My First Pontil Soda

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UnderMiner

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This is my first and only intact pontil soda bottle. It was made for Robinson, Charlesworth & Tryner of 376 Bowery, Manhattan NYC, some time between 1848-1853. I found it on short notice at low tide just before the sun set over the horizon one summer day in 2020. It has a rust ring in the pontil mark on the bottom so I think it is iron-pontil. It is also an applied-blob top.
20220310_004203.jpg

The area I found this bottle in was said to have been inhabited by escaped slaves and Native Americans who used the local area to go fishing and collect oysters. Sailing ships would also sometimes anchor there for repairs.
img.jpeg

I managed to find a newspaper clipping from 1851 that details what you should do if you found this bottle back then. According to the original owners if you try to re-sell this bottle they will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the NY state law that passed May 7th 1847. There is also a description of the bottle that describes it as featuring the 'XX' mark so you can recognize it as theirs.

When I found this bottle I had only been engaged in the hobby for a few weeks. I assumed it would be easy to find another bottle like this, but so far it's been nearly two years and I haven't found an intact pontil bottle since.
 

DavidW

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Hello Underminer, Wow that is a beautiful bottle. What a lucky find. I would guess most beachcombers find bottles that are much newer, or, if they are that old, just broken pieces are found!

My guess is that currents and strong surf action caused some erosion and uncovered a bottle that had been buried under sand or mud for a very, very long time.

Is that bottle also marked "R . C. & T. NEW YORK" ? Can you post a pic of the other side, and the bottom? I have to ask because I am under the impression that all the bottles made for Robinson, Charlesworth & Tryner are marked with one of those three embossing variations as explained in that article.

I'm not trying to come across as a "know it all" so please bear with me. It is my impression that lots of different glass companies and/or mineral water/ale/beer bottlers in the 1840s, 1850s, 1860s and maybe later, placed large embossed letters "X X" or "X X X" on their bottles, and if there are only X's on the bottle (but without other markings) it would be impossible to be sure who made the bottle or what company or brand of ale, cider, or mineral water was involved. There are on a lot of bottles that look like "Soda" bottles, but wasn't that X only placed on those bottles to refer to alcohol-related bottles???? I assume they were made to hold either soda OR ale?

Honestly I don't know. Looking for input from anyone on this question!! Does ANYONE on this forum have information on exactly what those "X"s meant??? I have read conflicting info online. Some info refers only to liquor containers like the heavy old pottery crocks and jugs with "XXX" on them.
I thought the XX or XXX has something to do with the strength of that ale, beer or cider inside.

OR, maybe in some cases the XX on a soda bottle was just a mold identifier???
 

UnderMiner

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Hello Underminer, Wow that is a beautiful bottle. What a lucky find. I would guess most beachcombers find bottles that are much newer, or, if they are that old, just broken pieces are found!

My guess is that currents and strong surf action caused some erosion and uncovered a bottle that had been buried under sand or mud for a very, very long time.

Is that bottle also marked "R . C. & T. NEW YORK" ? Can you post a pic of the other side, and the bottom? I have to ask because I am under the impression that all the bottles made for Robinson, Charlesworth & Tryner are marked with one of those three embossing variations as explained in that article.

I'm not trying to come across as a "know it all" so please bear with me. It is my impression that lots of different glass companies and/or mineral water/ale/beer bottlers in the 1840s, 1850s, 1860s and maybe later, placed large embossed letters "X X" or "X X X" on their bottles, and if there are only X's on the bottle (but without other markings) it would be impossible to be sure who made the bottle or what company or brand of ale, cider, or mineral water was involved. There are on a lot of bottles that look like "Soda" bottles, but wasn't that X only placed on those bottles to refer to alcohol-related bottles???? I assume they were made to hold either soda OR ale?

Honestly I don't know. Looking for input from anyone on this question!! Does ANYONE on this forum have information on exactly what those "X"s meant??? I have read conflicting info online. Some info refers only to liquor containers like the heavy old pottery crocks and jugs with "XXX" on them.
I thought the XX or XXX has something to do with the strength of that ale, beer or cider inside.

