Sunday, August 31, 2014

New Comment Procedures on the Western Bitters News

Because of the hundreds of spam comments we have been getting here on the Western Bitters News I have had to change the settings for the comment procedure.

You will have to have a google account and sign into it before you can comment on the posts. I hate to have to do this because I believe that everyone has the right to speak their mind without restrictions. But as always there are those that abuse our rights.

I am sorry about the change but I don't have the time to wade through hundreds of comments that try to lure you into opening a link that can infect your computer.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Spinning Cone

Check out the spinning Bryant's cone over at Peachridge Glass

Not sure about how you folks feel but when I want my bottles spinning I get into the tequila bottle.

Take a spin here:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Downieville Bottle Show

Just a reminder that the Downieville Antique Bottles & Collectibles Show and Sale is Saturday September 13th, 2014

This years display will feature Gold Rush and western soda and mineral water bottles.

We are looking for folks to bring their sodas to display in our secure display cabinets for everyone attending the show to enjoy.

We are also looking for Benicia effect soda's to enhance this years display. If you would like to participate in this years display contact Rick at

Come on now....Grab a few of your favorite sodas and bring on up to Downieville for everyone to enjoy.

This is a non competitive display. No judging - no awards - just cabinets full of beautiful sodas for everyone to enjoy


See you in Downieville!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Found One!

For a while now I have been searching for a Turner Dairy bottle from Sierra County. I finally located one a few weeks ago and was happy to have acquired it.

 Its not  rare or even a desirable bottle unless you happen to live or collect things from Sierra County. Like most collectors I have a soft spot for the area in which I live and do try to acquire collectables from Sierra County

The Turner Family  have been in the ranching business since at least the 1880's and a quote from the Sinnott book "Downieville - Gold Town on the Yuba" confirms that "In the 1880's H.K. Turner of Sierra Valley was supplying Sierra City and Downieville with fresh butter" Today the Turner family raise cattle in the sleepy little area of the Sierra Valley known as Sattley. Sattley has probably a couple dozen or three folks living in the general area of what was once a thriving community. 

The embossing on this quart size milk bottle reads: Turner Dairy Sattley and Goodyears Bar Sierra County Calif
and on the reverse: Forty Miles of Year Round Service. Also on the reverse of the bottle is a ( sort of ) map with the names of Goodyears Bar, Downieville, Sierra City, the Lakes Region,
Yuba Pass and Sattley.

An interesting sidelight to this bottle is the reference to Camp Pioneer on the reverse side of the bottle with the map.
Below is a picture of Camp Pioneer, or as it was also called, Pioneer Lodge from the 1960's

Pioneer Lodge was located about 10 miles above Sierra City on highway 49 and run by an old codger by the name of Fred Simi.

Its always nice to acquire something from the area that you call home
- rs -

Sunday, August 17, 2014

C.C.G. Co. Flask

I have been going through an old collection which was all dug in San Francisco, and Nevada. While going through boxes of flasks, I came across this seemingly western little half pint with an applied top. The base embossing on this one was a bit of a surprise as I have not seen the initials "C.C.G. Co." before. Maybe I just have not looked but I was hoping someone could shed some light on this glass house.
 Dale M.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Anyone Seen This One?

Here's a recent find that just surfaced
Embossing reads Weaver and Wentz
Gilroy Cal.
Anyone have any information on this pharmacy?

One Million

Thanks to all of our readers and contributors that made it possible to reach one million page views.
Lots more articles and posts on the bottle collecting hobby to come on the Western Bitters News!
- rs -

Sunday, August 10, 2014

B.B. Thayer Apothecaries, San Francisco.

Here is a recent find, that I thought I would post today. There have been a few postings on the B.B. Thayer company, and his prattware containers. This is the first one I have seen with it's original lid. This one has gold stenciling on the pot and lid. Anyone out there who can date this piece? I also have a small size pot without the lid. These are great pieces of San Francisco history. Dale M.

Shown below is the small B.B. Thayer pot

Western Dr. Renz on ebay

I just noticed a very nice example of the first variant of the Dr. Renz's Herb Bitters up for auction on ebay.

This example of the earliest Renz is a beautiful yellow green and described as being in "near mint" condition.

If you are looking for a prime example of the Renz bitters to add to your collection take a look at this ebay auction

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Downieville Soda Works

Quite a few years ago my old digging buddy Bob Kaiser and I stumbled across a few turn of the century soda bottles next to a building that once housed the Downieville Soda Works. I say stumbled but what we really did was dig beneath  and beside a building that I was working on.

If memory serves we found some embossed hutch style bottles from other cities and even a Truckee hutch but nothing that was embossed Downieville.

During the rain this week I took a walk over to the old soda works building and happened to spy a piece of glass peaking through the surface. A quick 10 minutes of scratching uncovered a few more soda bottles. First a weird shaped 10 pin, then a California Soda Works hutch and finally something that got my attention, a Pioneer Soda Water Co. S.F. with the "hairy bear" embossed on it

All in all nothing to write home about but a fun few bottles to find and a pleasant morning surprise.

Downieville Soda Works in back of, you guessed it, a Saloon

Seems like Downieville, during the 1890's to 1930's, was a poor over the hill mining town. Heck, merchants in town couldn't afford to have a bottle manufactured to bottle their soda in so they gathered what soda bottles they could get their hands on. filled em' up, slapped a paper label over the embossing and peddled them to the locals. 

These few bottles and the old soda works spot sure brought back some  memory's of the good old days digging in the Downieville area with Bob and the gang.
- rs -

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Western or Eastern Cutter

I picked these pictures off of another blog site and was intrigued by the overall stain on a supposed western manufactured bottle. Seems I remember a lot of the comments on western vs. eastern was the overall majority of folks believed you could tell a western piece of glass by the pristine condition of the glass after being buried for years.

Now I'm not the kind of guy that grabs a tiger by the tail but..... If this bottle is western it sure doesn't look pristine to me!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Getting Ready for Downieville

Where: Downieville California
When: September 13th, 2014
Show and Sale opens at 7am Saturday September 13 for dealers
Early lookers 8am to 10am $10 entry fee
!0am to 3pm Free Admission 
Breakfast and lunch will be available at the show
Time to plan your trip to Downieville 
This years display will include Gold Rush and Western Soda bottles
Don't Forget to Bring Your western soda's to display
Friday Night Sept. 12th Dealers Wine Tasting and BBQ Event starts at 5pm
We still have a few sales tables available
Info: Rick or Cherry Simi 530 289-3659
Hope to See You in Downieville!