Agana Guam Hobbleskirt Coke

hemihampton

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Here's some military beer cans found on a military base in Alaska. The coke bottles were probably left behind. LEON.

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daven2nl

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I got an email back from a descendant of Chester Butler, the original Coca-Cola bottler here on Guam. Apparently there are none of these "AGANA GUAM" embossed coke bottles in the family. This may ultimately be a very, very rare bottle (makes me wonder if any exist in non-broken condition). I will try to stop by the Butler family store this weekend to chat with him.

I still am wondering about this Chattanooga Glass Company clear coke bottle dated 1941 that I found. It was mixed in a big pile of bottles from 44/45. I didn't think they made the clear coke bottles until 1943. Could this be some sort of misprint, or is this one of the pre-war bottles mixed in with later ones, or does this add to the overall mystery of the Wartime Coke bottle production story? It is very clearly embossed on the skirt with 6 @ 41 where the "@" is a C in a circle. It only has "TRADE MARK" embossed below the Coca-Cola logo which matches 1945 Chattanooga wartime coke bottles, and nothing on the base. Did they make clear coke bottles for overseas use prior to the start of WW2?
 

SODAPOPBOB

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ORIGINAL: daven2nl

I got an email back from a descendant of Chester Butler, the original Coca-Cola bottler here on Guam. Apparently there are none of these "AGANA GUAM" embossed coke bottles in the family. This may ultimately be a very, very rare bottle (makes me wonder if any exist in non-broken condition). I will try to stop by the Butler family store this weekend to chat with him.

I still am wondering about this Chattanooga Glass Company clear coke bottle dated 1941 that I found. It was mixed in a big pile of bottles from 44/45. I didn't think they made the clear coke bottles until 1943. Could this be some sort of misprint, or is this one of the pre-war bottles mixed in with later ones, or does this add to the overall mystery of the Wartime Coke bottle production story? It is very clearly embossed on the skirt with 6 @ 41 where the "@" is a C in a circle. It only has "TRADE MARK" embossed below the Coca-Cola logo which matches 1945 Chattanooga wartime coke bottles, and nothing on the base. Did they make clear coke bottles for overseas use prior to the start of WW2?

Dave ~

http://cocacolabottleman.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/coca-cola-and-the-military/

Even though this is the third time this link has been posted, and even if it is a little inconclusive, it's probably still the best one available regarding wartime Coca Cola bottles. However, I just realized a few things about it that I missed previously, which are ...

1. Yes, its a Coca Cola website.
2. Yes, it indicates the first clear glass bottles were introduced in 1943.

But ...

3. Notice where Robert W. Woodruff made his initial announcement in December of 1941.
4. Also notice where it says ..."Before 1944, small portable bottling units, capable of being hauled behind jeeps, were used."

However ...

5. Where does it specify which company, Owens-Illinois or the Chattanooga Glass, provided the various mobile bottling plants?

Which means ...

6. We might be assuming it was only Owens-Illinois who sent those initial bottling units.

When in fact ...

7. Chattanooga Glass might have been the first one over there "ahead" of Owens-Illinois.
8. Which, if true, might explain your 1941 clear glass Chattanooga bottle.

Bob

[ Copy/pasted from link above. Please show me one place in this or the rest of the text that the link contains where it mentions either Owens-Illinois or Chattanooga Glass ]

~*~

December 1941- Robert W. Woodruff announced The Coca-Cola Company’s wartime policy: “We will see that every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for five cents wherever he is and whatever it costs the Company.â€

In 1943, General Dwight D. Eisenhower sent a telegram requesting 10 Mobile Bottling Plants be sent to the European war front. The Cablegram also requested that three million bottles and complete equipment necessary for producing the same quantity twice monthly be sent. Before 1944, small portable bottling units, capable of being hauled behind jeeps, were used. By 1944, more permanent installations showed up in the Pacific and European War Theaters. Bottle production began in 1943. The bottles were to be made using clear glass and no City/State markings on the bottom.
 

SODAPOPBOB

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For future reference ...

Here's what appears to be fairly concise list of every glass maker that made Coca Cola bottles.

http://www.glassbottlemarks.com/glass-manufacturers-marks-on-coke-bottles/

Notice where it says ...

■ G23 (or similar letter/number, lightly embossed along the lower heel) ... Graham Glass Company, Evansville, Indiana. (Not to be confused with the “G-number†[bottle style/design codes] seen on the base of many Owens-Illinois soda bottles).
 

daven2nl

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The problem with the 1941 theory that Guam was taken by the Japanese in the 1st days of the war (December 1941), and was held by the Japanese until the Marines and Army landed on the 21st of July in 1944. It just seems unlikely that a stateside bottle from 1941 would sit around that long. It makes more sense that it was a pre-war shipment of replacement bottles to Guam, but that raises just as many different questions.
 

