View Full Version : Find any Western bottles in the East

09-09-2009, 02:20 PM
I've found a lot of East Coast Bottles in the West. I even found 4 Pennsylvania bottles in Alaska a couple years ago - didn't dig them, but got them from a collector who dug them. Has anyone dug any Western Bottles bottles back East? Really interested in Nevada bottles, but just curious about how far any Western bottles may have traveled. Thnks...Ron

glass man
09-09-2009, 06:25 PM
Interesting question Ron. I can't remember digging a western bottle ,unless CALFORNIA FIG SYRUP counts.

09-09-2009, 07:10 PM
I've dug a few fig syrups, a Homer's California Ginger Brandy, and an olive oil from the Los Angeles Olive Growers Assn... theres a beauty of an amber blob beer from Cal in the antique store here, but I cant remember the embossing...

09-10-2009, 08:17 PM
I have dug up 2 J Riegers Distributors Kansas City Mo. in the last week or so. One reads on the bottom 32 ozs full quart, the other does not. Seen one on an antique bottle site, guy wanted 70 bucks. Does that sound like a reasonable price. If so I will sell mine for 1/2 that. One will need a serious cleaning though. Have a good one ppl.

09-10-2009, 08:52 PM
Dug two of these!


09-11-2009, 02:29 AM
I can tell you, in my research for writing the book on Early California Glassworks & their bottles that very little western made glass bottles made it as exports to the Eastern states. California was a unique situation, within an incredibly short span of time after the gold discovery this relatively new territory became an instant metropolis with hords of people clamoring for goods and services, most saavy individuals learned rather quickly that the lure of the precious metal was not easily obtained and those individuals quickly found that a good source of revenue could be had by being the supplier of goods to those who seeked their fortunes of gold.

In all the early 1850's S.F papers most of the contents of the paper were filled with advertisements for liquor, medicines, sodas. The incredible amount of cargo that came off the ships from back east would just boggle a bottle collectors mind. I have an incredible collection of advertisements for Old Sachem Bitters and Wigwam Tonics that were being auctioned off from ships where there cargo was not picked up by the consigners, they were selling cases of a dozen bottles for $4, another ad were 1000 Bryants Stomach Bitters were being auctioned off, or 1100 cases of Catawba Wine Bitters. The amount of Eastern bottled goods into the San Francisco and Sacramento areas was just incredible. We definitely have the better advantage here in California in digging a lot of early eastern bottles.

09-11-2009, 01:08 PM
Back in the infancy of bottle digging in the West, when pontilled sodas and meds were coming out of the ground like cicadas, the ratio of Eastern to Western bottles was 10 to 1. Colored sodas from just about any city along the Eastern Seaboard were found in great numbers. Strangely enough, they were often seen as undesirable by the bottle crazy diggers of that time. The halcyon days of plowing through Old Sacramento, Benicia, and San Francisco are largely gone, but the memories remain.

09-11-2009, 02:35 PM
Mike...sad, but true...those days are gone, but you still manage to frequently find good spots, but I'm afraid even that will become scare in the not too distant future. I only had a taste of the 'good old days' of digging when I went out with my Grandfather in the 60's and 70's. I didn't fully appreciate it at the time, but I still have the memories and appreciate them now. I took my Granddaughter out last month with norcalhunter. Good time and found a few and I hope she remembers in 20 years.

Warren - where can I find a copy of your book?

09-18-2009, 04:50 PM

It is not published yet, I'm still in the stage of formatting the context, hopefully early next year.

09-18-2009, 08:29 PM
unless CALFORNIA FIG SYRUP counts.

Sorry - Fig Syrups don't count. [8|] Even the trade cards are common.

So this Burt soda I found a couple-three months ago was actually a pretty good find as far as what is left on accessible land...although Burts are rated "common" in Markota's book which I agree with. Notice the tiny chip on the front base at "5 o'clock" from being scooped and then dumped at Sunset. Built to last. I haven't even looked at this bottle since I took the picture.


09-19-2009, 10:28 AM
I live in Northern Michigan, and for some strange reason, have dug a few western bottles. We dug two DR VINCENT'S ANGEL OF LIFE from San Fransisco, and a friend dug a broken one about 40 miles north of me, and yet another was dug in Cadillac about 30 miles south of me. Not bad for a pretty rare western med. I also dug two square amber GUN WA'S CHINESE REMEDYS, I think those are from Colorado. Lastly, Paul Bata and I dug two early very crude cobalt cylinders embossed on the shoulder GWH that I was told were from Wyoming and blown at Pacific Glassworks in 1869, I think the one who gave me the info was Mike McNeil. It does fit with where we dug the GWH, the pit was in the yard of a federal land agent who had traveled to Wyoming in his job capacity about that time. I still feel it is amazing that these bottles made it here in Northern Michigan as we are not in any direct travel paths for east to west. I also find it kind of weird that all three of my western bottles came in pairs....Bill

09-19-2009, 03:25 PM

D.B. Vincent actually left San Francisco in 1869 and moved to Wisconsin, so finding some of his bottles, either brand would not be unheard of.