Mystery Texas Bottle

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Antiques214

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I went out and walked a new local creek this weekend and one of the coolest finds was this bottle. It's embossed with "JOE COLLINS KAUFMAN AND ATHENS TEXAS" in a circle slug type style on the front with "ROOT" on the bottom and codes 1387 and 12 on the heel. I haven't been able to find any pictures or information at all about it. I'm thinking maybe a local pharmacy. Please let me know if anyone has seen, heard of, or has any info on it.
 

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nhpharm

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I don't know much about the bottle, but Joe Collins was the manager of the Kaufman Bottling Company for a number of years (I see him in the 1910 and 1920 census). Joseph Edward Collins was born on September 18, 1889 in Alabama and passed away (very young) on August 11, 1923, so your bottle is from before 1923 for sure. Great find!
 

5 gallon collector

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Hey, antiques214,
Here's a start......take notes; there may be a short quiz at the end.....
1) In the 1920 census, 21 January, 1920, in Kaufman Town, Kaufman County, Texas, there is a Joseph E. Collins, 30, b Alabama, owner of a bottling works, OA (= own account), with wife Laura L., 33, b Texas, and children Joe E. Jr, 5, and Jack F, 3 3/12, both b TX.
2) Buried in the Kaufman cemetery are Joe E. Collins, b 18 Sep 1890, d 11 Aug 1923, and wife Laura L., b 12 Dec 1889, d 1 Oct 1942. There is a mild discrepancy, in that if Laura was 33 at the 1920 census, she would have been born 1886-1887, not 1889, but such a mild discrepancy is common. Their middle initials fit.
[An aside: son Jack's entry is a little odd, his parents being born "US" and "US", instead of AL and TX. Perhaps he was adopted?]
3) Joseph's World War I (the war to end all wars) Draft Registration Card, on which he lists himself as "Bottling Business".
Joseph Collins, WWI Draft Registration Card.jpg
1920 census, Joseph E. Collins.jpg
Tombstone, Joe E. and Laura Collins.jpg


This WWI Reg Card is dated June 5 1917 -- so he was started in business at least by then. So bottling at least mid 1917 to mid 1923.

Kaufman and Athens are still small towns. So I suspect that this Joseph E. is your man. To be confirmed -- will take further digging. If he was just 30 at the 1920 census, and died in 1923, a month shy of his 33rd birthday, then unless his wife continued the business, or son Joe Jr, who would have been just 8 in 1923, later revived the business, similar thought for Jack, then production might have been for just a few years -- hence not much info on the bottle. Might be a rare one?

Maybe you can find an old postcard from Kaufman that shows the business, though I suppose it would not likely have been situated on Main Street.

Attached are the WWI Draft Registration, the 1920 census entry (lines 20-23) and an image of the headstone.

Does the form of the bottle fit? -- ie is it consistent with having been produced between about 1910 (he was 20-21 then: when exactly did he start bottling?), and his death in August 1923? I hope so.
(Bummer to survive the 1918 flu, then succumb to TB, appendicitis, or an accident - just guessing.)

More snooping might involve tracking down the characters in 1910, 1930, 1940, state census records, business licenses, looking for city directories, tracking down descendants, etc, etc. Not so easy with a name as common as Collins. Perhaps there is a local Historical Society.

I wonder what he bottled.

Cool bottle. Perhaps the numbers are a clue to the maker? And what does "ROOT" mean? -- Root beer? Maybe Root was the bottle maker?

PS -- another discrepancy -- his WWI card says b Sept 18, 1889, his tombstone says b Sept 18, 1890. He wasn't around when the stone was carved to set the record straight.
 

GRACE ABOUND

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Good looking bottle. Root Was A Bottle Maker That Made Some of Coca cola bottles .Some of the early bottles Have Root On The Base .You Can Find Out More On Google . But Someone In The Club Will Know . Good Luck Grace Abounds
 

Antiques214

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V
Hey, antiques214,
Here's a start......take notes; there may be a short quiz at the end.....
1) In the 1920 census, 21 January, 1920, in Kaufman Town, Kaufman County, Texas, there is a Joseph E. Collins, 30, b Alabama, owner of a bottling works, OA (= own account), with wife Laura L., 33, b Texas, and children Joe E. Jr, 5, and Jack F, 3 3/12, both b TX.
2) Buried in the Kaufman cemetery are Joe E. Collins, b 18 Sep 1890, d 11 Aug 1923, and wife Laura L., b 12 Dec 1889, d 1 Oct 1942. There is a mild discrepancy, in that if Laura was 33 at the 1920 census, she would have been born 1886-1887, not 1889, but such a mild discrepancy is common. Their middle initials fit.
[An aside: son Jack's entry is a little odd, his parents being born "US" and "US", instead of AL and TX. Perhaps he was adopted?]
3) Joseph's World War I (the war to end all wars) Draft Registration Card, on which he lists himself as "Bottling Business".View attachment 238641View attachment 238642View attachment 238643

This WWI Reg Card is dated June 5 1917 -- so he was started in business at least by then. So bottling at least mid 1917 to mid 1923.

Kaufman and Athens are still small towns. So I suspect that this Joseph E. is your man. To be confirmed -- will take further digging. If he was just 30 at the 1920 census, and died in 1923, a month shy of his 33rd birthday, then unless his wife continued the business, or son Joe Jr, who would have been just 8 in 1923, later revived the business, similar thought for Jack, then production might have been for just a few years -- hence not much info on the bottle. Might be a rare one?

