Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Glass bottle industry takes a step backwards.

Here is an interesting article that was published in the Los Angeles Herald newspaper in 1906. Ironically while the eastern glasshouses were reverting back to hand blown bottles by glassblowers. The west was installing semi-automatic glass blowing equipment. In an article in the San Francisco Call newspaper in 1908, the Pacific Coast Glass Works was beginning to use glass blowing machines for making fruit jars. The glassblowers were still being utilized and their pay now was fifty dollars a week! Three glassblowers generally work together with two rolling and blowing and the third trimming the necks of the bottles. Two hundred dozen is a days work, occupying about nine hours. Each blows an hour and handles the machine half an hour.
Inserting the blowpipe into the molten glass, the blower rolls upon it a sufficient amount to blow their bottle. They must guess accurately how much they need. In bottles weighing under 8 ounces, they are allowed a variation of half an ounce; between 8 and 13 ounces, one ounce; between 13 and 24 ounces, two ounces. All bottles which do not conform to the weight test or are not perfectly blown are thrown out on them, so they become very expert!
Now to give you a comparison of the glassblowers work at SFGW in 1867 or 41yrs earlier. I have 4 examples of the Cassin's Grape Brandy Bitters bottle. Two examples weigh 17 ounces, one weighs 21 ounces and the other weighs 27 ounces! Quite a descrepancy among the four examples.
Around 1970 a glassblower who was 90 something was interviewed and said that PCGW was still blowing bottles by hand in 1916.
Bitters produced by this glass works are later variant Lash's Kidney and Liver Bitters, Lash's Liver Bitters, Star Kidney and Liver Bitters, Wait's Kidney and Liver Bitters, Marshall's Bitters, Johnson's Pure Herb Tonic Sure Cure For All Malerial Diseases, Toneco Appetizer and Tonic Bitters, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment