I have dug 5 of them in my bottle digging adventures, and 3 were different; the lithia springs is on two of them; the other two do not have springs embossed, and the last has a crude image of the seated woman without much detail. Any of you dig any different varieties, or know the scarcer types?
I know of at least thirty variations, the teals and oldest amber always command the most attention but are not the rarest. I have pictures on another PC of two aqua's that are very hard to come by I'll do a file transfer later and post them. I have twenty different ones myself.
An introduction to Buffalo Lithia Water[/i] “The first European-Americans to visit Buffalo Springs in Virginia and record their visit are believed to have been a survey group led by William Byrd II in 1728. In his diary, later to be published as "The History of the Dividing Line: a Journey to Eden", Byrd poetically wrote that the waters of Buffalo Springs was "what Adam drank in Paradise … by the help of which we perceived our appetites to mend, our slumbers to sweeten, the stream of life to run cool and peaceably in our veins, and if ever we dreamt of women, they were kind." Byrd's survey party also sighted many signs of buffalo near the springs, hence the name Buffalo Springs.” The tract of land was first recorded being purchased by one Ambrose Gregory in 1798 and later selling the land to John Speed in 1817. It was John Speed who sowed the first seeds of development by building a tavern that catered to the local population and travelers by selling meals. The property changed ownership several times until by 1839 guided by various visionaries it had become a small resort. The local fame of “medicinal benefits” derived from drinking the spring water was starting to spread to the surrounding regions. Thomas F. Goode obtained the property in 1874 and his vision of what Buffalo Springs could be; led to national prominence and the bottles we collect today. It was Goode who had a chemical analysis completed of Buffalo Springs No.2 which reported that the spring was unusually high in Lithia. Goode promptly changed the name and was doing business in 1900 as Virginia Buffalo Lithia Springs[/i] and selling “Natures Great Specific for Dyspepsia and Gout” to the world in earnest. It would be advertised for, “Uric Acid Diathesis, Gout, Nephritic Colic, Calculi, Bright’s Disease, Rheumatic Gout, Rheumatism, a valuable adjunct to the physician in the treatment of fevers, malaria, typho-malaria, and atypical typhoid” and “recommended physicians”! Goode’s bottling operation at the resort is believed to have been started about 1876 for Spring Number 2 as Spring Number 1 was reported to give headaches to users. Once bottled these were packaged twelve to a wooden crate and transported by horse drawn wagon to the railroad depot in nearby Clarksville for shipping to customers for a retail of price of $5.00 per case. As the resort business grew so did demand for the perceived and much touted medicinal benefits of the “lithia” spring water. So much so that in 1890 a spur for the Atlantic and Danville railroad was laid to connect Buffalo Springs to the main line in town. [/b] It has been estimated that Buffalo Springs Lithia Water[/i] was sold in an estimated 20,000 stores comprisingmainly of pharmacies and grocers throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States during its heyday. Thomas F. Goode’s passing in 1905 was followed by several events which would lead to the eventual demise of the now world famous Buffalo Lithia Water[/i]. Possibly the single greatest was [/b]the application of discoveries and new medical knowledge concerning the causes and treatments of disease and illness. Piloting the creation and passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act passed by United States Congress in 1906, changing for ever the business practices of patent medicine. As a result of this passage a study was completed in 1907 from which the government shared tests that established the Potomac River actually had five times the concentration of lithium than did Buffalo Lithia Water. Part of the court ruling stated that "… for a person to obtain any therapeutic dose of lithium by drinking Buffalo Lithia Spring Water he would have to drink from 150,000 to 225,00 gallons per day." It was after this ruling, in 1908 that the business altered the Buffalo Lithia Water[/i] brand name to its official name, Buffalo Lithia Springs Water[/i] trying to end run the intent of the law. It was a good attempt and bought more time to continue touting the lithia properties of the water. This ended in 1914 when the US Supreme Court ruled that Buffalo Lithia Springs[/i] could not use the word "lithia" to advertise or sell their spring water. This is another significant milestone to bottle collectors as the name now embossed on bottles would become Buffalo Mineral Water[/i]. Sales plummeted for the water due to the lack of medical value for the water and the golden years had come to an end. The resort continued and water was sold for many years to come until ceasing operations in the 1940’s. Niccolo Machiavelli once said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, obliviously he was not a collector of old bottles! As collectors we know reproductions follow supply and demand for popular pieces in every category. I always believed my “Buffalo Girls” were safe as it’s hard to almost impossible not to find several for sale at given day of the week at very moderate prices. Always the same half gallon size and condition varies as much as the girls, from poor to attic mint, from cave drawing to a racy lady showing a bare leg. The most common color found is various shades of aquamarine followed by occasional shades of pale green to keep things interesting. Even more interesting are the colors like teal, orange-amber, light blue, emerald green, brilliant green, topaz and a reported cobalt blue that most collectors have never seen. These are the ones that make your heart skip a beat when one turns up for sale. Still the girls were reproduced and by all accounts I have read came from Italy during the 1970’s and were sold as accents for home decorations. Today they are causing confusion among both novice and experienced collectors as to how to tell the difference between the new and old. The reproduced examples I have personally seen have been limited to three different colors carry the exact same embossed design and “Buffalo Mineral Springs Water / Natures Materia Medica / Trade Mark”. This is an original old design used by Buffalo Mineral Springs and can be found in different colors. In order to understand how to tell the differences between the old and new let’s first consider the colors of known reproductions. Pink, turquoise and light amber, of these three colors nothing was ever made close to pink. It simply was not an original color but I have seen it offered as a “Depression Glass” bottle. Turquoise like pink was never made but in the early bottling days at Buffalo Springs there was a medium true teal color used which is quite scarce and seldom found. The reproduction is a dark turquoise color and measuring approximately 10 ½ inches tall like its counter parts. The original teal design has not been reproduced and measures approximately 9 ½ inches tall, I have seen this same bottle offered for sale once with a well respected auction firm in a “brilliant bluish/green” which actually more green than teal. The light amber tends to cause the greatest confusion as most collectors have not seen an original that was produced in a similar color. Unlike the other colors this design is correct and originals can be found in aquamarine, pale green, clear, orange-amber and topaz. The best way to understand the subtle differences between new and old is a side by side comparison as shown here. Top left and center are originals the one on the right is a reproduction, bottom row: topaz, clear, new turquoise. A very rough draft I am working on. Comments?
Hello all of you, I was just looking at my Lithia Water bottle and it seems the pitcher is shorter and has more bulge to the body. It also has a larger handle on the pitcher. The mold seams on mine go all the way up to the applied ring finish. The lady's sleeves have a more pronounced hour glass shape and her hair is different. The bottom on mine has a plain dome, the mold seam comes in to the dome - the dome is 3-1/8" in diameter.