Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Late Summer Finds

Summertime usually brings about the doldrums of the bottle digging season.  I manage to keep it alive by staying close to the water (in marshes and rivers), so I can cool off while doing what I love.  A recent marsh excursion produced a nice unlisted version S.H. Farnham Westerly, RI BIM crown top soda.  Known as the “narrow” style, it is in fact narrow and sports a short neck and shoulder.  This example was oddly embossed “This Bottle/ Registered” on the back shoulder.  Upon closer inspection, I also discovered that “NY” was erased under “RI”, a correction mentioned online.  However, the corrected version with the odd registered embossing was unlisted.

Another marsh find was a Warwick Bottling Works Arctic, RI art deco soda.  The Warwick Club art deco bottles are quite common, but art-deco “WBW” bottles are pretty scarce.  This example was unlisted in green, making it my third art deco version, two of which are unlisted.

Some rare bottles always seem to turn up in a somewhat damaged state.  This was true for my first and second examples of my Mrs. S.E. Hemingway’s Alopecial for the Hair Providence, RI.  My first example was an unlisted large size with a hole in it, and my second one was an unlisted small size full of small cracks.  If you look at it from the front though, it looks pretty good!

A fairly exciting recent discovery was that bottles marked Purogen were products of the Wilcox Chemical Co. of Providence and Wakefield, RI.  I was quite glad I didn’t try to sell an example I chanced across a while ago, and recently I spotted a perfect example in an antique shop.  I now have 4-1/2” and 6” examples, while local collector David Gates has an even smaller size.  I also recall digging part of a huge (16oz.?) shard of one with him, so the hunt is on!
Update:  A local digger recently dug a massive 32oz. Purogen bottle.  He's keeping it, but I'm getting closer to finding one!

I recently went to a yard sale of an old-time digger I had met in the past.  He had a few thousand bottles at one time but had sold them all.  During our conversation he remembered that he had two more boxes somewhere.  He was a little hard to understand and I heard the words “Avon” mentioned, which was a letdown.  Still, I returned the next day and he had two boxes of old bottles!  Some were common, but a few gems surfaced, including a pontiled Harrison’s Columbian Ink.  I gave him a Benjamin and the boxes were mine.  The only unlisted RI bottle was an early aqua Providence Bottling Co. Providence, RI.  It was the old style with “This bottle not to be sold’ taking up the entire back of the bottle, and registered was not embossed.  I have found quite a few newer crown tops from this company, so something older is nice!
(pic to come)

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