Archive for May, 2010

The Man Behind the Bottle

May 28, 2010

I am always looking for books on Coca-Cola or anything soda related. I came across this book today: The Man Behind The Bottle: The Origin and History of the Classic Contour Coca-Cola Bottle as Told by the Son of its Creator.

  Written by Norman Dean, he tells the true story of how the Contour bottle came about. I had talked to the grandson of Norman last year about this very subject, but did not realize his grandfather was working on a book.

  You can go to the Antique Bottle forum and see a few links and see a picture of the cover.

I ordered a copy, as soon as it arrives and read it,  I will post a review.


On the Radar

May 28, 2010

  As you may know I wrote and published a book on Coca-Cola bottles. I had to wear the hat as the publisher and do all the ‘publishing requirements’ to ensure it being listed at various websites, etc.  I registered the ISBN last year and was supposed to see results in a month or two. 10 months later the book is finally starting to show up in various places, such as Google Books.   Hopefully, places like Amazon, Barnes and Noble will start to pick it up.

  I added a link under ‘Great Links’ to see my book on Google. Here is the link if you just want to check it out.

 The book has been all me, I did the photography, layout, etc.   So I am excited to see it finally begin to show up as a small blip on the radar.

Simply Amazing

May 28, 2010

Well-I had over 1,000 visitors again this month (and it isn’t even over yet) AND I hit 6,000 visitors since I started my blog. An average of around 750 a month. So, I just want to say thank you to everyone for expressing an interest in my blog and asking questions.

 Keep those questions coming!

A Little Off Subject

May 27, 2010

Being Memorial Day Weekend, my thoughts go to those people I knew and didn’t know that gave their life for our Country.  It also reminded me of a Sailor’s Eulogy that we used aboard ship. I thought I would share it here today.


(A sailor’s eulogy)
by Robert E. Browne CPO, USN, ret.

We sailed the sea by oceans light,
Around the horn through restless night.
Our course and luck did make it right
To see things new in strange delight.

The seas were harsh and took their toll
With branded flesh and tortured soul
And when at last the sun sat low
It touched the earth with blood red glow.

The mighty wars have all been won.
Now empty winds slack sails undone.
The world is ours but mates care not
And search in vain for wars unfought.

Silver breakers plight our trough
To sails unfurled and winds aloft.
Spirits soar on breezes free
That bear the souls of sailors we.

Hear our prayer Oh Lord our God.
We lived to serve and wield thy rod.
Though wretches we and racked with flaws,
We are the ones who fought thy cause.

Now bleached white bones on foreign sands
Attest the toll in far off lands
For those who heard their country’s call,
Brave sailors each, who came to fall.

Remember those who served on ships
And bid farewell on endless trips
Across the seas to Timbuktu
And lived and died, these chosen few.

We ask this, Lord, for those so true
And honor bound beneath skies blue
Who served and died for freedom’s hand
To hold and cherish this, your land,

A sailor’s death on ships of sleep
With few to know and none to weep
For faith so brave, a soul to keep
A silent grave in oceans deep.

And when the end has come at last
And unfilled shadows heaven casts,
Remember we who served and fell
And to the hosts of heaven tell,
Bring home my boys who loved so well.

Coca-Cola and the Military

May 27, 2010

Coca-Cola has been with our military through the years, aboard ships with our Navy and found on bases across the globe. I thought for Memorial Day I would talk about Coca-Cola and World War II.

December 1941- Robert W. Woodruff announced The Coca-Cola Company’s wartime policy: “We will see that every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for five cents wherever he is and whatever it costs the Company.”

 In 1943, General Dwight D. Eisenhower sent a telegram requesting 10 Mobile Bottling Plants be sent to the European war front. The Cablegram also requested that three million bottles and complete equipment necessary for producing the same quantity twice monthly be sent. Before 1944, small portable bottling units, capable of being hauled behind jeeps, were used. By 1944, more permanent installations showed up in the Pacific and European War Theaters.

   Bottle production began in 1943. The bottles were to be made using clear glass and no City/State markings on the bottom.

There are two theories about why clear glass was used instead of the normal Coke Green in manufacturing these bottles. One was that it made the bottles easily identifiable as military bottles.  The other is that copper is needed to create the Coke Green glass and, due to a shortage of copper, it was necessary to manufacture them with clear glass. This latter theory may not be correct since all U.S. Coca-Cola bottles manufactured during the War years were in the standard Coke green glass.

  The first bottle manufactured in 1943 was simply the PAT’D D-105529 bottle in clear glass with no City/State markings. A new bottle mold could not be made quickly to allow a different style bottle for Military use only. By 1944, the new style bottle began production with the word ‘TRADEMARK’ below the Coca-Cola script. This bottle was produced until 1946.

Over 5,000,000,000 bottles were served to our troops during WWII.

 I hope you have a great Holiday weekend and take time to remember those that served our Country and gave the ultimate sacrifice. Memorial Day is the Anniversary of my discharge from the Navy. I will spend the day with family but will remember my friends that did not make it home.

Dixie Highway Yard Sale

May 20, 2010

The Dixie Highway Yard Sale is coming up, June 4-6, 2010.  It winds its way from Marietta, Georgia to Ringgold, Georgia.   We went a few years ago and had better luck finding antiques at some of the local area antique and junk stores than we did at the yard sales.  Many shops had special discounts for the Dixie Highway Yard Sale.       We live in the Marietta area so we drove north on I-75, got off at Ringgold and drove south towards home.  We drove 5 hours of the yard sale and still only made it half way, many people and many places to stop.  At first we stopped at every yard sale we saw, even the ones way off the main route. But we soon started to be more selective and only stopped at sales along the Dixie Highway and even then only if we saw something interesting. 

We did manage to find several nice Coca-Cola items and soda related items. The find of the day was a Coca-Cola bottle; I had never seen before. I found out later it was a Presentation Bottle for a special event in Atlanta. Only 200 had been made. I paid $4.00 for it. I found out later it was worth over $300!  I ended up selling the bottle to someone who wanted it more than I did.

 Here is a link for complete details on the sale.  We may not be able to make it this year, but hopefully you will!


May 11, 2010

I have recently begun to add bottle caps to my collection, trying to find the specific caps for a certain bottle.  I came across a website where you could search for bottle caps by brand names, etc.  It has some wonderful pictures and a great research tool. In fact I have already found several bottle caps for some obscure Coca-Cola Products.      I was so impressed with the website that I joined the club: CCSI (Crowncap Collectors Society International)

When you have a chance, check out the website and think about joining. They have a very informative newsletter and a convention every year.

Cleaning Crates

May 11, 2010

One great ‘go with’ collectible for bottles is the crates the returnable bottles used to come in. There are many different styles and many material types, wood, plastic, metal, cardboard, etc.

The crates had a hard life, being tossed onto and off the delivery trucks, sitting out in the weather, dusty warehouses, etc. so they are usually dirty. Of course cleaning them can be difficult.

 The metal ones are of course the easiest to clean. Usually a cleaning agent like 409, and a good brush and scrubbing sponge is all you need.  Steel wool can be used to remove rust spots. If the crate is the stainless steel type great care must be taken to not scratch the finish. Look for stainless steel appliance cleaner at a local hardware store.

 When cleaning a plastic crate, some precautions are necessary. Most of the plastic crates will have painted logos on them.  After being weathered this paint is unstable. A cleaning agent or simply water can remove the paint. It is best to test a small area of the paint first before you submerse the crate in water.  It is best to just clean around the painted areas and maybe touch them up lightly with a damp cloth.

 The wooden crates are the most common and can be easily cleaned. I don’t suggest to immerse a wooden crate in water. The wood will absorb the water and cause the crate to buckle or warp. If the paint seems to be stable (not flaking off or peeling) an electric leaf blower seems to work wonders.  This will remove a great deal of dust from the inside as well as from the outside. Take care not to drag the hose of the blower across the crate; it will leave a black mark on the paint that can not be removed. (Voice of experience here again)

The cardboard crates come in a number of varieties, the most common is the cardboard coated with wax and has a metal rod for the frame of the crate.  Since it is coated in wax, a damp cloth or paper towel can be used, but be sure to dry it off after cleaning.

 Clean crates make a wonderful way to display your clean bottles. So drag those crates outside and get busy with some spring cleaning.

Cleaning ACL Bottles

May 4, 2010

Earlier I discussed how to clean antique bottles that are embossed. (Be sure and read that entry also for helpful cleaning hints)

 Now, I will cover how to clean ACL (Applied Color Label) bottles, sometimes referred to as Painted Label bottles.     With cleaning ACL bottles a little more care and time have to be taken.

First, let’s discuss the ACL process.  The paint used on the bottles are actually ground colored glass that is baked onto the bottle. A silk screen with the drink name or design is used to apply the ‘paint’ while the bottle is still hot. If multi-colors are used the bottle has to pass the various silk screens and have the multi-colors applied. Then the paint is baked on, passing through an oven.

            ACL soda bottles began to appear in the 1930’s. This process still in its infancy, these early bottle ACL labels did not hold up well. In fact any bottle made from the 1930’s to the early 1960’s may have ACL that will come off easily and extreme care must be taken while cleaning.   I found this out the hard way. 30 years ago I found a 3 color ACL (the more colors a bottle label has, usually increases the value)  I rinsed it under luke warm water and was shocked to see the label lift off and float off the bottle. As soon as the label hit the sink it disintegrated and went down the drain. I went from having a $100 bottle to a worthless bottle in 2.3 seconds flat.

            Many things make the ACL unstable, exposure to the sun, weather, being buried, etc.  You should always check a small spot on the label before you do any major cleaning.  If it comes off easily, try to clean all around the label with a damp cloth.

            Most soda bottles made from the mid 1960’s to the 1990’s have a better quality ACL process and should be OK to soak, etc. (be sure and check an area first, exposure to sun, etc. can still make the ACL unstable even on these newer bottles) If in doubt, than don’t clean it.

  If you check the ACL and it seems good, I use the same methods as described in the embossed bottle cleaning. Soaking in warm water with soap, Windex or 409 (or all three).

Let them soak for a day or two, changing out water if needed.  Bar Keepers Friend does wonders on cleaning the ACL labels. (Don’t use comet, too abrasive).  A soft sponge will be needed as well as bottle brushes to scrub the outside and inside clean.  ACL bottles can not be tumbled to be cleaned like embossed bottles can.  The process would take off the ACL paint.

  I hope this helps you out with cleaning those bottles you might have lying around.

Happy Cleaning!