2018 Notes

Click on the links below to jump to the notes:

         Karl Hutter's First Bottle?
         Spring Water Pottery Jars
         Rogers Birch Beer
         Irradiated Bottles - What a Sin
         Ten Pin Ale!


Ten Pin Ale!

This Fall, I was cruising thru Norm Heckler's Auction 170 and when I saw lot number 85, my jaw dropped.  I saw a ten pin soda, or what I thought was a soda, very similarLanders Ale Bottle in form the the Luke Beard, Comstock, Gove & Company, and Berlin Mineral Water Company all from Boston.  However this one was embossed "Albany Ale."  This is a first!  The ten pin shape, to date, was used exclusively for the bottling of mineral and soda waters.  In fact the shape was designed to help withstand the pressures of these beverages and keep the corks moist.  Ale and other beers just did not have the high pressures when bottled to warrant the need for this shape.  The serving size was also reduced the bottles' size.  Soda bottles are generally of a lesser capacity than beer bottles.

This is the first Delos E. Landers bottle that I have ever seen. So where is this bottle from?

My first thought was that this too is a Boston bottle due to the similarity to the Boston ten pin shown below, but no trace of Landers was found in Boston.  After further research, I was able to put a trail together on Landers and it appears that he ended up in Washington, D. C. selling Albany Ale, but there is no smoking gun as Landers never appears in business without a partner.

The following is a time line for Landers:

  • 1834 born to Benajah & Emaline Landers in New York State
  • 1855 working on his fathers farm in Smithville, New York
  • 1860 working as a clerk in Canton, Mississippi
  • 1861 married Arvilla Rorapaugh at Smithville, New York on December 1
  • 1861 enlisted (two days after getting married) in the 10th New York Calvary on December 3
  • 1864 discharged as a sergeant on December 12
  • 1865 Unknown
  • 1866-68 clerked for Burton Porter & M. M. Whitney (mineral water manufacturers)
  • 1869-1871 bottler Washington, D. C. (Whitney & Landers)
  • 1871-1874 bottler Washington, D. C. (D. E. Landers & Co.)
  • 1876-1877 Clerk in Washington, D. C.
  • 1878-1883 Policeman in Washington, D. C.
  • 1890 Residing in Smithville, New York
  • 1902 Dairy Farmer in Smithville, New York
  • 1917 Died in on May 21st in Chenango County, New York

The following advertisement appeared for D. E. Landers & Company in the Evening Star on October 21, 1871:

WANTED-Everybody to know that JNO. TAYLOR'S SONS' CELEBRATED ASTOR XX ALBANY ALE is now bottled and for sale by D. E. LANDERS & CO., No. 619 Louisiana avenue, sole agents for the District of Columbia. Price per doz. pints, $1.50, and 25 cents per dozen paid for empty bottles. Liberal discount to the trade
1873 Landers & Co. Albany Ale Ad

This newspaper advertisement and the the adjacent  advertisement from the 1873 Washington Directory illustrate that Landers was selling Albany Ale in Washington, D. C. during the early 1870s.  However, the firm name was "Landers & Company."  The bottle is solely in Landers' name and does not bear the "& CO" embossing.

So the question is, based on the above time line, was Landers selling ale before he moved to Baltimore and clerk for Porter in the mineral water business or is this a mold makers error or did Landers order his bottles before he partnered with an unknown person or persons in his beer bottling business in the Fall of 1871.  The bottle itself appears to date 1865 to 1870, but could be slightly later.

More research may nail down the business' true location, but until then I am listing this as a Washington, D. C. product. Still the similarity to the Boston ten pin bottles is remarkable and I would not be surprised if Landers had a short stint in Boston selling Albany Ale and used his contacts to become the sole agent later in his career.  In any case this is the first case of a ten pin bottle being used to bottle beer.

Images courtesy of Hecklers and Glass Works Auctions




Irradiated Bottles - What a Sin

More and more irradiated bottles are appearing on the market.  These bottles started appearing years ago and initially were marked by a deep purple color, that experiencedIrradiated Beer Bottle collectors quickly recognized as not a natural color for these bottles.  In the soda and beer bottle world, this was typically done to clear champagne beer bottles.  The radiation triggering the the magnesium in the glass to color the glass this deep purple.  This process does occur naturally when bottles, decolorized with magnesium, are exposed to intense sunlight for extended periods of time, but these bottles turn a light lavender color called sun-colored amethyst by collectors.  The radiation accelerates this process making the color much, much deeper. 

