Great Bear springs 5 gallon carboy

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jameson.haupt

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Hi--

I was wondering if anyone had any information about this old school water bottle. I have two of them, and they both have this wooden carrier as well.

One side is embossed with "great bear springs....this bottle is loaned and never sold' the other side is embossed with 'illegal possession or refilling this bottle punishable one year imprisonment $50 reward leading to conviction".....i would be interested to know how much they are worth, and if, in fact i am possessing them illegally.

all the best,
james

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jameson.haupt

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another picture, this time of the bottom

it has this strange deckeled texture to it....it looks like a stylized crackle or something




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RED Matthews

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Hello jameson.haupt; To answer your first point. I don't think it is illegal to have it. As a bottle it is more-or-less out of service. I have a gallon water jug embossed with Great Bear Spring. I also have several Chemung Spring Water bottles, in the gallon size and some with ground finishes and glass stoppers. They were from around Elmira N.Y.. I have some 5 gallon carboys from other companies also.

Sometimes these carboys have the lettering on them upside down, so when they are placed in a dispenser the name reads up-right. It is nice to have the crate with them.
I don't remember, but I think Great Bear Spring Co. was from Fulton N.Y,.

Regarding the question you posted regarding the bottom. The pattern was created in the bottom plate of the mold assembly. This one also has the Diamond, and a large O with the I inside the assembly. This bottle was made by Owens Illinois, and I think at the Quincy, Illinois plant near St. Louis. They were made on a three position machine with the forming of the initial parison, then the glass was transferred to the next mold
( for an intermediate blowing ), and then transferred to the final mold for the final blow of the bottle. I think the pattern was to reduce scuffing and maybe just to look better on top of the dispenser.

I could see the job number in the picture. Sometimes they had a letter or number to tell us which plant made it.

I went to your page to see where you lived - info not there. Anyway, welcome to the Forum. A lot of us are here to help each other. RED Matthews
 

5 gallon collector

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Following on RED Matthews' message...
It is actually not at all common to have the design and lettering placed so that it is right-side-up when the bottle is sitting on the ground. As RED notes, when sitting on the cooler/dispenser, the design becomes upright, and less likely to cause disorientation, or even vertigo.

I seem to recall having read, but I don't recall where, that the crackle design on the bottom of many of the later 5 gallon bottles served an intended function -- that it helped to dissipate heat as the bottle cooled. If true, whether this had to do with the strength of the final product, or just speeding up the production line, or some other reason, I do not know.

Value not well established -- depends on the company, the design, the age of the bottle, scarcity of course, condition, location / need to ship and whether 2 buyers want it NOW and are competing, etc. Say $20 for an undistinguished common specimen to $50-150 for a 'better' one, and sometimes over $150, but has to be unusual. A Wyrick Spring 5-gallon sold on ebay a few years ago for about $900, as I recall -- and there was no water in it! Shipping costs seem to be all over the place, as it were -- I have not tried to ship one myself. If packed well, the bottles travel well; if not, you can imagine.

The crates have value too.

Anyone persons concerned about the "illegal to own", "penalty for private use", "rented never sold", "fine and or imprisonment" messages will sleep more soundly if they send their bottles to me, scofflaw that I am. Seriously, though, I cannot imagine that ownership of these is now an issue. Even if the water company that loaned the vessel is still inexistence, it would surely have no interest in it, save perhaps for the company museum.

Red -- what 5-gallon specimens have you?
 

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