Monday, December 11, 2017

Sunday Gold Country Dig

The gold country's youngest lady digger
Some of the spoils: 5 Peoria jugs, broken Hostetter's, & donuts (of course) 
Soda, Peoria jug, ladies leg & snuff
Nice swirls
The leg washed up
green snuff
( The future of our hobby is the next generation..take your kids or grandkids digging or to a bottle show. - rs - )

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Henry Winkle.... Soda Man

A Brief History

 Johann Heinrich Winkel arrived in the United States in 1840. He spent 3 years in New York City before moving to Florida and engaged in the baking business.
Winkle ran a bakery and hotel in Florida prior to leaving for California in 1849. Arriving in California in 1850 he went into a partnership with a fellow named Skinner starting the California Bakery on 2nd street in Sacramento
 1850 Sacramento Daily Union advertisement

The partnership only lasted until November of 1850 and sometime after the November date Winkle went into business at the Auction Saloon. In the following clipping from the Sacramento Daily Union Winkle removes himself from any connection with the Auction Saloon.

September 3, 1852 Sacramento Daily Union newspaper 

Henry Winkle Sac City soda bottle
Image courtesy Mike Rouse

After divesting himself from the Auction Saloon Winkle starts a soda water business in Sacramento and places an order for soda bottles with his name embossed in the glass.
In November of the same year the great fire of Sacramento destroys 55 blocks of Sacramento including 1,776 buildings and displaces over 7000 people. Henry Winkle’s soda water business was one of the casualties.

As soon as the ashes were cold, from the great fire, Winkle starts construction on two brick buildings on K street in Sacramento while running his soda business near the Sacramento levy on J street. On December 31, 1852 a rain storm hit the Sacramento area that lasted several days and flooded the city and Winkle’s business. At this point Winkle might have continued his soda business but must have been low on cash and his failure to pay off a loan for $1200 resulted in the Sheriff seizing his property to settle the unpaid loan.
Clipping from Sacramento Daily Union September 1853 
( 1000 dozen soda bottles for sale...where are they? - rs - ) 

 On October 14, 1853 the Sheriff sold the Winkle soda water business and machinery consisting of:
One table with bottle machinery attached
Three soda fountains with pipes attached
One rotary pump and pipe
Three large tin cans
5,000 soda bottles, more or less
 In January of 1854 Henry Winkle left Sacramento and traveled to San Francisco to open a bakery business.

The reverse of the Henry Winkle soda bottle with the XX embossed in the glass
Image courtesy Mike Rouse
The Winkle soda bottles were manufactured prior to any glass houses in San Francisco and could have been manufactured by the Lancaster Glass Works.
Eric McGuire- Bottles & Extra’s September 2010
Sacramento Daily Union -various
Mike Rouse - Western Bottle collectors postings

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

San Francisco Gold Rush Merchants

The New York Roots
W Taussig & Co.
Manufactory of California Leather Goods
After immigrating to the United States, sometime after 1848, William (Wilhelm) Taussig starts a purse making business at 238 Delancy Street in New York City. The 1850 -51 New York City Directory lists William Tauhsig (sic) as a purse maker. Also listed in that year’s directory is a Hermann Friend doing business in “trimmings”. The term “trimmings”, used in the description of Friend’s business, was meant as an additional garnishing; a decorative accessory or additional item. It seems Taussig and Friend formed a partnership sometime in 1850 to manufacture some type of leather products. The following listings show Taussig and Friend working at separate locations in New York City.

