Glenn Poch's Bottle Collecting Newsletter 16

Bottle Newsletter #16
Mar/Apr 1997

Had the chance to review a few issues of "Canadian Bottle and Stoneware Collector" published out of Canada by Mark Draak and Peter Austin. Although I collect bottles only from the United States this magazine was still very intersting and informative, I don't normally get to see whats up in the northern States and found the overall format to be outstanding. A must for Candaian Bottle Collectors, the magazine has good articles on bottles and companies, great graphics and for sale and want's, put out four times a year it would be a worthwhile investment to learn more about bottles from Canada and throughout the World. It has my recommendation.

Have been getting a number of for sales and want ad's - still need your diggin stories and articles on your expertise - I can supply a number of articles but it's more fun when others get involved. Also let me hear about shows you attended and bottles you have found.



The transportation and preservation of fresh milk presented a major problem for suppliers until nearly the end of the 19th century. For generations milk was delivered to market in cans or earthen crocks and doled out to the consumer, who carried it home in his own pail or bottle.

The first known patent for milk bottles was issued to the Warren Glass Works Company on March 23, 1880. Three years later the Whiteman Milk Jar was patented, and the same year, Dr. Henry D. Thatcher invented a milk bottle with a similar closure to that employed on the Lightning fruit jar, A bail type fastener. The Thatcher container was the first embossed milk bottle.

In 1889, Thatcher revolutionized the industry by introducing the Common Sense Milk Jar, which had a grove inside the bottle upon which rested a heavily waxed paper cap. In the next twenty years the great majority of milk bottle makers began to use wide mouth bottles and this cheap sanitary closure.

The vast majority of milk bottles date from the era of the automatic bottle machine. It is very difficult to obtain pre-1900 specimens.

Embossed decoration is the major attraction of milk bottles since there are only a few basic forms; round, square, squat, and cream top (a container with a bulbous upper section in which cream could collect). Most producers marked their bottles, and many added houses, barns, animals (particularly cows), human figures, and patriotic symbols.

In the 1930's the Applied Color Label was patented (see separate information sheet on A.C.L.'s). Many dairies found that it was cheaper to have the "painted labels" made, instead of the embossed labels.

The colors of milk bottles are also limited. Most consumers insisted on a clear glass vessel so that they could easily see the quality of the milk. It is difficult to find bottles in the other shades used, mostly amber and green. Milk containers range in size from inch high samples, or creamers, to gallon bottles, and the collector has many to chose from. In fact, most who follow this branch of the hobby collect only the containers from their own area.

Examples of milk bottles in this display are representative of most of the types of bottles that can be found in the Northern Illinois area. Most small towns had at least one or more dairy that supplied them with milk. There are literally hundreds of different Chicago and Northern Illinois milk bottles to collect, in virtually every known size.

Information extracted from A TREASURY OF AMERICAN BOTTLES, by William C. Ketchum, Jr.


Target Balls are just what they sound like. They were glass balls, that were used as targets, for trap shooting. Target balls were used the same way as clay pigeons are today.

Target balls are quite difficult to locate which tends to make even common ones fairly expensive. One reason that they are so difficult to find, is that they were made to be destroyed.

On occasion, they have been found among Christmas ornaments, since the shape and size is similar. Very few makers bothered to put their names on the balls that they made. The balls might have come from such a maker who had his own patent, or from a name brand such as Bogardus, or from a glassmaker such as Whitall-Tatum Co.

The most popular color was amber, followed by blue, purple or amethyst, and lastly green. There are many shades of each color.

Some balls are very plain, while some have an embossed pattern. Here, the ridges in the glass were supposed to help prevent the tiny lead shot from ricocheting off the ball without breaking it.

The first practical ball trap was invented by Captain Adam H. Bogardus in 1877. It threw the balls away in a 60 foot arc. Most shoots were held on fields near town, causing problems with grazing cows, sheep & pigs rooting in the broken glass fragments. Some shoots were held over lakes or ponds to avoid this problem.

Target balls, unlike fish net floats, can be identified by a short, rough, open neck where the ball was broken off the blowpipe during manufacture. The balls were blown, usually by mouth, in a mold. Target balls for the most part, are very uniform in size, regardless as to who the manufacturer was. Floats are sealed up so as not to fill with water and sink.

Target balls were used at shooting galleries in amusement parks with elaborate mechanical means to move racks of them or shake them, but the main use became the Wild West Shows such as Buffalo Bill's in which Annie Oakley was the feature attraction as a sharpshooter with rifle, shotgun and pistol, frequently shooting from a galloping horse.

