Hutchinson Bottle Directory Updates


October 31, 2008

This page contains July, 2004 thru September, 2008 Hutchinson Bottle Directory project updates.  Subsequent updates are posted on the Updates page.

Sinus Infection = 1, HutchBook Guy = 0

September 30, 2008

What should have been a highly productive September has been impacted by the souvenir sinus infection from Hell that I acquired at the York Expo.  Return of the fall marathon season hasn't helped the situation.  I survived one early in the month, but skipped another last Sunday to focus on conquering this sinus problem.  Sunday, October 5th will be my 27th consecutive Portland (Oregon) Marathon and I plan to run any remaining infection out of my body at the race.  

Although progress on the HutchBook slowed this month, it isn't like we've been snoozing! Successful summer digging across the country turned up many great new Hutchinsons that we've catalogued.  We've also received additional, strong collector support for Delaware, North Dakota/Dakota Territory, and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  The grand total number of Hutchinsons catalogued has jumped up to 16,115 and is expected to climb more in October.  A considerable number of September's hours were also devoted to becoming more proficient with the graphics software being utilized to prepare the bottle illustrations.  

Ron F.

© 2008, Seattle History Company

"Excuse me, am I still in York, PA?"

August 23, 2008

Other than spending an entire day flying from Seattle to Houston, then to Cleveland (where we were treated to a spectacular thunder, lightning, hail, and rain storm that shut down the airport for an hour), on to Harrisburg, PA, and finally by shuttle to York, PA just before midnight, the trip was uneventful.

Early Friday morning I went for a longer-than-planned run thru York thanks to stopping to read a few too many historical markers and needing to ask for directions back to the hotel.  Even so, I made it to the Toyota Center with plenty of time to spare before the 0800 HBCA meeting.  Once the requested AV equipment showed up, our session began with a small but enthusiastic gathering of 22 Hutchinson aficionados, several of whom were HBCA members I had the pleasure of meeting in person for the first time.  Brief individual introductions were followed by a discussion where I detailed:

Those in attendance provided feedback on proposals that we add county and geographical area to the data we are capturing.  It was agreed that this additional information will be gathered on a go-forward basis.  

While it was nice not to have any schedule conflicts at the same time as our meeting, attendance was definitely limited because many HBCA members were still enroute to York.  During the remainder of the Expo I focused on visiting with over 20 additional HBCA members, including showing and discussing details concerning the material presented at our meeting.  Bottom line: the HBCA meeting wasn't perfect, but it was definitely a step forward.  We added several new members at the Expo, and additional memberships have been received from collectors who obtained HBCA informational flyers at the show.

I spent the rest of Friday morning attending other seminars/meetings.  Dennis Smith's "Kola Wars" presentation was excellent.  The highlight for me was an opportunity to view For His Son, the 1912 silent movie by D. W. Griffith (of Birth of a Nation fame).  Thematically similar to Reefer Madness, this classic film relates the story of a doctor who invents the highly successful "Dopokoke," a soft drink containing cocaine, only to see his own son fall victim to a cocaine addiction.  I suspect The Coca-Cola Company wasn't all that amused when this film was released in 1912.

My next stop was a session chaired by Marc McClendon, the well-known ACL soda collector from Denison, Texas.  Marc updated us on the status of the on-going project to produce a fourth edition of Collecting Applied Color Label Soda Bottles.  The new edition of this book will not repeat the bottle listings in the first volumes; the listings will all be new.  In addition, the listings will detail glass color, bottle sizes, bottler names, and rarity ratings (instead of dollar values).  The photos will show the entire bottle instead of close-ups of the ACLs.  Marc had the audience drooling when he concluded his presentation by
showing slides of many of the rare bottles that will be pictured in the new book.

The last stop for the morning was the sparsely attended PSBCA meeting.  We continued the previous hour's discussion about the new ACL book, and also talked about ways to retain and attract more PSBCA members.  There wasn't enough time for the presentation I had prepared on the origin of the term "soda pop," so I instead distributed copies of the material at the HBCA table.  This material has since been updated and posted on the Soda Pop History page.  Check it out!

Friday evening I attended the FOHBC banquet at the York Hotel.  The food was excellent and the FOHBC awards were well-received although a bit too drawn out.  The presentation on the history of York was okay, but not as interesting as I hoped it might be.

Saturday and Sunday mornings featured early morning runs thru different sections of York.  I was particularly taken by a tavern that was constructed in 1742.  Unlike the Memphis Expo in 2004 where I didn't make time to see the displays and perused less than half of the sales tables, this time I made a point of going thru the 30+ nice displays twice, and also looked at all of the sales tables at least once.  Otherwise I pretty much hung out at the table promoting the HBCA and the Hutch Book.  For the fourth Expo in a row, I managed to acquire no glass; my new found treasures included two new bottle
books, plus a 1903 issue of the National Bottlers' Gazette.

All too soon the Expo was over and we were headed back to Seattle.  Four days of non-stop pitching the HBCA and HutchBook took a serious toll on my voice.  What started as a sore throat progressed into a major sinus infection that still has me in a death grip, hence my slowness in getting this update posted.  For another perspective on Expo 2008, check out the entertaining and well-written review Jeff Wichmann posted at his American Bottle Auctions site.

Next month I will hopefully be able to share some news about  In the meantime we're still adding new bottles (the grand total is now at 16,061), continuing to gather missing data on existing listings, watching August quickly fade away, and coming to grips with the fact that the fall marathon season starts in two weeks.

Ron F.

HBCA Meeting: 08-08-08

FOHBC National Bottle Expo in York, PA

Here's your opportunity to participate in a historic bottle collecting event!  The inaugural Hutchinson Bottle Collectors' Association national meeting is set for Friday, August 8, 2008.  We are meeting from 0800-0900 in the Tacoma Room at the York, PA Fairgrounds.  Our meeting is the first one of the day and there are no conflicts with any other scheduled events!  BE THERE!

Meeting agenda:

The HBCA table at the Expo will be situated at the main entrance, adjacent to the FOHBC table.  Please plan to stop by and visit.  I am excited about the opportunity to meet so many of the Hutchinson specialists in person.

Instead of a July update, I will post an overview of HBCA meeting proceedings and the FOHBC Expo.  Stay tuned!

Good collecting,

Ron F.

More Of The Same...

June 30, 2008

A slightly edited version of the June 19th Home Page announcement concerning the cataloguing of bottle #16,000 is posted below.  The referenced GreedyBay item won't be around all that long, so check out the listing and photos ASAP.

Pushing past the 16,000 threshold was the major project highlight for June; otherwise it was another "more of the same" month.  The grand total is now 16,013 with new listings mercifully slow.  I believe this is a very positive development reflecting the significant quantity and quality of bottle data we have catalogued.  New bottles and variants will, of course, continually turn up; I consider that a major part of the appeal of Hutchinson collecting.  That said, I'm hoping future new listings will be a trickle, not a flood.  Time will tell.

We are finalizing preparations for the inaugural Hutchinson Bottle Collectors' Association meeting at the upcoming FOHBC Expo (watch the Home Page for meeting/location details).  Our meeting is 0800-0900 on Friday, August 8th.  I am also doing a short presentation on the history of the term "soda pop" during the PSBCA meeting later that morning.  My Expo table will be adjacent to the FOHBC table near the main entrance, so please stop by to shake and howdy.

Ron F.

© 2008, Seattle History Company

Zero to 16,000 in 32 years...

June 19, 2008

We did it!  A stunning, emerald green K. C & Co. bottle was the 16,000th Hutchinson we catalogued (see GreedyBay 120274197413 for photos and details).  The proprietary front embossing stands for Klee, Coleman and Company, a major Midwest bottler.  We have identified five Hutchinsons from their Indiananapolis, Indiana plant, and another 13 from their Dayton, Ohio operation.  This beautiful green example and a similar light aqua variant feature 10 panel bases.  Both of these variants were manufactured by Southern Glass
Works, Louisville, Kentucky (for more information, click on
Advanced Bottle Collector Links and visit David Whitten's great glass factory marks site).  In 1880, John Klee patented a stopper similar to Hutchinson's Patent Spring Stopper.  Considerably more information about Klee's stopper has been prepared for the new HutchBook web site.

When Joe Nagy founded the Hutchinson Bottle Directory initiative in 1976, we estimated there were 7-10,000 different Hutchinson bottles.   When we re-initiated this massive project 01-01-04, I knew there were more than 10,000 but never imagined we would hit 16,000.  My sincere thanks to everyone who is helping to make this an incredibly enjoyable project!

If I Could Save Time In A Bottle...

May 31, 2008

Posting updates provides an ongoing opportunity to devise ways to squeeze more hours out of the coming month's schedule.  Since mid-March I have devoted considerable time to helping an elderly friend deal with his rapidly worsening dementia and the need to move into a memory care facility.  In spite of our advanced planning, the process has not gone smoothly.  If your estate planning (or that of family members) isn't finalized (and current), check out the Estate Planning Guide page!  Estate planning isn't particularly fun, but its necessary and the sense of relief at having a plan completed/updated is well worth the effort.

May brought marathons in Tacoma and Olympia.  Next weekend's North Olympic Discovery Marathon (Sequim to Port Angeles) is my ninth for 2008 and signals the start of my summer break from racing.  Of course, the time saved will be replaced by car show trips (gasoline prices permitting), re-starting several house projects that have been on hold, helping Charles David Head with, preparing for the August trip to York, PA, etc.  It's always something!

A couple of folks provided links to an interesting article posted at the KHOU-TV (Houston, TX) web site concerning discovery of a San Antonio Hutchinson:
.  No sooner did this article appear than the phone rang.  It was an Illinois contractor who just found a C & O / ROCK ISLAND / ILL. Hutchinson bottle in the basement of an old house where he is working.  He read about the San Antonio bottle, found my site via an Internet search, and called to find out more about his bottle (a refreshing change from the usual "What's it worth?" calls!).  By coincidence, I'm also engaged in considerable correspondence concerning the two Hutchinsons with Rock Island, Illinois Dr Pepper paper labels currently listed on GreedyBay. The fun just never stops!

The GreedyBay seller's strike in May definitely reduced the number of new Hutchinson listings, but nonetheless we've continued to gather additional data and catalog still more new listings.  The past two weeks brought extensive input from our California Hutchinson specialist, plus considerable input from the Pekin Bottle Collectors Association in Central Illinois.  The grand total number of listings is now at 15,978.  Check back often for the big announcement when we hit 16,000!  Also watch for announcements concerning and the HBCA meeting agenda for EXPO 2008 in York, PA.

June, I'm home!

Ron F.

© 2008, Seattle History Company

Is it legal to be having this much fun?

April 30, 2008

In between the usual full slate of springtime marathons I have finalized the editing of 200+ pages of historical information specifically prepared for the new web site. The Home page teaser illustrations provide brief clues into what has been prepared, but you'll have to wait for launch of the new site to read the accompanying details.  I think/hope readers will find the information interesting; researching and preparing the material has been great fun.

We now have 15,904 Hutchinsons catalogued thanks in particular to an additional specialist for New York, as well as newly discovered examples fresh out of the ground due to the return of springtime digging. Although the planned sellers' strike during May will reduce the number of new GreedyBay postings, we still expect to log bottle #16,000 by June.  Be watching for the big announcement.

Ron F.

© 2008, Seattle History Company


March 31, 2008

Whew, what a month March has been!  Without question, this has been the most productive month ever for the Hutchinson Bottle Directory initiative.  Although the week long GreedyBay sellers' strike definitely slowed down new bottle listings, the grand total has inched up to 15,861 and we're closing in on 16,000.  I used this "breather" to focus on final editing of the other materials for the new site.  It has been very educational and great fun to research W. H. Hutchinson & Son, stopper lawsuits, the patents for "imitator" closures, soft drink industry history, the Hutchinson bottling process, etc.  It feels good to be bringing this information together so we can all utilize it.

I've also been doing more research into a pet peeve, the true history of the term "soda pop."  In addition to posting more facts about it at the new site, I am also planning a short presentation on it during the PSBCA meeting at the FOHBC Expo in York, PA.  The PSBCA meetings follow our HBCA session in the same Toyota Arena conference room; please plan to attend.

It appears March madness is continuing right on into April.  I pounded out the Easter Marathon this month and plan to do five or six more during April, May, and June.  In my "spare time" I'm helping an elderly friend move to an assisted living retirement facility.  If this pace keeps up, I may opt to join him!

Ron F.

© 2008, Seattle History Company

Look Before you Leap...

February 29, 2008

Whew; Leap Day is providing extra cushion to ensure this update is posted during an unusually busy February.  In addition to bagging three more marathons, I've stayed plenty busy cataloguing new bottles and additional data.  Considerable attention has also been given to identifying all remaining tasks that need to be completed prior to opening to the public.  There's still quite a bit to do, but not only can I see the finish line, I can read the wording on the banner!  It is incredibly exciting to see everything coming together at last.

So many bottle books, so little time!  In addition to obtaining a first edition of Zang Wood's Color Hutchinsons (see Other Bottle Books For Sale for ordering information), we also acquired a copy of the Potomac Bottle Collectors' Antique Bottles From The Washington, D.C. Area.  We are awaiting the club's response to our request to add ordering information for this book to our site.

I couldn't resist including the snippet of Hutchinson history information and the 1889 W.H.H. catalog illustration posted on the Home page.  While the "heart" of will be the bottle data and illustrations (we're now at 15,814 listings), I am equally enthused about the extensive material we'll be posting concerning the history of W.H.H. & Co., Hutchinson's patent (and numerous other closures), an explanation of the Hutchinson bottling process, etc.  Much of the material will be eye-opening to many Hutchinson collectors, hopefully serving to dispel several myths and fill-in a few knowledge gaps.

Be sure to note the stolen bottle alert posted on the Caveat Emptor page and spread the word for fellow collectors to be on the lookout for these bottles.  Newsletter editors, please reprint the notice in your club's newsletter.  Thanks!

I am planning to attend the 2008 FOHBC National Bottle Expo in York, PA from August 7-10.  In addition to a table promoting the Hutchinson Bottle Collectors' Association, plans are underway to hold the HBCA's first national meeting in conjunction with the show.  The meeting is scheduled for Friday, August 8, 0900-1000, in an as-yet-to-be-assigned Toyota Arena conference room.  Once the meeting agenda is finalized, details will be published here.  In the meantime, mark your calendar and plan to attend this historic gathering!  I am really looking forward to meeting many of the Hutchinson specialists in person!

February marked another month of solid progress; its time to leap into March.

Good collecting,

Ron F.

© 2008, Seattle History Company

We're Picking Up Speed...

January 31, 2008

January started somewhat slowly while I recovered from New Years Eve's very enjoyable Last Chance Marathon, but activity has really picked up as the month has progressed! My body has definitely appreciated a few weeks with no racing prior to the upcoming Valentine's Marathon, and the Hutchinson Bottle Directory project has benefited by receiving non-stop attention all month.  It feels good knowing the Hutch Book project is currently firing on all cylinders.

The month's biggest accomplishment was the updating of the entire database.  It took 39 hours to key in several months worth of new listings, additional data, and corrections. The end result was definitely worth it, however, as the notebook is once again filled with easy-to-read copies.  When the individual country/province/state/territory listings were compiled, the grand total number of different Hutchinsons we have catalogued is now at a staggering 15,757.  At this rate, we should post bottle #16,000 this summer.  That's a lot of glass!  

One major source of additional data and completely new listings has been the submission of great bottles like the two Washington, NJ Hutchinsons pictured on the home page. Chris Conk in Hackettstown, NJ found our web site while searching the Internet for information on Hutchinsons.  Our thanks to Chris for providing the photographs and data on these two nice bottles.  So, did you compare the home page photos and identify all of the differences?  Even though you may think you spotted all sorts of differences, these two horseshoe-shaped moulds are identical except for the spelling of the bottler's name. The bottle on the left reads CARPENTEP and the one on the right reads CARPENTER.  
We're guessing the engraver produced the CARPENTEP bottle, the error was caught, and the mould was easily corrected to read CARPENTER.  As much as I love bottles with spelling errors, these two are even more special because all of the Ns are backwards! How interesting the engraver corrected the word CARPENTER, but not the Ns.  These are the only examples we've seen of either of these particular bottles; please let me know if you have seen others.

Another factor boosting the grand total was the recent arrival of a terrific packet of new listings for Texas.  The acquisition of a large collection allowed our Texas Hutchinson specialist to add 60 previously unknown TX Hutchinsons to his collection (and to our Texas database).  Yee haw!

Word is continuing to spread about the Hutchinson Bottle Directory initiative.  Several new Hutchinson specialists have recently joined the team of almost 200 advanced collectors now involved with the project, and we're continually adding new HBCA members.  My sincere thanks to each of you who have been letting others know what we're up to.

During the next couple of weeks we intend to finalize plans that will hopefully allow us to attend the FOHBC Expo in York, PA this coming August.  Keep checking this site for more details.

Ron F.

© 2008, Seattle History Company To Launch In 2008!

December 29, 2007

One of my all-time favorite songs is Merle Haggard's If We Make It Through December. Indeed, this has been a challenging month!  Since the previous update I've run the Seattle, Birch Bay Ghost, and Christmas Marathons.  New Year's Eve day I'll be in Bellingham, Washington for the Last Chance Marathon, my 17th race during 2007.  In addition to holiday activities, much of December has been devoted to the enjoyable challenge of helping Charles David Head build his new web site (see home page for details).  New Year's Day I'll start giving the bottles their annual dusting, and continue catching up on overdue HutchBook EMail.  During January I'll start attacking the remaining HutchBook to-do list tasks.  I'm anxious to get after them; 2008 is the year
everything comes together and we're bringing up!  Check these updates often for announcements.  Here's to a great 2008!

Ron F.

© 2007, Seattle History Company

Happy Thanksgiving 2007!

November 22, 2007

At this time of year I typically review my numerous to-do lists, measure progress, and revise priorities to ensure everything is on track.  Although more marathons than usual and the hundreds of hours spent working on the house during 2007 have slowed intended progress on the Hutchinson Bottle Directory more than desired, we're making steady progress and I am increasingly excited about moving closer to opening the new HutchBook site to the public.  Stay tuned for more on this subject in weeks to come.

The Halloween Marathon featured cold temperatures, wind, and rain; a little something for everyone!  I'll be toeing the line for the 27th time at this coming Sunday's annual Seattle Marathon.  Given the weather guessers' forecasts, I'm expecting to be decked out in full rain gear.  Realizing I could be spending race entry fee money on Hutchinsons says something about how many brain cells I've apparently killed running marathons for 30+ years...

Last week I attended our WBCA's annual fall bottle show.  As is often the case these days, I left empty-handed, but nonetheless enjoyed visiting with many collectors who have been friends for 35+ years.  Several club members are making a concerted effort to improve the shows, attract more displays, advertise more broadly, and hopefully bring new collectors into the hobby, particularly younger people.  All clubs need to work on these challenges, lest we end up as a bunch of old coots sitting around reminiscing about the good old days.

Speaking of shows, several HBCA members swapped a few lies at the recent Chicago Bottle Club show.  Included were Bob Harms from Chicago, R. J. Brown from Florida, Zang Wood from New Mexico, and Chris Jordan from Indiana.  Zang shared photos taken during visits to see Bob Harms' fantastic Hutchinson collection and Jim Hall's beautiful colored blob top and Hutchinson sodas.  Clearly I need to get out of the cave more often!

My work with Koca Nola-expert Charles David Head is coming together nicely.  We are expecting to make a major announcement yet this year, so keep checking back for updates.

The grand total number of Hutchinsons catalogued is at 15,580 and still inching higher. Maybe we should have a contest to guess which day in 2008 bottle number 16,000 will be posted?  Naw...

Happy Thanksgiving to all,

Ron F.

© 2007, Seattle History Company

Gone But Not Forgotten...

October 16, 2007

During the middle 1970s I was living and working in Portland, Oregon.  After 10+ years of not knowing any other bottle collectors, I finally discovered bottle shows and other people who enjoyed bottle collecting (almost) as much as me.  While editing the Outen Hausen newsletter of Portland's now defunct Lewis & Clark Historical Bottle Society, I exchanged newsletters with several other clubs, particularly here on the West Coast.  That connection was how I first met Peck and Audie Markota of Sacramento, CA.  The were both very helpful and supportive as I became increasingly involved in the organizational end of the hobby.  Our paths crossed many times thru FOHBC business and at national
bottle shows.  Peck and Audie were customers for my Oregon, Washington, and other bottle books, just as I was for their Western Blob Top Soda and Mineral Water Bottles,
and A Look At California Hutchinson Type Soda Bottles books.

At the 2000 FOHBC Expo in Denver, Peck was one of the long-time Hutchinson collector specialists with whom I consulted concerning resurrection of Joe Nagy's Hutchinson Encyclopedia project.  Peck encouraged me to go for it, indicating he would contribute information for the California listings.  Unfortunately, his  deteriorating health situation prevented active participation, but the lifetime of information he gathered and published about California Hutchinsons lives on in the books he published and the California data in the HutchBook.  Last Sunday a phone call brought the sad news that Peck passed away early this month.  He is already missed, and definitely will not be forgotten.  Rest in peace my friend.

During the past couple of weeks I have continued to chip away at finishing up my summertime house projects, but it's a losing battle.  The fall rains are here to stay, so I'm hanging up the paint brushes and ladders until spring and the HutchBook is once again my top priority.

In case you missed it, check out eBay 220157780530, a beautiful citron/yellow
J. ESPOSITO KOCA NOLA that recently sold on eBay for $1,125.  This bottle is similar in color to the one we had pictured on the home page (amidst all of the flag bottles) a couple of months ago.

I want to extend a public THANK YOU to Bill Baab for the very positive review of my newly published book, Collecting Soda Pop Bottles, for The Soda Fizz.  The review has generated additional sales and drawn many more collectors to this site and an introduction to the Hutchinson Bottle Directory initiative and the Hutchinson Bottle Collectors' Association.  Thanks, Bill!  

My 26th consecutive Portland Marathon a couple of weekends ago was fun and I'm happy to say, uneventful.  Given the weather of late, I'm hoping this coming Saturday's Halloween Marathon doesn't require swim fins!

Good collecting,

Ron F.

© 2007, Seattle History Company

September Song...

September 30, 2007

The house and windows are painted, the leaded window panes are re-cemented, and the back steps have been rebuilt.  Alas, the windows need a second coat of paint and the front porch still needs to be replaced.  Between fall marathons and an early return of the rainy season, those projects may be on the back burner until next spring.  On the bright side, being holed up inside means more time to work on the HutchBook!  We are busy chasing missing data while the number of new listings continues to taper off.  The grand total is now 15,487.

I intentionally shortened the latest "Caveat Emptor" comments, choosing not to whine at length about the common Florida Hutchinson that sold for $100 via "Buy It Now" to a buyer who likely has no idea what "irradiated" means.  Likewise, we tracked 250167522271, a foreign siphon with faked Dr Pepper etching that brought almost $100. Isn't it interesting the sellers' negative feedback repeatedly mentions the word "fake?" Okay, okay, I'm whining...

On to October!

Ron F.

© 2007, Seattle History Company

How I Spent My Summer Vacation...

August 15, 2007

The headline color is as close as I could come to duplicating the newly applied "Shingle Gray" paint color on the siding of my 1924 house.  The sashes and window frames are turning "Extra White" as quickly as I can get them painted.  Then I need to finish re-cementing the leaded panes and replace/rebuild the front porch and steps.  The good news is the house looks much better; the bad news is working on it has cut deeply into available time to work on the Hutch Book this summer.  Nonetheless, we have picked up a ton of missing bottle data and continue to add new listings.  The grand total is now at 15,417 thanks in particular to considerable input from collectors/diggers in IL, NJ, NY, and PA.  We've also just posted bottle #700 for TX.  Whew.  

A special THANK YOU to the owner of the six Esposito Hutchinsons pictured on the home page for permission to post the photo.  In case your eyes were overwhelmed by the five "flag" bottles, be sure to note the glass color of the beautiful Koca Nola Hutchinson. We had aqua and citron variants of this one catalogued, but this color had me baffled. The owner refers to it as "yellow," so that's the way it'll be listed in the Hutch Book.  

Speaking of Koca Nola, hopefully you are aware that Charles David Head is researching Koca Nola Company history.  Charles and I are cooking up what we think is an exciting new approach that will hopefully generate additional research input for his planned book. Keep watching this site for an announcement in weeks to come.  Meanwhile, please send information about your Koca Nola bottles, go-withs, advertisements, franchises, or anything Koca Nola-related to Charles David Head 23549-001, PO Box 150160, Atlanta GA 30315.  Thanks!

Another home page photo shows a portion of Zang Wood's Grand Award winning Hutchinson display at last month's Reno bottle show.  Congratulations, Zang!  In addition to a variety of Hutchinson bottles and go-with items, the display included patent information and handouts outlining W.H.H.'s history, plus promotional material about the Hutchinson Bottle Directory and the HBCA.  Zang is planning to set up his display at the next Albuquerque and Las Vegas shows too.

The paint brush beckons...

Ron F.

Happy Fourth of July!

July 4, 2007

I intentionally delayed this update in order to post the home page images of the "flag" bottles for the Fourth.  It is difficult to look at great bottles like those and not be enthused about both Hutchinsons and this great country.  The Espositos were immigrants to the U.S. and clearly proud to become American citizens.  I'm not familiar with the history of the American Soda Works in San Francisco, but I suspect a similar ownership situation. Obtaining the pencil rubbing of the JIACOMO ESPOSITO / (flag) / 612 & 614 FITZWATER ST. / PHILA., PA. bottle was quite fortuitous.  The late Ralph Long sent this rubbing to Tod von Mechow 20+ years ago, hoping Tod would be able to locate one of these bottles for him.  Tod kept the rubbing and recently forwarded it to me for inclusion in the Hutch Book.  This bottle is clear with THIS BOTTLE REGISTERED / NOT TO BE SOLD embossed on the back.  If anyone has an example of this bottle, we'd love to have a photograph of it for the files!

My three day, whirlwind trip to/from Colorado Springs was great fun.  I met my 95 year old Dad there to attend a family friend's graduation and commissioning at the USAF Academy.  It made us feel old to realize that is has been 65 years since my Dad's commissioning, and 35 years since mine!  I returned home to complete my tenth marathon of the year and am taking a summer break from racing.  It isn't like I'm napping a lot, however!  In addition to working on the Hutch Book, I am focusing on chipping paint and replacing glazing on my house's 83 year old windows.  And, out of the blue, a long-time next door neighbor decided to sell her home, necessitating property line negotiations with the developer who will be building a new home on the property.  Hmmm...maybe I
can do some digging when they excavate for the foundation!

The photos of the E. W. LEBER / EPHRATA / PA. / REGISTERED (near base) and J. G. LEBER / REGISTERED / EPHRATA, PA. bottles on the home page were included to underscore the Hutch Book approach we're taking on variants.  (Note: both of these bottles are currently offered for sale at the largest auction site -- see item #s 200123808349 and 200123810269 -- and we thank the seller for permission to reprint the images.)  When I spotted these listings, my first reaction was that we already had these bottles catalogued; wrong!  The E. W. LEBER bottle we had listed is older and doesn't have the REGISTERED near the base, and the similar J. G. LEBER bottle we had listed
is aqua, not clear like this one.  Details are one of the reasons I love this hobby!

We're now at 15,364 total listings and I suspect we'll hit 15,500 once everyone reports on their summer findings.  Speaking of which, I hope everyone is having a great summer and adding lots of Hutchinsons to their collections.  Let me know if you'd like to spend some quality time chipping paint...

Ron F.

© 2007, Seattle History Company

Color Me Busy!

May 23, 2007

The month that just screamed by was fueled by three more marathons.  One (or two) more and I'm taking a three month break from racing until fall.  My summer schedule includes window repairs in conjunction with having the house painted, accompanying Betsy to several car shows, and racking up considerable progress on the HutchBook.  The hours invested since 01-01-04 now exceed 4,500 and I can't imagine missing a day of working on this fun project; my thanks to everyone involved.  We now have 15,309 bottles catalogued; whew!

One of the Hutchinson specialists just EMailed me that someone at a bottle show told him I had decided not to publish the HutchBook and the project had been shelved.  Good grief!  I am pouring a lot of time into continually updating this site and our plans to publish to a new web site are clearly explained.  If you have questions, please check the web site and if you don't find what you're looking for, EMail, write, or call me.  A lot of us are working way too hard on this project to have uninformed people spreading misinformation. Thanks.  

A sincere thank you to Bob and Barbara Harms in Chicago for the 1897 issue of Western Bottler magazine.  Several illustrations from it have been incorporated into the Hutchinson bottling process material I'm preparing for the new site.  

Kudos also to Tod von Mechow for the many hours of effort required to update the Philadelphia portion of the Pennsylvania spreadsheet.  Philadelphia accounts for over 500 of the 2,727 Pennsylvania Hutchinson lisings!   

Thank you sellers for permission to post the photos of your incredible colored Hutchinsons on the home page.  These include:

  • ERDMANN'S / (emblem) / CELEBRATED / BIRCH BEER / OMAHA / NEB. / I. G. Co. = 2 piece mold, amber, 6.50" x 2.50" with private mold, blank round plate on back, blank base, round shape, Scarce (170108878992);

  • Chas. D. KAIER / MAHANOY / CITY / Pa. = 2 piece mold, green, 6.50" x 2.375" with private mold, TRADE / CDK (monogram) / MARK on back, blank base, 10 panel base, Rare (110117663628);  

  • THIS BOTTLE IS NEVER SOLD / RETURN TO / C. W. ARNOLD / SOUTH BEND / IND. = 2 piece mold, cobalt, 7.375" x 2.125" with private mold, blank back, C & Co on base, 10 panel base, Rare (170108877731);

  • J. F. DEEGAN / POTTSVILLE / Pa. = 4 piece mold, olive green, 6.75" x 2.25" with private mold, blank back, 460 on base, round shape, Rare (110117663628); and

  • HAWAIIAN / SODA WORKS / HONOLULU. H.I. = 3 piece mold, amber, 7.50" x 2.375" with private mold, blank back, H on base, round shape, Rare (170108879540).

I'll be away from EMail May 28-30, but keep those cards and letters coming and I'll catch up ASAP.  

Color me gone.

Ron F.

© 2007, Seattle History Company

Left Foot, Right Foot...

April 16, 2007

Working on the Hutchinson Bottle Directory and running marathons are similar activities; both are very enjoyable and I devote as much time as possible to each.  Likewise, both offer challenges requiring mid-course adjustments.  Looking over the directional changes that have transpired during the 40 months since resurrecting this initiative, we've covered considerable ground.  Although the finish line isn't yet in sight, I know how satisfying it will feel to hit it.  When running marathons, I focus on reaching the finish line, but also make sure to enjoy the journey.  I have completed three marathons in the past 16 days (in spite of a hamstring pull), and will do another one Sunday.  In between races, we've been making major progress on the HutchBook.  The number of inquiries we're receiving is climbing steadily, we've added several Hutchinson specialists, and we're corresponding with collectors from across the country.

We noted an announcement for an April 30 auction in Springdale, Arkansas featuring bitters, cures, inks, poisons, beers, whiskeys, remedies, crocks, and 30-40 Hutchinsons from LA, MS, and several other states.  For details, contact Greg via EMail at or phone at 479-426-2252.

It's hard not to be in a "New York state of mind" after cataloguing so many New York Hutchinsons of late.  Our thanks to the eBay sellers who granted permission to use their photos on the home page.  This grouping includes:

D. F. SHIELDS / ROCHESTER, N.Y. = 2 piece mold, aqua, 6.75" x 2.375" with private mold and vertical embossing, S on back shoulder, backwards S on base, round shape, rare (eBay 110113745093).

J. A. SMITH / SPRING ST. / BOTTLING WORKS / WARWICK, N.Y. = 2 piece mold, clear, 6.875" x 2.375" with round plate mold, blank back and base, round shape (eBay 260107089985).

SPATZ BROS. / TRADE S.B. MARK / REGISTERED / SAUGERTIES, N.Y. = 2 piece mold, clear, 7.50" x 2.375" with private mold, blank base, round shape, Rare, features a backwards N in N.Y. (eBay 250104593913).

O. C. / BOTTLING WK'S / P. J. FITZPATRICK / NEWBURG / N.Y. / REGISTERED = 2 piece mold, clear, 8.625" x 3.50" with round plate mold, blank back and base, round shape, quart, with Newburgh mispelled NEWBURG (eBay 250104177489).

P. DONOVAN / WHOLESALE / BOTTLER / NEWBURGH N.Y. = 2 piece mold, aqua, 6.75" x 2.375" with round plate mold, blank back and base, round shape (eBay 250104167864).

The total number of listings is at 15,222 and still climbing.  It won't happen soon, but I can definitely see us reaching the 16,000 level.  Whew!

Time to run...

Ron F.

© 2007, Seattle History Company

Spreading The Word...

March 7, 2007

After treating my tired old bones to a January break from the marathon trail, I have again been pounding out the miles with three races in the past four weeks.  I'm currently loafing until the end of the month when I hit it hard again with races on four straight weekends. As I've said many times before, no one uses the words "runner" and "smart" in the same sentence.

Preparing for and recovering from marathons provides ample opportunity to work on the Hutchinson Bottle Directory and the 2007 hours are mounting up quickly.  The total number of listings is now at 15,142 and continuing to slowly increase.  In addition to new listings and filling-in-the-blanks where data is missing for existing listings, I have been focusing on authoring Hutchinson history content for the new web site.

Hutchinson Bottle Directory and HBCA advertisements are scheduled to appear in the upcoming FOHBC Bottles and Extras.  I've also been communicating directly with bottle club newsletter editors, providing brief overview articles about the HutchBook and HBCA that they can run in their newsletters and/or post on their club websites.  There are still far too many Hutchinson collectors who aren't aware of this project!  If you belong to a local bottle club, please send me contact information for your newsletter editor.  I will gladly contact them in hopes of spreading the word.  Speaking of club newsletters, two more editors will be hearing from me yet tonight, so I best get moving.  

Good collecting,

Ron F.

© 2007, Seattle History Company

Re-focusing On The HutchBook

February 8, 2007

The previous update has drawn considerable interest and is diverting too much attention from on-going work on the Hutchinson Bottle Directory.  Consequently, the illustrations and discussion concerning irradiated Hutchinson bottles and siphon bottles with questionable etchings have been moved to a separate, new Caveat Emptor page.  This new page has been expanded to include personal observations on why I care enough to tackle these difficult issues.  

Enough of these diversions; back to the HutchBook!

Ron F.

© 2007, Seattle History Company

Hit 'em Where It Hurt$ 'em Mo$t!

February 3, 2007

Hutchinson Bottle Directory project activity is picking up markedly, so instead of posting announcements and changes monthly, they're now being added as they happen.  Please check the home page frequently to ensure you're up-to-speed on all the developments. Recent changes include adding: (1) several non-Hutchinson bottle illustrations to the Hutchinson Bottle Sales Guide to help users better understand closures often confused with Hutchinson stoppers; (2) a link to The Phoenix Antiques, Bottles & Collectibles Club's web site; (3) unknown maverick Hutchinson list updates; (4) new bottle books; and more.  

