Sunday, February 28, 2016

Oregon's Rarest Blob Soda- H.D. Albany, O.

 California has some beautiful and rare western blown blob soda's. I know of none from the State of Washington, and of the handful of Oregon blobs, the H.D. Albany ranks at or near the top of the short list for rarity. The H.D. is one of two Oregon blob sodas that are not from Portland, and both are from Albany, Oregon. The scarce Hoffman, Joseph with an embossed lion, and the H.D.
 Interestingly, there is not much information on this soda, and the only research I could find as from Ron Fowler's book, and Bill Lindsey.

 Apparently, the "H.D." stood for Hoffman, Davis,which were located on "The North side of First Street, 3 doors E. of Montgomery St. in Albany". That is pretty specific, albiet with no actual numbered address. The 1884 Sanborn shows nothing at this location at that time, and the bottle appears to be from the mid to later 1870s. The tops are always applied, and the color is typically a rich deeper blue aqua. The embossed letters are very thick and crude and most I have seen are nicely whittled overall.This soda is thought to be the precursor to the later Hoffman, Joseph which comes both tooled and applied. The H.D. definitely has the look of a 70s soda and Fowler states "pre 1880" in his research.It is theorized that the H.D. was bottled at the Albany Soda Works which later became the City Bottling Co.

 The H.D. Albany, O. soda is very rare, with perhaps six or so known. Every example I have seen was dug in Oregon within 100 miles of Albany. I believe there was only a batch or two blown, as all but one are deep blue aqua with one example being a deeper greenish aqua.

 For pure Oregon history, this soda is tough to beat...even though the actual history is pretty sparse. While not an amber Cottle Post, the H.D. is more rare and it's specific information, very elusive. I would like to know if any have been dug in Washington, or California. DM.


  1. Embossing reminds me of the M. Seller Portland jar. Same simple design. Same mold maker??
    Any connections between the two ???


  2. No connection that I know of but you are correct...the embossing is extremely close to the jar.There are not any ads for Hoffman, Davis. They must have been cheapskates and paid by the letter like Seller.Surprising that M.Seller did not simply emboss "M.S. P.O." DM

  3. John N. Hoffman & C.P. Davis (Hoffman & Davis) became partners about December 10, 1878. They succeeded Hoffman & Henton as proprietors of the Albany Soda Works. (See December 13, 1878 States Right Democrat notice). The partnership dissolved as of October 14, 1879. (See October 29, 1879 States Right Democrat), when Julius Joseph got involved. This suggests these "HD" bottles came from between December 1878 and October 1879. Albany Soda Works apparently was formed in around 1876 (Hoffman and Henton).

  4. Thanks for that information! Not even one year in business as partners certainly explains why these bottles are so rare. This is why I appreciate this blog! Thanks again. DM

  5. One more interesting bit, from the May 16, 1879 State Rights Democrat (newspaper): "Hoffman & Davis must be doing a live business in manufacturing soda. A few days ago the received 4000 new bottles." I suspect those were mostly or entirely unembossed. Too few have been found.