Thursday, November 22, 2018

Summer Finds #1 2018

Lightning struck twice when I found two Norfolk County Creamery jars, one from Woonsocket and the other from Providence. The Woonsocket one was sadly nuked, but both are unlisted! A friend dug the Providence example.


A fellow digger found two Paterson Bros. & Co. Valley Falls, RI. He was kind enough to give me the damaged one. It is an unlisted size.


The same digger had a James W. Finn Family Liquor Store Pawtucket, RI that we had dug together. He knew I had been eyeing it and generously gifted it to me. I now have a matching whiskey and blob top!


My friend's last gift was definitely a crier, a Shepard & Company Fine Perfumes. Not only is this a very rare perfume, but it is also very early for the Shepard Company, circa 1880s.



Humorously enough I acquired another Paterson Bros. & Co. Valley Falls, RI in an unlisted size.

Spring Finds #4 2018

At the spring tailgate show someone brought a citrate magnesia style B.F. Downing Jr. Druggist Newport, RI. I knew it was very rare but it appeared that a bulldozer dug it up and gave it a few dings. After hearing the asking price I politely declined and told them what I would be willing to pay. They came back a little while later and said yes to my offer, and while I still overpaid it's a great early bottle.


As fate would have it I got another Clapp bottle. This was a machine made Otis Clapp & Son Cod Liver Oil. I certainly wasn't surprised that it existed, I was just surprised I haven't seen one sooner!


The summer Brimfield show was another winner as one dealer had a box full of pharmacy bottles including a bunch from RI. My favorite was a Rob't F. Linton Monument Sq. Woonsocket, RI. This is another one that has eluded me for years and this one is an unlisted variant!


Also in that lot was an E.C. Thornton & Co. Providence, RI in an unlisted 4-3/4” size.


There is a huge dump I dig at occasionally, and while it has plenty of good bottles it has even more poison ivy. That has kept me away from it for years but I finally managed to find a path through the cursed stuff. My first dig was ok, and I found a very boring but historically relevant Gorham Silver Polish jar. Gorham silver is internationally famous, so it's no surprise they made their own polish.


Spring Finds #3 2018

It's always an exciting time when Brimfield kicks off its 3 seasonal shows. My first find of the day was a very rare Dr. Harrison's Pain Curer, Gives Instant Relief / The Household Doctor / Life Saver 30 Years. While patented in Lowell, Mass, Dr. Harrison quickly moved to Providence and continued to sell his medicine there.




Another seller had a Dr. Seth Arnold's Balsam with a flared lip. These are very common if smooth based and scarce with a pontil, but this transitional example is probably the toughest to find!


In an assortment of junk bottles I spotted an A.J. Myers Pharmacist Providence, RI. If the Harrisons didn't make the trip worthwhile this completely unlisted medicine certainly did!


Fresh off ebay was an unlisted size of a Fisk & Co. 200 Main St. Pawtucket, RI. It's my second example with the address on it.


One of the bigger surprises on ebay was this Hilton's Insoluble Cement. This large example with a ground lip is undocumented. While it wasn't cheap, I doubt I'll see another!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Spring Finds #2 2018

At the monthly bottle club meeting I made a pretty surprising discovery, a blob from Barber & Ruhland Cranston, RI. While Ruhland has his own blobs, I've never heard of Barber and can't find him in any directories!


Another club find was a L.H. Meyer Providence, RI crown top. I haven't seen this style from Meyer before and it's unlisted.


A friend of mine has been digging a mill dump in northern RI and found two Rousseau & Brown Druggists Woonsocket, RI. With the rounded sides they are an unlisted style and measure 3-1/4” and 5-3/4”.


A friend set aside some medicines for me including an A.W. Howe Pharmacist Prov., RI. The 222 Broad St. address is not listed!


The other medicine was an A.O. Austin Pharmacist Providence, RI. There is only one Austin bottle listed and it has a mortar on the front.

Spring Finds #1 2018

Every now and then you find a bottle so rare you're pretty positive that you'll never see another one. This was the case with my G.A. Wagner Berkley, RI blob top. You can imagine my surprise when a woman posted another one! And what makes it more incredible is that mine says Berkeley while this one says Berkley. Turns out mine was an error bottle! It took a little negotiating but I was able to buy it. Gotta say they make a great pair!


