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EARLIEST "CROWN TOP" SODA BOTTLES 1892 - 1900

CanadianBottles

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2014
2,747
83
Thanks, Bruce

As you probably know, some bottlers used Hutchinson bottles well into the 1920s. So it isn't surprising that the Willms brothers were possibly one of those bottlers. But what is surprising are their blob-top bottles. Its hard to imagine they used that type of bottle in the 1910s and 1920s - although I suppose its possible. By the way, does the finish (lip) on your Willms bottle appear to have been applied after it was originally made? And is it hand-blown or machine made?
Bob, I think the blob top bottles you're referring to as becoming obsolete around 1880 are the ones that were designed to take a cork. The ones you're showing I'm pretty certain were lightning stopper bottles, and those were used much more recently, and only invented in the mid 1870s. These wire stoppers never really stopped being used, so it would make sense to me to see blob top bottles in the early 20th century. Apparently Henry Putnam's company, one of the major US suppliers of lightning stoppers, continued selling them until the early 1920s https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/HenryPutnam.pdf
Here's a similar bottle with a lightning stopper: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/full-old-el-husting-milwaukee-wi-blob-weiss-beer
 

hemihampton

Well-Known Member
Oct 6, 2006
6,238
113
Here's another one of those weird Willms Bros. bottles - but still no explanation about the groove. Unlike the bottle I posted earlier that was straight-sided, this one has a hex shaped base. It was described as being ABM (Automatic Bottling Machine) and having an "elongated" Crown

View attachment 212716

Could the lighting be reflecting of the top neck area like you see it reflecting off the lower mug base part to give it that grooved look?
 

hemihampton

Well-Known Member
Oct 6, 2006
6,238
113
Thanks, Bruce

As you probably know, some bottlers used Hutchinson bottles well into the 1920s. So it isn't surprising that the Willms brothers were possibly one of those bottlers. But what is surprising are their blob-top bottles. Its hard to imagine they used that type of bottle in the 1910s and 1920s - although I suppose its possible. By the way, does the finish (lip) on your Willms bottle appear to have been applied after it was originally made? And is it hand-blown or machine made?

Check this one out - which is embossed with "Weiss Beer" and has what appears to be a "groove" between the neck and finish. I found two of these, but don't have an explanation for either of them.

View attachment 212612
As you probably know, some bottlers used Hutchinson bottles well into the 1920s.



BOB, Do you have any Documentation that Hutchinson Bottles were still being used well into the 1920's? LEON.
 

SODABOB

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2016
1,679
63
Bob, I think the blob top bottles you're referring to as becoming obsolete around 1880 are the ones that were designed to take a cork. The ones you're showing I'm pretty certain were lightning stopper bottles, and those were used much more recently, and only invented in the mid 1870s. These wire stoppers never really stopped being used, so it would make sense to me to see blob top bottles in the early 20th century. Apparently Henry Putnam's company, one of the major US suppliers of lightning stoppers, continued selling them until the early 1920s https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/HenryPutnam.pdf
Here's a similar bottle with a lightning stopper: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/full-old-el-husting-milwaukee-wi-blob-weiss-beer

CB

Thanks - I understand what you are saying and agree for the most part. What I find really confusing is what appears to be a combination Crown/Blob finish on the Willms Bros. bottles - not to mention the groove on TWO different bottles - which is not a optical illusion.
 

SODABOB

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2016
1,679
63
As you probably know, some bottlers used Hutchinson bottles well into the 1920s.



BOB, Do you have any Documentation that Hutchinson Bottles were still being used well into the 1920's? LEON.

hemi

Read what it says at the bottom of this page - which can be found on this link ...


As far as I know, the HutchBook people know their stuff. If they say as much, that's good enough for me. However, I would like to see an actual Hutch bottle that is confirmed as being from the 1920s. I might contact them and see what they have to say.

HutchBook.com - Well into the 1920s .jpg
 

hemihampton

Well-Known Member
Oct 6, 2006
6,238
113
I just sent Ron 2 new Hutch Pics earlier today. I'll ask him about the 1920 comment? LEON.
 

SODABOB

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2016
1,679
63
Sounds good - thanks

I forgot I had this one in my files - considered the latest known example - Puerto Rico - 1929 - Owens Illinois

Hutchinson Bottle 1929 Puerto Rico Latest known example.jpg


Hutchinson Bottle 1929 Puerto Rico Owens Illinois Base .jpg
 

hemihampton

Well-Known Member
Oct 6, 2006
6,238
113
I got a a black & white pic from 1917 showing them filling Hutch's at a bottling works, this was in a small upper penninsula Town in Michigan. Up there in small towns in sticksville they are always behind the Big Cities. No insult to Yuppers. If they did make Hutch's into the 1920's I don't think it would be very common & probably a rare occasion? I'd be less surprised to see a 1910 blob top & more surprised to see 1920's Hutch.
 

hemihampton

Well-Known Member
Oct 6, 2006
6,238
113
Looking through my 1903-04 Illinois Glass Co. Catalog I see they show/offer about 50 different Beer Bottles they sell. Out of those 50 bottles, I see 49 of them are blob tops & they only offer 1 crown top. I see they do offer a few more crown tops for Soda Bottles.
IllinoisGlassBook.JPG
 

CanadianBottles

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2014
2,747
83
CB

Thanks - I understand what you are saying and agree for the most part. What I find really confusing is what appears to be a combination Crown/Blob finish on the Willms Bros. bottles - not to mention the groove on TWO different bottles - which is not a optical illusion.
Yeah the crown/blob finish is odd. I have two theories for that - one is that they used a lightning stopper but wanted the option to switch over to crown tops at a later date. The second theory is that people had come to associate that exact form of bottle with Weiss beer, and they wanted to keep it looking as similar as possible when switching closures. This is something you see with those Irish round-bottom ginger ale bottles, which continued having quite rounded bases even after they were made to take crown caps and were able to stand on their own. Since lightning stoppers worked on standard crown top bottles, I'm leaning towards the second theory.

As for the groove, I have no clue what that would be about.
 

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