25 Nov 2021, last revised 29 Jun 2024

Similar to most squat sodas from the Copper County, the embossing of the proprietors consists of only initials. Curiously, the J. L. initials also occur on the J. L. bottle from L'Anse and the B. initial also occurs on the B. & N bottle from Red Jacket. Are they connected?

The J. L & B bottle from Houghton has the A & D H C maker's mark for Alexander & David H. Chambers, which dates to 1860-c.1884 (1). Given that this bottle is a squat soda without a pontil mark, we can narrow our search to 1865-1880. The Michigan State directory did not list a bottler with these initials, although we do not have access to the 1869 or 1871 volumes. Luckily, the Portage Lake Mining Gazette published ads and articles for Joseph Lloyd as a soda water manufacturer.

In Nov 1869, Geo. C. Shelden (see S. & S.) sold his pop factory to "J. & S. Lloyd", and the new owners requested that the bottles belonging to Shelden be returned to them (9). The first ad, running from Dec 1869 to Jan 1870, stated that "J. Lloyd & Bro." were proprietors of the City Bottling Works at the corner of Isle Royale St. and Shelden St. in Houghton.

Newspaper ad - <i>The Portage Lake Mining Gazette</i>, 06 Jan 1870
Newspaper ad - Jan 1870

The next ad, dated 10 Jan 1870, announced that they had purchased an operation in Red Jacket from Wanzer, and would "carry on the business of making soda-water". They then ran an ad from Feb 1870 to Jul 1871, stating that J. Lloyd & Bro. now had operations in Houghton and Red Jacket.

Newspaper ad - <i>The Portage Lake Mining Gazette</i>, 03 Feb 1870
Newspaper ad - Feb 1870
Newspaper ad - <i>The Portage Lake Mining Gazette</i>, 02 Feb 1871
Newspaper ad - Feb 1871

In 1870, they supplied the Fourth of July celebration with 200-300 dozen bottles of soda (11). This sounds like an extraordinary quantity of bottles to have in stock, especially when finding just one of them today would be a find of a lifetime. But they likely used mostly unembossed bottles, similar to other bottlers during the squat soda period. In fact, most squat soda bottles found locally are unembossed.

On 16 May 1871, "Joseph Lloyd" and "Samuel Lloyd" dissolved their partnership (8). By Apr 1872, Lloyd had formed a partnership with Bennie, and the firm "Lloyd & Bennie" had operations in Red Jacket and L'Anse, and were scheduled to start a factory in Hancock on the 1st of May (13). The Houghton branch was not mentioned, but evidently, it still existed, as indicated by a subsequent ad for Joseph Lloyd. After buying out Wanzer, Lloyd's firm was the only soda bottler in the Copper Country. That is until "Joseph Lloyd" and "Peter Bennie" dissolved their partnership on 01 May 1872 (2). The resolution was that Lloyd would continue the branches in Houghton, Hancock, and L'Anse, while Bennie would supply Calumet, Red Jacket, and Keweenaw County (14).

Given Lloyd's two partnerships, we cannot be sure who the B on the bottle represented, since it could have abbreviated Bro. or Bennie. The J. L & B initials, however, better match the firm name J. Lloyd & Bro. The firm with Bennie was called Lloyd & Bennie, which should have been abbreviated as L. & B. or J. L. & P. B. Assuming the bottle represented J. Lloyd & Bro., we can narrow its date to 1869-1871.

Now that we have names for the initials, we can research their past.

Joseph Lloyd was born on 02 Mar 1830 in Gloucestershire, England (3) and immigrated to the U.S. in 1856 (25) or 1868 (4). On 22 Apr 1869, he dissolved a partnership with "J. B. Ormaby" (15) and formed a partnership with "J. P. Edwards" to carry on a lumbering business at the Edwards Mill in Houghton (16). Nearly five months later, on 11 Sep 1869, the firm Edwards & Lloyd dissolved with Lloyd retiring from the partnership and "Joseph P. Edwards" carrying on the business (17). It was then two months later that he purchased Shelden's pop factory. He resided in Calumet as a "pop manufacturer" when surveyed on 19 Jul 1870 for the U.S. Federal Census (5). Thus, he evidently ran the Red Jacket branch after purchased it from Wanzer. In fact, when he visited his "old friends" in Red Jacket in Dec 1902, he was identified as, "who some thirty years ago ran a soda water manufactory in Red Jacket..." (18).

