Saturday, March 9, 2013

Blobs & Insulators -- Kissing Cousins?

About a year and a half ago I shot this quick photo while playing around with western blob sodas and EC&M SF insulators in my back lit showcase. I've always had the dream of putting up a show display of these, even well before I started collecting blobs. I thought for years that at some point I really want to do this and start collecting western-made blob sodas. Well, that point in time arrived a couple of years ago and I have since worked casually at collecting western-made blob sodas that correlate with the colorful shades found in the EC&Ms in my collection. The intention of such a display would be to show the remarkable similarities in the color of western blown blob sodas with the western blown EC&Ms.

Although not proven 100% by written documentation, it is extremely probable that EC&Ms were blown at one or both glasshouses that produced most of the blob sodas: Pacific Glass Works and/or San Francisco Glass Works (or when they merged as one). EC&M usage has been documented on lines erected from about 1872 to around 1880. Documentation from 1870 & 1874 has been found proving that Pacific Glass Works produced some type of glass insulator.

The quality of the pic isn't that great, since it was a quick afterthought before dismantling the temporary lineup, but I wanted to share it nonetheless. Such a display can also be difficult to photograph properly due to the variations in the density of glass--blob sodas being thinner glass than what is found in the much thicker glass of the EC&Ms.  A proper exposure for the EC&Ms would wash out the sodas. When comparing the similarity of colors with the EC&Ms, one must look through the thicker bases of the sodas, not the thinner glass of the bodies. Some have been found to appear as though they were from the same glass batch!

The green sodas can of course be the most difficult to acquire, but I'm trying desperately to close in on them. Once I am content that my matching soda acquisitions are somewhat complete, you will likely see a display at a show in the future...hopefully in the very near future!


And From Denny Bray
2012 Canyonville Display
The 2012 Canyonville show was one of the largest I've seen over years. Along with a very large selection of insulators and bottles were several great displays. This display shows the similar colors that EC&M's and western sodas share. It has long been thought that EC&M's were indeed produced by the San Francisco glasshouses. Most of these 1870 California sodas blown in San Francisco are very close in color to their EC&M counterparts and help to validate that EC&M's were produced in the West. Thank you to Bill Ostrander for the picture and Bruce Silva for the loan of the display case.