Life as a Bottle Collector

Hello Everyone!

    Just wanted to tell you a few things about being a bottle collector and running this blog.  

 I thoroughly enjoy sharing my knowledge if I know an answer to your question. I also enjoy the questions I don’t know the answer to, because it gives me a chance to do some research, ask questions of fellow collectors, etc. and learn something new. It keeps the hobby exciting to me.  Plus, hopefully get more people interested in bottle collecting as a hobby. In order to continue the hobby we need new collectors to join in the fun.

When you post a question to me here on the blog, it may take me a few days (or more) to come up with an answer, so be patient. I promise I will do my best to get an accurate answer on a timely basis. But, unfortunately I have to work for a living (I have to get the money for bottles some how) and I am active in the Coca-Cola Collectors Club, I also receive questions via emails, letters and phone calls on a regular basis about bottles, crates and various other Coca-Cola and soda related items.

  I also attend various antique bottle shows, Coca-Cola Club events, write articles on soft drink bottles and related items, do research for articles and I am also currently writing a second book on soft drink bottles and I have to come up with new topics for the blog! Which usually comes in spurts-no ideas for awhile, then a bunch all at once!

 Wow-makes me tired just typing about it!  

I have been collecting bottles for over 40 years now and still enjoy it. Thanks to ALL of you who have posted questions here, you keep the hobby alive and exciting for me!

So, keep the questions coming and I will do my best to keep the answers going out to you.

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23 Responses to “Life as a Bottle Collector”

  1. Smokey Culver Says:

    Got a question. Some years ago I was digging around an old house place and found some Sprite bottles in the barn. They were clear (colorless) glass without the green tint, and as near as I could tell were from about 1958 based on other items nearby. I have been unable to find any information on these bottles, but assume that they were the first bottles that Sprite used when it began its manufacture. Thanks for any info.

    • cocacolabottleman Says:

      Smokey
      When Sprite first came out, it was not the lemon lime soft drink we know of today. It was the Houston (Texas) Coca-Cola Bottler who first used the Sprite name and used it for their flavor line of drinks. It came in strawberry, orange, grape, etc. flavors in clear bottles. Fanta was not available here in the U.S. yet and the bottler wanted to offer his customers a choice other than just a cola drink.
      It was a short lived product. The Coca-Cola Company around the same time was developing a lemon lime soft drink. They purchased the Sprite name from the Houston bottler, and introduced the Sprite we know today in 1961.
      The clear Sprite bottlers from the Houston bottler (and I think El Campo bottler also used them) are worth anywhere from $40 to $100. It depends on condition. The paint did not hold up well on these bottles and most collectors are only interested in mint examples.
      Thanks for the question! That little bit of Sprite history is my favorite.
      Doug

  2. Bob Westfall Says:

    Can you give me any information on a 1915 Coke bottle. The bottom reads “Harfurd Goshen”, I believe this is from New York but can not find the Harfurd connection. Any help is appreciated.

    • cocacolabottleman Says:

      Bob
      That is one bottle I am going to have to do some research on! I am not familiar with it.
      Thanks
      Doug

    • cocacolabottleman Says:

      Bob
      OK-here is what I came up with on your 1915 Harford Goshen bottle. Edward B. Harford was the bottler of Coca-Cola in Goshen, New York. On the Straight Sided amber Coca-Cola bottles he had his name. When the 1915 bottle came out I guess he still wanted to keep at least his last name on the bottle, so the base has HARFORD GOSHEN on it. Which, this is uncommon for the 1915 contour bottle to have a bottlers name on it, although a few did it. I saw a 1915 HARFORD GOSHEN bottle go for $910 on ebay recently! Last year a few sold on ebay for around $100. It is a hard bottle to find and a great one for any collection.
      So, I would say it is a rare bottle.
      Good Find!

      Doug

  3. John Buchholz Says:

    Doug, I came across your great blog by accident. I really enjoyed reading about your Coke Bottle collecting adventures. Hopefully you can help us advertise the Springtime In Atlanta event coming up soon. Happy Hunting!

    • cocacolabottleman Says:

      John,
      Thank you for the compliments on my blog. I plan to advertise the Springtime Sale soon! So, keep watching for furhter details!
      Doug

  4. Lori Says:

    Hi Doug,
    Where can I purchase a copy of your first book?

  5. Meredith Says:

    Hello- I’m looking around for someone who would be interested in sharing some of their coca-cola history and knowledge.

    I work at a senior community and am looking to do an image based presentation and talk on coca-cola advertizing history and their involvement in communities.

    I don’t have a collection to speak of myself so I’m just looking for leads for someone who may be able to help me put something together before the 29th of March. email me if you have any ideas. thank you.

    • cocacolabottleman Says:

      Meredith
      Two places to check for leads: On the front page of my blog, look under ‘The Coca-Cola Collectors Club’, once there look for ‘Local Chapters’ and see if a Chapter is close to you and contact them. Here is the link: http://www.cocacolaclub.org/local_chapters.shtml
      Also-Check out the blog ‘Coca-Cola Conversations’. ran by the The Coca-Cola Company Archives Department. http://www.coca-colaconversations.com/
      Once there, place a comment on the current topic and check back for an answer. They may be able to help.
      Hope you are able to find the information you need.
      Doug

    • Bob Westfall Says:

      I would be happy to help out , all be it from a long distance. I worked for Coke for 32 years, and my father worked for Coca-Cola for over 40 years. He started as a route salesman and retired as a VP with the Chicago Company.

      If could be of any help let me know.
      Bob Westfall

      • cocacolabottleman Says:

        Bob
        Thanks, hopefully Meredith will visit the blog again and see your post. Very nice of you to volunteer!
        Doug

  6. Bob Westfall Says:

    I too am trying to figure out how to get a copy of your book.
    Let me know.
    Bob Westfall

  7. Kurt Says:

    I feel I either have a case of the first Sprite bottles or these were prototypes. They are clear with white type. These were discovered in the basement of the founding bottling family in Chattanooga.

    • cocacolabottleman Says:

      Kurt
      What a GREAT find. I know about these bottles. A bottler in Texas, T.C. Evans, used the Sprite name for his flavor brand of soft drinks. They came in various flavors, strawberry, orange, etc. The Coca-Cola Company was not using the Sprite name yet. Later, The Coca-Cola Company bought the name from T.C. Evans and used on the lemon-lime Sprite we know today.
      Now, to the case you found in Chattanooga. I found documentation mentioning this case of Sprite bottles. In order to trade-mark a name, you must show proof of Interstate sales. So, T.C. Evans who was in Texas, sold a case to the bottler in Chattanooga and shipped them by train to Chattanooga to establish proof of Interstate commerce. And YOU found that case! WOW. That is amazing. The clear Sprite bottles like yours are wort around $20 to $30 each.
      Doug

  8. sam Says:

    Hi Doug, I found an old coke bottle at a garage sale and have been unable to find another the same on the internet with regards to value and dating, so hoping you could help. It is a clear glass hobbleskirt bottle, embossed 1st line both sides: Coca Cola; 2nd line both sides: TRADE MARK REGISTERED; 3rd line one side: BOTTLE REGD TRADEMARK; 3rd line other side; MIN CONTENTS 6 FL.OZS.
    The only markings on the base are: 10 AG 53 This is across the centre of the base, then off the end of the 53, the number 341 is marked sideways.
    Hope you can help,
    cheers
    sam

    • cocacolabottleman Says:

      Sam
      Your bottle was made in 1953 and is from Australia. The Australia bottle sells for around $15 to $20 here in the U.S. I am not sure what they go for in Australia.
      Pretty cool bottle though!
      Doug

  9. Paul Says:

    Hi Doug – My son recently came home with 48 bottles (two crates) of the 1983 Gilley’s NSDA Houston 10 oz bottles and 22 bottles of the 1984 Gilley’s Brian’s bash Diet Coke. # wooden crates a little older either signed by Mickey Gilley or Johnny Lee. Now that i have them what would be the best way to sell them – Just curious and thanks for any help.

    Paul

    • cocacolabottleman Says:

      Paul
      You would probably do best selling them separately. Look at the links on the front page of my blog: Antique Bottle Shows, see if any shows are coming up in your area. Also, check out the Coca-Cola Clubs site, look at Local Chapters and see if a Chapter is close to you. They have contact information for each chapter. Contact them and see if they may know of someone with some interest.
      Good luck!
      Doug

  10. Ronnie Jackson Says:

    Do you know any place to buy old coca cola bottles besides e-bay.
    I’m trying to collect all of the coca cola bottles from the 48 cities in Tennessee.
    Thanks,
    RONNIE JACKSON

    • cocacolabottleman Says:

      Ronnie
      Check out the link: http://www.antiquebottles.com/shows.html Check and see if any shows are coming up close to you. Also, check out the Coca-Cola Collectors Club. With conventions and Chapters all across the U.S. you are bound to find some bottles either from members or at the conventions. That is how I’ve found the majority of my bottles in the past several years. Joining the Club has put me in touch with some great people/collectors!
      Doug

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