Moxie Mystery ACL Bottle

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SODABOB

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Happy New Year 2024

I recently purchased this Moxie bottle on eBay and have been researching it ever since. I have also looked for another one like it but can't find one. If anyone has one please let us know. Here are some of the features that make it unique ...

1. The bottle itself was made by the American Bottle Company.
2. It is marked on the base with A.B.CO.
3. It is marked on the heel with 22N and 32
4. The N indicates it was made at the American Bottle Co. plant in Newark, Ohio.
5. The 22 indicates that it was made in 1922.
6. The 32 is part of the mystery but possibly indicates 1932*
7. The most unique feature is that it has an Applied Color Label (ACL)

When I first saw it on eBay I thought the ACL was fake and that someone applied it with spray paint. I was going to ask the seller about that, but decided not to because I didn't want him to get suspicious and cancel the listing. So, I took a gamble on it and purchased it on a hunch that it might be the real deal. I have been collecting ACL soda bottles for 45+ years and know enough about them to distinguish the difference between a fake ACL and the real deal. As it turned out, it's the real deal and the ACL is fused (baked) into the glass. I even conducted some experiments with paint remover as well as trying to scrape some of the paint off, but nothing I tried phased it. But the real mystery is why a 1922 bottle has a 1930s ACL. I will do my best to answer that question, as well as some insights about the 32 for 1932 in my next post. For now I just wanted to post a few photos. I will follow up with the rest of the story later today or tomorrow.

Bob
Moxie ACL Bottle.JPG

Moxie ACL Heel 22N & 32.JPG

Moxie ACL Base.JPG
 

SODABOB

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There are quite a few Moxie A.B.CO. bottles currently on eBay. Here's one of them that's marked on the base with 27N for the Newark plant 1927. As you will see, it's not an ACL. I'm only attaching the base photo. The bottle itself is pretty much identical to mine.

https://shorturl.at/dxCZ1

More later

Moxie ABCO 27N Base (eBay).png
 

SODABOB

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The plot thickens ...

This newspaper article is just one of many references that confirms the American Bottle Co. was purchased by the Owens-Illinois Glass Co. in 1929. I also attached the Owens-Illinois plant table that shows the Newark plant number 10 - 1930 to 1939.

More to follow
Owens American Merger 1929_The_Cincinnati_Enquirer_Thu__May_23__1929_.jpg


Owens Illinois Plant Chart.jpg




 

SODABOB

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Next up is this American Bottle Co. table that shows some of their marks and the approximate years they were used. Especially notice what it says at the bottom about Owens-Illinois. (More about this later)

American Bottle Co Marks (sha.org).png
 

SODABOB

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This is from an unpublished study that I am participating in. Even though it's a work in progress and needs more research before it's complete, it sheds some light on the question as to why a 1922 bottle has a 1930s ACL on it.

But the biggest mystery and biggest questions of all are ...

1. Was my Moxie ACL a test bottle?
2. Was it intended to be mass produced?
3. When was the ACL applied?
4. Why can't I find another one like it?
5. Is it the only known example?

I will try and connect all of the dots later. In the meantime, if anyone has any additional information or insights please share them with us.

Thanks

Bob

Moxie - ABCO - Owens Illinois  (sha.org).jpg
 

SODABOB

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This newspaper ad was published in the Boston Globe on August 14, 1922. It depicts the Moxie man/boy and confirms the use of the image that's on my 1922 bottle. The main difference is that images like this almost always have the word "Drink" on them - whereas the image on my bottle does not have the word Drink. I'm not sure what to make of this, but hopefully will make sense of it one of these days.

The_Boston_Globe_Mon__Aug_14__1922_.jpg
 
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SODABOB

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I found this Moxie ACL bottle on eBay this morning. Even though I don't see the A.B.CO. mark, it does appear to be marked with a 28N. If it is a 28N it almost certainly stands for the American Bottle Co. Newark, Ohio plant and made in 1928. As we know, 1928 would be too early for an ACL. Is this an example of an old bottle being repurposed with an ACL? Even though I can't answer that with absolute certainty, I suspect it is a 1928 bottle with a 1930s or 1940s ACL. I might bid on it but haven't decided yet. If I do bid, my max is $35. So, if someone else wants it, go for it. It might be a gamble that will pay off. Here's the link ...

https://shorturl.at/cJZ09

The earliest ad I have been able to find for a similar Moxie bottle from Reynoldsville, PA. is the one I attached from 1941. However, non Moxie ads from Reynoldsville go back to at least 1921.

Moxie Bottle eBay 2023 ACL.jpg

Moxie ACL eBay 2023 Back.jpg


Moxie ACL eBay 2023 Base.jpg

Moxie 1941_The_Punxsutawney_Spirit_Wed__Jul_9__1941_.jpg
 

iggyworf

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I hope that bottle turns out to be one of the rare ones Bob. Great stuff!
 

SODABOB

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Hypothesis regarding my Moxie ACL / Best Guess / Inconclusive ...

1. Made by the American Bottle Co. in Newark, Ohio in 1922
2. Became inventory of Owens Illinois when they acquired American in 1929
3. Owens Illinois experimented with ACL as early as 1931
4. Owens Illinois first ACL was applied to milk and drug bottles in 1932-33
5. Owens Illinois added the number 32 to the mold in 1932
6. My Moxie ACL was an experiment by Owens Illinois - possibly in 1932
7. The experiment was unacceptable and abandoned at that time.*
*The earliest O-I ACL soda bottle I am aware of is a Jumbo Cola - 1934

Question:

If all or most of the above is accurate, could it mean that my Moxie ACL might be the earliest ACL soda bottle ever made?

The Rest of the Story / See attached Moxie pdf / Automatically downloads

Later Alligators - Have a great New Year

Bob
 

Attachments

  • MoxieArticle.pdf
    1.7 MB · Views: 33

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