OR, maybe in some cases the XX on a soda bottle was just a mold identifier???
20220311_150507.jpg
20220311_150617.jpg


I'm not sure what the 'XX' means, it may mean it contained alcohol that was twice distilled, but I'm more convinced that this bottle contained mineral water so the marking might mean something completely different.
 

hemihampton

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Congrats, nice find, Seems like I've seen alot of those Pennsylvania 1850's-70's Squat Beer Bottles with XX or XXX. LEON.
 
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This is my first and only intact pontil soda bottle. It was made for Robinson, Charlesworth & Tryner of 376 Bowery, Manhattan NYC, some time between 1848-1853. I found it on short notice at low tide just before the sun set over the horizon one summer day in 2020. It has a rust ring in the pontil mark on the bottom so I think it is iron-pontil. It is also an applied-blob top.
View attachment 235380
The area I found this bottle in was said to have been inhabited by escaped slaves and Native Americans who used the local area to go fishing and collect oysters. Sailing ships would also sometimes anchor there for repairs.
View attachment 235381
I managed to find a newspaper clipping from 1851 that details what you should do if you found this bottle back then. According to the original owners if you try to re-sell this bottle they will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the NY state law that passed May 7th 1847. There is also a description of the bottle that describes it as featuring the 'XX' mark so you can recognize it as theirs.

When I found this bottle I had only been engaged in the hobby for a few weeks. I assumed it would be easy to find another bottle like this, but so far it's been nearly two years and I haven't found an intact pontil bottle since.
Cool. Great job on the research.
 

jwpevahouse

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The company was successful. Their bottles appear for sale fairly often in different colors. It's always a special treat for any bottle digger to find a pontil bottle of any kind. "Beginner's luck" usually doesn't last but who's complaining. Those first few "good" bottles are the fuel which energize a collector.
The article is interesting. Soda/mineral water bottling began about 1840. By 1850 bottle piracy was a problem. So much so that states enacted laws to protect bottlers from piracy and hording. Afterward began a long conflict between bottlers charging each other with stealing their bottles. The fines were substantial and bottlers often ended up before a judge for using competitors bottles. Not a big deal today but back then it was.
As for the X. "XXX" is usually found on the back of porter beer bottles. There are a lot of different bottles with the marking. I don't know if the number of X's means anything? I doubt it has any effect on the value of the bottle. Age, pontil and condition are the important factors.
 
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CanadianBottles

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Wow that's a great find, talk about beginner's luck! I assume you're in or near NYC, so you're in probably one of the best possible places in North America to find early bottles while beachcombing, but it's still not at all a common occurrence to find anything that old. I certainly haven't found anything close to that old in one piece.
 

K6TIM

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Hello Underminer, Wow that is a beautiful bottle. What a lucky find. I would guess most beachcombers find bottles that are much newer, or, if they are that old, just broken pieces are found!

My guess is that currents and strong surf action caused some erosion and uncovered a bottle that had been buried under sand or mud for a very, very long time.

Is that bottle also marked "R . C. & T. NEW YORK" ? Can you post a pic of the other side, and the bottom? I have to ask because I am under the impression that all the bottles made for Robinson, Charlesworth & Tryner are marked with one of those three embossing variations as explained in that article.

I'm not trying to come across as a "know it all" so please bear with me. It is my impression that lots of different glass companies and/or mineral water/ale/beer bottlers in the 1840s, 1850s, 1860s and maybe later, placed large embossed letters "X X" or "X X X" on their bottles, and if there are only X's on the bottle (but without other markings) it would be impossible to be sure who made the bottle or what company or brand of ale, cider, or mineral water was involved. There are on a lot of bottles that look like "Soda" bottles, but wasn't that X only placed on those bottles to refer to alcohol-related bottles???? I assume they were made to hold either soda OR ale?

Honestly I don't know. Looking for input from anyone on this question!! Does ANYONE on this forum have information on exactly what those "X"s meant??? I have read conflicting info online. Some info refers only to liquor containers like the heavy old pottery crocks and jugs with "XXX" on them.
I thought the XX or XXX has something to do with the strength of that ale, beer or cider inside.

OR, maybe in some cases the XX on a soda bottle was just a mold identifier???
mostof the time the XX or XXX refer to POISON bottles.The soda is an exception! K6TIM
 

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