later business in Shenandoah appears to have been only a wholesale business and he was not in the business of bottling beer.  Unless come compelling evidence can be found with Haak being a bottler during the 1880s, I will for now, consider this to be a St. Clair bottle.



Wrong Patent?

I got an email from Harry Eichman pointing out that the date of the patent my web site for the A. B. C. Co. bottles did not match the patent date on the bottles.  I did a double check and he was right!A. B. C. Co.

The patent I have listed is 45,373 and its illustration shows a bottle identical those currently known and states that the patent was for stoppering bottles of "still liquids" and "liquids not charged with gases."  I took this to mean that these bottles were used exclusively for the bottling of beers, which are not carbonated, but there was another possibility that I did think of; there was a patent that covered only carbonated liquids.  This patent was issued to Josiah Beard and Moses Fairbanks, well known bottlers, of Boston who also used bottles with the A. B. C. Co. stopper.

An improvement to this patent, number 46,658 was issued on March 7, 1865 to Henry B. Goodyear.  Basically this patent mechanized the process that Beard and Fairbanks proposed in the earlier patent.

The patent date on the A. B. C. Co. marked bottles is January 5, 1864.  The patent associated with this date is number 41,067.  It was granted to Edward Hamilton of Chicago, Illinois and Henry B. Goodyear of New Haven, Connecticut.  This patent was for carbonated waters.  Hamilton also patented his invention in England thru John Henry Johnson and was issued patent 225 in 1864 on January 26 for "stoppering bottles containing aerated liquids."

There was another patent issued to Hamilton and Goodyear during 1864.  This patent was numbered 42,188 and was dated April 5, 1864.  It was issued between the above two patents in 1864.  This patent involved a machine to fill bottles with the rubber ball stopper.  It is noteworthy that this patent has a description of the bottles that used this patent:

  The bottle is made of the usual form.  The neck I prefer to make shorter than in bottles which are to be closed by corks.  In the latter it is preferable and perhaps necessary to give the neck sufficient length to afford great frictional hold of the cork in the neck of the bottle and also to prevent the escape of gases from within or the penetrating of air from without.  With my improved method of closing bottles the long neck may be dispensed with as the closing and hermetic joint does not depend on the length of the neck."

Collectors of these early bottle are all to familiar with the unusual short neck  that they display.  Now we have some evidence as to the unique and strange appearance these bottle.  The question is who were the players, what was the A. B. C. Co., and how are they related?

We learn from the Fairbanks and Beard patent that they assigned their rights to the Automatic Bottle Closing Company of New Haven Connecticut. Now we know the name of this company.  A check of the New Haven city directories reveals that this firm was first listed in 1864 "over 223 State" street.  From 1865 thru 1867, the company was listed at "221 State" street.  After 1867, there are no further listings for this company.  The company did publish an advertisement in the April 15, 1865 edition of the Boston Daily Advertiser as follows:

                                                    New Haven, Conn., April 6, 1865.
   WHEREAS, FAIRBANKS & BEARD, COBURN, LANG & COMPANY, AND VINCENT & HATHAWAY, Manufacturers of Mineral Water and bottlers in the city of Boston, Mass., have become licensees to make, use and vend upon certain conditions the inventions of E. HAMILTON and others for closing bottles, under letters patent, owned by the Automatic Bottle Closing Company.
   Public notice is hereby given that the bottles owned and used by each of the above named parties respectively and marked "A. B. C. Co., New Haven, Ct., Pat. Jan. 5, 1864." together with the name or trade-mark of each of said parties respectively, are not salable or transferable, and that the use of the bottles and the sale of their contents by others than the owners thereof, constitutes an infringement of the exclusive right secured by the grant letters patent and the laws relating to the trade-marks and any party thus violating said rights will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
                                                                      H. B. GOODYEAR.
                                                                    Treasurer and General Agent.

We learn several interesting facts from this advertisement.  First we learn that the Automatic Bottle Closing Company was supporting those firms that licensed its patent, by claiming that it would pursue legal prosecution of anyone who improperly used bottles of these Boston firms.  This was over and above any legal action these firms could pursue under State bottling laws.  Second, we learn that the "A. B. C. Co." embossing on the reverse of these bottles, was considered a trade mark.  That explains why all of the bottles of this form have this embossing on the reverse.  Third, we learn that Vincent & Hathaway were using bottles marked "A. B. C. Co." and using this patent along with their trademark on the bottle.  There have been rumors that this bottle existed, but no tangible proof to date.  There is now documentary evidence that it exists, but we need to see that an actual bottle survived.  If you have one please contact me so that we can get it recorded.  Finally we learn that Henry B. Goodyear, who is listed on the patents was the treasurer and general agent or salesman for this company.

So who was Henry B. Goodyear?  We learn for the New Haven city directories that he was Henry was listed as having an office at 221 State street from 1863 thru 1867.  This was the same address as the Automatic Bottle Closure Company and interestingly they both are no longer listed in directors for 1868 and beyond in New Haven.  A quick Internet search on Henry reveals that he was born on December 28, 1802  in New Haven Connecticut as Henry Bateman Goodyear and died on February 11, 1879 in Paris France.  He was connected with Charles Goodyear and was involved in the manufacture of  vulcanized rubber throughout his life.  In 1843, he established a rubber mill in Naugatuck, Connecticut with Charles Goodyear and patented a machine for making rubber boots in 1879 shortly before his death.  There is much material on Henry, the Goodyear patents and is life that is worthy of more research.  It appears his foray into the bottle closure business was a short one from 1864 to 1867.

The idea for this rubber ball stopper appears to be the brainchild of Edward Hamilton of Chicago.  According to Census and death records, he was born in May of 1815 in Canada and died on July 4, 1877 in Chicago and was survived by his wife Margaret. There are no marked Hamilton bottles from Chicago, so it does not appear that he was a bottler.  A search of the Chicago city directories and newspapers reveals that he was involved in the brass foundry business. A. B. C. Co. He worked for Thomas George & Company as early as 1853 and until 1858, was a member of Hamilton, Fuller & Company until they got burned out in 1860, and was with Hamilton & Fuller from 1860 to 1863 or 1864.  Thomas & Company advertised that they manufactured "soda fountains, draught pipes and coolers" and the firms he was associated with manufactured items for breweries and saloons.  This is likely were he got his ideas on bottling and improvements to the process.   Hamilton  seems to have retired from the foundry business in 1863 or 1864 and lived off of royalties of his patents.  In addition to the bottle stopper patent, he had a patents starting as early as 1857 for steam and water cocks, breech-loading cannons, snap hooks, a method of extracting gold and silver from quartz, car ventilators, dusters, and an improvement in the construction of bridges.

From all this we learn that the idea for this stopper came from a brass founded in Chicago named Edward Hamilton, who was a prolific inventor.  Needing the associated patents for vulcanized rubber and likely expertise in making round hollow rubber balls for the stoppers, he teamed up with Henry B. Goodyear of New Haven to form the Automatic Bottle Closing Company in 1864.  The closure enjoyed some measure of success in New England and the Mid Atlantic States with bottlers in New Haven, Boston, Kingston, Lockport, New York City, Easton, Philadelphia, and Georgetown using this closure for soda and beer bottles.  This stopper was embraced by some of the most prominent bottlers of the day, but they are relatively rare and collecting them all would be quite the challenge.  So we have to conclude that their use was quickly abandoned one they were put into production.  Their heyday looks to have been 1864-1866.



Baltimore Glass Works Opens Possibility Of New Bottles

The Glass Works Auctions' Colors of Fall Sale contained an interesting grouping of F. & L. Schaum / Baltimore Glass Works porters.  These come in a great array of colors including greens, reds and puces of various shades.  I had reported these with a plain reverse, but one of examples in this auction had a clearly visible blank plate on the reverse.

Schaum Porter - Front Schaum Porter - Reverse

There is a plate molded pony (MP01I), a plate molded soda bottle (MS01G), and a plate molded porter bottle (BS02W) generally attributed to the Baltimore Glass Works (see bottles below and click on the plate codes above to see bottlers who names appear in the plate).  These were used by bottlers in Maryland, Delaware, and several other Southern states.  However, none of these are marked with the glass works on the reverse.  Glass manufacturers just up the Delaware & Chesapeake Canal in Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey abound with their names embossed on the bottle and that of a bottler in the removable plate.

MP01I Bottle MS01G Olive MS01G Blue BS02W

A quick chat with Chris Rowell, Baltimore bottle expect, pointed out that actually all of these Schaum porters have the blank plate on the reverse.  It is often barely noticeable and missed unless you were looking for it.  Why would the Schaums go to the expense of having a mold made with a removable plate if they never intended to have plates made for a least one of their customers?   We can only hope that one or more of these turns up.  If one does, it will be quite a find and with all of the super Baltimore colors that these porters come in the imagination can run wild with the possibilities?

Or did the Schaums never get a paying customer to have a plate made.  Maybe the vast array of colors was the result of the Schaums using the small quantities of glass remaining in the pot after filling other orders to blow these porters and selling them as general stock bottles.


Aletic China Water Maverick Identified

Thanks to Cory Stock for tracking down the the proprietor and location of this maverick Saratoga half-pint mineral water.

Aletic Chine Water Ad

Cory found two ads in the The New York Herald dated October 5, 1873 touting the preventative and curative properties of the Aletic China Water.  The proprietor, A. W. LavAletic China Water Bottleender, claimed that this water would cure cholera, yellow fever, rheumatism, sick headaches, sea sickness and brain and kidney diseases.

From these same ads, we find that Lavender was taking orders at 165 Maiden lane in New York City.  A quick check of the New York City Directories finds that a William Lintz was operating a grocery store at 165 Maiden in 1872 thru at least 1878.  No A. W. Lavender was found listed in the New York City Directories.Aetic China Water Bottle 2

There were two Albert W. Lavenders who may have been the proprietor in the New York City area.  The first Albert was born in Massachusetts about 1842 and was listed as a seaman. He shows up in Southport on Long Island as a shopkeeper in 1870.  He remained in New York until about 1875, when he relocates to Yankton, Dakota Territory, where he was a grocer.  The second Albert W. Lavender was listed as a shipmaster and storekeeper form at least 1862 to 1873 in the Brooklyn Directories. The later Albert appears to have been an old "sea salt" who had traveled in the Artic.

Which of these two Alberts or another A. W. was the proprietor of the Aletic China Water may have continued to be a mystery until I found two advertisements in a paper called Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly that was published in New York City.  One of the ads in the August 5, 1871 edition pins the second Albert W. in Brooklyn as the proprietor.  This ad addresses "Captain" A. W. Lavender and records an address as 195 Leffert place, which matches Lavender's Brooklyn Directory listing of Lefferts near Franklin.  I am going to give this bottle a dual location of New York City and Brooklyn and a time period of production of 1871 to 1873.  There were two runs of this bottle.  The earliest is an olive green color with a tapered top.  The later example is from the same mold, but is aquamarine in color with a rounded tapered collar.  The later bottle pictured above was in the collection of Dick Watson and is believed to be unique.