Rare Coca Cola Prototype Bottle Will Appear at the 2014 Findlay Ohio Bottle Show

Photo Source: Joe Coulson, published in the Midwest Fruit Jar Club's newsletter. 

The Un-Coca-Cola Proto-type Bottle

The Other Rare Coca Cola Prototype Bottle Will Appear at the 2014 Findlay Ohio Bottle Show

Rarest of the rare: this one-of-a-kind Coca Cola Prototype Bottle was on display at the 2013 Circle City Antique Bottle Club's first show, held in September 2013 in Indianapolis, IN. (The Midwest club's newsletter has more show photos, and other interesting articles and bottle hobby news. [Read the newsletter: PDF Link] )

Breaking news -- the owner will be displaying this special  bottle at the 2014 Findlay Bottle Show. [Get all the Show Info here.]

This bottle was designed by Ray A. Graham, of Evansville, Indianawho owned Graham Glass Company. Here's the patent design drawing for the bottle shape, (click to enlarge) [Source] issued on Nov. 21. 1916.

Here's a video of this unique gem of a bottle that George H. Krempp spirited out of the meeting held at Coca Cola headquarters back in 1916 to decide which bottle design they were going with.

The bottle now belongs to Krempp's great grandson.

Graham's patent design.

The Coca Cola company's bottle design contest was held in 1916: 
"The firm contacted several glass
houses, offering a contest for the best
design for the Coca-Cola bottle. The
design had to be distinctive both to the
eye and the touch. This would replace
the bottles with straight sides and either
the bottler’s name embossed on the side
of the bottle, a paper label affixed to the
front, or both. Since the main method for
cooling bottles was to immerse them in
ice, the drinks were often not in plain sight
of customer, and the labels frequently
washed off as the ice melted. Coca-Cola
wanted a bottle that the consumer could
identify by touch alone."
This proto-type was made by Graham's bottling works, with the Coca Cola script embossing. 

As we all know, Coke went with the now-famous Earl R. Dean-designed hobble skirt, instead of Graham's design. 

While Graham's design wasn't chosen, his bottle making company did go on to make hobble skirt bottles for Coca Cola. 

That's Krempp on the left, the man who saved this bottle from being destroyed as all the other potential prototypes were. 

A Jasper business that has carried on through three generations is the Jasper Bottling Works, now known as the Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Inc., of Jasper. One of the oldest soft drink bottling plants still in operation, the firm was started in 1872 by Andrew Krempp, Sr., and George H. Krempp. All flavors of drinks were bottled, but that was before Coca- Cola. The company continued under its original name until 1932 when the present name was adopted. Operating the business now are O. A. Kremp, president, and Earl M. Salb, manager. For many years the bottling operation was located at Fourth and Mill Streets, where the facilities were expanded several times. In 1963, a new plant was constructed on the south edge of town on Highway 231.

Excerpt from a bottle forum discussion on the 1916 Coca Cola bottle design contest, where SodaPopBob has written a detailed report with vintage photos, about how this un-chosen bottle got out into the collector world: 

"It was also during the 1916 convention in Georgia that a George H. Krempp of Jasper, Indiana, whose family had been in the soda bottling since 1870 and a Coca Cola franchise bottler since 1910, reportedly "acquired" one of the non-winning bottles which apparently had been submitted by the Graham Glass Company. It is believed the Graham bottle is a one of a kind and is currently owned by Gary Salb, who is the great-grandson of George H Krempp." 

Thirsty for more info? You should read these:

  • Book chapter excerpts on Graham Glass Company from The Graham Legacy: Graham-Paige to 1932 by Michael E. Keller

  • History of the Coca Cola bottle -- The Dating Game: Tracking the Hobble-Skirt Coca-Cola Bottle by Bill Lockhart and Bill Porter -- PDF Link

  • Forum discussion of the prototype bottles with lots of links and info HERE on antiquebottles.net 
  • Bonus: Here's the link to the story of another super rare historic Coca Cola bottle:

    Sold for $13,000 - Earliest Coca Cola Bottle: Rare Labeled Pemberton's French Wine Coca / Up For Auction May 2014

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    Scrip-o-Folly - or - Shinplasters of Findlay ~ 1862 Bank Notes from Citizens Bank ~ Featuring Findlay

    A quick look at some antique paper bank note coupons, aka SCRIP, also called SHINPLASTERS, from the Citizens Bank Findlay Ohio, circa 1862.

    First, the Citizens' Bank:

    • The Citizens' Bank, under the firm name of Ewing, Carlins & Co., was established in the spring of 1854, and commenced business on the 3d of April. 
    • Located on Main Cross, opposite the courthouse.
    • John Ewing, Squire and Parlee Carlin, Charles W. O' Neal, Louis Adams and Samuel Howard composed the firm. In April, 1855, Mr. Howard retired from the firm. the following November Mr. O'Neal dropped out, and Mr. Ewing in April, 1856. 
    • Adams, Carlins & Co. continued to run the bank until December, 1863, when Paul Sours took the place of Mr. Adams, and the firm became Carlins & Co
    • This bank was at that time the leading banking house of the county, and did a very large business. 
    • On the 17th of January, 1876. it was reorganized as the "Citizens' Savings Bank," with the following stockholders:
    •  Parlee Carlin, Dr. Lorenzo Firmin, M. D. Sours, Lewis C. Carlin, James A. Bope, Squire Carlin, Dr. Bass Rawson, George W. Myers, Samuel D. Frey, D. J. Cory, William L. Davis, John Davis, Isaac Davis and Mrs. D. B. G. Carlin. Soon afterward Peter Holler, Isaac Blaksley and Jacob W Wagner were added to the list, while Squire Carlin dropped out. 
    • The advertised capital was $50,000, and a guaranteed security of $100, 000. It was regarded as a sound financial institution, as its stockholders embraced several of the wealthiest men of the county; 
    • but on the 25th of March, 1878, it went down in financial ruin. 
    • The board of directors at the time of the failure were Dr. Lorenzo Firmin, president; D. J. Cory, vice-president; James A. Bope, secretary; Parlee Carlin, John W. Adams, Isaac Blaksley, Lewis C. Carlin and Jacob Wagner, with M. D. Sours, cashier.
    • The cause of the failure was claimed by the officials to be the "heavy liabilities" and "scaly assets" of the old bank, which were unknowingly assumed by the reorganized institution. It was thought by many that the bank would resume business in a short time, but it never again opened its doors.

    Source: History of Hancock County


    A Collection of SHINPLASTERS

    Shinplasters were small-denomination notes issued by banks and other businesses in response to a lack of coin. (The name derives from the quality of paper which was so cheap that with a bit of starch, it could be used to make papier mache-like plasters to go under socks and warm shins.)
    [Source: #787]


    Here's an excerpt from an informative article about collecting paper money, written by noted numismatist Tom Becker [source]:


    Early on the Government established rules as to who had the right to produce and distribute paper money. The rules have been relaxed, tightened, and changed over the years but never has there been a time when this right was granted to every citizen. There are many examples in our history of when the scarcity of coins severely hampered normal commerce. Let's suppose that we ran a grocery store but had no coins available to make change for our customers. While we could keep a list that showed that we owed regular customer Jones eight cents and Dr. Smith four cents such bookkeeping would be cumbersome. Wouldn't it be more practical to give customers a slip of paper that was " good for" the amount we owed them and could be redeemed the next time they came shopping? If we were well established in the community then it might well be that Jones and Smith could use the slip of paper that we had given them as money when they went shopping elsewhere.

    There are many different types of scrip ranging from handwritten notes to elaborately engraved pieces printed on high quality paper. While there were incidents of merchants and others skipping town before redeeming all of their scrip and others trying to pass worthless "good fors". It appears the system, often used honestly to facilitate trade when no official money was available, worked quite well. I find it interesting that scrip issued by some of the most famous and honest merchants is quite rare. Merchants might number their scrip to keep track of their outstanding obligations. If there was no longer a reason to use the scrip the merchant might make an effort to redeem all their "markers" and destroy the no longer needed scraps of paper. If a merchant suddenly went bankrupt or left town under the cover of darkness their scrip might be widely scattered and ultimately end up in the hands of collectors a hundred years later. In the region of New Hampshire where I live I found a couple denominations of scrip issued by a previous local merchant. When I showed these notes to dealers who specialize in this material none of them had remembered seeing the little notes. I was very proud of my rare find. Several years after my discovery a part-time coin dealer called and offered me a few sets of the same scrip I thought was rare. He had several types and denominations that I didn't have. His price was quite fair and I bought three sets of four different notes. When I asked him how many more pieces he had he evasively answered by saying that he had a "few" but he wanted to keep them for himself. Suddenly the scrip started turning up everywhere! Nearly every dealer I talked with had a few sets. The stuff was offered for sale in most every antique group shop from Berlin New Hampshire to Salem in the same state! I later learned that this part-time dealer had bought several shoeboxes full of the scrip from the family of the merchant who issued it. What had once been rare was suddenly very common.

