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 November 2nd, 2003

ISSN: 1541-776X

The Weekly e-Zine for Soda Memorabilia 
Collectors Worldwide

Up for Grabs

From Joy "Colalady" Woolfolk : I will have several auctions running on Ebay starting Monday, Nov. 3, 2003. I have several bottles in tubes. No Reserve on any - North Texas Bottle with the Employee Only Tube and Pin, Employee Fridge Pack, lots of other bottles. Also some other Coke and Soda related items, Town Square items, Coca Cola cup dispenser and I will be listing more over the next few days. >Click here< to see. 

The Mid-America Chapter of TCCCC presents a mock-up of their four-year 2003-2006 Spring Fling Convention - 3/Bottle Shadow Box Set. Project limited to 225 of each. Available now -- 2003 Silver Straight Sided Coca-Cola Bottle, $25.00 per bottle, includes shipping within the USA. Also - Coming in April 2004 - Bronze Coca-Cola Root bottle with hang tag. Coming in April 2005 - Gold Coca-Cola Hutch bottle. Coming in 2006 - Coca-Cola wood shadow box. Contact: Ginny Wohlgemuth, 419 N. Industrial Rd. El Dorado, KS 67042; Phone: 316-320-5424 or by E-mail

Also if anyone else has bottles or other soda-related items to offer, E-mail and let us all know.

My Missing Items

From A Kendrick : I am looking for a 3-foot in diameter Frostie Root Beer die-cast sign. Money is no object.

From Randall & Roberta Knight, Morristown, Tenn. : Looking for any bottles from Morristown, Tenn. Cleo Cola and Big Victory Chief ACLs in good condition will get top dollar. Thanks.

From Tony : I am looking for any bottles from Coweta, Okla. or I.T. for my collection.

From me, Kathy : I am particularly interested in any bottle with an 'elephant' on it, as well as 'stars' or 'birds' - whether embossed or ACL. Paper items also are featured in my collection, such as bottle toppers, letterheads, envelopes and printed advertising from both magazines and newspapers. 

Do you have a particular item, or items, that you have been looking for a long time to complete part of your collection, or something you want - but have not as yet been able to find? Send it so all of us can help you look. You never know where it may turn up! E-mail it to My Missing Item


Painted Soda Bottle Collectors Association ~ The Soda Fizz Magazine
Click here for Back Issue's Contents List ~ Includes Sample Articles the SODAMUSEUM.COM  Pepsi Central  the Dew Collector
the Bottle Collectors database Antique-Bottles.Net  

Q & A

Post your questions online @ the Question Forum

Re: Ivan's request for information about his 22-ounce clear, embossed bottle, "Royal Soda Water Co., St. Louis, Mo." 

From Michael Elling, Sharon, Tenn. : I may be only causing more question instead of solution. 

In my pursuit of bottles from Royal Crown Cola bottlers, I came across a strange brand, Royal-Hi. It is an exceptional proprietary embossed bottle; 9 oz, very light green glass from The Royal Bottling Company, Cleveland, Ohio. The design is a sleeve of flat diamonds all around the cylinder of the bottle. The name is registered, but there is no surviving online data from the US Trademark Office. There are no glass company mould marks, which is unfortunate since those marks often help in identifying the period, plus important regional inferences. The only extra clue we have are the initials of the bottler, "R.H." embossed on the bottom. Someone privy to Cleveland history could probably trace this bottler and pinpoint the time. I would guess from the high quality manufacture of the bottle, it is in the period 1928-1935.

The reason I incorporated this specimen into my collection is because Cleveland, Ohio, is the headquarters of the NEHI Company's nemesis ACE HI. This brand was a blatant take off on the NEHI name only worse. Instead of making a brand name from an American Indian word to sound like "knee high", this company used a term with the phonetic proximity of "arse high". Mr. Claud Hatcher, founder of NEHI, promptly brought a lawsuit against this company for its knavery and the term "HI" was dropped from the brand name. You may have heard and even seen some of the great amber glass bottles of the brand ACE GINGER BEER. They were a successful promoter of this flavor during this era. Mr. Bill Williams of Columbia, SC, a ginger beer specialist, has confirmed that there are some bottles in his collection from ACE HI with the mould modification apparent. The term "HI" is erased and the mould continued to be poured!

I am indebted to a scholar of this period, Dennis I. Smith of New York, who has studied the NEHI/ACE HI controversy and who alerted me to it. If you could show that there is a link of the St. Louis people to these Cleveland people, perhaps we could get the US Department of Homeland Security to check out any clandestine conspiracies!

Q  From Doug McCoy : What exactly is the 'EXPO' in Memphis you mentioned in the October 18th Soda Fizz ? 

Every four years, the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors (FOHBC) hosts a National Show that collectors and dealers alike have come to view as the epitome of bottle shows.  There are usually twenty or more high quality displays and over 400 (this year, they've planned for over 500) tables of quality bottles, stoneware and advertising. The show draws folks from all fifty states, as well as several foreign countries. - Ralph VanBrocklin, FOHBC President.

The next EXPO will be in Memphis, Tenn. in August. I have requested a room for us - the Soda Bottle / PSBCA people  - to have a get-together / meeting and would like everyone to plan to attend.  There will be other functions at this show as well, such as seminars and other related meetings, and would give us a chance to get to know one another, as well as learn more about our hobby. Info about the show is available on the website. 

Q  An answer to Oct. 18th issue's Q regarding Jay's Eagle Soft Drink Company of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin bottle : 

From Roger Peters, Madison, Wisconsin : The Eagle Soft Drink Company had its beginnings about 1922 and lasted at least until the late 1950s. I have seen about five different embossed sodas, two different seltzer bottles and seven different ACLs. Brand names in the 50s included Pappy's, Eagle and Anything. The company had only five employees in the late 50s.

Please do send your best deals, favorite items, collecting stories, or trades etc. questions and comments to My Items
They are always welcome.

What's New?

From Mike Elling, Sharon, Tenn. : Here is information and a link to Florida photo records which appears to be a good reference resource.

The Florida Photographic Collection is a nationally recognized component of the Florida State Archives and contains more than 850,000 photographs, and approximately 2,500 movies and video tapes. Over 100,000 of the photographs have been scanned and placed on this website. 

The collection spans a wide range of visual images from copies of mid 15th Century maps to current photographs. Most of the holdings in the collection have been obtained singly or in small groups. Together, they form the most complete portrait of Florida available--one that draws its strength from family photographs, the homes of Floridians, their work, and their pastimes. 

From Rachel Villareal : "Coca-Cola Bottling Company of San Antonio, 100th Anniversary 1903-2003" bottles are available in San Antonia super markets.

New bottles or cans, or anything soda, in your area ?
Please send the info so all of us can know @ Whats New

Upcoming Event Reminders:

The annual Choo Choo Connection will be held at the Clarion Hotel, 407 Chestnut Street, Chattanooga, Tennessee November 6 through 8, 2003. Events will include Bingo party, silent auction, swap meet, banquet and room hopping. This year's theme is "Fourth of July Celebration in the Fall." For more information, please contact Mavis Stanley at +1-865-986-2449 or by E-mail:  The hotel number is +1-423-756-5150. 

36th Annual Bottle and Insulator Sho & Sale, (Fri. 10 AM to 6 PM & Sat. 9 AM to 4 PM), at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1771 E. Tulare Ave., Tulare CA. Info: RICHARD SIMON, 2244 So. Church, Visalia, CA 93277. PH: (559) 734-3179.

Greensboro 2nd Annual Bottle, Insulator & Collectibles Show & Sale, (9 AM to 3 PM, early buyers 7:30 AM), indoor at the Farmer's Curb Market, 501 Yanceyville St., Greensboro, NC. Info: DAVID JACKSON, PH: (336) 288-2677 or REGGIE LYNCH, PH: (919) 789-454, email:  

Pittsburgh Antique Bottle Club Annual Show & Sale, (9 AM to 2 PM, early buyers 7 AM), at the Washington Twp. Firehall, (exit 43 off Rt. 70), Fayette City, PA. Info: BOB DECROO, 694 Fayette City Rd., Fayette City, PA 15438. PH: (724) 326-8741, or JAY HAWKINS, 1280 Mt. Pleasant Rd., West Newton, PA 15089, PH: (724) 872-6013. 

North Jersey Antique Bottle Collectors Asso. 34th Annual Show & Sale, (9 AM to 2 PM, early buyers 8 AM), at the Valley Middle School, Rt. 202, Oakland, NJ. Info: NJABCA, PH: (973) 835-1275, or (516) 454-8993, email: 

If you would like to view the full 'events calendar' that I now maintain  < click here>.
Any new events  in your area? E-mail it so all of us can know, to: Upcoming Events

From me, the Fizz in my life...

This is a rare thing for me - to be late with the Fizz. Yesterday, I was presented with the choice of checking out some antique shops in Virginia with friends, or doing the Fizz. One of the things about working at home is you never get away from the "office" or your work, so I took advantage of this opportunity to get out - and after all, it was too beautiful to be indoors all day. Plus, I managed to add four bottles to my shelves.

It seems that as I write this, the website is down. Hopefully the person who hosts it is aware of it - and will have it back up soon. I have emailed him about it - but as of yet, do not have a reply. So, the links for the Show Calendar and EXPO info (as well as everything else) will not work until it's back up. I am in a panic over this because I just finished updating the whole thing with all current info this past week. Ah! Computers!

If possible, I have planned to be at the Greensboro, N.C. show next weekend. Will I see you there?

Last, but not least - do remember the EXPO in Memphis next August. This only happens every four years. Mail me if you are interested in participating in some way.

Until next time, Happy Collecting!

FYI : Conversation with Harry Playford

by Rick Sweeney, La Mesa, Calif.

Mr. Playford started his career about 1932 with Knox Glass in Sheffield, Ohio. At this time, Knox already had an applied color labeling process and Harry was one of the first decorators. Knox was using the ACL process at  this time to decorate prescription and medicine bottles.

In 1934, he began work for Owens-Illinois. Here the ACL process was being used on only some products, such as oil bottles. According to Playford, in late 1934 or early 1935, the first soda bottles were put through the same process.

It was while at Owens-Illinois that Mr. Playford developed a photographic process to create masks for the ACL process. Until this time, all masks had to be hand cut. This new process was faster, cheaper and allowed for much greater detail in the artwork. Masks cut by had had to be cut to size and fine detail could not be developed. Being able to illustrate an over-sized graphic with pen and ink and then reduce it down to the appropriate size allowed for a much finer degree of artwork.

The process was patented in 1935 and Harry and two other Owens-Illinois employees were named in it. The patent rights were leased to Owens-Illinois, who did not pay on the lease.

A dispute ensured as to who actually owned the patent. A federal court in Pittsburgh later determined that both parties, Playford and Owens-Illinois) were responsible for the development of the process and so the patent was owned by both.

A final settlement was made out of court, and Playford was paid $900 by Owens-Illinois for the exclusive use of the patent. Playford was let go from Owens-Illinois in 1939.

With the help of one of the Vice-Presidents of Owens-Illinois, Harry got a job with Liberty Glass. While at Liberty, Harry again set up a modern decorating department and Liberty Glass later went on to become one of the few bottle manufacturers that had "in-line" conveyors that took the bottle right into the annealing ovens to the glass decorating department, eliminating the need to be hand-packed, transported then unpacked again before being set up for the ACL process.

Harry remembers that the demand for ACL soda bottles was low at first, but caught on and became widely accepted and desirable with most bottlers. In just a few years, Owens-Illinois went from virtually no label artists to over twenty, each turning out two or three labels a week. Not all bottlers were anxious to switch to the new process, however.

Playford recounts that while working for Liberty Glass, he was sent to Dallas to demonstrate the virtues of the ACL process to the Dr. Pepper Company. Although several bottles with some great designs were brought along as samples, Harry could not persuade Dr. Pepper to changing from their tried-and-true embossed bottle design.

A bottle decorator's job was actually many. Ultimately, however, a decorator was responsible for preparing the working artwork, or "masks," that were needed to put on the painting press, so that the image could then be transferred to the bottle. Sometimes the decorator might be responsible for coming up with the complete design. Most often, a rough sketch would be supplied by the bottler, and it was the decorator's job to clean up the design, perhaps embellish or improve the artwork, set the type for the label and then prepare the masks for the printers. Sometimes, label art would come already prepared by advertising agencies that the bottler had already employed. In this case, much of the decorator's work was already done, and the preparation was much easier.

According to Playford, the average number of bottles that were printed for each design was 100 to 500 gross. The smallest orders were never less than 25 gross (3600) bottles.

From The Soda Fizz, May, 1997

If you have a soda-related subject that you would like to see here as an "FYI" article, or have information you yourself would like to contribute, don't be shy, send it to: FYI Idea

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