Agana Guam Hobbleskirt Coke

daven2nl

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Gentleman,

I've been off the radar the last few months after making some posts here sharing my Guam finds and exchanging some Coca Cola bottle information with some of the regulars. I still have the data I collected from my WW2 coke bottle survey I did in the jungle and plan on continuing with plans to write a paper on my finds - just need to find the time.

One of the questions that came up was whether or not there was a Guam embossed Hobbleskirt from the time before WW2 when a man named Butler had a Coke franchise and bottled here on island.

Today I visited the Pacific War Museum and had a great conversation with the curator. One of the first questions she asked me when she discovered I find a lot of coke bottles was "have you found an Agana Guam coke bottle yet?". The museum actually has one on display, and I was able to take a photo through the glass. Unfortunately their bottle is broken - chipped at the base and broken at the top - and it looks like a scuba dive find.

Apparently there is one more known Agana Guam coke bottle known to exist - by one of the descendants of Butler himself. I attempted to visit their store but it was closed. Rumor is that the National Park Service here on Guam was given a couple found by hikers, but we suspect those are simply WW2 era clear Hobbleskirt bottles.

So - Agana Guam marked Hobbleskirt coke bottles do exist. As far as we know, there are two bottles in existence. I'm going to see if I can't find one myself in the time I have remaining here on Guam. It will be challenging - the two largest villages on the island were completely destroyed during the liberation in 1944, and during the Japanese occupation all things American were illegal - so for all we know the majority of bottles were destroyed.

I asked but they did not know the date of their bottle. Next time I go back I'll see if they can't let me pull it out of the glass enclosure to get some better photos and look at the date.

-Dave

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SODAPOPBOB

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Dave ~

Welcome back. We haven't heard from you since July 4th 2012. Here's the link to the original discussion regarding your and other WWII related Coke bottles that was started by member Adapt on June 6, 2012.

Thanks for sharing the "Butler / Agana, Guam" bottle. On the last page of this link (Post #66) is some info I found on Butler that will bring everyone up to speed.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/forum/m-525898/mpage-1/key-/tm.htm

Bob

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SODAPOPBOB

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PS ~

Dave

I sent Bill Porter an Email with a picture of the Agana, Guam bottle to see if he can determine whether it is a 1915 - 1923 - or D'Patent bottle. I'll let you know when I hear back from him.

Bob
 

SODAPOPBOB

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Dave ~

I heard from Bill Porter who said ...

"His best guess is, because of the large lettering on the base, that the Agana, Guam bottle is most likely a Chattanooga Glass 1923 Patent bottle made sometime after 1932. But he also said there is a possibility it could be a very early Pat. D 105529 made prior to 1942."

He said if you ever find a stash of them that he would be interested in acquiring one.

Bob
 

SODAPOPBOB

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This is from Bill Porter's book which list the various dates for the five different hobbleskirt bottles ...


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SODAPOPBOB

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Dave ~

When you take the following into account ...

1. Where this link states ...

http://guampedia.com/chester-carl-butler/

"In 1923, Chester Butler traveled to Atlanta, Georgia and obtained a franchise for a new brand of cola drink known as Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola Company was young and eager to introduce its product into new markets, and thus Butler was granted the first license to manufacture and sell the product outside the continental U.S."

and ...

2. The fact Bill Porter's checklist indicates that even though the 1923 patent bottle is embsseded as such, in reality it wasn't really made/issued until 1927-28.

Thus, this indicates to me that Chester Butler's first bottle was a 1915 patent because that was the only bottle available in 1923 when Butler received his Coca Cola franchise.

And because Butler was only in operation until ...

"The bottling plant, movie theater and Butler’s Emporium were completely destroyed during the American bombardment of Hagåtña in 1944."

This indicates the possibility of three variations of the Butler bottle, which would be ...

1. 1915 Patent (Issued 1917 through 1930)
2. 1923 Patent (Issued 1927 through 1938)
3. D'Patent .... (Issued 1938 through 1951)

So just in case you thought your hunt involved finding only one bottle, it now looks like there is a possibly of three to be found. (Lol)

Good luck and please keep us posted.

Thanks.

Bob
 

daven2nl

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Bob,

Thanks for the reply and all the info.

I regret not specifically asking to see the bottle closely. I was with my family and since it was my 1st time there at the museum, I didn't want to press the issue. I did give them a WW2 canteen covered with engraved artwork and the name of the owner who was wounded in action on Guam. I have a couple other items to donate to them as well for their collection... so I suspect at some point I'll get to see it more closely for sure.