Maybe you can find an old postcard from Kaufman that shows the business, though I suppose it would not likely have been situated on Main Street.

Attached are the WWI Draft Registration, the 1920 census entry (lines 20-23) and an image of the headstone.

Does the form of the bottle fit? -- ie is it consistent with having been produced between about 1910 (he was 20-21 then: when exactly did he start bottling?), and his death in August 1923? I hope so.
(Bummer to survive the 1918 flu, then succumb to TB, appendicitis, or an accident - just guessing.)

More snooping might involve tracking down the characters in 1910, 1930, 1940, state census records, business licenses, looking for city directories, tracking down descendants, etc, etc. Not so easy with a name as common as Collins. Perhaps there is a local Historical Society.

I wonder what he bottled.

Cool bottle. Perhaps the numbers are a clue to the maker? And what does "ROOT" mean? -- Root beer? Maybe Root was the bottle maker?

PS -- another discrepancy -- his WWI card says b Sept 18, 1889, his tombstone says b Sept 18, 1890. He wasn't around when the stone was carved to set the record str
Very cool! Where did you find this information so I can do more digging?
 

5 gallon collector

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V

Very cool! Where did you find this information so I can do more digging?
I have subscriptions to both ancestry.com and newspapers.com. A search for "Joe Collins" in newspapers.com, in Kaufman / Athens turned up nothing -- perhaps because they were small towns, advertising less needed, and he was in business for just a short time -- or perhaps because I needed to search further. Ancestry.com, similar searching, briefly, turned up the 1920 census info and the rest of it. I was composing the message when nhpharm posted his reply, and I did not see his message until after I had posted. He mentioned the 1910 census, and I have copied that and the 1900 too. In 1900 the family was in Rockwall, Texas, and Thomas J., Joseph's father, was a farmer and Joseph was in school (lines 8-13). By 1910 the family was in Kaufman, and both Thomas J.'s and Joseph E.'s occupations were "bottling works" (lines 20-25).
Thomas E. was born Dec 1861. Further research might tell when he died -- was there a possibility that he, or his wife, Indiana, or another of his children, sons George or Walter, or daughter Ray, continued the business after Joe died in 1923? -- perhaps -- father would have been about 62. More research needed.
Who started the business, Thomas or Joseph? Perhaps there are bottles marked 'T', or 'Thomas', with 'Joe' bottles then produced when Thomas died or Joseph set up independently?
Digging for the background almost as much fun as digging for the bottle itself! And makes the item so much more interesting.
1900 census, Thomas J. Collins.jpg
1910 census, Thomas J. Collins.jpg
 

cool63truck

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Awesome bottle, that’s local to me, great find


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Roy

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Hey, antiques214,
Here's a start......take notes; there may be a short quiz at the end.....
1) In the 1920 census, 21 January, 1920, in Kaufman Town, Kaufman County, Texas, there is a Joseph E. Collins, 30, b Alabama, owner of a bottling works, OA (= own account), with wife Laura L., 33, b Texas, and children Joe E. Jr, 5, and Jack F, 3 3/12, both b TX.
2) Buried in the Kaufman cemetery are Joe E. Collins, b 18 Sep 1890, d 11 Aug 1923, and wife Laura L., b 12 Dec 1889, d 1 Oct 1942. There is a mild discrepancy, in that if Laura was 33 at the 1920 census, she would have been born 1886-1887, not 1889, but such a mild discrepancy is common. Their middle initials fit.
[An aside: son Jack's entry is a little odd, his parents being born "US" and "US", instead of AL and TX. Perhaps he was adopted?]
3) Joseph's World War I (the war to end all wars) Draft Registration Card, on which he lists himself as "Bottling Business".View attachment 238641View attachment 238642View attachment 238643

This WWI Reg Card is dated June 5 1917 -- so he was started in business at least by then. So bottling at least mid 1917 to mid 1923.

Kaufman and Athens are still small towns. So I suspect that this Joseph E. is your man. To be confirmed -- will take further digging. If he was just 30 at the 1920 census, and died in 1923, a month shy of his 33rd birthday, then unless his wife continued the business, or son Joe Jr, who would have been just 8 in 1923, later revived the business, similar thought for Jack, then production might have been for just a few years -- hence not much info on the bottle. Might be a rare one?

Maybe you can find an old postcard from Kaufman that shows the business, though I suppose it would not likely have been situated on Main Street.

Attached are the WWI Draft Registration, the 1920 census entry (lines 20-23) and an image of the headstone.

Does the form of the bottle fit? -- ie is it consistent with having been produced between about 1910 (he was 20-21 then: when exactly did he start bottling?), and his death in August 1923? I hope so.
(Bummer to survive the 1918 flu, then succumb to TB, appendicitis, or an accident - just guessing.)

More snooping might involve tracking down the characters in 1910, 1930, 1940, state census records, business licenses, looking for city directories, tracking down descendants, etc, etc. Not so easy with a name as common as Collins. Perhaps there is a local Historical Society.

I wonder what he bottled.

Cool bottle. Perhaps the numbers are a clue to the maker? And what does "ROOT" mean? -- Root beer? Maybe Root was the bottle maker?

PS -- another discrepancy -- his WWI card says b Sept 18, 1889, his tombstone says b Sept 18, 1890. He wasn't around when the stone was carved to set the record straight.
Another great job, Detective 5 Gallon Collector...... You are good... Roy
 

crwncrk

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I’ve always heard it said the two digit number on Roots represent the year, the four digits are the mold code, usually under 1600. SHA has a paper on them.
 

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