Lately, bottles started to appear in odd greyish amber colors.  Like the bottle to the right. These too are not natural colors, but some collectors were fooled into thinking that common beer bottles came in a rare amber-like color.  I think these bottles also started out as clear bottles decolorized with selenium instead of magnesium.  The pictured example started out as a clear bottle made around the time period of World War I, when the supply of magnesium from Europe was cut off and selenium was used as a replacement to decolorize the glass.

I just think it is a sin that these hundred year old bottles made by skilled craftsmen are altered in any way, but appreciate the repurposing of common bottles into decorator items, as few collectors would want them in their collections.

Unfortunately, this irradiation was done to some rare bottles that collectors are seeking for their collections.  Instead of making these bottles more valuable as decorator items, they lessened them by changing the color.  Fortunately, the process can be reversed by heating the bottles and some collectors are having this done to restore their rare bottles to the original color. 

Recently, a fellow collector told me that he saw a very common pontiled medicine bottle in a clear color.  There are a number of medicine bottles from Philadelphia that come in both clear and aquamarine.  The De Grath's Electric Oil bottles are a prime example with different molds coming in both clear and aquamarine variants.  But the bottle that he saw has hundreds of known examples and they are always aquamarine in color.  He later learned that this clear bottles was irradiated.  That puts a new twist on things.  He claimed that the people doing this irradiation figured out how to turn bottles clear.  I am not sure if that is the case or if aquamarine bottles will naturally turn clear if irradiated.

Early clear soda and beer bottles are exceedingly rare.  I know of only a few period pontiled bottles existing in this color and with one exception (a druggist's mineral water bottle), I have never physically seen these bottles, which makes me question their existence.  Clear glass was usually made of lead glass during this period and was usually reserved for tableware and cosmetic and medicinal bottles.  

So be on the lookout for early clear soda and beer bottles, especially those on common bottles.  I wonder what color a green Twitchell would turn into if irradiated.

Image Courtesy of Larry Grotz.




Rogers Birch Beer

Cruising an auction web site, I found a listing for a J. J. Rogers Birch Beer bottle from Grand Rapids, Michigan.  What initially confused me was that the Rogers embossing was Pratt Bottle Reversein the mold, but the city was in a plate.  I thought I recalled seeing another Rogers bottle and a quick search of my database and I found another listing from Corning, New York.

This Corning bottle was made in the same mold as the Grand Rapids bottle with the only difference being the plates.  The back of both bottles is embossed: "(Arched up) TRADE MARK / J. J. ROGERS / CELEBRATED / BIRCH BEER."  The plate on the Corning bottle is embossed "(Arched up) JARED PRATT / (Arched down) CORNING, N. Y." and the Grand Rapids bottle "(Arched up) THIS BOTTLE / NEVER SOLD / (Arched up) GRAND RAPIDS, MICH"

It seems obvious that J. J. Rogers was franchising his birch beer, but what do we know about Rodgers.  The search begins using ancestry.com, we discover that James J. Rogers was born on December 31, 1828 John Van Deuzen Rogers & Louisa Mercy Fuller in Barker, New York.  His father died in Chicago on October 16, 1846.  Piecing together various documents, the following timeline of Rodgers life:

  • Born December 31, 1828 in Broome County, New York
  • 1850 was working as a painter in Greene, Chenango County, New York while living with his mother Louisa
  • 1855 was working as a painter in Greene, Chenango County, New York while living with his mother Louisa
  • 1860 was working as a painter in Greene, Chenango County, New York while living with his mother Louisa
  • 1863 was working as a lumberman in Orlean, Cattaraugus County, New York and was married.
  •  1865 was a laborer in Orlean, Cattaraugus County, New York with his wife Amelia and infant daughter Agnes.
  • 1869 was a soda manufacturer on Way in Binghamton, Broome County, New York.
  • 1870 was operating a beer store in Binghamton, Broome County, New York and living with his wife Amelia and daughter Anne.
  • 1871 was a bottler on Chenango corner of Pearne in Binghamton, Broome County, New York
  • 1873 was a soda water maker on Chenango near Pearne in Binghamton, Broome County, New York
  • 1875 was working as a Soda & Birch Beer Manufacturer in Binghamton, Broome County, New York and living with his wife wife Amelia, daughter Anne, and mother Louise.
  • 1880 was working as a Beer Brewer in Binghamton, Broome County, New York and living with his wife wife Amelia, daughter Anne, and mother Louise
  • 1883 was working as a bottler at 368 Chenango in Binghamton, Broome County, New York
  • 1885-1889 was working as a painter out of his home at 368 Chenango in Binghamton, Broome County, New York
  • 1890-1891 was residing at 368 Chenango in Binghamton, Broome County, New York with no occupation.
  • 1892-1893 was working as a paper hanger out of his home at 368 Chenango in Binghamton, Broome County, New York
  • Died on October 14, 1897 at Binghamton, Broome County, New York
  • 1899 Amelia Rogers was listed as the widow James living at 368 Chenango, Binghamton, Broome County, New York

As far as the Birch Beer he franchised, we find two pieces of information. First he was issued a "label registration" number 1,148 on August 7, 1877 for "J. J. Rogers' Celebrated Birch Beer."  Second Rogers was issued patent number 198,467 on December 25, 1877 for his Birch Beer.  The application was as follows:

Be it known that I, JAMES J. ROGERS, of the city of Binghamton, in the State of New York have invented a new and useful composition called “Birch Beer,” which composition is fully described in the following specification:
This invention relates to that class of fashionable drinks which are pleasant to the taste, and healthful as a beverage; and it consists in a mixture of water, sugar, oil of birch cut in alcohol, home-made yeast, and burnt sugar, which ingredients are prepared and compounded substantially in the following manner and proportions: Take a quantity of water—say, a barrel, or about thirty-two gallons of water—and in it dissolve twenty-five pounds of sugar, the kind called “A” sugar being preferable; add an ounce and a half of oil of birch cut in a pint of alcohol; warm the whole liquid to a lukewarm temperature, and add one pint of home-made yeast; also, add one-half pound of burnt sugar, first having dissolved and carefully strained the same. Then allow it to stand eighteen hours and skim it. After that, rack off the liquid into kegs or bottles, and cork tightly. Then let it stand about eighteen hours in a warm place, and it will be ready for use.
The beverage made as above described makes a very healthful and pleasant drink. When properly bottled and corked it will keep any length of time, and grows stronger with age. It can be manufactured and used both in summer and winter.
The burnt sugar gives color to the liquid, which may be increased or diminished, as desired, by varying the amount of the sugar.
I claim—
The improved material herein described for producing beer, called “birch beer.” and consisting of water, sugar, oil of birch, alcohol, home-made yeast, and burnt sugar, in the proportions substantially as specified.

Rogers was issued an earlier patent for "table beverages" in patent number 193,038 awarded on July 10, 1877.  Both of these patents were part of litigation that Rogers brought against Albert G Ennis of Utica (1878) and H. N. & D. H. Beecher of Binghamton (1880).  Rogers won his case against Ennis in 1878.  He did not have the same luck with the Beecher brothers.  They proved that birch beer was being manufactured by a Mr. George Buchanan in the Spring of 1871 in Binghamton and was quickly copied by a competitor, Daniel B. Smith, previous of the firm of Vincent & SmithThomas W. Vincent and Daniel B. Smith split up earlier and operated their own separate businesses. The Beecher brothers worked for Smith at that time and recalled Smith experimenting with ingredients in Rogers' patent, but apparently never succeeded.  He did come up with a formula and started to market birch beer in the Fall of 1871.  Smith and the Beecher brothers continued to experiment and came up with a product that was similar to Rogers before his patent.  The court found the Rogers did not prove that they were using his exact formula and dismissed the case.  With out this patent protection, Rogers's ability to monopolize the birch beer line was ended.  All he had was his trademark.

Interestingly, I cannot find any reference to a Rogers' bottle.  Being he was in business for at least five years and franchised his birch beer to other bottlers, it is hard to believe that no bottles exist.

But what about the bottlers who have Rogers' embossed bottles.  First is Jared Pratt of Corning, New York.  From Harlo Hakes Landmarks of Stueben County New York (Syracuse, D. Manson & Company, 1896) we get an overview of Pratt's life:

  Pratt. Jared, was born in the town of Campbell in 1839, came to Corning in 1866, and entered the employ of the Erie Railroad as brakeman, and after two years took charge of a train and continued as conductor on the road until 1883. In 1886 he opened a livery stable on Market street and in 1890 built his present barn on Chestnut street, which is of brick, sixty-two by eighty-four, and has a capacity for thirty-two horses. He was deputy sheriff for two years, under Stratton. His father was Aden J. Pratt of Campbelltown, and was one of the early settlers. He was postmaster and town clerk of the town for twenty-five or more years. He married Permiley Stevens; she died in 1844 and he lived until the year 1865. Both lived in Campbell on the same farm until they died.

Interesting that he does not list his stint as a bottler.  I found the following information that supplements and or corrects the above narrative.

  • 1839 was born on May 22 to Aden Pratt & Permelia Stevens
  • 1850 was living at Campbell, New York with his father Adam J., who was a cabinetmaker
  • 1855 was living at Campbell, New York with his father Adam J., who was a cabinetmaker
  • 1858 Married Amy Brooks in Knoxville, New York
  • 1860 was working as a farm laborer in Campbell, New York with his wife Amy
  • 1870 was working as a conductor at Corning, New York, with his wife Amy
  • 1877-1879 Rochester Directory conductor, Erie railway bds Clinton Hotel
  • 1880 Rochester Directory: Pratt Jared removed to Corning
  • 1880 was operating a bottling works in Corning, New York and living with his wife Amy
  • 1884 his wife Amy died on September 1
  • 1885 married Mary on October 21
  • 1892 was working as a liveryman in Corning and living with his wife Mary
  • 1894 daughter Louise Beatty was born on May 24
  • 1900 was working as a liveryman in Corning, New York and living with his wife Mary and daughter Louisa
  • 1910 operated a livery stable and sales stable in Corning, New York and living with his wife Mary and daughter Louisa.
  • 1915 Died in Corning, New York on October 7, 1915

Newspapers fill out some of the history of Pratt's foray into the bottling business.  His initial trailPratt Bottle Front was with G. W. West as published in the March 23, 1876 edition of the Corning Journal:

Conductor Jared Pratt and Mr. G. W. West are manufacturing Birch Beer, which they advertise as "the best temperance beverage," to be had, and it is put up in pint and quart champagne bottles, for sale or shipment from Corning.  As some bottles were left at this office we can recommend it as a very pleasant and refreshing beverage.  The manufacturers cannot fail to sell it readily during the ensuing warm season, and it will be found desirable at any time.  It cannot fail to be popular.

Expansion into bottling lager beer at Knoxville, New York is mentioned in this account of arson published in the September 12, 1878 edition of the Corning Journal:

  --On Saturday night and Sunday, officer McGivern arrested James Ryan, aged 19, Joseph Conlon, aged 17, and Robert Baggart, aged 17, for setting fire to Dr. A. J. Ingersoll's barn on Sunday, morning the 25th of August, and stealing a large quantity of jewelry out of rooms of the rooms of the lady patients at the "Cure."  The boys arrested had been seen around the grounds the night before the fire, and during the fire made themselves conspicuous by their apparent efforts to assist in saving the "Cure" building; but previous to the arrest had denied all knowledge of the origin of the fire or of taking of the jewelry. One of the boys however showed some of the jewelry and attempted to sell it.  On Monday morning they were brought before Esquire Hitchcock for examination.  Conlon offered himself as a witness against his associates upon the charge of grand larceny in stealing the jewelry.  His testimony, which was fully by his two confederates, developed the fact that earlier in the evening this precious trio had burglarized the bottling establishment of Jared Pratt, in Knoxville, and stole a dozen or two bottles of lager.  After this crime they spent the evening drinking their beer and having a "good time" altogether in various secluded places at Pratt's expense, and in concocting the greater and more heinous crime of arson and plundering the sick ladies who were under treatment at Dr. Ingersoll's "Cure."

An explanation as to why the Pratt bottles are so rare could be an accident documented in the March 12, 1880 edition of the Corning Journal:

  --Jared Pratt's fine team ran away wrecking the wagon.  They were frightened while a load of birch beer was taken from the wagon at the Fall Brook Depot.  Numerous bottles were broken.  The horses were some injured.

The following advertisement appeared the August 4 and 11, 1881 editions of the Corning Journal:

   Agent for the Genesee Brewing Co's. Celebrated Rochester Lager, has received a quantity of their Stock Lager, pronounced to be
    Which he is prepared to deliver in such quantities as may be desired.
Private Families Furnished to Order.
   The demand for this company's goods has doubled during the year past, which is the best evidence of the excellence of their beer.

The sale of Pratt's business was announced in the December 28, 1882 edition of the Corning Journal:

  --Jared Pratt has sold out his bottling works to Albert Falk, and his requests all persons who have his bottles in their possession to return them or inform him of their whereabouts.

Pratt then went into the horse business and later operated a livery stable and sale in Corning.  An initial step was announced in the June 20, 1883 edition of the Stueben Advocate:

  --Prof. D. P. Hurlburt, the renowned educator of the horse, and only successor and surviver of the famous Rockwell & Hurlburt, has formed a partnership with Mr. Jared Pratt, of Corning, under the title of Hurlburt & Pratt.  They are traveling in this county and vicinity with a large tent furnished with good seats, and give exhibitions every evening of their wonderfully trained horses and troup of seven educated dogs.  To witness the almost human intelligence of these animals is worth double the price of admission changed.  In the afternoon of each day Prof. Hurlburt lectures on the horse and its training, and lessons are given on breaking colts and vicious horses, and general care, feeding, shoeing, training and driving the horse by Mr. Lewis Miller, a scientific horseman.  Farmers and horseman should not fail to attend these lessons.  They will be in Canisteo June 19 and 20, Adrian 21st, Cameron 22nd, Rathboneville 23d.

Pratt's bottles were still being used as late as 1890 with a notice from Talcott W. Tanner in the April 10, 1890 edition of the Corning Journal:

  Be it known that I, Talcott W. Tanner, of Corning, N. Y., am engaged in the manufacture, bottling and selling of mineral waters, ginger ale, lager beer and other similar beverages in bottles, boxes and syphons having my name and marks blown, stamped or otherwise produced upon my bottles, boxes and syphons, and the following is a description of the names and marks so used by me upon my bottles, boxes and syphons respectively, namely:
  One style of glass bottles having blown or produced in the glass upon the side of said bottle a circle, and within said circle are the words and letters, "T. W. Tanner, Corning, N. Y."
  Other glass bottles marked, "Albert Falk, Corning, N. Y."
  Other glass bottles marked, "J. R. Copes, 778 South Third Street, Philadelphia."
  Other glass bottles marked, "Jared Pratt, Corning, N. Y." within a circle.
  Other glass bottles having the letter "T" produced in the glass.
  Wooden boxed marked T. W. Tanner, Corning, N. Y.
  My principal place of business is situated in the village of Corning, County of Steuben, and State of New York.
  This notice and description are made, filed and published in pursuance of chapter 377 of the laws of the State of New York for the year 1886, as amended by chapter 181, laws of 1887, providing therefor and to forbid all persons to use, traffic or destroy any of said bottles, boxes or syphons, contrary to the laws of said State made to protect the owners of bottles, boxes, syphons, etc. used in the manufacture, bottling and sales of the above mentioned waters and drinks and other similar beverages,
  Dated at the village of Corning, N. Y., this 28th day of February, 1890.
                                                       TALCOTT W. TANNER

In Grand Rapids, two firms bottled Rogers' Celebrated Birch Beer and they were related.  The first was the Celebrated Birch Beer Company.  This firm took over the Grand Rapids Bottling Company at 8 Lyons and operated by F. H. Vivyan & Company at some point during 1879.  Vivyan & Company was made up of Frank H. Vivyan and Charles Fredericks.  Neither appear in the Grand Rapids Directory after the firm dissolved.  The Celebrated Birch Beer Company was operating at 8 Lyons in 1880.  The company was being run by George H. Ashley and Henry T. Husted, who boarded at Margaret Lunn's boarding house at 125 Monroe.  By the summer of that year, when the Census was being taken, Ashley was gone and Fred W. Powers appears to have taken his place in the firm and was residing at Lunn's boarding house along with Husted.

By the time of the 1881 Directory, the Celebrated Birch Beer Company was gone, Husted was gone, and the Spa Bottling Works, owned by Mills & Lacey and Fred W. Powers, and were manufacturers of "J. J. Rogers Celebrated Birch Beer and bottlers of Ginger Ale and Mineral Waters" with the "Charging Soda Founts a Specialty" at 56 Kent.  Powers was the operator having the bottling experience and Mills & Lacey, druggists, were the financiers.  In 1882, the firm became the Spa Bottling Company and Rogers Birch Beer was no longer being touted.  During this same period, Mills & Lacey with John G. Wardell established a Spa Bottling Company in Saint Paul. John G. worked as a druggist at Mills & Lacey store in Grand Rapids in 1881. Robert C., Robert T. and William Wardell were soon to follow and work at the new firm in Saint Paul.

By 1883, Mills & Lacey sold the druggist business to Charles P. Biglow and established a firm called the Mills & Lacey Manufacturing Company for the production of undertakers supplies.  Mills and Lacey continued their interest in the Spa Bottling Company, but as individuals and not a partnership.  In 1884, Samuel B. Jenks was managing Spa, Mills appears to have left the firm, George G. Clay was brought on as Treasurer, and Powers was the Secretary.  The operations had moved to 65 & 67 Kent.  By 1885, Powers had been removed from the firm and the firm continued thru 1886.

By 1887, Spa was acquired by Philip J. Schroeffel and moved to 28 Pearl.  By 1888, it relocated to 173 & 175 S Front. In 1895, Spa moved again to 198 Kent.  By 1896, in Saint Paul, the Spa Bottling Company became the Spa Company.   Some time prior to 1898 in Saint Paul, the Spa Company merged with the Blackwood Manufacturing Company, a few years earlier called the Blackwood Company to form the Consolidated Bottling Company. By 1899, Spa seems to have been dissolved and Schroeffel was operating the firm under his own name and continued to do so thru 1905.

We know that he franchised to firms in Corning, New York and Grand Rapids, Michigan, but what about others?  I found the following other bottlers that sold Rogers Birch Beer:

Vanboosen & Beers of Auburn, New York were quoted in the Evening Auburnian  on April 16, 1878:

   At No. 57 Water street, Vanboosen & Beers have begun the manufacture of the J. J. Rogers celebrated birch beer.  This beer has a surprising sale during the summer months, being used by many in preference to pop and root beers.  Possessing a rich birch flavor, it is a cool, delicious drink.  Frank Arnold is associated with the new firm.

Lewis & West of Cuylerville, New York were quoted in the Mt. Morris Enterprise  on June 15, 1878:

Birch Beer Manufactory at Cuylerville.

  The undersigned, Messrs. Lewis & West, request us to announce that they have the exclusive manufacture and sale of Rogers Celebrated Birch Beer, in the following named twons, viz: Mt. Morris, Avon, Livonia, Conesus, York, Geneseo, Nunds, Dansville, Portage, Warsaw, Perry, and Castile.
  It is a delicious temperance drink, very cheap, and is fast growing in favor as a summer beverage.
  All orders will be proptly filled, and should be addresses to LEWIS & WEST Cuylerville, N. Y.

So we have two embossed Rogers bottles that seem to date to the 1880-1881 period, two firms that sold Roger's Birch Beer but do not have known bottles, and no known bottles from the creator of it all!

Images courtesy of American Glass Gallery Auctions.




Spring Water Pottery Jars

During 2011, at one of the last Heckler Fests, I saw what I thought was one of the most bizarre mineral water containers from the Nineteenth Century.  It was not glass, which is the norm, but stoneware.  It was not a bottle, but a wide mouthed jug and a handled jug at that.  It was not straight sided but tapered.  Even more unusual was that it had a loose fitting ceramic lid.

It was impressed on the shoulder "SWAMPSCOTT / MINERAL SPRING / WATER." The jug measured 15 inches tall with the base being 10 inches wide.  The shoulder height was 10 1/2 inches.  The opening measured 4 inches and was tapered inward towards the shoulder.  The lid had a large knob and was impressed "J. M. B." and had a flange that inserted in the neck that had the same inward taper.  J. M. B. was likely the proprietor.

With a loose fitting stopper and the odd shape, I believed that this must have been used for local consumption only and not for shipping over any distance.  With only one example being seen by me in over 20 years, it was obviously rare and if I recall the price matched the rarity.

Imagine my surprise when I saw an identical container from a different spring on an auction site.  This one was identical in shape to theSwampscott Mineral Water Bottle Swampscott jar, but impressed "LOVERS LEAP / MINERAL SPRING, WATER / LYNN." with blue glaze in the letters.  Its stopper was impressed "LOVERS.LEAP" and also has blue glaze in the letters.

One bottle could be an anomaly, but two from different companies would indicate that this was some from a standardized container.

A little research on these companies yielded some interesting results.  Swampscott and Lynn are adjoining communities along the Massachusetts coast north of Boston.  So these companies may have been competitors.  It is also likely that they were made at the same pottery.

 I found the following in the Twenty-Third Annual Report of the State Board of Health of Massachusetts published in 1892:

West Lynn, Lovers' Leap Spring.-Under sidewalk of Lovers' Leap Avenue, about one hundred and twenty feet above Forest Street. A bricked and cemented basin, six feet under highway, and a few feet in depth. Water enters at bottom and is carried one hundred and ten feet in an iron pipe to bottling house, corner of Lovers' Leap Avenue and Forest Street. General direction of drainage is east, toward Forest Street. Ledges or low hills on all sides except east. Nearest privy is one hundred and sixty-five feet north-east, stoned sides, earth bottom. Exposed manure heap one hundred feet north. The hillside on the north is occupied by farm buildings. Several more privies on hillside above, within one thousand feet of spring, north-west to south-west. Sold in Lynn; also bottled.

Swampscott, Swampscott Mineral Spring. - One hundred and fifty feet from Essex Street, and about one thousand feet east from corner of Essex Street and Beach Avenue; about six hundred feet north from Moose Hill Spring. The water comes from a driven well sixty feet deep, and runs continually from this through several feet of iron pipe into the spring house south-west. There it runs into a reservoir about five by nine feet, with two and one-half feet depth of water. This reservoir has plank sides and cement bottom; surface water excluded. Considerable dirt and a little green growth on the bottom of the reservoir. Water rises in the well to nearly the level of the surrounding ground, and overflows all the year round. The lower end of the well pipe is in clay. The ground water comes chiefly from the north or north-east. There is a low hill west, separated from the well by a small meadow and a ditch. The well is in a grassed field. The nearest source of contamination is a stable with a manure heap, fifty feet north-east. There is another about the same distance north-west. There are many houses on the drainage area within a few hundred feet. Water sold only in Lynn.

In the Boston Globe on June 15, 1886, the Lovers Leap Spring Water Company was looking to buy a double-deck bottlers wagon.Swampscott Stopper

In the Boston Herald November 9, 1890 there was an advertisement selling some property in Swampscott.  This property was touted as having a spring with the "same source as that known as Swampscott Mineral Spring Water, which has been distributed throughout Lynn during the past four or five years and has given general satisfaction."

In the Boston Daily Globe on July 10, 1897, the Lovers' Leap Spring Water and Bottling Company of Lynn Massachusetts was listed for sale.  It was claimed that this was the only spring of pure running water for miles.

According to Congressional records, both springs were still being reported as operational in 1908.

From the publication American Mineral Waters: The New England States published in 1911 we learn:

Lovers' Leap Spring is situated at Lynn, Mass., and is owned by the Lovers' Leap Spring Water Co. The spring was visited November 30, 1907, samples directly from source being obtained for examination. The flow was approximately 40 gallons per hour, with a temperature of 45 F.

In a recent letter the spring water company reports that they have discontinued the use of the water from this spring for commercial purposes, owing to a decrease in the supply, and that they are developing a new spring which they have named the Lovers' Leap Deep Glen Spring, one-fourth of a mile from the old Lovers' Leap Spring. A sample of this water will be obtained for analysis and the results will appear in a future publication.