Speaking of bottle books, Dave Kyte is working on Early Utah Soda Bottles, Volume II, a revised and enlarged edition that includes updated text, crown tops, siphons, stoneware, rarely seen photos, and Utah soda memorabilia.  He plans to have it available in 3-6 months.  I'm also in contact with the author of a Savannah sodas booklet.  Stay tuned for more information on these volumes!

We're making steady progress on the HutchBook.  Posting Hutchinson #15,000 on January 10, 2007 didn't stop the flow; we're now up to 15,048.  Today's mail brought another great packet of data and rubbings for Illinois.  They just keep coming!

Ron F.

© 2007, Seattle History Company

Over 15,000 Hutchinsons!

January 10, 2007

In just over a year we have moved from 14,000 to over 15,000 listings!  Special thanks to the many Hutchinson specialists keeping the photos, rubbings and data flowing; your ongoing, much appreciated support is the soul of the project.  #15,000 turned out to be the T. J. CORCORAN / PITTSTON / PA. / REGISTERED Hutchinson bottle pictured on the home page.  This clear beauty is a two piece mold bottle, 6.75" x 2.375" with a horseshoe plate, blank back, and a large W and small 1 on a 10 panel base.  Check eBay 150078770477 for more details. Thanks for permission to post your photo, David!

2007 is going to be a great year for the HutchBook.  Happy New Year to all!

Ron F.

© 2007, Seattle History Company

Happy Hutchinson Holidays!

December 11, 2006

This update is late thanks to more marathons, completion of another house history research project, impending publication of a new soda book (watch for an announcement later this week), holiday activities, blah, blah, blah.  The next update will likely be at the end of January.  We will, of course, post an "extra" update when we add bottle #15,000 to the Hutchinson Bottle Directory.   

For those who think they could pass Santa's "naughty or nice" test, here's some additional data on those five beautiful Hutchinson bottles pictured on the home page (a special THANK YOU to the eBay sellers who graciously granted permission to reproduce their bottle photographs):

DAVID JOHNSON / PITTSFIELD / MASS. = aqua, 6.625" x 2.5" with horseshoe plate mold, blank back, C I 36 base, rare (eBay 250058084060);

J. L. LAWRENCE / WHITE HOUSE / SPRING WATER = aqua, 6.75" x 2.375" with round plate mold, blank back and base, rare, shoulder panels, this one is from the Reading, Pennsylvania area (eBay 130057984815);

PFISTER & CO. / PIQUA, O. = aqua, 6.75" x 2.25" with horseshoe plate mold, D.O.C. on back heel, (bottle) on base, scarce (eBay 250058055168);

PITTSBURGH BOTTLING / J & D / MILLER / HOUSE = cobalt blue, 7.00" x 2.25" with private mold, THIS BOTTLE / IS REGISTERED / McC on back, J & D M on base, rare (eBay 300059475253); and

CRANDELLS / EXTRA / GINGER ALE = aqua, 7.50" x 2.25" with private mold, blank back, C (large) on base, scarce, vertical embossing (eBay 130056958742).

I will soon have over 4,000 hours invested in the Hutchinson Bottle Directory initiative since 01-01-04.  I'm having at it seven days per week and it still continues to be great fun.  2007 promises to be even more exciting, as we'll be lighting up  We now have 14,960 different listings and will soon cross the 15,000 threshold.  My continued THANKS to everyone involved.  

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Ron F.

© 2006, Seattle History Company  


October 31, 2006

As soon as last month's update was posted I headed to Oregon for my 25th consecutive annual Portland Marathon.  Next up was the Halloween Marathon near Olympia, Washington, followed by the Tri-Cities Marathon in southeast Washington last Sunday. The Seattle Marathon is the weekend after Turkey Day, and 2006 wraps up at the Christmas Marathon 12-17.  In between these public displays of questionable personal judgment, HutchBook progress is steady.

The total number of listings is now at 14,903 and sneaking up on the 15,000 threshold.  Two years ago today the grand total was "only" 9,321.  Working on this project seven days per week, I sometimes get too wrapped up in details and lose sight of what an astonishing number of bottles we have identified thus far!

So far, reaction to the announcement about formation of the Hutchinson Bottle Collectors' Association has been disappointing.  Have I misjudged the desire for a national organization to further our mutual collecting interests?  Perhaps the upcoming FOHBC Bottles & Extras article will fan the flames a bit.  

Feedback on the "Hutchinson Bottle Sales Guide" (now also posted as an eBay guide) has been quite positive.  Now, if sellers start incorporating suggestions into their Hutchinson listings, it will have been well worth the effort.

I'm fed up with seeing irradiated bottles listed as "cornflower blue," etc., and no mention the glass color was altered.  When is activated, expect a feature article tackling sellers who are, in my opinion, committing fraud by selling irradiated Hutchinsons they "forget" to specify are altered.

The web designer has almost finalized design of the home page, colors, etc., and I'm really liking where we're headed.  Stay tuned.

The American Glass Works advertisement featured on the home page is but one of many illustrations accompanying the Hutchinson history information being prepared for  Note the interesting headline about modifying these styles to fit "Hutchinson stoppers, (Baltimore Loop) seals, or corks."

Oops, there's the doorbell.  Time to go scare away the trick-or-treaters so there's more leftover candy!

Ron F.

© 2006, Seattle History Company


October 20, 2006

The updated HBCA page now includes (1) a membership application, (2) an HBCA Specialists List, and (3) a 2006-2007 HBCA Membership List.  The specialists and membership lists are temporary and will be maintained on this site until is up and running.

Hutchinson Bottle Collectors' Association (HBCA) Founded!

September 30, 2006

Formation of the Hutchinson Bottle Collectors' Association signifies achievement of yet another major Hutchinson Bottle Directory milestone.  Please click on the new HBCA page to review the exciting details of this announcement!

Extra!   Extra!   Extra!   Extra!

September 27, 2006

We are very pleased to introduce the "Hutchinson Bottle Sales Guide," a new tool designed to help those selling Hutchinsons create more effective sales listings.  Click on Hutchinson Bottle Sales Guide to review this new page.  Also note the navigation buttons have been rearranged so the Hutchinson-related topics are grouped together.  Check back soon for another major announcement!

Full Speed Ahead!

September 23, 2006

September has been a very productive month!  The new scheduling approach is facilitating giant leaps forward.  This update is earlier than usual so it won't interrupt final preparations for two impending major announcements.

The inspiration for those beautiful colored Hutchinson bottle photos posted on the home page was a combination of beginning to see fall colors combined with the spirited eBay bidding for the emerald green Pottsville, PA bottle.  Here's a rundown on those four beauties:

The grand total number of listings has jumped to 14,817 thanks to input by an additional West Virginia Hutchinson specialist.  My prediction skills are questionable, but it certainly appears we'll have 15,000+ listings by year end.

Check back in a few days for the aforementioned major announcements!

Ron F.

© 2006, Seattle History Company

Tick, Tick, Tick...

August 23, 2006

I've enjoyed the summer break from running marathons (as those who regularly check the continually changing photos posted on Betsy's page are aware) in order to (1) beat the heat because dehydration isn't fun, and (2) increase the time devoted to other projects, the biggest of which is the HutchBook.  During August I reverted to using an hourly planning schedule patterned after one I used for years at work.  It may sound strange for a retiree to utilize an hourly scheduling tool, but it is proving to be highly useful.  The best aspect of retirement is there are so many fun things to do; the down side is there's so
little time!  I'll soon have 3,500 hours invested in the
HutchBook project since 01-01-04 and have still only missed two days of working on it seven days a week during this time period.  Most importantly, it continues to be great fun!

The grand total number of listings has increased slightly to 14,667 thanks in particular to the on-going strong support of the Hutchinson specialists.  Keep those cards and letters (and EMails!) coming!

Four of the five bottles pictured on the home page are current eBay listings.  Even when I know a bottle is catalogued, the listing is reviewed; it's amazing how often we fill-in missing data and/or discover totally new variants.

The C.C.C. / TAYLORVILLE / ILL. has an I.G.CO.688 maker's mark instead of an AB mark like a similar listing.  The C.C.C. stands for Crystal Carbonating Company.  See eBay 180020868715.

The (crane) / BOTTLING WORKS / CRANE, MO. is another of my favorite picture Hutchinsons; what a great bird engraving!  See eBay 290021151532.

How about that cool Hutchinson with the beautiful MODOX paper label!  I EMailed the great grandson of the company's founder about the firm's possible use of Hutchinsons, but haven't received a response.  For more information on MODOX, visit  Four bidders drove the closing price up to $61.18.  See eBay 160019274740.

I've noted that interesting ring around the shoulders of the JULIUS C. KOCH / HILLSBORO, OHIO bottle on several Washington, D.C. Hutchinson bottles too.  This rare Ohio Hutchinson was made by Root Glass.  See eBay 300020095905.

The previously unknown LIGINGER / & / McELROY / MILWAUKEE Hutchinson was a surprise guest at last weekend's Milwaukee (WI) Bottle Club picnic.  See for additional details.

Oops, my schedule says its dinner time.  Catch you next month.

Ron F.  

© 2006, Seattle History Company

It's The Little Things...

July 24, 2006

Seattle was fortunate to escape the heat wave gripping the continent until the past several days when we have been matching or exceeding record high temperatures.  I am not coping well.  Thank goodness the Hutchinson Bottle Directory project helps divert my attention and tone down my whining!  I certainly hope next month's headline doesn't make any reference to the "Dog Days of August."  Okay, okay; no more whining...

We're still filling-in-the-blanks for existing listings and identifying more Hutchinsons, and the grand total number of listings has grown to 14,603.  Still more new listings are on the way as we've added two more Hutchinson specialists for PA.  What a state!  

The five bottles pictured on the home page were selected because : (1) they're excellent examples of bottles we've added lately, and (2) they illustrate and support the definition of "variant" we're using for this project.  Specifically:

Numerous examples of McCARTHY BROS & MARTIN / RIVERSIDE / N.Y. / REGISTERED bottles have appeared on eBay over the years and until this week I thought there were only two variants.  When eBay item 130009164848 caught my eye, closer examination indicated a possible third variant.  An additional photo graciously provided by the seller revealed that although the embossing descriptions are almost identical on paper (one has a period after BROS.), there are in fact three distinct embossing patterns warranting three separate HutchBook listings.

The attractive MANHATTAN BOTTL'G CO / SOUTH / BETHLEHEM / PA. bottle (eBay 140010453052) has a horseshoe plate and round base.  Another example has a round plate and ten panel base, and is embossed MANHATTAN / BOTTLING CO. / SOUTH BETHLEHEM, PA.  These two bottles are clearly variants and separate HutchBook listings for each is a no-brainer.

When I referenced the CT speadsheet for the JOHN CLANCY / BOTTLING WORKS / NEW HAVEN, CONN. / REGISTERED bottle (eBay 270010643401), I noted we have identified eight other Hutchinsons utilized by this same firm.  As it turns out, however, the bottler's last name is spelled CLANCY on this bottle, and on the other eight it's CLANCEY!  Indeed, this is another obvious (and highly desirable) variant.

Our thanks to these eBay sellers for permission to post their photos.

It's time for me to try to beat the heat with yet another cold drink (soda, of course, not "whine"...)!

Ron F.

© 2006, Seattle History Company


June 18, 2006

The past month's primary focus has been on updating individual spreadsheets.  Working copies of each state/territory/province/country spreadsheet are filed in an increasingly large, three-ring notebook.  As additional data is obtained, I write the changes in red directly on the hard copy spreadsheets.  Periodically (typically when the drafts start getting too messy to read), I key the data into the PC, print updated copies, and start the process all over again.  

The hard copy spreadsheets greatly facilitate chasing additional data.  For example, when a new eBay listing appears, it's easy to quickly see if we have the bottle listed and what data we do/don't have for it.  If we're missing information, I usually EMail the eBay seller for the additional data.  Overall, we have had terrific support from 95%+ of the sellers we've contacted.  This has been a good learning experience, as I suspect this process is similar to the way we'll continue to update for years to come.

Thanks to several packets of data submitted by Hutchinson specialists plus a springtime increase in eBay listing activity, progress on filling-in-the-blanks has picked up considerably of late.  Mercifully, the number of new listings continues to level off, with the grand total now at 14,536.

Speaking of new listings, the four bottles pictured on the home page are recent additions to the database.  My thanks to each eBay seller for permission to use their photographs this month.  These good-looking bottles include:

E. J. RICHARDSON / PLR (monogram) / HAWLEY, PA. - 2 piece mold, aqua, 7.0" x 2.5" with round plate, THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD on the back, 3B on the base, round, rare.  Note that the bottler's initials are EJR, yet the monogram is PLR.  See eBay 6288920440.

J. W. KELTZ / REGISTERED / 1892 / HONESDALE, PA. - 2 piece mold, aqua, 7.0" x 2.5" with round plate, THIS BOTTLE NOT / TO BE SOLD on the back, blank base, round, rare.  See eBay 6288923266.

LERNER & WAX / PASSAIC, N. J. - 2 piece mold, aqua, 7.0" x 2.375" with round plate, NOT TO BE SOLD on the back, BOLEY MFG. CO. N.Y. / B on base, round, rare.  See eBay 6288340809.

EASTON BOTTLING CO. / HZ (monogram) / EASTON, PA - 2 piece mold, aqua,7.0" x 2.25" with horseshoe plate, blank back, W.H.S. on base, 10 panel base.  See eBay 6288688344.

My five spring marathons are behind me with no more races until September, so I'm planning to make major progress on the HutchBook this summer.  My thanks to everyone involved for your on-going encouragement and assistance.

Ron F.

© 2006, Seattle History Company

Happy Mother's Day...

May 14, 2006

Mother's Day afforded an opportunity to post a headline on the home page utilizing springtime colors.  The "Mother May I" reference is a not-so-subtle suggestion that I'd certainly be happy to add any of the pictured bottles to my collection!  More about each of these bottles in a minute.

The past month has seen considerable HutchBook activity and progress.  We now have 14,495 different Hutchinsons catalogued!  In addition to new listings, data quality keeps getting better thanks to terrific support from collectors across the continent.  My sincere thanks to each contributor to the project!

Did you see the HutchBook article in the latest issue of the FOHBC's Bottles & Extras? Doesn't Kathy Hopson do great work!

The S. COPE & SON / TAUNTON / MASS. / PATENTED FEB. 20, 1883 JUNE 23 85 & AUG 4 85 (around base) bottle is eBay 6279751121.  William L. Roorbach's closure featured an imprisoned hollow marble that sealed against a hard rubber gasket inserted into a groove in the mouth of the bottle.  This is but one example of an internally stoppered bottle that is frequently mistaken for a Hutchinson.  I originally planned to only include brief references to such "other" closures, but now I've decided to include enough patent information and illustrations that will be a good site to visit for the better identification of Roorbach, Baltimore Loop Seal, Parkhurst, Matthews'
Gravitating, et al stoppers.  Those seeking additional information will be referred to books such as Dave Graci's fine Soda and Beer Bottle Closures 1850 - 1910
(click on Bottle Books For Sale for details and ordering information).  

That stunning, dark amber Wm. A. KEARNEY / SHAMOKIN / PA. quart is listed as eBay 6279345484.  It always hurts me to see such beautiful quart Hutchinsons, given than I specialize in Oregon and Washington sodas and neither state had any quarts.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  The lack of quarts from west of the Mississippi (we've identified six from NE, and one each from CO, WY, and CA) is the type of interesting statistic that shows up when searching the HutchBook database.  Pffft!  Only nine quart Hutchinsons out west; there are Midwest bottlers who had more than that all by themselves!

The M. THEILER. / (tomahawk) / TOMAHAWK / BOTTLING / WORKS / WIS. is one of my favorite picture Hutchinsons!  (This is bottle #8780 in Roger Peters' Wisconsin Soda Water Bottles 1845 - 1910.  Click on Bottle Books For Sale for details and ordering information.  The photograph is compliments of; thanks, Bob!)  I wanted to post this photo because there are some incredibly nice picture bottles that many collectors don't know about.  It also illustrates the value of the HutchBook as a quick reference guide.  

Today's EMail brought a message from a collector who recently dug a tomahawk bottle. Once is up, one will only need to access the site to determine rarity, identify collectors who specialize in certain areas, etc.

We finally have a New Hampshire Hutchinson specialist!  This leaves only CT and RI unassigned.  I can understand RI (it isn't like there are a lot of RI Hutchinsons!) but someone must know a CT Hutchinson collector.  Help!

Good digging and collecting to all!

Ron F.

© 2006, Seattle History Company

Flat Spot In The Road...

April 9, 2006

Looking back over my Hutchinson Bottle Directory activity log since the last update, I'm reminded of the marathons I ran last weekend and today; even though I was out there working hard, I'm hard pressed to point at much that proves it!  Sometimes we hit a flat spot in the road when it feels like the wheels are spinning and we aren't making much progress.  That sums up the past month's Hutch Book activity although considerable hours were devoted to correspondence, updating spreadsheets, and plowing thru eBay offerings searching for new listings and missing data for existing listings.  The proof is in
the numbers I suppose, as we now have over 14,300 listings, and have filled in many more of the blanks where data is (was) missing.  

Speaking of numbers, did you figure out what those three bottles pictured on the home page have in common?  Drum roll please: WI and NY have each exceeded 1,000 listings, and PA has passed the 2,500 threshold!  Alas, I failed to identify the exact 1000th and 2500th bottles (running too many marathons has been known to kill brain cells), so I picked three random WI, NY, and PA bottles from current eBay listings (THANK YOU eBay sellers for permission to reproduce your photographs!).  The GEORGE RITTER / CEDARBURG, / WIS. is eBay 6269331232.  The GAFFEY & KNIGHT / TANNERSVILLE / N. Y. is eBay 6268690798.  The beautiful, cobalt blue PITTSBURGH BOTTLING / J & D / MILLER / HOUSE is eBay 6268687280.  Check 'em out!

I have one more marathon scheduled for this month, and then only one each in May and June.  This looks like a good opportunity to shift gears and focus more attention on the Hutchinson Bottle Collectors Association, plus design and content for the new web site.

Don't forget to check out the updated maverick list and the newly listed Long Island bottle book!

Ron F.

© 2006, Seattle History Company

Back In The Saddle Again...

March 8, 2006

I spent much of January and February in Texas visiting my Dad.  His recovery from valve replacement and double bypass heart surgery (at age 94!) is going very well and he's heading home from a rehab facility in a couple of days.

While in Texas, I devoted considerable time to several fun Hutchinson Bottle Directory challenges that weren't getting proper attention here at home where phone, EMail, and eBay activities have the days screaming by way too quickly.  This included: designing a HutchBook logo; further development of a proposal I'm referring to as the "Hutchinson Bottle Collectors Association" (more details in weeks to come); researching Hutchinson Company history; authoring materials concerning non-Hutchinson closures (Parkhurst, Klee, Stewart's Floating Ball, Roorbach, Matthews' Gravitating Stopper, Baltimore Loop Seals, and others); and preparing an article about the manufacture, filling, and use of Hutchinson bottles.  It was both relaxing and very exciting to accomplish so much so quickly.

Once home I focused on digging thru a mountain of EMail.  I'm now as caught up as I ever get and back in the saddle again (and trying not to get bucked off!).

One of the more exciting developments I've encountered recently is expansion of the "Mr. Bottles" web site by Bob Libbey and several other Wisconsin collectors contributing to their great project.  If you haven't seen what they're up to, click on the Advanced Bottle Collector Links button and you'll find a link to their site.  Once there, click on "Wisconsin Antique Bottle Galleries" (an amber Hutchinson near the top of the screen) and then select "Wisconsin Antique Hutchinsons Bottle Gallery."  Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, it may take awhile for the 400+ photos to load, but it's worth the wait! The thumbnail illustrations of bottles with the ability to click and enlarge them is similar to the approach we're employing for the site.

Given the wild spring weather around the country, the home page headline provided a great excuse to post a photo of several nice SEETERS VICHY AND CARBONATED BEVERAGES bottles.  Joe Nagy's files included huge folders chock full of Pittsburgh, PA Hutchinson bottle photos and company history information submitted in the late 1970s. This particular photo is one of my favorites, showing five of the 11 SEETERS variants catalogued thus far.  Left to right, these bottles are MINSKY & SAPIRO (honey gold), GABRIEL SAPIRO (blue aqua), and three L. COHEN & SON variants (amber and blue aqua with REGISTERED above the lion, and blue aqua with REGISTERED under the lion).  Stare at these beauties long enough and you can actually hear the lions roar...

The total number of listings is now at 14,219.  WI and NY will each pass the 1,000 listing threshold before the next update in early April.  No foolin'!  

Good collecting!

Ron F.

© 2006, Seattle History Company

On The Road Again...

January 23, 2006

Due to a family emergency, I will be off-line January 24 - February 15.  Most likely I will NOT have access to EMail during this time period.

The total number of listings is now at 14,081 and continues to grow.  My sincere thanks to everyone for providing fantastic support for the project!

Be watching for another Hutchinson Bottle Directory update at the beginning of March.  

Go Seahawks!

Ron F.

© 2006, Seattle History Company

Don't look back.  Something may be gaining on you...

January 4, 2006

This month's headline is attributed to baseball legend Leroy "Satchel" Paige and seems quite appropriate!  My plans for producing an update in early December evaporated in the face of completing the Seattle and Christmas marathons, holiday activities, a stomach virus that won the first few rounds but ultimately lost the bout, and a cantankerous computer with a new found, undocumented,  "spontaneous shutdown" feature.  In spite of these challenges, we finished 2005 on a very high note by posting bottle #14,000 December 28th (an aqua, private mold bottle embossed B & C on the front shoulder, and LYNN, MASS. on the back shoulder).  We're now at 14,045 and the number continues to slowly climb.

Another 1,360 hours were devoted to the Hutchinson Bottle Directory initiative during 2005, bringing the total investment since 01-01-04 to just under 2,800 hours.  Amazingly, two years into what I estimated was a five year project, we're at least two years ahead of schedule!  

In addition to the countless, significant individual contributions of data from advanced Hutchinson collectors across the continent, group involvement is also on the rise.  One great example is the work being done by Art Church and his fellow Hudson Valley (NY) Bottle Club members.  Art asked club members to bring Hutchinsons to a recent club meeting and did they ever respond!  They've since provided rubbings and data on numerous bottles (including 23 previously unlisted examples), with more information yet to come!

Okay, if you've read this far and you're still awake, you're likely looking for the MAJOR PUBLICATION ANNOUNCEMENT.  Gathering and evaluating information in order to make this important decision has been a very challenging process.  In addition to exploring uncharted technical waters, I have engaged many advanced collectors across the U.S. and Canada in some spirited discussions while seeking direct input from the ultimate users of Hutchinson Bottle Directory data.  The direction we're taking won't please everyone, but I strongly believe this is the right decision and now is the time to implement it.

PLEASE READ AND DIGEST THE ENTIRE ANNOUNCEMENT BEFORE YOU REACT!  If you have questions or concerns that aren't addressed, please EMail or call me.  If you're ready, click on HutchBook for the rest of the story...

Ron F.

© 2006, Seattle History Company


November 5, 2005

The way October went racing by, combined with running the Portland and Halloween Marathons, inspired the "hare and tortoise" home page theme.  It also helped that terrific TURTLE CREEK / (turtle) / MINERAL W. CO. bottle photographs arrived via EMail!  A third variant features a horseshoe plate mold and a 10 panel base.  These three bottles are from Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania and rare.  The ZAJICEK BROS / (rabbit) / CHICAGO, ILL. bottle and a variant with a patch of grass under the rabbit are both scarce.  I don't recall that we've identified other Hutchinsons with embossed turtles or rabbits.

In addition to gathering new listings and filling-in-the-blanks where data is missing for existing listings, considerable time continues to be devoted to investigating several publication options.  I am intentionally going slow in order to ensure we make the right decision and head in the correct direction.  Putting the Hutchinson Bottle Directory together is more like a marathon than a sprint; it feels like we're on cruise control until we're sure the finish line is in sight, and then we'll kick it in.  I have obtained the assistance of a professional web designer to help identify the many challenges of web site publishing and am now hopeful that we'll be able to make and announce a decision by the end of November.  Please bear with me and keep checking this site for updates.

In case you missed it, that cobalt blue EXCELSIOR / BOTTLING WORKS / ALLEGHENY CITY, PA. / A.G.W.L. Hutchinson pictured on the home page last month sold for $1,680.  Congratulations to the seller and winning bidder!

Speaking of Pennsylvania, we've added two more Hutchinson specialists for PA, bringing the total to ten advanced collectors helping with the state.  One of them specializes in bottles from his hometown and the surrounding 25-30 mile area.  Thanks to his assistance, we have identified 250+ different Hutchinsons from his geographical area! Good grief; that's more Hutchinsons than we have in Oregon, Washington, and Washington Territory combined!  Oh, by the way, the Pennsylvania total is now at 2,407 and still climbing.  

The total number of Hutchinsons identified is now at 13,856 and I'll be quite surprised if we don't crash thru the 14,000 level by year end.  Most of my prognostications over the past 22 months have been too low, so stay tuned.  

A sincere thank you to all of you who are actively supporting and contributing to the Hutchinson Bottle Directory initiative.  I particularly appreciate those who have been spreading the word about the project to collector friends and pointing them to this site. Well, it's time for me to continue racing on thru November.  Be watching for the next update following the annual Seattle Marathon the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Ron F.

© 2005, Seattle History Company

By The Numbers...

September 30, 2005

As usual, I'm a bit behind schedule at getting another update together and posted.  eBay sales and the fall marathon season have definitely impacted my planning process.  The September 11th Skagit Flats Marathon up in Burlington, Washington went well; next up is my 24th straight Portland (Oregon) Marathon on October 9th.  The nicest "problem" with retirement is "having" to prioritize (mostly) fun activities!  

Looking back over my time log, most of the past few weeks were devoted to the process of adding data where it is missing on the spreadsheets.  Although this is a tedious and time-consuming process, it is very rewarding to see the blank spaces continuing to disappear.  We are building a database that should not only prove to be of great value to current collectors, but also be highly useful to future generations of collectors, historians, and archaeologists.  

Here are some numbers that might be of interest (all are as of 09-30-05):

685 = # of Texas Hutchinsons identified

791 = # of Illinois Hutchinsons identified

879 = # of New York Hutchinsons identified

909 = # of Ohio Hutchinsons identified

937 = # of Wisconsin Hutchinsons identified

2,321 = # of Pennsylvania Hutchinsons identified

13,683 = TOTAL # of Hutchinsons identified

2,400 = # of hours I have invested in the project since 01-01-04

2 = # of days I have missed working on the project since 01-01-04

105 = # of Hutchinson collector specialists actively contributing data

Speaking of numbers, it appears the spreadsheet listings and illustrations will require 1,000 to 1,100 pages when printed.  Yikes!  Obviously our original estimate that there were 7-10,000 different Hutchinsons was far below the anticipated 14,000 that will be listed in the first edition.  That isn't bad news from a collecting standpoint, but it does complicate publishing.  Consequently, we've been exploring the expenses (in money and time) involved with publishing, collating, binding, marketing, packaging, and distributing a book/books containing this much data.  This has led us to also consider alternatives such as CD ROM and the Internet.  We've been engaged in numerous telephone and EMail
conversations with collectors across the continent, and there are advantages and disadvantages to whatever approach(es) we take.  Investigation continues while we are at the proverbial "fork in the road" and we anticipate making and announcing a decision during October.  Whatever direction we take, it will be exciting as it means the
Hutchinson Bottle Directory will soon become a reality!

I just completed a sweep thru the database, keying in new data, and updating the spreadsheets to reflect the revised plate mold shape nomenclature.  Several interesting trends appeared, e.g. Alaska, California, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, North Dakota, and Oregon have no horseshoe plate mold Hutchinsons, and all Hawaiian Hutchinsons were private molds.  Clearly we're going to be able to "mine" lots of interesting facts from the database.

That beautiful, cobalt blue EXCELSIOR / BOTTLING WORKS / ALLEGHENY CITY, PA. / A.G.W.L. Hutchinson pictured on the home page is currently listed as eBay # 6213462222.  Thanks for permission to use your photo, Jay!   

I again offer kudos to everyone contributing to this initiative, be it data on one bottle, hundreds, or (in two cases) thousands!  Another long-time collector joined the Hutchinson Bottle Directory team yesterday, making eight for Pennsylvania (we'll get that beast under control yet!).  The spirit of cooperation pervading this project is making it highly rewarding. Thanks!   

Ron F.

© 2005, Seattle History Company

"Steaming" Thru The Dog Days Of August...

August 16, 2005

The past month gives added credibility to the old adage that "time flies when you're having a good time."  I swear I just finished the July update and here it is time for another one.  A summer break from eBay sales has allowed me to devote considerably more time to the Hutchinson Bottle Directory; the total number of hours invested since 01-01-04 will soon pass the 2,200 mark.

Those who check this site frequently likely noticed the "mavericks" list suddenly featured positive identification for many bottles.  This was a side effect of going thru the entire database and building the special cross-index.  While doing so, I managed to identify 11 previously unknown bottles (they have subsequently been moved to their respective state spreadsheets)!  I'm using the cross-index frequently, as there's no way I can remember where the almost 500 maverick bottles are from.  A simple check of the cross-index and I'm back in business!

I hoped to post sample bottle illustrations this month, but want to gain a bit more proficiency with the PC software before I "go public."  Stay tuned.

This has been a particularly good month for "filling-in-the-blanks" where data is missing on the spreadsheets.  Many of the spreadsheets now have over 90% of the data filled in!  A sincere THANK YOU to the many Hutchinson specialists, gracious eBay sellers, and others who have contributed data!

After considerable discussion with many advanced Hutchinson collectors, I have finalized decisions concerning plate mould shape nomenclature for the book.  In an effort to utilize correct glass manufacturer terms wherever practical, we're going with the following plate mould shapes:

1. Round - whether a plate was round, oval, or watermelon-shaped, the manufacturers consistently referred to them as "round," so the spreadsheet entries will consolidate and specify these shapes round.  Bottle illustrations, however, will reflect the actual mould shapes;

2. Horseshoe - as previously announced, "tombstone" or "heel-shaped plates" will be referred to as "horseshoe" plates;

3. Rectangular - primarily used on bottles with vertical embossing, particularly in Canada; and

4. Private - instead of "open" or "proprietary," we'll be consistent with the bottle manufacturers and use the term "private."

The Hutchinson Bottle Directory Overview document has been updated to reflect the use of these terms.  Each of the individual country/province/state/territory spreadsheets will be converted as they're updated.  Thank goodness for Excel's "global change" feature!

The total number of listings is now at 13,578.  No, wait; the mailman just brought information on four more rare Texas Hutchinsons, so make that 13,582!  Although the number of new listings has leveled off, we're continuing to add more bottles.  Recent additions include very rare bottles from NM, TX, LA, IA, KY, MI, and NY.

Speaking of numbers that keep steaming right along, the Pennsylvania total continues to grow.  The beautiful WILKESBARRE / STEAM / BOTTLING WORKS / WILKESBARRE, PA. bottle pictured on the home page is currently listed on eBay as # 6200605094. Thanks, George, for granting permission to include your photo with this month's update. This was bottle number 2,300 for Pennsylvania.  Good grief, what a state!

Publication of the FOHBC Bottles & Extras article and an advertisement in the National EXPO program are generating considerable correspondence from collectors only now hearing about the Hutchinson Bottle Directory initiative.  Please be sure to let your Hutchinson collector friends know about this site.

Well, it's time to key in the data for those four new TX Hutchinsons, so that's all for this month.  My thanks to everyone involved for your tremendous, on-going support and encouragement!

Ron F.

© 2005, Seattle History Company

13,500 "HUHCHINSON'S" & Still Climbing...

July 12, 2005

I originally intended to publish this update on Independence Day and include photographs of several Hutchinson bottles that sport U.S. flags, but I'm a week behind and in the interest of brevity I cut back to the bottles pictured on the home page.  These are two of the five different J. ESPOSITO bottles we've identified that picture U.S. flags.  (The lettering and flags were painted by the daughter of a noted Hutchinson collector and the photo submitted to Joe Nagy in the late 1970s.)   J. Esposito also utilized two Koca Nola Hutchinson bottles, and a G. Esposito Hutchinson bottle from Philadelphia also features a U.S. flag.  

Today's mail brought the Summer, 2005 issue of the FOHBC's Bottles and Extras. Pages 25-27 feature an article on the Hutchinson Bottle Directory.  A sincere THANK YOU! to editor Kathy Hopson for the fine job she did on laying out the article, and for providing space to further spread the word about the project.  If you aren't a FOHBC member and receiving Bottles and Extras, you're missing out on a top quality publication.  Visit for details.

Be sure to check out Charles David Head's very well-researched article "Here's The Real Dope On Koca Nola" on pp. 11-13 of the Summer, 2005 issue of Bottles and Extras. The illustrations include one of the J. Esposito bottles (mentioned above), plus a FLORIDA / KOCA NOLA / BOTTLING CO. Hutchinson bottle from Jacksonville, Florida.

We've made considerable progress since the last update.  Draft copies of spreadsheets were mailed to many specialists, and considerable time has been spent filing the hundreds of pencil rubbings and photographs we've received so far this year.  I should have sample illustrations to post in conjunction with next month's update.

We've added a Vermont specialist!  Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island still need specialists.  Help!

Legendary Chicago Hutchinson collector Bob Harms recently submitted several rubbings including one for a bottle vertically embossed SAMPLE BOTTLE / MADE FOR / HUHCHINSON'S / PATENT / SPRING STOPPER / BY / Wm McCULLY & CO. / PITTSBURG PA.  How about that spelling for "HUHCHINSON'S!"  Not only that, this turned out to be listing number 13,500!  It now looks like we're going to hit 14,000 by the time we go to print.  Whew!

Ron F.

© 2005, Seattle History Company

Nothin' But Blue Skies...

June 7, 2005

May was another highly productive month for the Hutchinson Bottle Directory initiative, as I limited myself to only one marathon and poured most of my time into the project.  After one more race this coming Sunday, I'm not pounding pavement again until the fall. Likewise, I've shut down eBay sales for the summer months.  My intention is to focus even more time on the book.

Thanks to a continuing flow of top quality input from the Hutchinson specialists, we acquired previously missing data on hundreds of bottles during May.  This is a huge effort and although we have quite a ways yet to go, the spreadsheets are filling up quite nicely!

As expected, the number of new listings has slowed to a trickle (there were times when I wondered if the flow was ever going to ebb!).  A couple of days ago we posted bottle #13,300 and it will come as no surprise that it was a Pennsylvania bottle: 8 1/2 FLUID OUNCES / S. FURMAN / 238 So. 6th ST. / READING / PA. / REGISTERED.  We've had an aqua variant catalogued for some time, but this one is a beautiful CORNFLOWER BLUE!  It is currently listed on eBay as item #6184185134.  Check out the listing and the many other nice photos of this beautiful bottle.  Our sincere thanks to the seller for permission to reproduce his photograph on our home page.  By the way, for those of you who entered the "So, how many different Pennsylvania Hutchinson bottles are there anyway?" sweepstakes, the current total is 2,259 and still climbing.  What an amazing number!

During May I finished going thru the backlog of terrific data provided on bottles from Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, Mexico, et al.  Yet this week I'll be printing updated draft copies of several state spreadsheets and sending copies to the respective Hutchinson specialists.