Considering the thousands of glass target balls that were destroyed, it seems remarkable that so many have turned up for collectors.

In 1885, the modern clay pigeon became popular and shooters felt it gave more lifelike action of a bird. By the turn of the century, glass target balls were no longer in use in competitive shooting, but were still in use up to 1920 in the Wild West shows.

Of the 100+ different target balls known by collectors, only three are attributable to the Northern Illinois area. One of those, the amber E.E. Eaton, Chicago, is included in the 1995 National Bottle Show display of Northern Illinois glass.

(edited from the article GLASS TARGET BALLS, by Stanley Sherwood, printed in the 1992 Expo Souvenir Book)

Asa Soule and the Hop Bitters Co

-Special Feature Story- The Story of Asa Soule and the Hop Bitters Co.

During the 1870�s Soules Hop Bitters became one of the most popular nostrums to hit the market. Rising from 5th to its height of 2nd in sales of medicine. It claimed it was the greatest medicine ever made, the best in blood purifying, liver regulating, and life and health restoring, all this without intoxicating. The product did however contain high-powered whiskey and was marked in London, Antwerp, Melbourne and Toronto. In no time at all Soule became a millionaire. Asa Soule was the eleventh child from a Quaker family, before his successful bitters he had several occupations : farming, fruit-growing, real-estate, banking, and hotel management. Upon arriving in New York he scraped up enough capital to buy out the owner of Doyles Bitters, others claim he cheated Doyle out of it. In 1873 Soule moved the plant to Rochester, where he strengthened the formula and changed the name to Hop Bitters. Soule was well liked in the community, he was handsome, well dressed and above all a pleasant man who contributed to his church and other worthwhile causes. Baseball began to grow in popularity and to capulize on this Asa bought out the bankrupt Albany Club and sponsored it as the team of Rochester, the local press acclaimed him a hero! He bought the team new uniforms with the words �Hop Bitters� in scarlet against gray across the chest, for this was the Baseball clubs new name. The local ballpark was also re-named �Hop Bitters Park�. Each player was given a tablespoon of Hop Bitters before the game. Unfortunately this did not appear to work as the team soon slid into 9th place in a league of 9 teams. Soule then doubled the portion the player received and managed to get the team into 8th place, however their team was officially thrown out of their league when Soule was caught trying to buy a new first baseman. After the teams break up, Soule bought a new pitcher and formed a new baseball team known as the �New Hop Bitters Team Club�. Unlike the first team, they had a good season. Several other Hop Bitters teams formed all bearing the Soule insignia. Around this time Soule�s Panacea, a new medicine was introduced into the Rochester area and once again the money flowed in. In 1880 the baseball team went slowly downhill, the manager spent $400 on a drunken spree, players were involved in gambling this along with the poor performance on the field, caused a lack of public confidence and attendance fell. The team became a regular subject for the press and newspapers to joke at, Mr.Soule was known as the �Medicated Sportsman�. Seeing all the negative publications he was getting Soule withdrew his support for the team. Soule sponsored a single-shel sculing match (a boat race) between Charles Courtney of New York (who at the time was one of the best) and Edward Hanlan of Toronto staking $6,000 as a prize. Once again advertising it as the Hop Bitters Prize Race. With Courtney renaming his shell the �Hop Bitters�. Although most people felt the race was fixed betting was fast and furious. The morning of the race, it was discovered Courtney�s shell had been sawed in half (apparently the guards were away playing cards). Courtney refused to use any other shell even though the referee announced the race was still on. Hanlan alone rowed the course and was declared the official winner. Soule was not present, for when he heard the news of the shell he suddenly discovered he had pressing business elsewhere. Hanlan found there was no prize money to be claimed at the bank. Soule had withdrawn it, claiming there had been no race, and offered to stake his bet on another future race, which occurred in the Spring of 1880 - Soule sponsored Courtney once again who lost in what appeared to be another fixed match. No more sports promotions for Soule, he was however watchful on the new product Warners Sake Kidney & Liver Cure which began to outsell his product. Warner achieved his publicity by sponsoring an observatory in Rochester. Soule tried to follow in his path by endorsing the small University of Rochester, which later turned him down. He left Rochester to build a town of his own, he and his nephews settled on Western Kansas. There new cities were springing up, all that was needed was irrigation, transportation and a man of vision. Land was bought from the government dirt cheap, a 90-mile irrigation canal was formed, along with a sugar mill and a railroad from Dodge City to Montezuma was constructed. Soule bought the Dodge City Waterworks, founded the 1st National Bank, and gave 40 acres on which the Soule College was built, opening in 1888 although lacking attendance. The building switched hands several times after Soules death. First a Methodist Church then a Catholic Church running a girls academy. In 1942 a tornado destroyed the building, however it was rebuilt and presently operates as St. Mary of the Plains College. The irrigation canal he built opened in 1886 after a short wile he sold the bonds to a group of English investors for $1.1 Million in gold, by 1890 the canal was useless because of drought-like conditions. Since there was nothing to ship the railroad also failed which was also sold to investors. After Kansas Soule returned to Rochester making money with new cures that he could dream up. When asked if the bitters really worked, Soule smiled while walking into his mansion and replied �you can see what they did for me�.

Besides Hop Bitters, Soule Marketed :

  1. Soules Hop Cure for Colds and Coughs 1870-80.
  2. Soules Absolute and irristable cure for the liquor, narcotic and tobacco habits -1890
  3. Hop Ointment
  4. Dr. Soules Balm Syrup - prior to 1872
There are 21 different variations of the Hop Bitters Bottle. The differences being in the size of the letters, colors and hop design pictured upon the bottle. The differences are a result of the many glass-houses they came out of. Amber is the common color although some specimens have been found in green, they were produced during 1872-1900.

Want Ads

looking for info on a milk embossed "Richmond Pure Milk Dairy". We don't think it is a Va. milk and would like to know if anyone is familiar with it. please email Ed at CLOVERHILL@Gems.VCU.EDU

Looking for Richmond, Petersburg or Va. inks. We can't seem to find them around here! Please email Ed at CLOVERHILL@Gems.VCU.EDU

Wanted: milk bottles from New Jersey dairies (Ideal, Welsh, etc.). Contact Robi Salierno at:

Wanted to buy: Soda and medicine bottles with NC embossed on them. Also interested in exotic or one of kind bottles esp. rare or unusual PEPSI bottles (or coke). Please email me at


2 - 8 inch, purple coca-cola bottles Molded labels $40.00 EA
2 - 8 inch, Light Blue coca-cola bottles Molded labels $40.00 EA
1 - 6 inch, Green 7-UP bottle molded label $ 10.50
2 - 7 1/2 inch, Green 7-UP baked labels $ 10.50 EA
2 - 9 inch, clear Sun-Crest bottles baked labels $ 10.00 EA
1 - 8 inch, clear, baked label Sunny-Brook $10.00
2 - 10 inch, light blue walkers wisky bottles $25.00 EA
20 - 1 pint, clear milk bottles $ 7.50 EA
2 - 9 1/2, inch, molded label-Warchestershire sause bottles light blue $6.00 EA
1 - 9 1/2, inch, brown, molded label-Javex bleach bottle $15.00
1 - 8 inch, clear, baked label-Canada Dry carbonated water bottle $ 10.00
1 - 8 1/2 inch, green, molded label-Sprite bottle $ 15.00
1 - 9 inch, clear, molded label-Coca-Cola bottle $ 10.00
3 - 6 inch, purple, molded label-Welches grape juice bottles $ 8.00 EA
1 - 6 1/4 inch,purple molded label-Randal bottle $15.00
1 - 10 inch, brown,, molded, label-Perfex Bleach bottle $25.00
1 - 10 1/2 inch, clear, molded label-Clyco -Thymoline bottle $ 7.00
1 - 11 inch, clear, baked label-Mission of California bottle $11.00
1 - 8 inch,light blue, molded label-Eno's Fruit Salt bottle $ 12.00
Assorted medicine bottles $ 10.00 EA
1 - 9 inch, clear, baked label-Red Rock Cola bottle $25.00
1 - 10 inch, clear, baked label Dreweries bottle $25.00
2 - 9 1/2 inch, light blue, molded label-El. Dreweries bottles $ 25.00 EA
1 - 10 inch, clear, baked label Plains-City Beverages bottle $ 25.00
1 - 8 inch, purple, octogonal diamitar, pickle jar $20.00
1 - 8 1/2 inch cartor`s HP sauce light blue,$ 3.00 (3 inch crack)
I also have a ink well for sale it is, light blue, 2 1/2,Carter`s ink made in Canada $50.00

To buy any of the above Email : James/Joanne Blair at

Glenn's For Sale list can be found at
Happy Collecting : Glenn
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