Based on the above information, it appears that both springs started operation about 1885.  Both springs mainly served the city of Lynn and the immediate area.  I believe that these containers were used by patrons to receive the spring water on a refilling basis and were to be returned to the spring when empty.  To my knowledge, both these wide moth jugs are unique.  Are there others, but more importantly are there other springs that used this style of container?

Images courtesy of ssundog1.




Karl Hutter's First Bottle

I received a a bunch of pictures from Adam Woodward this Spring that included a picture of a broken Rapp ten pin.  These pictures included some of the rarest and most interesting of New York City bottles.  Included in this assemblage, was a champagne beer bottle of Karl HutterHutter 1875 Beer Bottle.

In his later years, Hutter was a major force in the beer bottling industry.  He sold bottlers supplies that included is patented Hutter Porcelain Hutter Porcelain StopperStopper (pictured), supplies, and bottles.  In fact Hutter's mark is the most common one found on beer and soda water bottles of the period 1875-1910.  He also had an interest in the Prospect Brewing Company in Philadelphia.  What put Hutter on the map was his ownership of Charles De Quillfeldt's 1875 patent beer bottle stopper. This quickly became the standard beer bottle stopper and remained so for the next 35 years and is still in use today.

Before he became a supplier of bottlers' goods, Hutter was a bottler himself and his bottles are some of the earliest lager beer bottles known.  I had for years listed two variants of Hutter's bottle with the 23 First Street corner of Second Avenue address.  Hutter was listed at this address starting in 1876.  The following year, he is listed at 9 Second with an occupation of bottles and had switched occupations to the bottling supply business.

Adam's bottle, which to my knowledge is unique, has an address of 321 Bowery.  This was Hutter's address during 1874 and 1875 when Hutter was listed as a beer bottler.  So this bottle has to predate 1876. 

Sadly Hutter committed suicide in 1913.  As documented in the below article, from the June 26, 1913 The Sun newspaper, Hutter left his fortune to charities and Hutter 1876 Beer Bottlehis employees.

  Karl Hutter, inventor of a bottle stopper used in beer bottles, who committed suicide by shooting himself in his apartments at 116 West Fifty-ninth street on June 15, left a will disposing of an estate valued at more than $1,000,000.  He left a quarter of his residuary estate and more than $80,000 to public institutions, and more than $100,000 to employees.
  One of Mr. Hutter's concerns was a bottlers' supply business at 241 Lafayette street.  He remembered employees of this firm as follows: Herman H. E. Jantzer, 745 Riverside Drive, $35,000; Ernest Kreuger, Stapleton, Staten Island, $35,000; Karl Manz, 50 Hemlock street, Brooklyn, $30,000; Frank C. Bauerman, 740 Decatur street, Brooklyn, $25,000; and Walter Gertz, 222 Seventh avenue, Brooklyn, $5,000.  He directed that $5,000 be divided among the other office employees and that the workmen in the bottling department shall divide $2,000.
  Mr. Hutter directed that $10,000 be distributed equally among the employees of the Prospect Brewing Company of Philadelphia and that Charles Wolters and Gustave Ludwig have an option to buy his interest.
  He left the bulk of his estate in Germany to his sister, Sophia Mink of Montabaur, Germany, who gets $100,000 from the estate in this country.  Mrs. Hink's (sic) children Oswald, Anna, Jean and Catherine get $100,000 and half the residuary estate, while their father receives $85,000.  Mr. Rutter (sic) left $150,000 to the four children of his late stepbrother, Casper Hutter.
  The will leaves $35,000 to the German-American School Association of New York, $20,000 to Marien Heim of Brooklyn, $10,000 each to the Gemeinde Wallmerod of Germany and the German Hospital of Brooklyn and $5,000 to the German Club of 112 Central Park West.
  One-fourth of the residuary estate goes to the German Hospital and Dispensary and the other fourth to the Cooper Union.  It is estimated that each will receive at least $100,000.

All of this history started with the bottle in Adam's collection.

Images courtesy of Adam Woodward and Glass Works Auctions.