The slowdown in the acquisition of new listings is a major milestone for the Hutchinson Bottle Directory project. We'll continue to add new listings right up until the last minute, of course, but now our major focus has moved to obtaining data currently missing from the spreadsheet listings.  Additionally, we can now finally start to work on the illustrations, the last major task left before publication!  If all goes as planned, next month's update will include sample illustrations.

Amazingly, we are at least two years ahead of the original project timeline.  Earlier this year I thought we might have the Hutchinson Bottle Directory in print during 2005, but I now don't believe that is possible.  Once I have a couple of months of work into the illustrations, I expect to finally be able to establish a target publication date.  My best guess at this point is "sometime in 2006."  Stay tuned!  

A sincere THANK YOU to everyone involved in helping make the Hutchinson Bottle Directory dream come true!

Good collecting,

Ron F.

© 2005, Seattle History Company

05-05-05 = 13,000

May 5, 2005

Mr. Belcher, my high school math teacher, would likely point at the headline above and say "See, I told you he wasn't paying attention in class!"  Actually, I was paying attention, except for those few hundred times he caught me staring out the classroom windows, daydreaming about digging bottles, hot cars, and girls (not necessarily in that order!). Challenges from my developmental years notwithstanding, it is exciting to announce that as of May 5, 2005 the Hutchinson Bottle Directory has passed the 13,000 listing threshold!  We've added 5,000 new listings since EXPO 2004!

Although it was tempting to anoint a special bottle the honor of being #13,000 I couldn't do it; they're all special just by being Hutchinsons!  For the record, listing #13,000 turned out to be an aqua ELIAS WEISS / BOTTLING WKS. / MONESSEN, PA with a horseshoe plate.  We don't have a rubbing/photograph of it (yet), or I'd include an illustration.

Speaking of impressive numbers, the grand total for Pennsylvania now exceeds 2,100 and continues to climb.  A sincere thank you to the five specialists helping us compile data on Pennsylvania Hutchinsons!

This week's mail has brought updated data on Nebraska, Texas, Idaho, Mexico, and Michigan Hutchinsons.  The quantity and quality of bottle data is astonishing and continues to far exceed my wildest expectations.  Please keep those cards and letters coming!

Ron F.

© 2005, Seattle History Company

Spring Has Sprung!

April 27, 2005

I've been trying to put this update together for a week and simply not getting to it until today.  Springtime offers too many diversions!  I wanted to post illustrations of Hutchinsons related to "April Showers" and "May Flowers" but couldn't find ones I liked and decided to take the "weather" theme one step further and post the USDA bottle photo instead; what a great looking bottle!

March and April have been a blur.  I spent nine weeks dealing with a viral infection that refused to go away until I did the Easter Marathon south of Olympia, WA on 3-26 and (literally) ran the virus out of my body.  It felt so good to be healthy again that I proceeded to pound out marathons in Yakima, Oak Harbor, and Wenatchee on the next three weekends.  Four races in 22 days definitely slowed down progress on the Hutchinson Bottle Directory.  I'm not racing again until the middle of May, so I'm back to focusing on the book.

Thankfully, the number of new listings is continuing to level off.  The grand total is at an astonishing 12,879 and I expect we'll break thru the 13,000 level early next week.  Another major threshold will soon be crossed in Pennsylvania where we currently have 1,997 listings.  Pretty much all we need is for a Pennsylvania digger to hit the right privy this coming weekend and we'll blow right thru the 2,000 level!  I also have a 30+ page list of PA Hutchinsons submitted by Brent Allred that will add many more bottles.  Will it ever stop!

Did you see Charles David Head's great Koca Nola article in the Spring 2005 issue of Bottles And Extras?  Several Koca Nola Hutchinsons are pictured.  If you can help with his research, please be sure to drop him a line.

We were VERY pleased to receive one of the first copies of Sam Fuller's new Maine bottle book.  Check out the listing on the "Bottle Books For Sale" page.  

Happy Spring and good collecting to all!

Ron F.

© 2005, Seattle History Company

"This is your pilot speaking.  We're about to reach 12,500 and will be switching to cruise control.  Please sit back and enjoy the flight."

March 17, 2005

Six weeks between updates is too long, so I'll try to get back to a monthly cycle.  Interest in the project is increasing rapidly as word about it continues to spread within the bottle collecting community.  When telling others about the project, please be sure to direct them to this site and encourage them to read the overview and updates. The "staff" (me) is trying to remain focused on the book itself, and time for general correspondence is limited.  Thanks!

We expect to pass the 12,500 listing threshold tomorrow!  With three large packets of information sitting here ready to be added in, and still more data due from several specialists, we'll soon hit 13,000 listings.  Even so, the number of new listings is finally tapering off.  The bulk of my time the past six weeks has been spent completing existing listings.  Many specialists have returned spreadsheet drafts with the "blanks" completely filled in, and packets of rubbings and photographs are arriving almost daily.  Life is good!

The Hutchinson specialist team continues to grow.  We've added an advanced North Dakota collector, additional specialists for several large states, and we'll soon have a West Virginia specialist.  We still need specialists for Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  Help!

Be sure to check out the shamrock Hutchinson photo on the home page, and read about it on the "Can You Identify These Unknown Hutchinsons?" page.

A Hutchinson Bottle Directory article has been submitted for publication in the FOHBC's Bottles & Extras.  Editor Kathy Hopson says it should appear in the summer 2005 issue. Thanks for your support, Kathy and Ralph Van Brocklin!

We recently obtained David Kyte's fine new book on Early Utah Soda Bottles.  The first edition sold out quickly and a second printing is now available.  Please see the "Bottle Books For Sale" page for details.  Utah has many cool bottles and David has done some great historical research on the bottlers!

Charles David Head has been providing data on Koca Nola Hutchinson bottles and several very rare Tennessee Hutchinsons.  He is researching the Koca Nola Company and would like to hear from collectors with information on company history and collectibles.  If you can help, please write to: Charles David Head, 23549-001 D-2 Jesup FCI, 2680 Hwy. 301 South, Jesup, GA 31599.

Thank you all for your on-going support and encouragement!

Ron F.

© 2005, Seattle History Company

...and suddenly there were 12,000 LISTINGS!

February 3, 2005

Wow, can you believe it?  How well I remember those discussions with Joe Nagy 25+ years ago when we theorized the maximum number of different Hutchinson bottles ranged between 7,000 and 10,000.  It has been simultaneously exciting and daunting to watch the total number steadily climb to over 12,000.  I'm trying not to think about how much work all of those completed spreadsheet entries represent or, worse yet, how many illustrations remain to be completed!  Instead I keep reminding myself we're building a tremendous resource that will prove useful to collectors, historians, and researchers for decades to come.

Winter weather has many of the Hutchinson collector specialists holed up inside where they've been assembling bottle data and rubbings/photographs to send my way.  Almost daily the mail brings treasured Hutchinson information, and with each arriving packet my enthusiasm for the project soars even higher.  It is genuinely exciting to realize the quantity and quality of data the Hutchinson Bottle Directory will contain.  We've already far exceeded my wildest expectations for the first edition and more data continues to pour in. Much of January's activity included major spreadsheet updates for Texas, Missouri,
Pennsylvania, Indiana, Nova Scotia, Kansas, and Oklahoma/O.T./I.T.  The 12,000th bottle was posted January 25, 2005.  It is a very rare, 10 panel base JNO. L. STIBICH / TRADE MARK / JS (monogram) / REGISTERED / CAMBRIA CITY / PA. (The Pennsylvania total is at 1,700+ and still climbing!)

The cornerstone supporting Hutchinson Bottle Directory data quality is clearly the specialists.  Although chasing some of these folks down has been as challenging as finding those elusive Hutchinson bottles, the effort has been very worthwhile.  These folks are the experts for their respective area(s) of collecting and their willingness to share their expertise with others speaks volumes about their character and love for our hobby. THANK YOU one and all!

Speaking of the Hutchinson specialists, we now have the foreign countries, Canada, and 43 states covered!  We are still in need of specialists for Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.  If you know someone who specializes in Hutchinsons from any of these states, please EMail me at ASAP.

February's Hutchinson Bottle Directory to-do list includes finishing an article for the FOHBC's Bottles and Extras.  So many bottles, so little time!

Ron F.

© 2005, Seattle History Company

11,000 Listings!

January 2, 2005

I considered recapping 2004's highlights, but instead decided to leave the previous updates posted below in their entirety so newcomers to the Hutchinson Bottle Directory project can review progress to this point.  And let there be no doubt PROGRESS is the key word; we've come a long way in 12 months!  It seems like only last week I began sorting files and now the year is gone and I managed to invest 1,385 very enjoyable hours of 2004 time into the project.  Although much work remains, I am definitely having trouble containing my excitement about seeing the Hutchinson Bottle Directory in print!

Bottle number 11,000 was listed December 27, 2004!  I tried to time it so a HUTCHINSON / BOTTLING WORKS / HUTCHINSON, MINN. bottle was the 11,000th listing.  That didn't work out and number 11,000 turned out to be a nice FLECKENSTEINS / BOTTLING WORKS / COLUMBIA, PA. bottle (check out the example listed as eBay #6142066709).

Speaking of Pennsylvania, that's the "Jeopardy" answer to the question "Which state has over 1,500 different Hutchinson bottles?"  Wisconsin is in second place, with Ohio, llinois, and New York rounding out the top five.

Thirty-eight states and territories, Canada (except for Ontario), and seven foreign countries are at or close to having all known Hutchinson bottles listed on their respective spreadsheets.  Many more states and Ontario will be added to this list in weeks to come. This is a key project barometer, as it means the first edition of the Hutchinson Bottle Directory will be FAR more complete than I ever dared to imagine.  Let's hear it for all of the Hutchinson collector specialists who have been pouring in the listings; you folks are terrific!

Additional advanced collectors joined the Hutchinson specialist team ranks during December and I'm in hot pursuit of several others.  The next update will include a list of those few states where specialists are still needed.

The list of unknown Hutchinson bottles is shrinking steadily.  Check out the list to see the latest bottles that have been identified.  Those bottles that were identified earlier have been moved to their respective state spreadsheets.

Working on the unknown list has been a good learning experience, as it led me to decide to create a separate "maverick Hutchinson listing" for the Hutchinson Bottle Directory. This cross-index will list maverick bottles and refer users to the proper country/state/city listing for complete data and illustrations.  This will require quite a bit of additional effort, but it will be worth it.

Happy New Year!

Ron F.

© 2005, Seattle History Company

10,000 Listings!

December 8, 2004

I've been trying to put together an update since Thanksgiving Day and simply not getting it done because other priorities have continually taken precedence.  This evening I've declared a "time out" in order to post this update and bring everyone up-to-date on Hutchinson Bottle Directory activities.

November was definitely a month to remember!  In addition to a flurry of eBay selling activity and the annual Seattle Marathon, November brought a much-welcomed flood of Hutchinson materials from all around the U.S. and Canada.  Significant numbers of bottles were added to the Wisconsin, Georgia, Louisiana, Colorado, Ohio, Maine, and Pennsylvania spreadsheets.  An advertisement in Phil Culhane's outstanding Canadian Bottle & Stoneware Collector magazine generated EMail responses from several Canadian collectors.  Additional packets of information for South Dakota and Dakota Territory, Ohio, Colorado, Massachusetts, and others are in the queue.  Unfortunately, I've been neglecting some EMail, snail mail, and telephone calls while focusing on adding new listings and data to the spreadsheets.  My current challenge is to catch up on all correspondence and calls ASAP.  My thanks to everyone for being so patient.

Hopefully your eye caught the headline above announcing we now have 10,000 listings! Actually, we cruised right on past 10,000 and are currently at 10,400 and growing steadily.  It looks like we'll hit 11,000 in January, 2005.

While working thru a great packet of input from Tommy Mitchiner, our Georgia Hutchinson specialist, I knew we were rapidly closing in on the 10,000 listing threshold.  I had great intentions of specifically identifying the 10,000th bottle, but accidentally re-sorted the Georgia spreadsheet and when I next checked the grand total we were already well past 10,000.  I still wanted to note this major accomplishment, so I randomly (yeah, right!) selected the following as bottle #10,000: E. P. C. FOWLER / TALLAPOOSA / GA. Tommy mentioned that Mr. Fowler (no relation; honest!) was president of the Dixie
Glass Works in Tallapoosa.

We're closing in on having Hutchinson specialists identified for all areas.  We've also added several collectors whose interests cross state lines, e.g. Dave Graci.  He is helping with his home state of Massachusetts, and also providing data on brewery/beer Hutchinsons from all over.

Several new bottles have been added to the list of maverick Hutchinsons, while others have been identified/possibly identified.  Please take a few minutes to review the list.  By the time we go to print, we want to have the "unknown" list as short as possible.

In between preparing Christmas cards, shopping, the Christmas Marathon, and the usual flurry of holiday activities, I intend to devote as much time as possible to the book for the remainder of December.  Be watching for another update around year end.

My sincere thanks to everyone involved with making the Hutchinson Bottle Directory such a fun, interesting, and rewarding project.  2004 has been a great year and 2005 will be even better.  Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Ron F.

© 2004, Seattle History Company

Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2004

October has been a blur.  Two weeks in Texas was book-ended by marathons in Portland, Oregon and Olympia, Washington.  In spite of running (literally) all over the country, steady progress continues on the Hutchinson Bottle Directory!

Thought was given to using the Texas trip as a break from book activities, but I'm having way so much fun working on it that I took the CorelDraw graphics training manual and Alabama files along with me.  Many an enjoyable hour was spent learning more about the software and organizing the Alabama file.  The additional Alabama data has been keyed into the spreadsheet, boosting the state total to over 300.  A draft copy of the spreadsheet went to Alabama Hutchinson specialist Tom Lines this past week for his review and input.

We just ordered a copy of Soda and Mineral Water Bottles and Bottlers of Colorado, 1860-1915 by Ted Oppelt.  (Check the February 2004 issue of Antique Bottle & Glass Collector magazine for Ted's feature article on Colorado Hutchinsons.)  The "Bottle Books For Sale" page includes details and ordering information.  

This week's mail brought a copy of Wisconsin Soda Water Bottles 1845-1910 by Roger Peters.  What a great book!  Details and ordering information can be found on the "Bottle Books For Sale" page.

Hutchinson Bottle Directory word of mouth and magazine advertising continue to pay major dividends.  A Mississippi collector just submitted information about three different Hutchinson bottles from Indianola, Mississippi.  We had information about one of them, but the other two bottles are new listings for one-of-a-kind bottles.

The previous update included a plea for the names of collectors in states where we've yet to identify Hutchinson specialists.  Well, MAJOR kudos to Bill Baab in Georgia, and Zang Wood in New Mexico!  Bill is actively coordinating the identification of Hutchinson specialists for several Southern states.  Zang tapped his address book and came thru with lists of many collectors.  Packets of Hutchinson Bottle Directory information were sent to many of these folks this past week.  Hopefully we'll soon have all of the states covered!  

The grand total of listings is now at 9,321 and we're steadily closing in on 10,000!  It still looks like we'll easily reach the 10,000 level this year.  

A sincere THANK YOU to everyone helping the Hutchinson Bottle Directory become a reality!

Ron F.

© 2004, Seattle History Company

On The Road Again!

October 5, 2004

After 9+ months of non-stop attention to the Hutchinson Bottle Directory, I am taking a short break October 6-19, 2004.  Please note: I will NOT have access to EMail during this time period.

The grand total of listings is now at 9,223 and growing steadily.  Thanks to the fantastic support of advanced Hutchinson collector specialists from across the continent, we should easily hit 10,000 by year end 2004, and may reach 11,000 by the time we go to press!

Here are the areas where we need the assistance of additional specialists.  If you know someone who might help, please send me contact information.  Thanks!

Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia

Watch for another Hutchinson Bottle Directory update late this month.

Ron F.

© 2004, Seattle History Company

9,000 Listings!

September 21, 2004

What a great way to close out the summer: the Hutchinson Bottle Directory now has over 9,000 listings!  Wow!  A big THANK YOU to everyone contributing rubbings, photographs, and details about the bottles.  

Check out the "Can You Identify These Unknown Hutchinsons?" page.  Several maverick Hutchinson bottles have been positively identified, but there are many more waiting for your review and input.

The "Hutchinson Bottle Directory Overview" has been updated to reflect two decisions:

1. Rarity is being simplified to "Rare = less than 10 known," "Scarce = 10-100 known," and "Common = 100+ known."  Listings will be abbreviated to R, S, and C in order to save space that can be utilized for other information.

2. Dimensions will be shown in inches (as decimals), rather than centimeters.

Several more Hutchinson collector specialists have joined the project team during the last two weeks.  The next update will include a list of those few areas where we're still seeking Hutchinson collector specialist assistance.  

My thanks to everyone contributing their valuable time and energies to this very worthwhile project.  On to 10,000!

Ron F.

© 2004, Seattle History Company

FOHBC Expo 2004 - Memphis!

September 8, 2004

My long-time bottle collecting buddy Mark Nelson and I headed for Memphis a day early to take in some of the local sites.  We stayed at the downtown Marriott Hotel located adjacent to the Memphis Convention Center at the north end of downtown, right on the Mississippi River.  Within an hour of checking in we were aboard an antique trolley car headed for Beale Street.  The three block long Beale Street area is jam-packed with blues bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops.  A BBQ chicken dinner at the Rum Boogie Café
was made even better by the Boogie Blues Band’s mix of classic blues tunes and rock oldies.

Early Thursday morning I went for an enjoyable run to the north thru a light industrial and housing area where empty lots show signs of much urban renewal activity (where the heck were my probe and shovel when I really needed them!).  The weather while we were there was unusually nice for August, with high temperatures in the low 80s and very low humidity.

Mid-morning we took a 15 minute city bus ride directly to Graceland.  The area was packed with people in town for Elvis Week activities.  Thanks to purchasing tickets on-line we avoided standing in line and headed straight for the mini-buses that took us across the street to Graceland.  We were each given headsets and listened to a recorded tour as we walked thru the house and grounds.  The gravesites out behind the house were loaded with flowers and signs.  The tour was far better than I expected and is a must-see event
for Memphis visitors whether they’re Elvis fans or not.

We hopped off the city bus back to town at 706 Union Ave, the legendary home of Sun Records.  An excellent tour guide took us upstairs to a small museum loaded with Sun Records memorabilia, and then downstairs into the Sun Records office and one room studio.  As a life-long fan of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Charlie Rich, and the many other Sun stars, I’m still awestruck that I was finally able to visit the studio where they each made so many of their early recordings.  Other than the Expo, visiting Sun Records was the highlight of the Memphis trip for me.

After leaving Sun Records we walked back toward Beale Street, intending to visit the Gibson Guitar Factory and Rock ‘n Soul Museum.  We were too late for the day’s last factory tour, and the museum is closed because it is being moved, so we walked a few blocks and toured the National Civil Rights Museum.  It is housed in a beautiful new building constructed adjacent to the Lorraine Motel where MLK was shot.  The tour was excellent and includes access to the motel area where MLK stayed the night before he was killed.  The tour ended across the street in the building where James Earl Ray rented
the room from which he fired the fatal shot.  The original evidence (rifle, bullet, personal effects, etc.) is on display and accompanied by write ups indicating Ray acted alone, rather than as part of a conspiracy.

The Expo opened for dealers to move their goods into the convention center hall at 1100 on Friday.  The spacious hall featured room for 500+ tables and displays, 32’ high ceilings, excellent lighting, and air conditioning.  Table set up started about 1330 and there was the usual flurry of early selling and buying.  Many Florida dealers and collectors were unable to attend because they either couldn’t get out of Florida due to Hurricane Charley or they were home protecting their property.  Beale Street was really hopping on Friday night, with every club featuring live music and many bands playing along the street or in parks/outside seating areas.

Saturday morning’s run found me headed to the east of downtown and an area mainly occupied by beautifully preserved 100+ year old mercantile buildings, the city jail, and more bail bondsmen than I could count.

I spent all day Saturday at the Expo explaining the Hutchinson Book Directory project and successfully gaining the involvement of collectors from many states to help with this initiative.  It was fun to renew acquaintances and meet collectors from across the country. The show closed for the day at 1630 and then there were several breakout meetings.  I stopped by the authors’ meeting briefly and then headed on to the Painted Soda Bottle Collectors Association gathering.  Kathy Hopson did a fine job of organizing the meeting and it was fun to visit with folks I hadn’t seen since the national shows in Denver and
Nashville.  I did a 30 minute presentation on siphon bottles that seemed to be well received.

Sunday morning’s run took me downtown and then east thru the beautiful University of Tennessee campus.  While crossing a downtown street I spotted a large, heavy silver ring lying on the pavement.  If it turns out that it isn’t worth much, I’ll keep it and concoct a story about how Elvis lost it Saturday night while driving down the street and waving to fans.

Sunday’s Expo session ran from 0800-1400.  In order to maximize the use of my remaining time, I left the sales table and sought out collectors from specific states where we had yet to identify Hutchinson collector specialists.  By the end of the day, the list of people committed to helping with the project covered more than half of the states and several foreign countries!  During the Memphis trip the grand total of identified different Hutchinson bottles grew from 8000 to almost 8400, with more quantum leaps due as collectors submit promised information when they return home.  Reaction to the Hutchinson Bottle Directory project was 100% positive and far exceeded my wildest

Thanks to pitching the Hutchinson Bottle Directory non-stop, I wasn't able to view the 20-25 displays or peruse the many rows of sales tables.  None-the-less this was a memorable national show and I’m extremely pleased with every aspect of the trip.  My thanks to the FOHBC and Memphis club members, and other hard-working folks who put this great Expo together.

Since returning home I have been attacking the project with renewed enthusiasm.  I have mailed out nearly 30 packets containing drafts of country/state/territory/province spreadsheets, copies of the project overview document, and much more.  As of this morning, the grand total of bottles listed stands at 8,540 with many more to be listed in days to come.  We’ll easily hit 9,000 before going to print and may approach 10,000!

Please be watching for another project update during September.  I intend to post a list of those remaining states and provinces where we have yet to identify a Hutchinson collector specialist.  Hopefully some of you will be able to recommend collectors we can contact from each of these areas.  I also plan to start listing “maverick” bottles in hopes readers will be able to help us assign them to their proper states and towns.

My sincere thanks to everyone involved with the Hutchinson Bottle Directory.  This is one of the most challenging projects I have ever tackled, and is turning out to be one of the most rewarding as we all work together to make it happen!

Ron F.

© 2004, Seattle History Company



Ron Fowler, author of the international Hutchinson Bottle Directory, today announced this highly-desired initiative is over 50% complete and well ahead of schedule.  Excitement is building as collectors anticipate publication of this milestone antique bottle collector reference source.  

The Hutchinson Bottle Directory features spreadsheets listing over 8,000 bottles alphabetically by city and bottler.  Individual listings detail available data on front, back, and base embossing, mold, glass color, height, diameter, plate shape, base shape, and rarity.  Illustrations of each bottle are included.  A service will likely be offered to periodically provide updated pages to Hutchinson Bottle Directory subscribers.  

Hundreds of collectors have contributed information to the Hutchinson Bottle Directory. Successful completion of the project requires the valued assistance and contributions of collector specialists from across the North American continent.  Identified specialists for each country/state/territory/province receive copies of their geographical area’s spreadsheets detailing the information gathered thus far and then work with the author to gather missing information, obtain data on additional bottles, and quality control the finished product prior to publication.

Author Ron Fowler is attending the Federation of Historical Bottle Clubs’ national show in Memphis, Tennessee August 13-15, 2004 in order to promote the Hutchinson Bottle Directory initiative and identify collector specialists.

For additional information, contact:

Ron Fowler
4518 35th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105-3002
Telephone: 206-525-1050    
Project details/updates:

© 2004, Seattle History Company