Listing from the 1850 -51 New York Directory 
1851 -52 New York Directory 
The New York Herald newspaper advertisement for the dissolution of the partnership between Hermann Friend and Wm. Taussig and Co. appears in the September 4, 1851 edition and Taussig reemerges as William Taussig and Co..  1851 would have been the booming of the gold rush in California and goods of any sort would be in great demand in the supply towns of the California gold fields. This notice would be the start of Taussig forming a business to supply the gold rush with “California Leather Goods” These goods would include patent leather belts, holsters, knife sheaths, gold dust bags, buckskin gloves and porte monnaies. Porte monnaies were a small pocket book or purse used to carry coins or other small items.
The New York Herald in March of 1852 has an advertisement by Taussig listing him as WM. Taussig and Co. at 186 Pearl St. offering for sale buckskin for piano manufacturers and the Manufactory of California Leather Goods.
W. Taussig & Co. clasp used on a leather or cloth belt. These clasps are found in the earliest of California gold camps and can be attributed to the 1851 early 1852-time frame when Taussig was working as WM. Taussig & Co. This is the earliest of the Taussig marked stamped brass clasp.
Image courtesy of Nicholas Kane
Taussig Pollack & Co. San Francisco
In July of 1852, just four months after advertising as WM. Taussig & Co, the following advertisement, from the Daily Alta California, appears listing the partnership of Taussig Pollack & Co. Located in the Iron Store in San Francisco. They have just received an assortment of merchandise from the clipper ship “Stag Hound” that included leather belts, holsters and buck skin gloves
Stag Hound was launched on December 7, 1850 in East Boston, Massachusetts. Designed by shipbuilder Donald McKay for the California trade, she was briefly the largest merchant ship in the world. She was in active service from 1851 until her total loss in 1861. (Wikipedia)
Taussig Pollack & Co. clasp manufactured during the 1852 -56 period Taussig and the Pollack brothers are working together. This is the second of the stamped clasps produced by Taussig 
image by author
The Taussig Pollack & Co clasp could have been produced as early as the summer or fall of 1852 but more than likely in 1853 considering the time it would take to manufacture the dies to stamp the brass into a clasp. Both the W. Taussig & Co. and Taussig Pollack & Co. leather and cloth belts and clasps were produced exclusively for the California gold rush market.   

The following information from the 1853 New York City directory places William Taussig and Joseph Pollack working and living in New York. Both Taussig and Pollack share the same business and residence address in New York City.
William Taussig working at 186 Pearl St. and residing at Essex St
Joseph Pollack working and residing at the same address as Taussig
Leopold Pollack is in San Francisco at 117 Sacramento St. working the Taussig Pollack business
It is interesting that both Taussig and Joseph Pollack are working and residing at the same address in New York and Taussig is still listed as a purse maker. Taussig is in business with the Pollack brothers in San Francisco yet still maintains his business in New York as a purse maker.

 The above advertisement from the 1852 -53 San Francisco directory lists Taussig and Pollack brothers, Leopold and Joseph, as partners in the San Francisco manufacturing and importing business. From the New York records it appears William Taussig and Joseph Pollack never left New York and Leopold Pollack was running the San Francisco business. There is no residence listing for Taussig in San Francisco. The statement “Sole Agency for William Taussig & Co. New York” suggests Taussig is the proprietor (owner) and Taussig Pollack & Co. were the agents (persons who act on behalf of another person or group) in San Francisco.
Clipping from the 1855 -56 New York City directory listing Taussig & Pollack Brothers doing business at 51 Cedar 
The above clipping is the last listing showing Taussig and the Pollack Brothers in business together. William Taussig moved both his business and residence address several times from 1851 to 1857. Taussig worked at 238 Delancy,, 186 Pearl St., 15 Dey St. and 51 Cedar St. in New York.

What we call Buckles today were referred to as “Clasps” during the California gold rush


Wetzlar &Taussig New York

Leopold Wetzlar first appears in the 1852 -53 New York City directory 

New York directory of 1854 -55 shows Wetzlar working at the 15 Dey St. address

Wetzlar & Taussig clasp. This is the last of the Taussig marked stamped brass clasps.
Possibly only produced for one year
Image courtesy of Max Bell

1856 listing for Wetzlar & Taussig 15 Dey St. New York City

This clipping from the September 1857 New York Herald shows Wetzlar & Taussig’s business venture fails in September of 1857. Taussig appears to vanish from New York City after the failure of the Wetzlar Taussig partnership in 1857.
One thing that should be noted on the listings from the New York and San Francisco directories is that the information contained in the listings was gathered prior to the directory being published. The information in the listings could have been obtained as early as a year before the directory was published or as soon as a few days before. That being said all directory information is approximate.
New York City Directories 1848 -1862
San Francisco Directories   1850 -1862
LeCount & Strong's Directory of San Francisco 1854
New York Herald various editions 1848 -1860
New York Evening Post
New York Gazette
Daily Alta California
email - oral interviews:
Nicholas Kane
Cal Coyer

Monday, November 27, 2017

THIS Weekend!

Don't Miss This Show!
Antique Bottles, Insulators, Advertising, Old West and GOLD RUSH collectables
SEE y'all there - rs -

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

From Peachridge Glass

Jeff Wichmann: So I didn’t tell many people that the green Eastern Cider in our recent auction was dug by me as a 15-year old in Aptos. There was a dump near the Post Office and we found a lot of stuff, a number of Eastern Ciders. Bob West found out about it and drove to my house and offered me $40 for it which I accepted. I sold his collection and it ended up selling to another collector as Bob wouldn’t sell it to me. Ken Salazar somehow ended up with it and unbeknownst to me the bottle I found as a youngster was sitting in my office ready for the auction. I told Dennis Fox, my bottling partner about it and he put a sizable bid in at the end of the auction and to my astonishment I have it back after an almost 50 year hiatus.
These pictures are ones sent to me from Jeff Watts of Hawaii. I am astonished at how beautiful his E.C.’s are and all of his sodas are. So it took a lot of time and a lot of money but I can finally rest knowing I have probably the best bottle I ever found back on my shelf. It’s the first bottle I’ve (Dennis) ever won in my own auction. I have a policy of not bidding in my own sale. I’m sure glad Dennis did. The single photo is my new addition.

Thanks to Peachridge Glass - rs -

Friday, November 3, 2017

P. Boffer - a Gold Rush Era Mystery / Part 2

Part 2 - Steamboat via Brush Creek
A few weeks later, after deer season was over, curiosity got the better of us. The discoverers of the Steamboat Mine didn't just claw their way to the top of the mountain and start pulling out gold. They, like the hundreds (or thousands) of others in the area, were following a trail of breadcrumbs in hopes of finding the mother lode.  We'd already worked the south side of the mountain below "Steamboat City" to death. We'd located the cemetery for the town, as well as the mountains of rock piles and hydraulic debris left behind by the floating dredges and the monitors. Whatever had once been, had been obliterated by Depression Era mining.

But there just had to be a pony in the closet, somewhere. That somewhere turned out to be Brush Creek. A page in a diary with a hand drawn map, dating to the 1870's, clearly showed a trail heading upstream from the river along Brush Creek on the north side of the Steamboat Divide. About a mile upstream, we started encountering hand stacked piles, (not dredging tailing piles), but old - old hand stacks with metal trash in them. Anyone who's ever dug both TOC and Gold Rush era trash knows the difference between the cans. It's like comparing a beer can to the side of a battleship. That and the massive amounts of solder used in the 60's solder seam cans compared to TOC versions made 40 or 50 years later...

Gopher holes tunneled into the base of the mountain on each side of the creek increased in number as we continued to head upstream; as did the amount of hand stack piles. Yep, there'd been miners here in the 1860's; and lots of them! My old trusty Garret ADSII was getting a heckuva workout. Mule shoes, ox shoes, cans, hunks of rusty metal; you name it, Mr. Metal Detector was finding it. The absence of square nails either in the creek bed, or on the raised benches above the creek, indicated scattered, transient occupation. Pitch your tent, pan a bit, prospect, dig a coyote hole or two, and move on seemed to be the order of the day.

About three miles upstream a good size tunnel revealed itself on the south side of the creek. 

Just past the tunnel was a large, deep, steep canyon heading uphill, also on the south. To the right (north) a huge flat bench above the creek began to spread out. The amount of hand stacking present was mind boggling! And so was the quantity of square nails present. I'd never heard of "Brush Creek City", but if there was one, this may well have been "it". Tent and cabin sites were evident everywhere. This was well before the days of laptops, hand held GPS, and all the modern conveniences; but a compass, topo map, and a general guess about how far in we'd hiked seemed to put us directly below the Steamboat Pocket which should have been located about a mile up the draw (seemingly straight up). Turns out, it was. And this was ground zero of the initial discovery leading to the bonanza that they'd found above. There's just something about exploring a gold rush era site that makes the back of your neck tingle. Those who've done it can relate! And the more we explored this site, the more I tingled.

Just after taking a lunch break, I decided to try my luck at nugget shooting. Yeh, as if I was going to find a chunk of gold in one of the tailing piles that had managed to slip by the original prospectors... Much to my surprise, a few minutes later, the detector went off. Not just a faint signal though, more like a car was buried in this 8' high mound of round rocks. A  half hour later and about three feet in, out popped the culprit. Gold?! Nope, a weird looking piece of metal that had been soldered together. One thing was for certain, it was old; Real Old! Into my backpack it went. I'd be glad I saved it.

The rest of the day was spent detecting and pulling up oxen shoes, mule shoes, cans, metal "stuff" and busted up bottles ranging from the 1860's through the 80's. An aqua neck with a glop whiskey top was one of the dug shards that gets one excited. Chalmers? Gold Dust? Tea Kettle? Or was it just a Lewis Hess / Damiana Bitters... We'll never know as the rest of it escaped discovery~. Between flooding, snow drifts and months long permafrost in the winter, it's not surprising that everything was splattered. Still, it was a blast, and we'd discovered an area that hadn't been pounded by every digger in the area.

That evening I realized that I'd gotten sidetracked when I discovered that mystery hunk of metal in the first tailing pile. I'd immediately taken the "thing" down to the creek, washed it, and continued on upstream with tools and detector. What if that loud signal had been gold and the metal thing had just been there by coincidence? Solving the mystery would have to wait, as it was now late November and the winter snows had started to pile up in that deep dark canyon.

The snow drifts in the deep canyons of the Applegate drainage are tenacious, often lingering well into May. This year was no different. Finally, around the middle of the month, we decided to head back. Only scattered patches of snow remained and the creek was running clear and cold. I've always been like a homing pigeon when it comes to revisiting spots. Once I've been there, I can inevitably find my way back. And so, this particular morning found me making my way back to the hand stacked pile of boulders where I'd found the "whatzit". My Garrett went wild on the tailing pile the second I switched it on. Sure enough, there was more to be found in the same spot as I'd been the autumn before.

Another foot in and I located what was driving Mr. Metal Detector nuts. Gold? Nope... It was another piece of metal. I carefully pulled it out. Low and behold, it was the other half of the "thing" I'd dug the previous year. 

Imagine my surprise though, when I continued moving rocks, and the mouth of a sheared and refired lip made it's appearance. A bottle! Not just any bottle though; it turned out to be an open pontiled flask, wrapped in wool cloth. Elation was once again short lived as it, like the Jockey Club, had succumbed to the elements. But, most of it was there. 

It was then that I pictured the other metal half in my mind's eye. Mystery solved, it was a canteen!

Once home with my finds, I put both metal halves in warm ammonia water to soak and then began to clean it with a soft toothbrush. Slowly, as if my magic, paint began to appear from beneath the rust as I worked my way up from the base. Blue paint; faded by well over a century of sitting beneath tons of rocks. And then it happened. Letters began to appear.

P. Boffer 1866. 

Once reassembled, the flask slid into the lower half like a glove, and the upper half slid snugly into place over the lower. 

 The question begs though; Who was P. Boffer, and why did his canteen end up deep inside a mountain of hand stacked rocks in the bottom of a frozen canyon in the wilderness?

Countless weeks spent in research have yielded not a shard of evidence to solve the mystery. No records in census, no  death records, no records in Southern Oregon, no records of Civil War Service. Nothing / Nada. And so the Gold Rush era mystery remains. 

Who was P. Boffer?