Monday, January 28, 2013

1/28/13 Report - Bottles and History Found

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Ink Bottle Found Yesterday
One thing leads to another.  That is today's subtitle, and it sure is true when hunting in the field or conducting research.

Someone recently told me they would like to see a photo of an Alfar Dairy bottle.  I was going to do that promptly but had a couple more half pint bottles from the same dairy and wanted to post them at the same time.  Well, I don't know where I put the half pint bottles so I put the photos off for a while.  Finally I decided I would post the photo of the larger bottle anyway.  I didn't know that I would find some more bottles before getting that done.  So today is mostly about bottles - and research.

I didn't intend to hunt bottles yesterday, but I noticed an area where pieces of glass and similar things were accumulating and knew it looked right for hunting bottles, so I decided to take a look.   In just a few minutes I picked up the ink and soda bottle shown in this post.  Both were partially covered by sand, but I could see a bit of the glass showing and pulled them out of the sand.  My eye is well tuned to bottles and things.

First the ink bottle.  I think some people might call it an umbrella bottle or a bell bottle.  I don't know which is most accurate or if both are right.

As you can see from the photo it is embossed on the bottom.  It says, MADE IN USA, NO. 5, and I think WATERS.

Waters appears to be the company name, and no. 5 is the type of ink that the bottle held.  I don't know if Waters is actually the company name or if it is an abbreviation for Waterman, a common ink company.

I wrote this before really researching it, or even looking at it real good.  I think it says "Waters" even though that is blurry and I'll have to take a better look at it..

Notice the bubbles in the ink bottle.

Embossed Bottle - Probably Soda
The other bottle that I found in a few minutes of looking is embossed Cantrell Cochrane.   They are an old company, but this particular bottle is not that old.  I would say that it probably had a paper label above the embossing and would go back to the period when bottling companies were moving from embossing to paper labels.

I haven't done my research yet.  As you can see from the photos, I haven't even washed them well yet.

One additional note about the Cantrell bottle.  When I took it home, I thought it had weeds or roots in it.  It turned out that some one had stuffed a bunch of copper wire into the bottle and that is what was actually in it.  I guess the lesson there is that people sometimes stuff things into bottles and it might be worth taking a look to see what if anything might be in an old bottle.

And one tip for surface-hunting for bottles:  when there is a lot of broken glass, look for smaller bottles.  It seems they are more likely to survive but more difficult to see.

And below is the one bottle that I originally planned to show today.  It is the Alfar Dairy bottle.

Alfar provided the Palm Beach schools with milk in the 1960s.  The schools paid just under 6 cents per half pint back then.  It was the half pint bottles that I have somewhere and couldn't find.

Alfar Dairy Bottle
After WWII Alfar delivered milk to Stuart and Fort Pierce.  You'll also see milk bottles labeled Alfar Boutwell.  The two dairies combined at some point.

In the process of looking up the Alfar Dairy I discovered a lot of interesting things.  That is why I said above, "One thing leads to another."

For one thing, I discovered that you can look up online the 1940 census.  Just to check it out, I took a look at the census reports for Ankona, Eldred and White City.  It gave the residents names, ages, occupations, etc.

That could be a very useful research tool.  I won't get into that any more now.  Maybe some time in the future.  It is a little tricky to use.

I also found a web site giving history on the dairies but which also provided great clues to other old historic sites, including a fort.  

You won't find many articles that give this many good clues to historic locations.  And the only reason I found it was because I was looking up information on the Alfar Dairy.

Check it out.

Good site for learning a little about Florida history.

Well, that isn't exactly what I planned to show today.  It just all fell together.  It leaves me with some other topics to finish in the future.

It looks like we'll have southeast winds today on the Treasure Coast.  That probably means more accumulation of sand, shells, ceramics and glass on some beaches, and continued poor detecting conditions.

The surf is predicted to be around three or four feet.  That is a touch higher than recent days.  Not enough to improve conditions though.

Low tide will be a little before 3 PM.

Happy hunting,