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WWII ACL RED PAINT RATIONING ~ FACT or FICTION

SODABOB

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2016
1,380
36
Most of us are familiar with the controversy that claims the missing red paint on 7up and other soda bottles is because the red paint was rationed during WWII. I'm not certain where that claim originated except to say the following two accounts might be where so many eBay sellers are getting that information. Of course, the same topic has also been discussed at length on this forum in the past, which no doubt contributes to its perpetuation.

Even though I have a lot of information and pictures to share on this topic, which I will post in due course, I'd like to start with the following to confirm where at least some of the red paint controversy might have originate from ...

Bill Lockhart article ~ the Soda Fizz ~ 2007

7up Article Fizz (14).jpg

7up Article Fizz (15).jpg

7up Article Fizz (13).jpg





I'm not sure when this next Bill Lockhart article was written, nor do I know all of the individuals it mentions, but if you scroll to where it says "Other Discrepancies" you will find ...

https://sha.org/resources/newsletter-articles/owens-illinois-glass-company/

Other Discrepancies

[FONT=&amp]In a personal communication, Mike Elling noted that ca. 1944-1945 (World War II) Owens-Illinois seems to have run short of red pigment. Mike has a Royal Crown pyramid bottle that is missing the red that was typically used on the label. Billy Grice offered a yellow-only Squirt bottle on eBay with a 1945 Owens-Illinois mark and date code embossed on the base. He stated that “during the war many west coast bottlers went to single colors.” It is probable that red dye was in short supply during the end of World War II. Owens-Illinois may have only experienced the shortage for the final year or so of the war.



(To be continued)

[/FONT]
 

SODABOB

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2016
1,380
36
Here's a typical example of a so called WWII 7up bottle with the missing red paint, which most of the accounts claim is due to red paint rationing ...

7up Bottle White Paint Only.jpg

(Pictures of other brands to follow, such as Royal Crown Cola and Squirt)
 

SODABOB

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2016
1,380
36
Two Royal Crown Cola bottles from member Morbious_fod's Tazwell website ...

(You can trust that Morb knows his soda bottles and how to date them)

http://www.tazewell-orange.com/nehijc.html

Notice they are not missing the red paint ... (Glass maker unknown to me)

1942

WWII Bottle Royal Crown 1942 Morb Tazwell.jpg


1945

WWII Bottle Royal Crown 1945 Morb Tazwell.jpg
 

SODABOB

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2016
1,380
36
And a couple of Squirt bottles ~ Both described as being from 1945 ~ One with the red paint and one without ...

(Member Squirtbob probably knows more about these than anyone, who hopefully will see this thread and share some of the dates for the Squirt bottles he has that are missing the red paint)

Squirt Bottles Great Falls Montana - ebay - Oct 2012 - Both Described as 1945.jpg
 

SODABOB

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2016
1,380
36
I'm jumping ahead of myself with this, but I figured this is as good a time as any to ask ...

Got Milk?

If red paint/red pigment was rationed during WWII by Owens-Illinois and other glass makers, then how do me explain these milk bottles?

Note: I have seen literally hundreds of these WWII milk bottles and about 90% of them have red ACLs ...




(To be continued with more soda bottles)
 
Last edited:

SODABOB

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2016
1,380
36
And how do we explain this amber 7up bottle from Nashville, Tennessee that has an all-white label and is dated ...

1937

Note: 1937 was two years before WWII erupted in Europe in 1939 and three/four years before the United States got involved in 1941-42

7up Bottle 1937 White Front Amber.jpg

7up Bottle 1937 White Base Amber.jpg


 

SODABOB

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2016
1,380
36
While we're at it, let's examine two more amber 7up bottles, both of which are dated 1942. Notice the first one has a shoddy all-white label and the second one has most of the red paint still intact but is missing some of it ...

Location unknown

7up Bottle 1942 White Front Amber.jpg

7up Bottle 1942 White Base Amber.jpg

Houston, Texas

7up Amber Squat Full Image 1942 Houston, Texas e-bay 8-11 (328x592) (263x475).jpg

7up amber squat base 1942 Houston, Texas e-bay 8-11 (615x583) (475x450) (450x426).jpg
 

SODABOB

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2016
1,380
36
P.S.

I haven't forgotten where the Bill Lockhart article says ...

"Owens-Illinois may have only experienced the shortage for the final year or so of the war."

“during the war many west coast bottlers went to single colors.”


And will be taking a closer look at those comments later, especially the part about "west coast bottlers."
 

SODABOB

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2016
1,380
36
P.S. ~ P.S.

Notice it said west coast "bottlers​" and not west coast glass factories/glass makers
 

SODABOB

Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2016
1,380
36
Now let's combine ...

"final year or so of the war" with "west coast bottlers"

... and I come up with this example that I used to own but just recently sold.

7up bottle ~ 1945 ~ Owens-Illinois ~ Plant #23 Los Angeles ~ Duraglas ~ San Diego, California

Note: I hope its safe to assume that 1945 was the
"final year or so of the war." If not, and even though I haven't looked for one yet, I bet I can find a 1944 7up bottle from the west coast that still has its red label.

7up Bottle 1945 San Diego, Ca. Owens Illinois.jpg



 

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