Monday, May 11, 2015

"One of these things is not like the other"

 I have always liked the early western Jamaica Gingers. The variety of colors and variants is endless. In adding a recently dug McMillan & Kester to my line up of "jakes", I noticed a difference in two early examples. Maybe I have just not paid enough attention, but in comparing two "variant 1" McMillan Kester's, there is a definite difference in embossing. I believe the earliest variant dates to around 1865 or so, and the lighter greenish aqua example clearly has larger embossing...especially of the "ESS". The neck is shorter and it also has a fat squatty top which appears to be earlier than the ice blue example. Their bases are identical, being flat with a tiny dot in the center. If you study the embossing, there are several additional

 I guess the learning never stops, and most likely I am the last to figure this out. Ever notice? DM


  1. No doubt after closely examining these pictures through magnification that two molds were made for the blowing of this style of bottle at least. I would attribute these as products of the Pacific Glass Works if they could be verified to have been produced in the 1865 / 1866 time period. If these bottles are ever found in a white (ish) color, it's possible that San Francisco Glass Works could have produced it, however this glass works wasn't producing colored glass until 1867 at which time either glassworks could be the manufacturer.

  2. There were also 2 different molds used on the Hall's JR GATES jake. I've compared the two side by side. (sorry I dont have pics). They have slight differences in the embossing; size and positioning. The examples I've owned from one mold are usually tooled-top and pale aqua. The other mold, which I believe to be earlier and much rarer, produced examples that have a more Western-blown look, darker aqua, and have applied-tops.

  3. Back in the day you could find Jake's of color at the bottle shows. I can't remember the last time I saw a decent colored Jake at a show. I think a lot of them are being horded down in the Cajon Zone by our old buddy botlmole