    As with many merchants’ tokens much of the scrip that was issued, especially in early times, may not identify the exact location of the merchant who issued it. The scrip was intended for use in the local community so there really wasn't much need to mention the state. Sometimes even the town name was omitted. Collectors of scrip and related material have had a great time trying to positively identify the location of the business that issued it. In many cases the scrip remains a "maverick" and the location of the business remains a mystery for another interested collector to solve

    Learn more about collecting paper currency here.

    Squire and Parlee Carlin - Founding Brothers

    • Squire and Parlee Carlin, brothers, were two of the earliest settlers in Findlay.
    • Squire Carlin is credited with having opened the first store in the new village. -- in 1826
    • 1828 - formed a partnership with his brother. Their store was known as S. and P. Carlin.
    • The partners spent much time traveling through the forest buying furs from the Indians, white hunters and small traders. They would be taken by Squire Carlin or his brother to Detroit for sale and shipment to England and Europe. One winter, the Carlins purchased 4,600 deer skins and 7,000 coon skins.
    • The brothers carried on their business at the Main and Front location until 1852, when they sold out, but continued to operate their grist and saw mills on the north bank of the Blanchard River for some years yet. They also engaged in the real estate and banking business for some years.
    • More about the Carlin Brothers here: Findlay Courier Bicentennial
    • They have many, many mentions in the History of Hancock County, also (click link, then click 'view all' on the site).
    • Squire Carlin's biography is here.

    John Ewing, another Citizens' Bank founder was also an important early settler in Hancock County:

    • John Ewing was for many years one of the leading merchants of Findlay. 
    • He came to Findlay from Pennsylvania in 1833, and at once engaged in merchandising. 
    • At quite an early day he erected the three-story brick store known as the "Old White Corner", and was a man of considerable wealth. 
    • In March, 1842, Mr. Ewing was elected associate judge and served on the bench seven years. 
    • He was the member who represented this senatorial district in the constitutional convention of 1850-51. 
    • Judge Ewing was dignified and exclusive in his habits, and not very popular in the social circles of the village. 
    • In 1860 he removed to Springfield, Ohio, and afterward to Wisconsin, dying in Milwaukee in 1880.  
    • The people of Findlay, claim if it had not been for Judge Ewing's opposition and influence in favor of the Findlay Branch, the Pittsburgh. Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad would have been located through the town, which ever since would have been enjoying the advantages of that great trunk line. 
    • Source: History of Hancock County

    Check out all the other Featuring Findlay posts. The link list is in the right-hand column, just scroll down.
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    GB Lager: Another Good Beer from Findlay Ohio ~ Featuring Findlay

    Let's take a quick look at this G B Lager Beer label that says Brewed & Bottled by Cleveland - Sandusky Brewing Co., Findlay Ohio

    GB From Findlay? 

    Turns out that GB Lager was only brewed in Findlay from 1963-1966, by the International Breweries Co., which also brewed Findlay's Old Dutch beer. 

    Old Dutch was originally from Krantz Brewing, then International took over from 1957-1966.

    You'll find tons of GB beer items on ebay, and other sites, but they won't all say Findlay, Ohio. And they're not all from the same ''G B'' company. Other brothers used/use the GB ''Good Beer'' moniker for their brews, like the Grace Bros. and the Griesedieck Bros. 

    [Note: As far as any featured eBay items are concerned, neither myself nor the club are recommending the item, the venue or the seller. These are simply for show-and-tell. Enjoy!]

    Check out all the other Featuring Findlay posts. The link list is in the right-hand column, just scroll down.
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    Vintage Mid Century Machine Age Gem: Werk Brau Findlay O. Ohio Vintage Aluminum Knob ~ Featuring Findlay

    Just a cool Findlay, