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Bottle Makers

24 Jun 2021, last revised 22 Jul 2022

Maker's Marks on Copper Country Bottles

Not all bottles have a maker's mark, so it is fortunate when we do find one on a Copper Country bottle. The maker's mark consists of embossed initials or a logo, either on the base or the heel of the bottle. Knowing the maker reveals another dimension of fascinating history that can be particularly useful for dating bottles.

Here we describe the maker's marks found on Copper Country bottles. For more information see Toulouse (1), David Whitten's site, glassbottlemarks.com, and Bill Lindsey's site, sha.org/bottle/makersmarks.htm, which includes the Encyclopedia of Manufacturer's Marks on Historic Bottles by Bill Lockhart and others.

Maker's Mark
Dates of Use
Bottle Maker
Location
Example Embossing
Bottles Found On:

1882-c.1895
Bellaire Bottle Co.
Bellaire, OH (1882-1922)
phar. #30
example
pharmacy: #30

Whitten (2) noted that the acorn logo is found on the base of hand-blown, clear prescription bottles, and this is where we find it for one Copper Country bottle, M. Printz #30. Curiously, the other sizes of this pharmacy bottle do not bear the logo. Whitten (2) attributed the logo to Bellaire Bottle Co. based on its appearance on company letterhead. Lockhart et al. (5) further corroborates this attribution with a letter instructing a mold maker not to cut the acorn on the bottom of a mold.

Bellaire Bottle Co. incorporated in Oct 1881 and the factory was operational by Feb 1882 (5). It was idle in late 1922 with plans to remodel but it never reopened (5). Whitten (2) and Lockhart et al. (5) noted that the use of the logo was likely limited to the earlier years of the company, and suggested end dates of c.1890 (5) and c.1895 (2). Based on the M. Printz bottle, the mark was probably used into at least the early 1890s.


A B Co.
1905-1916
American Bottle Co.
Chicago, IL (office, 1905-1916)
Toledo, OH (office, 1916-1929)
beer #26a
example
soda #64
example
beer: #22, 25a, 26a, 28, 29, 30a, 31, 53a, 54, 55, 56, 57, 75b, 76, 81, 82, 89, 91, 94, 95, 96, 99, 113, 114, 115, 117, 118, s3, s6, s61
soda: #38, 62, 64, 65, 76, 136, 139

Given that American Bottle Co. was a conglomeration of factories, it is no surprise that many Copper Country bottles bear its mark. American Bottle Co. incorporated in Aug 1905 with the addition of Adolphus Busch Glass Manufacturing Co. (Belleville, IL and St. Louis, MO) and Streator Bottle & Glass Co. (Streator, IL) to Ohio Bottle Co. (8). American Bottle Co. maintained the exclusive license to produce beer and soda bottles with Owens machines from 1905 to 1929 (37), but Newark Machine Bottle Co. was the one that initially made the ABMs (8). American Bottle Co. served as selling agent while its plants continued to mouth-blow bottles (8). At some point, the Newark Machine Bottle Co. dissolved and the Newark and Streator plants of American Bottle Co. started using machines (8):

  1. The Wooster plant closed in 1904 due to labor issues and never reopened.
  2. The St. Louis plant burned in Feb 1905 but was rebuilt. Busch withdrew the plant from the merger in 1907.
  3. The Belleville plant closed in 1909 due to walkouts and strikes possibly resulting from reduced production of beer bottles due to local and state prohibition.
  4. The Massillon plants closed in 1913 due to flood damage.
  5. The Newark plant received its first Owens machine in 1905 and had 15 in 1907 and 27 in 1909. Lockhart et al. (8) concluded that mouth blowing was probably discontinued by 1906. Owens Bottle Machine Co. became the majority stock holder of American Bottle Co. in 1916 and took control of the operations of the Newark plant. The plant was closed in 1930 following the formation of Owens-Illinois Glass Co. in May 1929.
  6. The Streator plant converted to machines and abandoned mouth-blowing by 1914. By 1916, it had 27 machines at two plants.
American Bottle Co. dissolved when Owens Bottle Machine Co. and Illinois Glass Co. merged to form Owens-Illinois Glass Co. in 1929 (8).

Based on the dates for the A B Co. mark stated by Toulouse (1), Witten (2), and Lockhart et al. (8), it is apparent that the mark was discontinued when Owens Bottle Machine Co. took control of operations in 1916.

American Bottle Co. pioneered marking bottles to indicate plant and production date (8). The intent was so bottlers could track the life of the bottles in circulation (8). According to Lockhart et al. (8), a number indicates the year and a letter indicates the plant (B = Belleville, S = Streator, N = Newark). For example, 6-B = Belleville 1906, S-12 = Streator 1912, 0-S = Streator 1910, and 25N = Newark 1925. Since a number 5 is not known, Lockhart et al. (8) speculated that bottles may not have been produced with the A B Co. mark in 1905 during the transition period after the merger, or if they were, they were not date coded.

A closer examination of the Copper Country bottles revealed that many have a date code. For example, 8 - S on Hancock City Bottling Works #64 indicated that it was produced by the Streator plant in 1908. All Copper Country bottles with an A B Co. date code, it turns out, was made by the Streator plant. On some bottles, the date number was on distorted glass, often raised from the bottle surface, indicating that the mold was patched and re-cut for a new year. Some bottles have specimens with different date codes, indicating that a different batch was ordered during a different year.

Even though the A B Co. mark ended in 1916, the company did not end, nor did the use of its date code. Some Copper Country bottles have the date code, but no maker's mark. ABM bottles exhibit the 16 S to 29 S series for 1916-1929 (8).


AB mark
1905-c.1909
Adolphus Busch Glass Manufacturing Co.
Belleville, IL (1892-1894, 1896-1905)
St. Louis, MO (1892-1905, c.1907-c.1926)
and/or American Bottle Co.
Belleville, IL (1905-1909)
St. Louis, MO (1905-1907)
soda #61
example
soda #63
example
soda: #61, 63

The AB ligature that we find on two Copper Country soda bottles from Hancock Pop Co./Louis Wolfsky was attributed to Adolphus Busch by Toulouse (1) but to American Bottle Co. by Lockhart et al. (8). These two companies shared a history.

Adolphus Busch was the son-in-law of Eberhard Anheuser and got involved with bottle production when Anheuser-Busch struggled to obtain enough bottles to meet its beer production (7). He got involved with several glass companies but also formed his own companies (7). He purchased the Belleville Glass Works in 1886 and started the Adolphus Busch Glass Co., and then incorporated the Adolphus Busch Glass Manufacturing Co. in 1892 with a plant in Belleville, IL and a plant in St. Louis, MO (7).

Lockhart et al. (7) noted that it was common in the 19th century to have one name for the factory (which usually ended in "Works") and a different name for the company that operated the factory. This practice seems prudent since a factory often changed ownership over its lifetime, and a company often operated more than one factory.

The two-year gap in dates for the Belleville plant marks a brief closure due to the 1893 depression (7). In April 1900, a fire destroyed the St. Louis plant and Busch moved it to the old Heitz Glass Works building (7). Another fire destroyed the St. Louis plant in Feb 1905 and it was rebuilt (7). Significantly, both plants were absorbed into American Glass Co. in Aug 1905 but Busch withdrew the St. Louis plant in 1907 and operated it under his name (6,7). Lockhart et al. (7) concluded that Busch converted to machines probably sometimes between 1913 and 1917. With contradictory accounts, Lockhart et al. (7) elected that the plant probably closed in c.1926 but did not specify a cause.

The date range for this mark was specified as c.1904-1907 by Toulouse (1), 1905 to most likely 1909 by Whitten (2), and 1905-c.1909 by Lockhart et al. (8). These dates roughly align to when American Bottle Co. had control of Busch's plants. Furthermore, Lockhart et al. (8) identified that the known date coding accompanying the AB ligature follows American Bottle Co.'s coding and specifies only the Belleville plant during 1906-1909. Because most bottles do not have date coding (8), it is inconclusive whether or not the St. Louis plant also used the AB ligature. There is also the question of why would only Busch's plant(s) of American Bottle Co. use this mark.


A & D H C
1860-c.1884
Alexander & David H. Chambers
Pittsburgh, PA (c.1852-1889)
soda #4
example
soda #6
example
soda: #2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 11

A start date of 1843 is often given to A. & D. H. Chambers (as by 1,2), but this date marks the start of a succession of Chambers family companies, with A. & D. H. Chambers being a later iteration (6). A. & D. H. Chambers was established by brothers in c.1852 (6). They either operated the same plant or built a new plant on the same site as its predecessors: Anderson, Chambers & Co. and Chambers, Agnew & Co. (6). The company continued with the same name after the deaths of David Chambers in 1862 and Alexander Chambers in 1875, and was succeeded by the Chambers & McKee Glass Co. in early 1889 (6).

Although A. & D. H. Chambers marked their beer and Hutchinson soda bottles (6), we only find their mark on six of the squat sodas from the Copper Country (the remaining five were unmarked). Thus, we associate A. & D. H. Chambers with the earliest bottles of the Copper Country.


A G W L
1887-c.1892
American Glass Works Limited
Redmond Mills, PA (1887-c.1892)
soda #26
example
soda: #26

It is noteworthy why the Copper Country has only one bottle, a Hutchinson soda from Matthew Northey, bearing the mark of American Glass Works Limited when it produced beer and soda bottles for a decent time period. Lockhart et al. (12) corrected the account by Toulouse (1) with extensive research. American Glass Works Limited formed in Feb 1887 with a new plant in Redmond Mills, PA (12). The limited partnership ended around 1892 ("limited" was dropped from the name), and then the factory closed in c.1903 for yet undiscovered reasons (12).

Lockhart (12) cited that the mark on Hutchinson soda bottles is only known to be found on the heel, either the front or back. The Northey bottle bears the mark on the front heel, which may be par for American Glass Works Limited, but we find it to be an atypical location for a Copper Country bottle.


A. M. F. & Co.
1893-c.1911
A. M. Foster & Co.
Chicago, IL (1893-1928)
phar. #36
example
phar. #s24
example
pharmacy: #5, 9, 10, 14, 19, 21, 22, 23, 35, 36, s24, s39

Adelbert M. Foster took over Dean, Foster & Dawley, the Chicago branch of Dean, Foster & Co., in 1889 when Arther J. Dawley withdrew his interest due to ill health (28). Foster purchased the company in 1893 and renamed it A. M. Foster & Co. (28). Like Dean, Foster & Co., A. M. Foster & Co. was a distributor, not an actual glass manufacturer (28). The company sold bottles and jars until 1928 when an apparent merger with the Upland Flint Bottle Co. formed the Foster-Forbes Glass Co. (28).

We find three variations of this mark on Copper Country bottles: the mark by itself, the mark with KELLOGG, and the mark with KLONDIKE. Lockhart et al. (28) cited cases of the mark by itself being horizontal or arched but found no chronological distinction. They determined that bottles with the A. M. F. & Co. mark by itself were probably manufactured by Marion Flint Glass Co. in Marion, IL. KELLOGG and KLONDIKE refer to bottle shapes that were designed and produced by the company (28). Bottles marked with KELLOGG A. M. F. & Co. were probably made by Sheldon-Foster Glass Co. in Gas City, IN and Chicago, IL (27) and more specifically date to c.1897-c.1902 (28). Bottles marked with KLONDIKE A. M. F. & Co. were probably made by Marion Flint Glass Co. (27) and more specifically date to c.1897-c.1900. KLONDIKE was named after the Klondike gold rush that was occurring at the time (27). Its bottle shape was not patented (27).


C & Co.
1878-1886
Cunningham(s) & Co.
Pittsburgh, PA (c.1878-c.1886, c.1902-1907)
beer #s2
example
beer #107
example
beer: #1a, 2, 33, 107, s2

After Cunningham and Ihmsen (1865-1878), the next two iterations of the Cunningham family glass companies were Cunningham & Co. (1878-1882) and Cunninghams & Co. (1882-1886) (13). Lockhart et al. (13) did not document the reason for adding the "s" in Cunninghams. A fire destroyed the factory in Apr 1879 and it was rebuilt (13). The company changed names again, and so did its mark, when it became a limited partnership in 1886 (13).

Torch Lake Brewery has two bottles with the C & I mark (#1 and #s1) and three with the C & Co. mark (#1a, #2, and #s2), all with the same plate (but different molds). Since we assume a particular plate was used until it wore out before a new plate was purchased, we conclude that the C & Co. bottles date to the onset of Cunningham & Co. (1878-1882). In contrast, Lockhart et al. (13) questioned whether bottles were marked with C & Co. during this iteration, and hypothesized that it was used during the following iteration, Cunninghams & Co. (1882-1886). They also provide examples of C & Co. being used by the iteration that succeeded the limited partnership; that is, Cunninghams & Co. (c.1902-1907). However, the Copper Country beer bottles with C & Co. would not date to this later period because they have lightning-stoppered tops, and, at least in the Copper Country, the lightning stopper was promptly replaced by the Baltimore loop seal in the second half of the 1880s.


C & Co. LIM.
1886-c.1902
Cunningham(s) & Co., Limited
Pittsburgh, PA (c.1886-c.1902)
soda #91
example
soda #92
example
beer: #107a
soda: #91, 92

The next iteration of the Cunningham family companies started after the death of Wilson Cunningham in 1885 (13). Dominick Cunningham inherited two window glass plants while his uncle, Robert Cunningham, retained the bottle factory (13). They formed a limited partnership in 1886, but Robert withdrew later that year leaving Dominick in charge of the company (13). Meanwhile, Dominick was also running his other company and plant. One factory burned down in 1895 and was rebuilt (13). The limited partnership ended in c.1902 for unknown reasons and the company name reverted back to Cunninghams & Co. (13).

Only three bottles from the Copper Country bear this maker's mark: a Knivel beer bottle and two bottles from Upper Peninsula Bottling Works (C.J. Sorsen). Knivel #107 bears the mark of C & Co. while its variant bears the mark of C & Co. LIM. Since these bottles used the same plate, they are estimated to date to the transition from Cunninghams & Co. to Cunninghams & Co. Limited. However, Lockhart et al. (13) noted that evidence strongly suggests that the C & Co. mark was used until c.1892 (at least on some bottles) before LIM was added, likely because the older molds continued to be used until they wore out. This opens the possibility that the Knivel bottles straddle a later transition date.


C & I
1865-1878
Cunninghams & Ihmsen
Pittsburgh, PA (1865-1878)
beer #s1
example
beer #1
example
beer: #1, s1

Only two Copper Country bottles were marked by Cunninghams and Ihmsen. These were from Torch Lake Brewery and they may be the earliest beer bottles of the Copper Country, as suggested by this maker's mark.

Cunninghams and Ihmsen was one iteration in a long history of Cunningham family glass companies that started in c.1845 (13). Their factory was called Pittsburgh City Glass Works (13). Cunninghams and Ihmsen started when Dominick Cunningham, the son of Wilson Cunningham who ran the original company, purchased George Duncan's shares, arguably in 1865 (13). It ended when Dominick Cunningham purchased Dominick Ihmsen's shares no later than July 1878, and the name was changed to Cunningham & Co. (13).

Paralleling the change in glass company name, we see a change in maker's mark from C & I to C & Co. on Torch Lake bottles with the same plate. Thus, the C & I bottles most likely date just prior to, or during, the transition period in 1878.


C C G Co.
1888-1894
Cream City Glass Co.
Milwaukee, WI (1888-1894)
beer #9
example
soda #104
example
beer: #9, 9a
soda: #73, 104

Cream City Glass Co. was incorporated in Aug 1888 with new partners, resurrecting the former Wisconsin Glass Co. factory after it had been idle for two years (16). Lockhart et al. (16) questioned whether both plants were reopened or just No.2, but based on the marks, they reasoned for both. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1893, with the 1893 depression being the cause (16). Other sources (2,3) state a close date of 1894.

Only two beer bottles (from Torch Lake Brewery) and two soda bottles (from Lake Linden Bottling Works and Chas. Klein Bottling Works) from the Copper Country were marked by Cream City Glass Co. The beers bear the mark on the base while the sodas bear the mark on the heel. Lockhart et al. (16) questioned whether different marks can be attributed to different factories, suggesting that C C G Co. may have come from No.2 (see Chase Valley Glass Co. for information on the original two furnaces at this site).

It turns out that another glass factory, Colorado City Glass Co., used the same mark and operated roughly during the same time period. Schriever et al. (17) specified how to distinguish between the two marks; for us, the easiest being their conclusion that only Cream City Glass Co. supplied Michigan.


CLYDE GLASS WORKS CLYDE N.Y.
1895-c.1910
Clyde Glass Works
Clyde, N.Y. (1895-1915)
beer #12
example
beer #110
example
beer: #10, 11, 12, 12a, 12b, 48, 69, 110, 111

Ely Sons & Hoyt was incorporated as Clyde Glass Works in 1895 (20). They ceased window glass production and focused on producing amber bottles (20), which is what we find from Clyde in the Copper Country. They added semiautomatic machines by 1913, but ceased operations in July 1915 (20). Lockhart et al. (20) did not identify why.

Lockhart et al. (20) limited the date range of the CLYDE GLASS WORKS mark to c.1910 based on examples being mouth-blown, but they could have been made later. We have a number of bottles from the Copper Country bearing the Clyde mark, all amber beer bottles with Baltimore loop seal tops: five from Torch Lake Brewery / Bosch Brewing Co, one from Phil. Scheuermann Brewing Co., and one from A. Haas Brewing Co.


C V G Co MILW.
1880
Chase Valley Glass Co.
Milwaukee, WI (1880)
soda #88
example
soda: #88, s78

Chase Valley Glass Co. was short-lived, but it was the start of a long history of glass making in Milwaukee, WI. Retired Dr. Enoch Chase started experimenting with glass making in 1879 with sand found near Milwaukee Harbor (14). Lockhart et al. (14) cited that he began work on a glass plant on his farm in Mar 1880 and it was nearly complete in May. It consisted of two furnaces located in separate buildings (14). In July 1880, a recruiter returned from a trip to the East with experienced glass blowers (14). Toulouse (2) noted that the larger furnace (No.2) was split off to form a corporation in Aug 1880 before operations started in Sept, but the smaller furnace must have been operating earlier to produce the bottles with maker's marks. It is unclear how long the factory operated before the split. The splitting of the operation presumably ended the era of the C V G Co. mark (14).

The Copper Country has only one bottle with the C V G Co. mark, Hutchinson top N. & J. Bottling Works #88. Based on Lockhart's et al. (13) assessment, we can quite precisely date this bottle to 1880.


C. V. No2 MILW
1880-1881
Chase Valley Glass Co. No. 2
Milwaukee, WI (1880-1881)
beer #104
example
beer #101
example
beer: #32, 101, 102, 104, 105, 119, 120

Dr. Enoch Chase formed a corporation in July 1880 to operate his larger plant, Chase Valley Glass Co. No.2, while he retained full ownership of the smaller plant, Chase Valley Glass Co. No.1 (14). Lockhart et al. (14) cited that the sand for No.2 came from the east shore of Lake Michigan. No.2 operated for 12 months before Chase merged it with No.1 to formed the Wisconsin Class Co. in Aug 1881 (1,14). Lockhart (15) cited that it was unknown why Dr. Chase sold ownership of No.1 and his interest in No.2 after just one season of operation.

Some of the earliest and rarest beer bottles of the Copper Country are graced with the mark of C V No. 2, which dates them quite precisely to 1880-1881. These are lightning stoppered beers from Union Brewery, Eagle River Brewery, and Bavarian Brewery / L'Anse Brewing Co.


DEAN FOSTER & CO.
1874-c.1911
Dean, Foster & Co.
Boston, MA (1874-c.1911)
phar. #17
example
pharmacy: #17

Lockhart et al. (27) cited conflicting reports of when Dean, Foster & Co. started but concluded that it was most likely in 1874. Started by George Foster, Charles L. Dean, and Albert G. Smalley, the company was a glassware wholesaler not a glass maker (27). Lockhart et al. (27) lists the companies that supplied Dean, Foster & Co. (and also A. M. Foster & Co.), but noted that the pharmacy bottles bearing their marks appear to have been produced by the glass factories under their control: Marion Flint Glass Co. in Marion, IL and Sheldon-Foster Glass Co. in Gas City, IN and Chicago, IL. Lockhart et al. (27) reasoned the company likely closed in c.1911 when Foster bought the Upland Flint Bottle Co.

We find this mark with the full name of the company on only one bottle, the nursing bottle from Sodergren & Sodergren. Whitten (2) noted that this mark is found on a nursing bottle, and Lockhart et al. (27) also pictured a nursing bottle. Other bottles from this company used the D. F. & Co. mark.


D. F. & Co.
(no rays)
c.1890-c.1901

Dean, Foster & Co.
Boston, MA (1874-c.1911)
phar. #8
example
phar. #33
example
pharmacy: #8, 33

Lockhart et al. (27) noted that the "no rays" mark is only found on the Chicago Oval pharmacy bottle, and that is where we find it on our Copper Country bottles. It occurs similarly to the D. F. & D. mark with the patent date and sometimes an M, which Lockhart et al. (27) associated with Marion Flint Glass Co. in Marion, IL, whom probably manufactured the bottles. In fact, MacDonald Druggist #33 has the D. F. & D. mark and the D F & Co. mark on different sizes.


D. F. & Co.
(w/ rays)
c.1894-c.1911

Dean, Foster & Co.
Boston, MA (1874-c.1911)
phar. #3
example
pharmacy: #3

Lockhart et al. (27) noted that the mark in the center of rays or a sunburst probably date from the inception of the Sheldon-Foster factory, which probably manufactured the bottles, to the end of the company. The bottle style always accompanying the sunburst mark is called the Eastlake Oval (27). We find this mark and bottle style on only one bottle, Fred W. Kroll Druggist #3.


D. F. & D.
c.1888-1893
Dean, Foster & Dawley
Chicago, IL (1883-1893)
phar. #4
example
phar. #33
example
pharmacy: #4, 33

Arthur J. Dawley joined Dean, Foster & Co. in 1876 and opened a branch (again as a wholesaler) in Chicago, IL under the name of Dean, Foster & Dawley (27). Dawley withdrew in 1889 due to ill health and Adelbert M. Foster took control of the company (28). Lockhart et al. (27) noted that the company either reverted back to the Dean, Foster & Co. name or continued using the Dean, Foster & Dawley name until Adelbert M. Foster purchased it in Oct 1893 and renamed it as A. M. Foster & Co.

We find this mark, accompanied with the patent date, on the Chicago Oval pharmacy bottle, which, according to Lockhart et al. (27), was patented by Adelbert M. Foster. Reports cited in Lockhart et al. (27) confirm that our bottles follow the known occurrence of the mark; that is, apparently only on the Chicago Oval. Lockhart et al. (27) suspected that the M often accompanying the mark refers to the Marion Flint Glass Co. in Marion, IL, whom probably manufactured the bottles.


D O C
1880-1931
D. O. Cunningham (& Co.)
Pittsburgh, PA (1880-1897)
D. O. Cunningham Glass Co.
Pittsburgh, PA (1897-1958)
beer #35
example
beer #36
example
beer: #35, 36, 37, 38, 44

We have a few Copper Country bottles bearing the D O C (or D.O.C.) mark, all from Union Brewery / Phil. Scheuermann Brewing Co. This glass maker was the last chapter of the Cunningham family companies.

Dominick Cunningham left Cunningham & Co. to start his own company and plant (Jane Street Bottle Works) in 1880 (13). The bottle factory burned in Feb 1886 and was rebuilt (13). The company was incorporated as the D.O. Cunningham Glass Co. in Nov 1897 (13). Meanwhile, Dominick also took over his family's company after his father died and his uncle Robert Cunningham withdrew his interests (13). Dominick eventually merged Cunninghams & Co. with D.O. Cunningham Glass Co. in 1907 (13). Dominick died in Mar 1911 and his son, Howard V. Cunningham became the president of the corporation, which remained in business until 1958 but ceased glass production in 1931 (13).

Despite the wide date range for this mark, Lockhart et al. (13) observes that few beer bottles appear to have been made during the earlier years of the company. They also note that the company ceased beer bottle production at some point, probably during Prohibition. They could not determine when D. O. Cunningham transitioned to machines, but cited that the company added more machines in 1917. Although our local sample is small, we also observe this pattern with one bottle (#35) marking the end of the lightning-stopper era and the rest fashioning Baltimore loop seal tops.


D. S. G Co.
c.1879-c.1883
DeSteiger Glass Co.
La Salle, IL (1878-c.1889)
beer #100
example
beer #s4
example
beer: #5, 60, s4, 100

Only four Copper Country bottles bear the D. S. G Co. mark (in an inverted arch on the base), and these are all early lightning stoppered beer bottles. They were produced during a brief glass operation run by the DeSteiger family.

The DeSteiger family moved to LaSalle in fall of 1878, formed the DeSteiger Glass Co., and built a bottle plant (21). They also purchased the Pheonix Glass Co., which started in 1867 and manufactured window glass (21). A fire destroyed the plant in 1881 but it was rebuilt (21). The company became a corporation by at least Sept 1882, but it went bankrupt and the property was sold in April 1883 to the First National Bank of Peru (21). Lockhart et al. (21) hypothesized that use of the D. S. G Co. mark ended with the loss of the family business. The plant continued to operate, however, with DeSteigers involved, but beer bottle production apparently ended. A fire destroyed the plant in Nov 1883 and many of the workers moved to Streator Bottle & Glass Co. (21). Rebuilding started in Feb 1884 and the plant continued to be listed under the DeSteiger & Co. name until 1889 even though Albert A. Paddon purchased the plant in 1884 (21). Lockhart et al. (21) reasoned that the plant closed in c.1893.


E H E Co.
1885-1904
Edward H. Everett Glass Co.
Newark, OH (1885-1904)
beer #74
example
soda #18
example
beer: #73, 73a, 74, 75c, 76, s5
soda: #18, 18a, 93, 94

Edward H. Everett Glass Co. was the third iteration of a succession line, and we find its mark on several bottles from A. Haas Brewing Co., one bottle from South Range Bottling Works, and two bottles from Upper Peninsula Bottling Works (C.J. Sorsen).

Shields, King & Co. was established in 1871 (10). Everett purchased their factory, the Newark Star Glass Works, in Aug 1880, which at the time had been idle for two years due to a worker's strike (10). In Dec 1885, Everett established the Edward H. Everett Glass Co. as a corporation and sold the factory to it (10). A fire completely destroyed the factory in May 1893 and it was rebuilt by Dec 1893 (10). This iteration ended when the plant was sold to Ohio Bottle Co. in Oct 1904, which Lockhart et al. (10) noted was another corporation spearheaded by Everett.

Although the mark could date from 1885, the Copper Country examples are later bottles. Curiously, Upper Peninsula Bottling Works #94 also has a star with a central dot embossed on its base. It is unknown if this symbol represented the bottler (which was probably the case for National Bottling Works), or the bottle maker as a variation of the star logos used by Newark Star Glass Works. A star is also found on the base of Sterling Spring Mineral Water Co. #42b but it bears the N. B. B. G. Co. mark.


E. SON & H
1880-1886
Ely, Son & Hoyt
Clyde, NY (1880-1886)
beer #3
example
beer: #3

Glass making started in Clyde, NY in 1824 but bottle production didn't start until 1864 (20). There were changes in companies and partners over the years but it wasn't until Charles W. Reed retired in 1880 that the company became Ely, Son & Hoyt with the plant being called Clyde Glass Works (20). William C. Ely died in Sept 1886, and with the joining of another son, the company became William C. Ely's Sons & Hoyt (20), also written as Ely Sons & Hoyt by other sources. The company was then incorporated as Clyde Glass Works in 1895 (20).

The Copper Country has only one bottle with the E. SON & H mark, Torch Lake Brewery #3. Lockhart et al. (20) cite sources that attribute the E. SON & H mark to Ely, Son & Hoyt given the singular form of "Son" in both the mark and the company name. We follow this attribution, however Whitten (2) attributes both the E. SON & H mark and the E S & H mark to both companies.


E S & H
1886-1895
Ely Sons & Hoyt
Clyde, NY (1886-1895)
beer #3a
example
beer: #3a

One bottle from the Copper Country bears this mark, Torch Lake Brewery #3a. This bottle is a variant of #3, which bears the E. SON & H mark. Curiously, these two bottles have the same plate, and thus presumably, were produced in quick succession. It is also interesting to note that they had different molds as indicated by different sized post-bottoms.

Lockhart et al. (20) attributed the E S & H mark to Ely Sons & Hoyt (following Von Mechow), while Whitten (2) attributed it to both Ely, Son & Hoyt and Ely Sons & Hoyt. Sources cited by Lockhart et al. (20) reasoned that because the E. SON & H mark matches the Ely, Son & Hoyt company name (with "son" being singular), the E S & H mark must be from the Ely Sons & Hoyt company with "Sons" being abbreviated as "S". Empirical evidence for these attributions, however, is lacking. Conservatively, Whitten (2) attributed both marks to both companies.

Given our two Torch Lake bottles--#3 with E. SON & H and #3a with E S & H--both with the same plate, we identify three scenarios. 1) The two marks were used sequentially following the change in company name, and thus the two bottles date to c.1886. 2) The two marks were used concurrently throughout the years of both companies. 3) The E. SON & H mark was used by the earlier company while the E S & H mark was used by both. The second and third scenarios would increase the opportunity for a plate to be used with two different maker's marks. To be conservative, we cite the dates for both companies for the E S & H mark. The end date for this mark was set by the company being incorporated as Clyde Glass Works in 1895. But given Torch Lake Brewery #3a has a lightning stopper (as does Torch Lake Brewery #3), and the observation that the lightning stopper was replaced by the Baltimore loop seal during the mid to late 1880s in Copper Country bottles, we can limit the end date of this bottle to no later than c.1890.


I. G. CO.
c.1880-1915
Illinois Glass Co.
Alton, IL (1873-1929)
soda #16
example
soda #74
example
beer: #108
soda: #15, 16, 27, 31, 42a, 45, 47, 48, 50, 58, 59, 71, 74, 97, 102, 107, 128, 135a, 137, s44, s47, s51, s70

It is no surprise that the Copper Country has a number of bottles marked from Illinois Glass Co. given its rise to domination. These bottles bear the mark on the back heel, with one (soda #97) having it in a slightly elevated position.

With no prior glass experience, William Elliott Smith and Edward Levis incorporated Illinois Glass Co. in Aug 1873 and purchased the Alton Glass Works factory in Alton, IL that had failed three times previously (22). By 1875, the factory had outgrown its space and the townspeople raised money to purchase a 67-acre site to keep the operation from leaving (22). The new four-furnace factory, even at full capacity, could not keep up with demand (22). The factory installed a fifth furnace in Jan 1887 and a sixth furnace in 1890 but a fire destroyed three furnaces in Nov 1890 (22). They were rebuilt and three more were added by 1893 (22). From 1900, the company expanded with factories in other locations, plus added more furnaces (22). Owens machines were installed in 1910 and production began in 1911 (22). Mouth-blowing bottles ended in July 1915, and Illinois Glass Co. merged with Owens Bottle Co. in Apr 1929 to form Owens-Illinois Glass Co. (22).

Lockhart et al. (22) categorized the logos for Illinois Glass Co., and dated the I. G. Co. mark to 1880-1915 and the I. G. Co. mark with a number to the right to 1895-1915.



1897-1915
Illinois Glass Co.
Alton, IL (1873-1929)
misc #s54
example
misc: #2, s54

This is another mark from Illinois Glass Co. Lockhart et al. (22) encountered this mark on prescription medicines, flasks, and Sunshine Jars. They concluded that the IGCO diamond mark was used concurrently with the I.G.Co. mark, and hypothesized that use of the mark ended with the end of mouth-blown production in 1915.



1915-1929
Illinois Glass Co.
Alton, IL (1873-1929)
abm-94
example
abm-95
example

This is a later mark from Illinois Glass Co. The "diamond I", as it was called in the company catalog, was first used in 1915, registered in 1927, and discontinued in 1929 when Illinois Glass Co. merged with Owens Bottle Machine Co. (22). The "I" may appear as a dot on smaller bottles (22).


M B & G Co.
1900-1904
Massillon Bottle & Glass Co.
Massillon, OH (1900-1904)
soda #20
example
soda #19
example
soda: #19, 20

Massillon Bottle & Glass Co. had a brief history--incorporated in Jun 1900 by a group of coal executives and purchased by Ohio Glass Co. in Aug 1904 (9). This brief history allows our two Hutchinson soda bottles from South Range Bottling Works to be narrowly dated. In addition, Schulz et al. (9) noted that they started with beer bottles and fruit jars in their first year, which further narrows the dating of Hutchinson soda bottles.


N B B G Co.
1888-1920s
North Baltimore Bottle Glass Co.
North Baltimore, OH (1888-1895)
Albany, IN (1895-1902)
Terre Haute, IN (1900-c.1926)
soda #42b
example
beer #44a
example
beer: #22a, 28a, 44a, 58, 69b, 75, 79, 80, 86, 91a, 98, 116, s58, s77, abm-25
soda: #29, 30, 33, 34, 41, 42b, 43a, 49, 49a, 51, 54, 55, 56, 56a, 57a, 83b, 84, 85, 85a, 86, 87, 106, 112, 154, 155a, abm-44, abm-86, abm-87

The Copper Country has numerous bottles with the N B B G Co. mark, mostly located on the back heel but two are located on the base (beer #116, soda #84).

North Baltimore Bottle Glass Co. was incorporated in Oct 1887, land for a new factory was purchased in Dec 1887, and production started in Apr 1888 (23). The company moved operations to Albany, IN in 1895 when natural gas reserves were depleted (23). It then started a plant in Terre Haute, IN in 1900 and closed the Albany plant in 1902 (23). The factory installed an O'Neill semiautomatic machine in 1911 but continued to mouth blow bottles in 1913 (23). Lockhart et al. (23) concluded that the company ended as a result of Prohibition but cited conflicting closure dates from various sources.

Lockhart et al. (23) noted that this was the only mark used by North Baltimore Bottle Glass Co. They only found one example of the mark on a machine-made bottle, so evidently, use of the mark ended with the transition to machines. In contrast to their prediction that bottles from the North Baltimore plant (1888-1895) should have had applied finishes, they noted that they have not observe any bottles with the N B B G Co. mark and an applied finish. Accordingly, they concluded that either the North Baltimore plant did not mark its bottles or they only used a tooled finish, which would have been atypical. Thus, empirical evidence suggests that we could narrow the date range to 1895-c.1920, which aligns with our Copper Country bottles.


O B CO
1904-1905
Ohio Bottle Co.
Newark, OH (1904-1905)
beer #77
example
beer #75a
example
beer: #75a, #75e, 77
soda: #s10

Ohio Bottle Co. was a short-lived, first phase in a succession of mergers that formed Owens-Illinois Glass Co. Edward H. Everett spearheaded the formation of Ohio Bottle Co. in Oct 1904 by merging Edward H. Everett Glass Co. (Newark, OH), Massillon Bottle & Glass Co. (Massillon, OH), Reed & Co. (Massillon, OH), and Wooster Glass Co. (Wooster, OH), however the Wooster plant closed within the month due to a labor problem (8). Lockhart (8) stated that the purpose was to monopolize the use of the Owens machine for beer and soda bottles. They contracted an exclusive license with Owens Bottle Machine Co. within three weeks, but then they absorbed two more companies in 1905 and form the American Bottle Co. before operating any machines (8).

The four Copper Country bottles marked by Ohio Bottle Co. (three from A. Haas Brewing Co. and one from South Range Bottling Works) can be precisely dated since the company lasted for only about 10 months. It is possible though that American Glass Co. continued to use the molds with the O B CO mark until they wore out, which Lockhart et al. often stated was the practice.



1929-c.1960
Owens-Illinois Glass Co.
Toledo, OH (1929-1966)
abm-8
example
abm-41
example

To understand this company's rise to dominance, we start with the advent of Owens' bottle making machine.

Michael J. Owens started to experiment with automating steps of the glass making process at Libbey Glass Co. (39). Impressed with Owens' successes, Libbey incorporated the Toledo Glass Co. in Dec 1895 to focus on developing innovations in glass making (39). At Toledo, Owen invented the first fully-automatic bottle making machine and patented it in 1903 (27). Principle investors of Toledo Glass Co. incorporated the Owens Bottle-Machine Co. on 03 Sep 1903 to manufacture and lease Owens' machine (37). The company issued exclusive licenses for use of the machine to manufacture specific types of bottles (37). In 1904, several glass companies merged to form the Ohio Bottle Co. for the purpose of obtaining an exclusive license for soda and beer bottles (8). In 1905, within three weeks of obtaining the license, they absorbed two more companies and formed the American Bottle Co. (8). Thatcher Mfg. Co. held the sole license to manufacture milk bottles (37). Commercial use of the machine started in 1905 (37).

Growth of the company was slowed by two depressions: the panics of 1903 and 1907 (27). Only three licenses were active by 1907 (37). The company quickly realized that the practice of issuing exclusive licenses excluded itself from entering the bottle making business (37). Thus, the company created three corporations and issued them licenses to make bottles (37). The company exerted control of its rivals by becoming the majority stock holder (37). It gained control of Whitney Glass Works in 1915, American Bottle Co. and Graham Glass Co. in 1916, and purchased Greenfield Fruit & Bottle Co. from Ball Brothers Glass Mfg. Co. in 1917 (37).

Between 1911 and 1919, the company controlled 17 plants (37). It was then renamed the Owens Bottle Co. in 1919, at which time it had all the factories it would own (37). The emphasis switched from being a manufacturer of machines to a manufacturer of bottles using the machines (39). Some of the individual plants continued to operate under their own name and continued to use their own maker's mark (37). This ended in Apr 1929 when Owens Glass Co. and Illinois Glass Co. merged to form Owens-Illinois Glass Co. (37).

The company continued the same tactic of gaining back control of its machines. It acquired the Berney-Bond Glass Co. in 1930 and the Atlantic Bottle Co. in 1931, gaining control of milk bottle production (38). In 1931, the firm formed the Owens-Illinois Glass Co., Ltd., which then purchased the Illinois Pacific Coast Co., the largest glass manufacturer on the west coast (38). This west coast operation then changed its name in 1932 to Owens-Illinois Pacific Coast Co. (38). The firm purchased the O'Neill Machine Co. in 1933, and acquired its patents (38). The bottling industry boomed following the repeal of Prohibition in 1933 (38). In 1934, Owens-Illinois gained control of the Closure Service Co. and began making its own bottle closures (38). In 1954, the firm changed its name to Owens-Illinois, Inc. (38), and it continues to dominate the market today.

The OI-diamond logo is found on many Copper Country ABM bottles. It is surrounded by three codes: typically, factory code to the left, date code to the right, and mold code below (40). The date code initially consisted of only a single digit for the last digit of the year (40). Unfortunately, this meant that a "0" could refer to 1930 or 1940 (40). The company corrected this problem by adopting a two-digit date code in 1940, but implementation was delayed (40). By 1941, a single dot after a single-digit date code was used to indicate the 1940s, but only on beer and soda bottles (40). The dot system was replaced by the two-digit system by 1943 (40).

In addition to the logo, Owens-Illinois started to emboss a cursive "Duraglas" on the base of the bottle from 1940 (40). Duraglas was a new, stronger formula of glass that allowed manufacturers to use less glass (thinner bottles) and thus, maximize profits (40). Also from 1940, the base was stippled to prevent checking (shallow cracks) due to rapid cooling of the glass (40). The presence of either of these features can aid in dating, but nothing can be concluded by their absence (40).


R G Co.
1901-c.1907
Root Glass Co.
Terre Haute, IN (1901-1932)
soda #70
example
soda #150
example
soda: #70, 100, 113, 115, 119, 148a, 150

The Root Glass Co. was incorporated in May 1901, with the purpose of making soda and beer bottles, and had a new factory operational by Nov (24). The factory began using its own semi-automatic machine in 1912, and may have ceased mouth-blowing at that time or perhaps by 1914 (23). A tornado flattened the factory in March 1913 but it was rebuilt (23). It is unclear if Root operated three plants or three furnaces, but one burned in Nov 1924 and was rebuilt, while another was destroyed by fire in May 1925 (23). The company was sold to Owens-Illinois Glass Co. in 1932 and the plant continued to produce glass until 1938 (24).

The R G Co. mark is one of two marks we see on Copper Country bottles from Root Glass Co. We find this mark on the back heel or base, with or without punctuation, on soda bottles. Lockhart et al. (23) discussed alternative attributions for this mark proposed by others, but supported the attribution to Root Glass Co. based on empirical evidence. They dated this mark as the earlier (1901-c.1907) mark of Root Glass Co., but suggested that it is possible that some older molds with this mark was used until 1912.


ROOT
1901-1932
Root Glass Co.
Terre Haute, IN (1901-1932)
soda #99
example
soda #146
example
beer: #71, 72, 88, 112
soda: #21, 22, 23, 24, 45a, 46, 52, 57, 66, 99, 101, 117, 125, 130, 131, 133, 145, 146, 147, 149, 151, 152, 155, 158, s12, s48, abm-35, abm-38, abm-53, abm-55, abm-56, abm-57, abm-76

ROOT is the second mark from Root Glass Co. we find on Copper Country bottles, and we find it on the back heel or base of beer and soda bottles. Lockhart et al. (24) suggested that the mark on soda shifted from the base to the heel probably in 1909. They also noted that the heel mark on soda or beer can be accompanied with numbers for the mold and the year starting from 1909, but some bottles have just the mold number or neither. For example, Henry Larsen #s12 is marked with 12 ROOT 542, indicating that it was made in 1912. Base marks, however, did not have a date mark. Lockhart et al. (23) also noted that the company focused more on soda bottle production from as early as 1910, which matches our greater number of sodas over beers bearing this mark.



c.1897-1899
possibly Streeter Glass Co.
Greenfield, IN (1879-1899)
beer #69c
example
beer: #69c

We have only one bottle with this mark, A. Haas Brewing Co. #69c.

The belief that this mark is attributed to Streeter Glass Co. was noted by von Mechow (4) without citation or rationale. Lockhart et al. (25) noted that the company may have opened in 1897 and found that the plant was called Streeter Jar & Bottle Works. Streeter moved the plant to Terre Haute, IN in 1900 and incorporated the Terre Haute Glass Mfg. Co. (25). Lockhart et al. (25) noted that the company was under receivership by May 1903, and was sold to Root Glass Co. in Oct 1905, who sold it to Ball Brothers in Nov 1909.



c.1885-c.1920
probably Swindell Bros.
Baltimore, MD (1873-1959)
or Chicago Glass Mfg. Co.
Chicago, IL (1883-1892)
phar. #1
example
phar. #32
example
pharmacy: #1, 32

It turns out, more than one glass company used this mark. The likely choices for our Copper Country bottles are Swindell Bros. in Baltimore, MD and Chicago Glass Mfg. Co. in Chicago, IL (2,30,31). Given the shapes of these bottles and their local histories, it seems likely that they date to the 1890s to early 1900s, and thus fit the operational years of Swindell Bros.

Two brothers, Walter and Charles Swindell, established the company in 1873 according to an ad and William Swindell's obituary (30). They started with window glass, but by 1880, they added druggist glass (30). By 1913, mouth-blown and semiautomatic machines were used (30). The plant was sold to Carr-Lowrey Glass Co. in Aug 1948, but continued to operate under the Swindell name until 1959 (30).


S B & G Co.
1881-1905
Streator Bottle & Glass Co.
Streator, IL (1881-1905)
beer #25
example
soda #83
example
beer: #23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 44b, 53, 69a, 91b, 126, 128, 129, s7
soda: #28a, 29a, 30a, 33a, 81, 83, s13

Streator Bottle & Glass Co. incorporated in June 1881, recruited many workers from DeSteiger Glass Co. after it was destroyed by fire in 1885, purchased the Streator Flint Glass Works from Adolphus Busch in 1898, and merged into American Bottle Co. in 1905 (11).

Lockhart et al. (11) identified the S B & G Co. mark as the only mark used by Streator Bottle & Glass Co. We find it on a number of Copper Country beer and soda bottles. Lockhart et al. (11) only knew the mark to occur on the base for beers and mostly on the heel for sodas. We find this to be true as well for the Copper Country, with only two sodas (#33a and 81) exhibiting the mark on the base (the location for soda #29a is unknown).

Lockhart et al. (11) observed that Streator's mark did not appear on embossed beers until c.1890. They also correlated the mark in a horizontal orientation in the middle of the base to c.1890-1905. The Copper Country beers fit this style. In contrast, they dated the S B & G CO in an arch or circle on the base to c.1885-1890. The quart Jos. James #81 has this style, although it is a soda not a beer, and it has a lowercase "o" in Co.


S-F G Co.
1894-c.1897
Sheldon-Foster Glass Co.
Gas City, IN (1894-c.1902)
Chicago Heights, IL (1901-1912)
phar. #25
example
pharmacy: #25

The Sheldon-Foster Glass Co. was incorporated in July 1894 by Thomas K. Sheldon and Adelbert M. Foster (29). They acquired the Gas City plant of Marion Flint Glass Co. (29). The company moved to Chicago Heights, IL probably in 1901 but Lockhart et al. (29) noted that the Gas City plant may have continued operating for a few years. The Schofield Brothers in Marion, IL took control in Oct 1912 and changed the name to Chicago Heights Bottle Co. in Jan 1913 (29).

Sheldon-Foster Glass Co. supplied distributors, Dean, Foster & Co. and A. M. Foster & Co. (29), who used their own marks on many of the Copper Country pharmacy bottles. In fact, only one bottle bears the mark specifically for Sheldon-Foster Glass Co.; that is, C.J. Sorsen & Co. #25.


SHELDON
c.1900-c.1907
probably Sheldon-Foster Glass Co.
Gas City, IN (1894-c.1902)
Chicago Heights, IL (1901-1912)
phar. #2
example
pharmacy: #2

Whitten (2) and Lockhart et al. (27) suspected the SHELDON mark was used by the Sheldon-Foster Glass Co. in Gas City, IN and Chicago, IL. Lockhart et al. (27) noted that the mark appeared in the catalogs of Dean, Foster & Co. and A. M. Foster & Co., both of which were distributors not glass manufacturers. The mark, however, may refer to a bottle style, and Lockhart et al. (27) labeled it as the Sheldon Oval, instead of being a maker's mark per se. Similar markings for a bottle style consist of KELLOGG and KLONDIKE associated with A.M.F. & CO. and BREED associated with W. B M CO.


S TWITCHELL & BRO MRFS.
1885-c.1891
Twitchell, Seldon & Bro.
Philadelphia, PA (1880-1892)
soda #89
example

This mark is associated with bottles using the Twitchell Floating Ball Stopper, for which the Copper Country has two. Lockhart et al. (26) noted that the company was not a glass manufacturer. von Mechow (4) noted that F. B. S. embossed on the base abbreviates Floating Ball Stopper.



c.1890-c.1914
Whitney Glass Works
Glassboro, NJ (1885-1918)
phar. #s25
example
phar. #s27
example
pharmacy: #s25, s27

The W-diamond mark is attributed to Whitney Glass Works (1,2,32). The Whitney Glass Works name was established in 1885, being changed from Whitney Brothers (32). The company operated two plants in Glassboro, NJ. One plant, built in 1779 and began production in 1781, became known as the Olive Glass Works in 1808 (32). The other plant opened as Harmony Glass Works in 1813 (32). Lockhart et al. (32) noted that mouth blowing ceased in 1913, with all bottles from that point being made by Owens machines. The plants were sold to Owens Bottle Machine Co. in 1918 and the Whitney Glass Works was dissolved (32).

Only two Copper Country pharmacy bottles bear this mark. Based on reports of the mark, Lockhart et al. (32) estimated a usage range of c.1890-c.1914.


W. B. M. CO.
1901-c.1931
Western Bottle Manufacturing Co.
Chicago, IL (1900-c.1931)
phar. #12
example
phar. #15
example
pharmacy: #12, s32, 13 , 15, s38, s72

Lockhart et al. (33) identified Western Bottle Manufacturing Co. as a distributor, probably of Marion Flint Glass Co. and Sheldon-Foster Glass Co., not a glass manufacturer itself. The company was incorporated in Dec 1900, and thus Lockhart et al. (33) suspected they probably did not start selling bottles until the following year. They noted that the company closed in 1931 or shortly thereafter as result of the Great Depression.

Lockhart et al. (33) cited accounts of the W. B. M. CO. mark occurring by itself on mouth-blown, embossed pharmacy bottles, and noted that they have found no example of it occurring on generic, machine-made bottles. With the Copper Country bottles bearing this mark (#12, 13) being mouth-blown, we can narrow the date range to 1901-c.1920.

We also have Copper Country bottles (#15, s32) with BREED accompanying the W. B. M. CO. mark. BREED refers to the bottle style, and it was probably named after its creator, R. E. Breed, although the shape was apparently not patented (33). Based on empirical evidence, Lockhart et al. (33) narrowed the date range for the BREED mark to 1901-c.1908.


W. B. MFG. CO.
1901-c.1931
Western Bottle Manufacturing Co.
Chicago, IL (1900-c.1931)
phar. #13
example
pharmacy: #13

For the 8 oz. size of Superior Pharmacy #13, we see a variation of the Western Bottle Manufacturing Co. mark, one with MFG. instead of M. This variation was not listed in Lockhart et al. (33). Because the 4 oz. size of the same bottle has the M. B. M. CO. mark, we expect the two marks to have the same date range.


W F & S MIL
1898-1921
William Franzen & Son
Milwaukee, WI (1898-1921)
soda #30b
example
beer #85
example
beer: #85, abm-28
soda: #30b, 114

The story of the twin Milwaukee glass plants originally started by Dr. Enoch Chase of Chase Valley Glass Co. continued after the bankruptcy of Cream City Glass Co. The site was next operated by Northern Glass Co. (1894-1896) and Northern Glass Works (1896-1898) (19), but no Copper Country bottles bear their marks. William Franzen, one of three that incorporated the Northern Glass Works, took on his son as a partner in Sep 1898, forming William Franzen & Son as owners of Northern Glass Works (19). In Nov 1899 the factory was destroyed by fire and without sufficient funds to rebuild, the company was incorporated in June 1900 (19), which is often the start date given (such as by 1,2) to William Franzen & Son. The company used Johnny Bull semiautomatic machines by 1909 (19). William Franzen died in 1911 or 1912 (19). The factory primarily made beer bottles, so Prohibition brought its downfall and the corporation was dissolved in Dec 1921 (19).

The Copper Country has only three bottles with the W F & S MIL mark: Calumet Brewing Co. #85 with a base mark, The Twin City Bottling Works #114 with a base mark, and Richard Hooper #30b with a heel mark. Lockhart et al. (19) noted that this factory used machines exclusively by 1913, so we can narrow the range of our mouth-blown bottles to 1898-c.1912. They noted that both applied and tooled finishes were used throughout the hand-blown age for different types of tops, including Baltimore loop seal, Hutchinson, and crown tops. Thus, the type of finish does not help with dating for this company. They described different configurations of the mark, but the ones found on our Copper Country bottles were not part of their classification. Thus, to further narrow the date range for each bottle, we would need to apply additional information, such as the type of closure and local history.


W. T. & CO.
1870s-1901
Whitall Tatum & Co.
Millville, NJ (1857-1900)
phar. #26
example
phar. #31
example
pharmacy: #26, 28, 29, 31, s53, s71, s73, s74, s75

The original factory in Millville, NJ was established in 1806 (34). Whitall Tatum & Co. was a continuation of a long line of company name changes. Their plants were called the Phoenix Flint-Glass Works and Phoenix Green-Glass Works (34). In 1886, it was the largest glass operation in the U.S. (34). The company incorporated as Whitall Tatum Co. in Jan 1901 (35).

Lockhart et al. (34) noted that Whitall Tatum & Co. patented at least 10 designs for pharmacy bottles, and listed the names of the bottle styles and their patent dates. They identified different configurations of the mark and attributed more specific dates to them. Bottles with just the W. T. & CO. mark (often with a patent date), like Macdonald Pharmacy #31, were dated to mid-1870s-c.1890, but most commonly 1880-1890. Bottles with a letter or number below the W. T. & CO. mark, like M. Printz #28 and #29, were dated to c.1880-1895, but most commonly 1885-1895. Bottles with the W. T. & CO. mark with a letter or number below it and then U.S.A. below the letter or number, like C.J. Sorsen #26, 2 oz. size, were dated to c.1890-1901. Bottles with the W. T. & CO. mark with a letter and U.S.A. below it in one line, like C.J. Sorsen #26, 4 oz. size, were dated to c.1890-1894.


W. T. CO.
1901-1924
Whitall-Tatum Co.
Millville, NJ (1901-1938)
phar. #11
example
phar. #7
example
pharmacy: #7, 11, s56a, s68

Whitall Tatum & Co. was incorporated as Whitall Tatum Co. in Jan 1901 (35). They had a semiautomatic machine for narrow-mouth bottles operational by 1912, and Lockhart et al. (35) reasoned, based on company ads, that mouth-blowing bottles ceased by 1925. The company was purchased in June 1938 by Armstrong Cork Co., who later sold it to Kerr Glass Mfg. Co. in April 1969.

Similar for Whitall Tatum & Co., Lockhart et al. (35) identified different configurations of the mark and assigned more specific dates to each. Bottles with a letter or number and U.S.A. in two lines below the W. T. CO. mark, like Geo. H. Nichols #7, were dated to 1901-c.1924. Bottles with U.S.A. below the W. T. Co. mark (sometimes with a patent date below U.S.A.), like Nichols #11, were dated to 1901-c.1905.


WIS G Co MILW
1881-1886
Wisconsin Glass Co.
Milwaukee, WI (1881-1886)
beer #62
example
beer: #42, 61, 62

Chase Valley Glass Works No.1 and No.2 merged in Aug 1881 to form Wisconsin Glass Co. (15). Reportedly due to costs, over-diversification, and a series of strikes, the factory closed in 1886 (15). The factory later reopened in 1888 with new partners as the Cream City Glass Co. (15).

Wisconsin Glass Company operated for only five years, which allows us to date its bottles to a narrow range. The Copper Country has three beer bottles with this specific mark, two from A. Haas Brewing Co. and one from Union Brewery.

Lockhart et al. (15) studied the variation in marks and hypothesized that the ones with "glass" abbreviated as "G" were from one factory and the ones with "glass" embossed as "GLASS" were from the other factory. But they found no way of knowing which mark came from which factory, if that was in fact the case.


WIS. G. Co
1881-1886
Wisconsin Glass Co.
Milwaukee, WI (1881-1886)
soda-s45
example
soda: #s45

This is a variation of the Wisconsin Glass Company mark, one without MILW as part of the mark.


WIS. GLASS Co. MILW
1881-1886
Wisconsin Glass Co.
Milwaukee, WI (1881-1886)
beer-34
example
beer: #34

The WIS. GLASS Co. MILW mark is another mark from Wisconsin Glass Company we find on a Copper Country bottle: lightning-stoppered Union Brewery #34. This bottle bears the mark on its front heel, an atypical location for a marker's mark.


Bottle Production

We see that the bottle makers that supplied the Copper Country were distant from the Copper Country itself, with the nearest factory being in Milwaukee, WI. They were mostly located in the Northeast and lower Midwest. Bottles had to be transported 330 to over 1,100 miles to reach the Copper Country. Lockhart et al. (12) shed light on the locations of early glass operations. Glass factories started on the east coast where people initially settled and population grew, and spread with western migration in the 18th century. Fuel was a major limiting factor. Factories initially used wood until forests were denuded, and then they turned to coal and natural gas. Given the coal and natural gas reserves in the Ohio Valley region, it makes sense that many factories established there.

map of bottle makers

It is apparent that many Copper Country bottlers purchased bottles from various bottle makers. Jos. Bosch, for example, used bottles from C & I, C & Co., E. SON & H, E S & H, D S G Co., C. C. G. Co., CLYDE GLASS WORKS, N B B G Co., S B & G Co., and A B Co. Such an extensive list of suppliers may be expected for a long-lived brewer like Bosch when the bottler outlived many of the bottle makers. Plus, some maker's mark changes represented a change in company name for the same operation. But even for a given time period we find examples for which different makers were used to produce bottles of similar design and embossing (e.g., A. Haas #69 and #75 and their varieties). The reasons why are unknown. Did bottlers have difficulty getting a sufficient supply of bottles? Were bottlers switching makers to get the best price or glass quality?

Another consideration for obtaining a supply of bottles is that glass factories routinely shut down for about two months during the summer and bottlers had to order in advance. The Illinois Glass Co. 1906 catalog stated, "Nearly all glass factories close from July 1st to about Sept 1st, on account of the summer heat and for needed repairs of furnaces. Thousands of dollars are lost every summer by those who have failed to properly anticipate their needs for special wares."

Glass company catalogs show the diversity of bottles available to bottlers for customization, production, and purchase (see Illinois Glass Co. 1906 catalog on Bill Lindsey's site and Illinois Glass Co. 1903 catalog and North Baltimore Bottle Glass Co. c.1900 catalog on von Mechow's site). They show that the unit for ordering was a gross (12 dozen = 144 bottles). For example, a gross of 2 oz. Philadelphia Oval pharmacy bottles in the Illinois Glass Co. 1906 catalog costs $7.00 (p. 27). The North Baltimore Bottle Glass Co. c.1900 catalog stated, "Be sure to state the quantity in gross lots you desire..." (in Introductory). If this was the standard practice for bottle makers for at least the second half of the 1800s into the early 1900s, we can expect there to have been at least 144 specimens of each bottle purchased and used by a Copper Country bottler. The recovery of some local bottles, with just one or zero intact specimens and even shards being rare, speaks to the likelihood that sometimes only the minimum order was placed.

The catalogs show that beer and soda mold shapes could be fitted with different types of tops. The North Baltimore Bottle Glass Co. c.1900 catalog stated, "We finish our bottles in Crown cork, seal, aluminum, or Hutchinson stopper, export cork, etc. etc." (in Introductory). The Illinois Glass Co. 1906 catalog specified the tops available for each mold. The pattern is that tall-necked molds could be topped for a cork, lightning stopper, Baltimore loop seal, crown top, or with limited molds, a Hutchinson stopper. Short-necked molds were primarily for the Hutchinson stopper, but could also be finished for a Baltimore loop seal or cork and wire. For the Copper Country, we find examples of finishing different tops on long-necked bottles, but not short-necked bottles. These examples have the same plate and bottle shape, but were finished with a different top:

  • Lightning Top vs. Baltimore Loop Seal Top: Torch Lake Brewery #5 vs. #6, Torch Lake Brewery #4 vs #7, A. Haas Brewing Co. #61 vs. #68, A. Haas Brewing Co. #64 vs. #67
  • Lightning Top vs. Double-ring Lightning Top: A. Haas Brewing Co. #61 vs. #62
  • Double-ring Lightning Top vs. Baltimore Loop Seal Top: A. Haas Brewing Co. #63 vs. #65
  • Baltimore Loop Seal Top vs. Cork Top: Scheuermann Brewery #56 vs. #55
  • Baltimore Loop Seal Top vs. Crown Top: A. Haas Brewing Co. #69b vs. #79, Calumet Branch #128 vs. #129, Sterling Spring Mineral Water Co. #48 vs. #50 (also have different colors)
  • Cork Top vs. Crown Top: A. Hass Brewing Co. #76a vs. #81

Most of the bottle makers produced both aqua and amber glass, with colorless later becoming the standard for machine-made bottles.

The 1903 and 1906 Illinois Glass Company Catalogs stated, "All sodas made in green glass, unless otherwise ordered." (Note that "green" is known as aqua today.) This confirms the observation that aqua was the standard color for mouth-blown soda bottles. Accordingly, we find that most Copper Country soda bottles were aqua with a few being amber or colorless and one being cobalt blue. The North Baltimore Bottle Glass Co. c.1900 catalog stated, "Don't fail to mention color wanted, whether light green or amber..." (In Introductory). It offered a selection of "quart champagne-shaped bottles" separate from "pint champagne-shaped beer bottles". The availability of such multi-use bottles and choice of color explains the occurrence of amber bottles from Sterling Spring Mineral Water Co. (#47, 48, 49, 49a, 49b), Calumet Bottling Works (#s16), and Copper City Bottling Works (#143, 144). The colorless bottles and one cobalt blue bottle were probably special orders.

The Illinois Glass Co. 1906 catalog stated, "green or amber glass" for their export beers and "green, amber, or flint" for their champagne beers. (Note that "export" and "champagne" specify shapes with "export" having a swelling in the neck (36)). Despite the choice of color, we find amber was the standard color for Copper Country beers, with some of the earliest ones being aqua and some of the later export or select beers being aqua or colorless.

We find a few examples of Copper Country beer or soda bottles that have the same plate and bottle shape, but were made with a different glass color.

  • Aqua vs. Amber: Torch Lake Brewery #s1 vs. #2, Torch Lake Brewery #1a vs. #s2, Calumet Brewing Co. #96 vs. #99, Sterling Spring Mineral Water Co. #50 vs. 48 (also have different tops)
  • Amber vs. Olive Green: Torch Lake Brewery #9 vs. #9a

All the Copper Country pharmacy bottles are colorless. We see that their makers were a different set of glass companies and factories than the ones that produced beer and soda bottles. Their histories show that they specialized in flint glass production. Lindsey (3) noted that flint glass was the name given to colorless glass produced with low-iron sand. The Illinois Glass Co. 1906 catalog listed its pharmacy bottles under "Flint Glass Bottles and Wares". Even though Illinois Glass Co. made pharmacy bottles they apparently did not make any for the Copper Country.

Having a customized embossing plate allowed the bottle maker to make an order of bottles and then save the plate for a later order. With a subsequent order, the bottler could have selected a mold that differed in shape or generic embossing (e.g., THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD or REGISTERED), as shown in the catalogs. The bottler could have added or removed a customized base marking. The glass factory could have used a mold that had or lacked a maker's mark. The glass factory could have been using a different batch of glass that differed in shade of color. We find examples of Copper Country bottles that have the same plate but evidently were ordered and produced at a different time due to differences in mold shape, mold embossing, and/or shade of glass color.

  • Torch Lake Brewery #s1 has a taller body and greener aqua vs. #1.
  • Torch Lake Brewery #2 has a taller body and darker amber vs. #s2.
  • Union Brewery #s33 has a taller body and lighter amber vs. #41.
  • Torch Lake Brewery #12a has REGISTERED vs. #12 that has THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD.
  • Calumet Brewing Co. #84 has REGISTERED vs. #83 that does not.
  • Jos. James Bottling Works #82a has J as a base mark and a lighter aqua vs. #82.
  • Jos. James Bottling Works #83 has a maker's mark and darker aqua vs. #83a.
  • Sterling Spring Mineral Water Co. #50 has a base mark vs. #48 which does not.
  • Upper Peninsula Bottling Co. #101 has a maker's mark and no base mark vs. #101a.
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