Samuel Lloyd was born on 10 Dec 1836, also in Gloucestershire, England (6) and immigrated to the U.S. in 1858 (20). He spent a few months in Canada and then moved to Houghton (20). Based on his children being born in Houghton (ancestry.com), he was in Houghton from at least 1865. He was in the liquor business in Houghton (19) prior to purchasing the pop factory. The 1870 U.S. Federal Census listed him as a resident of Portage Township and a saloon keeper (5). Thus, he apparently ran the Houghton branch of the pop business while continuing to run his liquor business. At some point he engaged in hotel keeping and mining (20), and also lived in Hancock (24). In 1871, his hotel was towed from Houghton to L'Anse on two large scows and became the first hotel in L'Anse, known as the Lloyd House (20,21). The 1880 census listed him as a hotel keeper in L'Anse (7). He sold the Lloyd House in Apr 1891 (22) and moved to Lester Park, MN and engaged in the hotel business (23). He died on 22 Nov 1893 in Lester Park, Minnesota at the age of 56 (12), but was buried in the L'Anse Township Cemetery (6), perhaps to be with his father (10).

After Joseph Lloyd and Peter Bennie dissolved their partnership, they each continued to be soda manufacturers. Follow their histories with their subsequent bottling operations: J. L. in L'Anse, Houghton, and Hancock, and B. & N in Red Jacket.


  1. Lockhart, B., C. Serr, B. Schriever, and B. Lindsey. 2013, revised 2021. The glass factories and bottles of Alexander and David H. Chambers. In: Encyclopedia of Manufacturer's Marks on Historic Bottles. posted on Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website. https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/A&DHChambers.pdf
  2. anonymous. (1872, May 09). Dissolutions. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  3. Find a Grave. accessed Nov 2021. Joseph Darvel Lloyd Jr. findagrave.com/memorial/68400457/joseph-darvel-lloyd
  4. U.S. Census Bureau. 1910 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  5. U.S. Census Bureau. 1870 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  6. Find a Grave. accessed Nov 2021. Samuel Lloyd. findagrave.com/memorial/55262607/samuel-lloyd
  7. U.S. Census Bureau. 1880 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  8. anonymous. (1871, May 25). Dissolutions. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  9. anonymous. (1869, Nov 25). untitled. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  10. Find a Grave. accessed Feb 2022. Joseph Darvel Lloyd Sr. findagrave.com/memorial/68398156/joseph-darvel-lloyd
  11. anonymous. (1870, Jul 07). untitled. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  12. anonymous. (1893, Nov 21). untitled. The Native Copper Times (Lake Linden, MI). p. 3.
  13. anonymous. (1872, Apr 18). New pop factory. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  14. anonymous. (1872, May 16). Business changes. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  15. anonymous. (1869, May 06). Dissolution of co-partnership. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3
  16. anonymous. (1869, May 06). Partnership notice. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  17. anonymous. (1869, Sep 23). Dissolution of copartnership. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  18. anonymous. (1902, Dec 09). The city. The Copper Country Evening News (Calumet, MI). p. 4.
  19. anonymous. (1869, May 27). Local notices. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  20. anonymous. 1883. The History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Western Historical Company. Chicago, IL.
  21. anonymous. (1922, Mar 03). The history of L'Anse Township. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 1.
  22. anonymous. (1891, Apr 11). L'Anse affairs. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 5.
  23. anonymous. (1891, Oct 24). Obituary. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 5.
  24. anonymous. (1893, Nov 29). untitled. Semi-Weekly Copper Journal (Hancock, MI). p. 3.
  25. anonymous. (1917, Feb 17). Aged pioneer dies. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 8.

J. L & B bottle
capacity: half-pint
color: aqua
top: blob top - applied
base: cup-bottom
maker's mark: A & D H C (heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1869-1871
rarity: extremely rare