Purple glass and prohibition whiskey

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Magphant

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You have a great spot to take pictures of bottles. There's nowhere in my house that highlights the embossing and features of glass like that. Nice finds!
Thank you. We have a lot of windows in that room. I found the natural light helped.
 

CanadianBottles

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Thank you so much for all the great info. I didn’t even know the Hawaii ones were called Hutchison bottles. I figured they were older than the 50’s but I have know idea why they would’ve brought them back with them. My great uncle (my grandma’s brother in law) was Hawaiian and from Kauai. Maybe they were originally his?
The whiskey bottles are a complete mystery to all of us. They were buried under decades of junk in my grandparent’s basement. My mom had never seen them and we didn’t find them until after my grandparents had passed. DuBois isn’t even a family name. I wondered if Mr. DuBois had a job finding illegal bars/distilleries, getting evidence and then getting them shut down. Just a guess.
You mentioned carbolic acid but the bottom of the bottle actually says “carbonic”. I don’t know if that makes a difference. Thanks again for all the info.
Oh that does make a difference that it's "carbonic", turns out there's lots of information about that company. Some labeled versions of your jar are visible here: https://www.drugstoremuseum.com/soda-fountain/liquid-carbonic-co/ The company made soda fountains and sold soda fountain supplies. Your jar would have held syrup or something to use as a topping on ice cream floats, which makes a lot more sense for a jar like that than carbolic acid would.

Yeah the investigation angle seems the most likely for the little whiskey samples, especially with the "this is it" marking - it sounds like someone collecting whiskey samples undercover and trying to match them with some other sample to trace its origin. Strange that your grandparents had them though. I wonder if it might have just been a case of coming across them somewhere and thinking "Hey these are pretty cool!" There's certainly plenty of inexplicable stuff like that in my house.

As for the age I think most of them date to roughly around the 1910s, give or take a few years. The full-size whiskey and the Hutchinsons could be a couple decades older. In general purple glass tends to date from around the 1890s, when clear glass became popular, to the mid-late 1910s, when manganese became difficult to source due to WWI and glassmakers switched over to selenium to clarify the glass.
 

Magphant

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Oh that does make a difference that it's "carbonic", turns out there's lots of information about that company. Some labeled versions of your jar are visible here: https://www.drugstoremuseum.com/soda-fountain/liquid-carbonic-co/ The company made soda fountains and sold soda fountain supplies. Your jar would have held syrup or something to use as a topping on ice cream floats, which makes a lot more sense for a jar like that than carbolic acid would.

Yeah the investigation angle seems the most likely for the little whiskey samples, especially with the "this is it" marking - it sounds like someone collecting whiskey samples undercover and trying to match them with some other sample to trace its origin. Strange that your grandparents had them though. I wonder if it might have just been a case of coming across them somewhere and thinking "Hey these are pretty cool!" There's certainly plenty of inexplicable stuff like that in my house.

As for the age I think most of them date to roughly around the 1910s, give or take a few years. The full-size whiskey and the Hutchinsons could be a couple decades older. In general purple glass tends to date from around the 1890s, when clear glass became popular, to the mid-late 1910s, when manganese became difficult to source due to WWI and glassmakers switched over to selenium to clarify the glass.
Again, thank you for all the amazing info. I have some fun reading ahead of me. If those little whisky bottles could talk. I wish I knew their story. I love the idea of having this little piece of history in my home though. I’ll display them all with great appreciation of this new found history. Thanks again.
 

Noellet

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I’m late to the discussion but those whiskey sample bottle are so facinating! With the man’s name and location you might be able to find out more about him in Ancestry.com and your local library. And most libraries have subscriptions to ancestry that you can use for free. Also city directories usually tell you their occupations.
 

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