If/when that time comes I will definitely get the date/mfr info from the bottle.

It would have to been made prior to December 1941 - that is when the Japanese occupied Guam.

My challenge now is to fine one (hopefully more) of these old bottles. Challenge is there because I have no pre-war information showing where the town dumps were, ETC. Add to this, the two largest towns on Guam, including Agana where the bottling plant was located, was completely destroyed in 1944. In fact, all the rubble of Agana was bulldozed into the reef flat area and is now a park - including baseball stadium and parking lots. No digging possible nor allowed. The other village - Sumay - where the Pan American flights passed through - was also destroyed and was consolidated into a huge military base. I have some aerial photographs from 1945 that show a couple undeveloped areas around the old town I could explore, but these are mostly covered with thick underbrush and it will be very hard to find anything.

My best bet would be to find a family dump on one of the old pre-war ranches on northern Guam (not many of them). In all my exploration over the past two years, I have yet to find any. I don't suspect that much was buried because the ground here is all coral based limestone - not easy to dig!

-Dave
 

daven2nl

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One more thing... I will start bringing a note pad with me and pen, and document the coke bottles I come across while exploring (I find a lot). I've documented about 150 so far...

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Not sure what anyone will do with this data, but it seems like information is lacking from the WW2 era with regards to Coca-Cola bottles (the clear ones for troops overseas in particular).

The information I'm gathering is color (green or clear), bottle type (Pat-D or other), mold code, MFR, date, and any embossing on the base. Most don't have any.

If there is any other info I should be collecting, please let me know. FYI, I see most of these coke bottles on military property and their removal is technically prohibited due to potential historical significance. As a result, I have a few examples I plan on photographing (to supplement/explain the data I'm collecting) and the rest I leave where found. I've returned many of the ones I've cleaned up and photographed... I don't have room for a big collection myself and starting an Ebay business selling American and Japanese WW2 bottles is probably not a good idea.
 

Bill H

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I sincerely apologize if I have the wrong area of this forum to ask my question, but I just joined today and this site is huge. I ran across it two days ago, and it's great. In any event I have a case of 24 clear glass hobble-skirt Coca Cola bottles I found on the North Slope some 20 years ago. The bottle manufacturer's logo on several of the bottle skirts is "6N<(I)>45". On the base of all the bottles is a small single raised dimple or dot but no other writing. The sides of the bottles have the script Coca Cola on them with the words "TRADE-MARK" below the script. The bottles are 7 3/4 inches high. In reading through the various postings in this site it looks like this bottle was manufacuted by Owens-Illinois in 1945 by the plant (#6) in Charleston, W VA. Would anyone know what the "N" behind the "6" represents, or can someone direct me to a series of posts that might have some additional information. The wood case holding the bottles has both requisition and purchase order numbers stenciled on the side, and is marked "COCA-COLA EXPORT CORP." Because the last digits of the requisition number are "-45" my assumption right now is the coke was ordered in 1945 by a military unit stationed in the Alaska Territory. Thank you very much.

Bill
 

daven2nl

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Bill,

Welcome to the forum. I am mostly a lurker here myself, and there are others who will surely respond who have a lot more info than I do (SODAPOPBOB being one of them).

You've found what I find in the jungle here on Guam all the time. Those are "wartime cokes" - clear coke bottles manufactured for bottlers overseas. Part of the whole "a Coke for every soldier" campaign Coca-Cola ran during the war. Brilliant, really, because when all those soldiers went home... they probably continued drinking coke. For every 30 WW2 coke bottles I find, I might find one Pepsi-Cola bottle.

You are correct that they are manufactured by the Owens-Illinois company in 1945. I suspect, but may be wrong that the 6N is the mold mark, not the plant number. You might be right however. Most coke bottles from that era have a number only to the left of the mfr mark, not a letter. I find letters on many of the clear WW2 cokes like you have however. I think this might still be somewhat of a mystery, however I might be wrong.

The single raised dot on the bottom is also very common from what I can tell. No idea what it signifies, if anything. I have found bases with that dot, nothing at all, or a number/letter code. Again, not sure what it signifies, except in the "NUMBER LETTER" case, the number always matches the number to the left of the MFR mark on the skirt.

Pretty interesting that you found that on the north slope of Alaska... not sure what sort of military presence we had there during WW2. The clear coke bottles can be found all over the Pacific islands that saw action in WW2, as well as Europe.

-Dave
 

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