~ Plain "B" Bottle Mark ~
Buck Glass of Baltimore
Michael M. Elling, Sharon, Tennessee
The Buck Glass factory sticker shows a stag-head logo in red, with the following terms on the form: Bottle No., Capacity, Weight, Height, Fill Point, Finish and Shape.
Notes are marked on the example (pictured in the magazine) in fountain pen ink with "7777" for bottle number, capacity is listed as "16" ounces, finish as "crown" and a "round" shape.
If you have any soda bottles in your collection that have the capital letter "B" as the mold mark, they are actually from the smaller glass company, Buck Glass of Baltimore, Maryland. The more common mark, 'B in a circle', is the Brockway Glass Company that was headquartered in Brockway, Pennsylvania.
A recent salesman's sample, with a factory paper label on a 1960 NEHI red/white 16-ounce bottle, was offered on the online auction, eBay. It is unknown if this salesman's sample was actually made for general demonstration, or merely for the customer, NEHI Bottling Company, of Auburn, Maine. If made for the customer, it may have been sent as a production sample requiring their final approval.
The 16-ounce crowntop soda bottle was made experimentally for many local bottlers prior to the mid-1950s, but it was the Double Cola Company who decided first to make it a National package in 1957. The NEHI Company followed next in 1959. The fact that this bottle is made for a franchisee, NEHI of Auburn in 1960, and not for the franchiser, NEHI of Columbus, Georgia, leads me to feel it is a sample bottle sent for local approval. The contract number for this bottle is "7777", and predates a subsequent issue for this same bottler in 1961. I have in my collection a similar 16-ounce red/white label NEHI bottle, but it is contract number "7817", then the letter "B" and finally, the mold date of "61".
However, shown for comparison (illustration is in the magazine) is a similar NEHI 16-ounce bottle made by Liberty Glass Company of Sepulveda, Oklahoma, in 1971. The Liberty bottle has more data at the neck to demonstrate the bottle capacity.
By the 1970s, the 16-ounce returnable soda bottle was used universally in the United States. The package continues to be used by some bottlers of Double Cola to the present day.
If anyone has further information on the Buck Glass Company,
please share it with us.
The 1960 BUCK bottle in the second photo (pictured in the magazine) on the right is shown compared to a standard NEHI bottle of 1971 made by Liberty. Note there is no wear ring above the Liberty main label. This is referred to by NEHI collectors as a "garter ring" and links the bottle to the original embossed NEHI bottle design of 1924, said to resemble a showgirl's silk stocking.