About two years ago I confirmed that Capwell's Kidney Regulator was a patent medicine from Phenix, RI. I knew of one in a local museum but besides that it is a very elusive bottle. One finally surfaced in an auction with a bunch of kidney medicine bottles, so I put in a bid and here it is!


Overpriced ebay bottles are the bane of every collector. Usually the seller can't be reasoned with, but sometimes you get lucky. One seller had a large 16oz. C.S. Thomas Richmond St. Providence, RI. At $50 with heavy staining it was way overpriced, but I told her how the staining affected the value and to my surprise she agreed!  As a bonus I was able to remove a lot of the stain.


Since I moved to Cranston the thing I missed the most besides being close to family was digging local dumps. When I finally found one thanks to my surveying job I was thrilled to sink my shovel into it. It proved to be a great dump with good age and a lot of local medicines. That included an Enoch W. Vars Pharmacist Niantic, RI. I've only seen one other Vars bottle in this style and they are unlisted!


Checking the bottom of plain bottles paid off again and I snagged another G.L.C. & Co. (George L. Claflin). This one was 6”.


Friday, June 29, 2018

Winter Finds #6 2018

By far the best surprise at the Baltimore show was a S.H. Farnham Pure Drugs Wickford, RI. A collector who I never met that knew me from Facebook approached me at the show and asked me if I would be interested in a RI pharmacy bottle. I said most likely, expecting a common example. If I hadn't been so tired I might have started jumping with excitement. I had dug a shard of a fancy S.H. Farnham medicine years ago in Wickford. It quickly went to my top 5 most wanted local bottles list. I was starting to fear I would never see one until now. I thanked him quite enthusiastically, especially after he insisted on selling it to me cheaply even after I told him it was a rare bottle.



Speaking of rare locals my good friend David was kind enough to gift me his duplicate S.H. Donahue Registered Pharmacist Wakefield, RI. He dug the only two examples known, so owning one is truly an honor.


My biggest purchase at the Baltimore show as a pontiled Paine's Vegetable Pain Curer. A direct competitor to the more popular Davis Vegetable Pain Killer, Mr. Paine set up shop literally down the street from Perry Davis. His antics did little to annoy Mr. Davis as his product was immensely popular. The bottle comes in 3 sizes, and the seller had two! I had to opt for the cheaper 5-1/2” middle size.


I made a special trip to a yard sale advertising bottles and my heart sank upon seeing the selection. Two shallow cardboard boxes full of junk bottles. But underneath a few of them was a Geo. S. Wilcox 20 Bridge St. Providence, RI quart blob! RI quart blobs are quite rare, so this was a really nice find.


I generally shy away from ebay sellers asking absurd prices for bottles because they usually can't be reasoned with. I decided to make an offer on a Hazard, Hazard & Co. Chemists New York & Newport round apothecary style bottle and the seller accepted my offer. At 7-3/4” it is an unlisted size.

Winter Finds #5 2018

This year the Baltimore Bottle Show turned out to be quite an ordeal. I tried to coax my ailing car to make the trip one final time and it blew a hose in the middle of NYC. Needless to say I don't think I slept at all, so amazingly my unfortunate carpooling buddy and I were able to buy a new hose the next morning and decided to finish the trip. I wandered the show like a zombie but some great finds made all my suffering worth it. I got a fancy Otis Clapp & Son in amber as a double, but surprise! It was different than the other example I had.



A nice surprise was a WW Trade Mark ink in aqua. I found a teal green example a few posts back and after posting it online someone told me they had seen an aqua example. I kept my eyes open and presto!


A tenacious fellow collector finally said yes to an offer I made him a few months ago, and I added my third 12-sided pontiled Dyer's Healing Embrocation Prov. RI to the fold. It's my best example yet, and my favorite feature is a random comma after Healing.

I was recently reunited with a digger I haven't seen in 7 years. After catching up he showed me some of his recent finds. I bought a few including a Geo. T. Dana & Co. Pawtucket, RI medicine. She's a real beauty!


Ebay delivered again with one of my favorite capitol pharmacy bottles, a H.I. Hough Drug Store Providence, RI. This one was in a different shape than my other examples.