Hey guys, just wanted to post my John G. Epping bottle collection. There are still a few more I need to complete it, but I still like the set I have. These are not rare, especially around Lexington & Louisville KY. Actually, most of them are downright common. What I like about these bottles is that Epping kept a similar design throughout the years bottling; the neck ring, Logo in the middle, then the rectangles on the bottom. Set: From left to right is oldest to newest (I think) Epps Cola & John G. Epping Epps Cola: This is the one I'm most curious about. From what I've seen, this must be the rarest, as it's the only one I've seen. The John G. Eppings come around pretty often, and the other four are pretty common around Kentucky. Does anyone know about the Epps Cola? I wonder if it's older than the John G. Epping bottle. Just based on style, it appears to be.
Josh Nice collection! Because of your interest in Epping bottles, I suspect you know more about them than anyone and that the company was established in 1863 and remained in operation well into the 1960s. I'm not familiar with the company myself, but I was able to find the following which might shed a little light on some of the dates ... [ Attachments ] 1. Earliest ad I can find pertaining to Epping's mineral water From ... The Kentucky Irish American (newspaper) ~ Louisville, Kentucky ~ June 4, 1904 2. Earliest reference I can find for Epp's Cola ~ One of about 200 Coca Cola imitators ~ Red arrow From ... The Cleveland Star ~ Shelby, North Carolina ~ January 30, 1917 3. Earliest stand-alone Epp's Cola ad I can find (But I do not know when it was first produced) From ... The Kentucky Irish American ~ Louisville, Kentucky ~ March 15, 1919
Here's a photo of Epping's operation in Lexington KY: Appears to be a high roller too. Considering the success he had, I'd say he was. Here he is (full length coat and hat) with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and the Louisville Colonels baseball team
Quick update. I purchased a new Epps bottle on Ebay. I didn't think much of it until last night after I cleaned it and put it with the other Eppings bottles. Epps Kola, McCabe Bottling Works I noticed that this bottle has Epps-Kola, and the other one has Epps Cola. It made me wonder if there were 2 products, or if Mr. Eppings changed the name? I found a lot of old newpaper references to the baseball teams that he owned, the Lexington Eppings and the Louisville Epps Kola, so at some point the name was Epps-Kola. What about the Epps Cola bottle? Here's just one clipping from 9/17/1930, LINK [blockquote]The Louisville Epps Kola baseball team, which last Sunday handed the Lexington Eppings one of the few defeats the local Bottlers have suffered this season, will return to Lexington Sunday for another tussle with the Epps, it was announced by Howard Turner today. [/blockquote]
Josh: Great bottle and great research. Does the deco-style Epps-Kola bottle have a design patent or any other info on it?
It said Patent Pending on it. I'll check for numbers later today/tomorrow. Here's what is perplexing me. You found reference for "Epps-Cola" for 1917-1919. I found the articles for the 1930's for "Epps-Kola". We could stop here and say he changed the name. However, if you look at the "Epps-Cola" bottle, the design matches the Eppings bottles from a later time frame, which would suggest it to be closer to those in age, but why not named Epps-Kola, if that name comes after Epps-Cola? Also, there are some amber Straight side Block & Script Epps-Kola bottles out there.
Josh: As you probably know, the codes are for the Graham Glass Company. The EG indicates the bottle was made at their Evansville, Indiana plant in 1924. The 2351 is probably a style code. Because it has Patent Pending on it, that indicates the patent was applied for during 1924 or possibly earlier in 1923. By the way, Graham Glass was purchased by the Owens Glass Company in 1916 but continued to use the Graham codes for several years. In 1929, Owens Glass and Illinois Glass merged to become Owens-Illinois Glass Company.
P.S. Design patents for Graham bottles are well documented and usually easy to find. However, I cannot find a patent for the Epps Kola bottle. Its possible it was applied for but not granted a patent because it was too similar to someone else's design. ???
Part of the fun of searching for bottles is sometimes you find something out of the ordinary. I came across this old oil lamp bottle and was surprised it had no damage whatsoever. With that handle it...