SODAPOPBOB

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Dave ~

I agree ... more mystery, more questions.

Based on everything I've read regarding the clear glass Coca Cola bottles from the early to late 1940s that have the word Trademark embossed on them, all of them were intended for use by the military during WWII. I don't recall ever reading anything that said those bottles were ever used in the states or anywhere else or for any other purpose. And because you said the Chattanooga Glass bottle you found in "Guam" ...

"is very clearly embossed on the skirt with 6 @ 41 where the "@" is a C in a circle."

... then there has to be some logical explanation as to how it ended up in Guam. And even though it is the only one you have found so far among hundreds/thousands of other non-1941 bottles, we know it can't possibly be the only 1941 clear glass Chattnooga bottle that was ever made. There have to be others! Maybe not in Guam, but certainly "somewhere."

Even though we may never know just how accurate the information is from the link I posted earlier, I can't help but wonder about where it states ...

December 1941 - Robert W. Woodruff announced The Coca-Cola Company’s wartime policy: “We will see that every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for five cents wherever he is and whatever it costs the Company.â€

Who knows, maybe its a typo and whoever wrote it actually meant to say December of 1942 or 1943. However ...

1. Because it does say 1941.
2. And because you found a 1941 bottle in WWII war zone.

... then there is a piece (or pieces) of the puzzle that we're missing. ???

Bob
 

SODAPOPBOB

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PS ~

Since the order of the day seems to involve a certain measure of theorizing, I have a theory of my own regarding Dave's 1941 bottle that might explain its presence in Guam.

Let's assume for the moment that the Robert W. Woodruff December 1941 date is accurate. What if that so called order from Woodruff went out immediately and the Coca Cola company instructed Chattanooga Glass to start production of the clear glass bottles as early as the second week of December 1941, and that by the end of December those bottles were on their way to various areas of the war, including Guam and other Pacific islands. (Remember, Chester Butler already had a bottling plant located in Guam at the time which he obtained the Coca Cola franchise for as early as 1923-24). Maybe its possible that Butler received one of the first shipments of clear glass bottles "before" the Japanese took over the island. And because those first shipments of clear glass bottles were possibly a rush order and produced in limited quanities, then this might explain why so few of them survived and are found today.

Please note: This is only a theory.

Bob
 

SODAPOPBOB

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Before Dave or anyone else has the opportunity to correct me, and because of the following reference to December 8, 1941 ..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Guam_(1941)

The First Battle of Guam, was an engagement during the Pacific War in World War II, and took place on 8 December 1941 on Guam in the Mariana Islands between the Empire of Japan and the United States. The American garrison was defeated by Japanese forces which resulted in an occupation until the Second Battle of Guam in 1944.

... I wish to offer theory #2.

Since Dave's bottle "is clearly marked 1941" and obviously made at that time, and because it was found in Guam, then my new theory is that it somehow got mixed in with a shipment of later bottles (1944-1945) and mysteriously ended up in Guam "after" the Second Battle in 1944. Which might explain why they are so rare on Guam and why Dave has only found one so far.

Until something presents itself to refute it, I am sticking with the possibility that the clear glass Chattanooga bottles were intended for the war and not for homefront distribution. But I suppose only with time and more research will we ever know for certain.

Bob
 

SODAPOPBOB

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Remember my saying earlier that the December 1941 Robert W. Woodruff announcement might be a "typo?" Well, if the information on the following link is accurate, then the earlier Woodruff statement is just that - a typo.

I'm not 100% certain this is an official Coca Cola website, but I believe it is. If so, then who would know better than the Coca Cola Company itself as to what happened when?

Speed scroll to the 1940s section, which is about half-way down the page. Especially notice the text under 1943. (And be sure to "slide-bar" to the right for the second half of the text).

http://cdn.journey.tccc.psddev.com/a7/5f/95ccf35a41d8adaf82131f36633c/Coca-Cola_125_years_booklet.pdf

So perhaps it was in 1943 and not 1941 when Woodruff made his well-known announcement about providing GIs with a bottle of Coca Cola for only a nickle.

Of course, this still doesn't solve the mystery surrounding Dave's 1941 bottle. But, then again, that's a horse of a different color that will likely require a lot more research.

Bob
 

SODAPOPBOB

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I couldn't resist sharing this picture from my WWII Coca Cola photo gallery that I'm constantly adding to. All I can say about it is "wow" in addition to asking if anyone can explain to me the "how" and "why" of it?

Bob

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kt/71461392/in/set-111219

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