Help! M.J. O'Brien, Vernon B.C.

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tolmanbridge

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I picked up a siphon bottle this week but I can't find out anything about it. Well, almost nothing. I did find an copy of an old photo of his bottling company in Vernon online from the Vernon Morning Star. It shows the interior of the building and says the company was called Vernon Springs Bottling Works. The photo says it was owned by M.J. O'Brien but that is it. I can't find any bottles made by his company. The siphon is an ordinary one with an oval on one side etched with M.J. O'Brien, Vernon B.C. and what looks like a fancy fleur de lis design in the middle. The top is also marked with M.J. O'Brien. Vernon B.C. I found mention of a bottling works in Vernon with another name in the book by Bill Wilson. However, it doesn't say who owned that company and I can't find any other mention of it either. That company was Okanogan Valley Soda Water Works. The bottle looks like it will be nice for a plain bottle if I can just get the top off. Tried alot of the ideas mentioned here and the lid is still stuck. As the sealing ring is lead can it be heated a bit to loosen the top? Thanks for any information on O'Brien or how to get that darn top off.
 

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CanadianBottles

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Nice find! O'Brien and this bottle are both listed in my copy of the Bill Wilson/Jim Askey book from 1986, do you have a different Bill Wilson book? I've attached photos of the entry on O'Brien from my copy. Apparently it's one of the most common seltzers from the interior (or was in the 80s, anyway), but I don't remember ever seeing one. I'm sure it's worth more than $25-30 today. As for the top I have no idea how to remove them seltzers, do you want to take it off to clean it? Personally I'd just leave it as is to avoid damaging it, but I understand wanting to clean out that residue.
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tolmanbridge

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Thanks for all the information. I don't have another Wilson book. I found mention of the bottle online and the poster said the information came from the Wilson book. I have since ordered Pioneer Soda Water Bottles like your's and it should be here any day now. I thought it was kind of ironic that I travel to Vancouver Island this fall and pick up a Lethbridge Brewing and Malting Company syphon and then come home to Alberta and find a Vernon, B.C. syphon here. I am trying to get the top off to clean out the residue. I think it will be a very nice bottle, once cleaned. The problem with the residue is it makes the bottle cloudy and then the etching doesn't show up as nice as it would if the bottle were cleaned. Just worried about damaging the bottle.
 

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