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Bottle Collecting For Beginners
A small group of collectible glass bottles
Bottles Are Beautiful
While we are now living in a world that leans towards plastic and paper, glass is something that will remain with us forever, especially if you happen to collect it in the form of old bottles.
Bottle collecting can be a very enjoyable hobby because it allows you to decide if you want to have only a few of them in your collection or a few thousand. The amount of bottles you decide to collect is entirely up to you.
Older glass bottles have their own personality, whether they have been cleaned for display or left as they were found, whether it be in a ditch or a deep hole or in an old barn or wherever their previous owners left them.
Bottles are very unique as the older ones were hand blown, giving each one their own personality and special shape. When you look at an older bottle, you might see the glass which has somewhat curved on the inside, making it even more special.
Glass bottles can come in a variety of colors, however the original ones, not the reproductions, were only available in a few colors such as clear, light and dark green, or even shades of blue. Some reproductions come in colors such as purple, a color that was not found in the glass bottles of the 1800's or even some from the 1900s. The color pallet is one of beauty and the shapes add to the special appearance of the bottles.
E.C. Booz's Bottles
One bottle that caught my attention one day while I happened to be browsing around in a local flea market was an E.C. Booz Old Cabin Whiskey bottle. Before you ask, this is the correct spelling, without an 'e' on the end of Booz. Booz was an actual distiller in Philadelphia who produced these beautifully-shaped log cabin bottles from 1840 until 1870.
I thought I was just picking up an unusual looking glass bottle that looked really neat, but I was surprised when I received a history lesson about this bottle. This bottle, at least one just like it, was handed out during the election of William Henry Harrison.
Now, back to the name of the man who made this bottle. The 'e' was later added to the end of his name as a result of the campaign of William Henry Harrison while he was handing out the log cabin shaped whiskey bottles. You can certainly learn a lot when picking up an old bottle just because it looked unusual.
The bottle pictured below is a reproduction of the original whiskey bottle, a bottle which in the world today is not worth but between $10 to $150. I was happy to purchase it for $8, and keep it on my shelf. I enjoy just looking at the bottle and was pleased to learn a little history behind it. I am not a huge collector by any means, but this bottle was beautiful. That's what makes this a fun hobby.
E.C. Booz's Old Cabin Whiskey Bottle (Reproduction)
On Orange Crush bottle is also another colorful collectible
This next bottle has a familiar name, known to the world as Orange Crush. Once again while browsing through a flea market, I spotted this bottle that really caught my eye.
An old glass brown soda bottle may not appeal to many people, but it is definitely a piece of American history. Not too many people have missed out on either seeing or drinking an orange crush. The name just seemed to propel it to higher standards.
I picked up this bottle because I liked the way it looked, still complete with the white writing on the front and writing on the back as well as having a curve to the bottle. This particular bottle, from what I could find out about it, was made anywhere from the 1940s until the mid 1970s.
The color of the bottle, while not the most beautiful color, had a purpose. Its purpose was to help protect the contents of the bottle from environmental deterioration. The drink was originally marketed as an orange soda. When it was first made, it was made with actual orange pulp in the bottles, but later removed from the recipe. While there are differing opinions on how much this bottle is worth, I was happy to hand the seller $2 and let it sit on my shelf. Bottle collecting does not have to be expensive to be enjoyable.
My orange crush bottle placed in a collection
Dr. W.B. Caldwell's Syrup Pepsin bottle
Long ago, well before my time anyway, there was an actual product known as Dr. W.B. Caldwell's syrup pepsin. The bottle is one that seems to be popular in shape and size for collectors. It was interesting to get yet another history lesson on another glass bottle.
Dr. Caldwell, whose name is on this particular glass bottle, was an actual doctor. Pepsin was a popular medicine beginning around the 1850s all the way until 1912 as many large companies used pepsin for their products. This particular little bottle pictured below, or at least one like it was around from 1895 to 1962. It had a corked-style mouth (see picture below) until 1942 when a screw cap replaced the cork top.
This bottle is one of the most common collectible bottles, with an estimated value of $1 to $2 by some, however, it has been valued by some collectors to be worth around $25. Once again, not much money to spend on a hobby.
Bottle collecting can be enjoyed by both young and old. It is a great hobby, giving the collector the power to decide just how big to make their collections.