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Jim
11-23-2011, 06:24 PM
I just picked up another iron pontil Soult & Zerbe Lewistown soda! This one is a bit different from my other one. Here is the new one:






https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/4114/C70DBE6FCF5044D09B580739FC8B1B3A.jpg

Jim
11-23-2011, 06:30 PM
Now, here is this bottle with its (almost) twin. I say almost because there are a few differences. This bottle is a bit shorter, which could be just a manufacture variation. However, the embossing is a bit higher on my other example, and the shape of the two bottles just look different. The embossing is identical, letter by letter. The taller bottle is also a bit darker in color, which again is likely to have simply been a manufacture-related difference as opposed to being intentional.

Soult & Zerbe did bottle both sodas and mineral waters. Were these two bottles made for two different products, or is it just coincidental that they look so different? The taller bottle is the only one I have seen like it. The few other examples of this bottle that I have seen were all identical to the shorter one that I just got.






https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/4114/9E44B6A7EAE14ECCBE98C7697EADF43C.jpg

Jim
11-23-2011, 06:34 PM
One last pic, a double dose of iron [:)] I love this picture. Any thoughts or discussion on the difference between the two bottles are invited. I've been trying to figure this out for a while, but now that I have both "types", it really has me interested. Thanks. ~Jim




https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/4114/79992D1043D1411AA3612D4FB1E5C458.jpg

cyberdigger
11-23-2011, 06:44 PM
Neat bottles and neat question!
I have just been studying what should be 3 identical shaped bottles from presumably the same mold.. although the slugplate in the center bottle is clearly different from the other 2, none of the shoulders line up quite right.. I can't help but wonder if these bottles are always completely hardened by the time they are taken out of the mold..

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/10263/7088290015CB462CB3E5EB78BD8B3EBB.jpg

Jim
11-23-2011, 07:00 PM
That is a possibility, Charlie. The neck and shoulders both look longer and skinnier on the taller one. It may have been pulled out of the mold a bit early and stretched a little. The higher placement of the embossing still has me puzzled, though.

By the way, those are cool little bottles you have there. Most of our early local crown tops are pretty bland, no greens, no really different shapes and only one amber. There is a 30s deco soda in green, but nothing early except for the pontiled pony, of course. ~Jim

JOETHECROW
11-23-2011, 10:11 PM
ORIGINAL: Jim

I just picked up another iron pontil Soult & Zerbe Lewistown soda! This one is a bit different from my other one. Here is the new one:






https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/4114/C70DBE6FCF5044D09B580739FC8B1B3A.jpg


Nice color on that bottle Jim!

David Fertig
11-23-2011, 10:23 PM
Nice.

I'm a sucker for variations.

Jim - I just got my little guy home from the Hosp. He was due on Christmas, but didn't want to wait. I'll try to get to some boxes here and see what I can find for you. Although I am sure I don't have any of these!

Jim
11-23-2011, 10:37 PM
Thanks, Joe. I love green in any shade, and this one is really pretty.

Congratulations, Dave! I'm very glad to hear that. Whenever you get time to find me something, it's cool. I'll continue to keep an eye out for more goodies for you. ~Jim

baltbottles
11-23-2011, 11:01 PM
Jim,

I would say you have two different molds represented there. Could you post a better picture of the two side by side.

Chris

Wheelah23
11-23-2011, 11:04 PM
ORIGINAL: baltbottles

Jim,

I would say you have two different molds represented there. Could you post a better picture of the two side by side.

Chris



Different molds for sure! I've encountered it often enough around here. Very nice bottle Jim!

bottlekid76
11-23-2011, 11:41 PM
Those are great Jim! Nice color and excellent pontils. Excellent addition to your collection!

~Tim

Jim
11-24-2011, 12:11 AM
Thanks, guys. I love these things.

Chris, I will get some good pictures of them tomorrow in natural light. It would be really great to know that there are two different molds known for these bottles. The higher placement of the embossing on my taller example led me to think the same thing. The letters being identical is what made me wonder. Every last serif and small detail is the same. On the one bottle, the Z in ZERBE appears to be recut after another letter was peened out. I will look closely at the other one to see if there is any evidence of the same thing on it. Of course, maybe they botched both molds and had to fix them. Thanks, and I'll get those pics up. ~Jim

Jim
11-26-2011, 12:36 AM
I just heard from our good friend Tod (sodasandbeers). The variation in these bottles is the result of a mold alteration. The mold was originally making the bottles in a slightly larger capacity than what was desired. The mold was cut down to correct this. This explains the embossing characters being identical, but positioned differently. The neck also seems to have been retooled to better fit the new, slightly smaller sized bottles.

This is very exciting for several reasons. There are now two variations of this bottle confirmed. Also, I think it is fairly safe to assume that the taller bottle almost has to be one of the earliest examples of this bottle, which would date it right around 1855. The extreme rarity of the taller version suggests that the change was made early, perhaps after just one order of bottles. I can't imagine them intentionally destroying the larger bottles when the change was made, but if they disliked them enough to have the mold reworked, who knows?

Hopefully, I will eventually track down a few more of these bottles to compare. This has been very interesting for me. I love these bottles, and they just got a little more interesting. A big thanks to Chris, Tod, and everyone else for your help. ~Jim

PS- Better pics are coming as soon as I can get them in daylight. I have not been able to get home before it starts getting dark. Winter/ early dark sux [>:]

pontilguy
12-13-2011, 05:46 PM
Nice bottles, Jim. At this time, I don't have any Lewistown examples in my collection. I wouldn't mind a Soult & Zerbe though!!!

Jim
12-13-2011, 08:06 PM
Thanks, Bob. These are Lewistown's only known pontiled soda. They are very hard to find, but I have been fortunate enough to snag two of them in a little over two years, both mint. If I ever come across another one and it's not another different mold variation that I need, I would probably be willing to trade it, since I have two in my collection. I only know of about eight of them anywhere, but there could be another one or two hiding out somewhere. The only other squat from Lewistown is the smooth-base aqua F.H. Wentz, and it is actually more rare than the Soult & Zerbe. The S&Z is still the "king" to me, being green and pontiled.

I think a Soult & Zerbe would fit right in with your early PA soda collection. I'll keep you in mind if I get another one, I'd like to see you get one. ~Jim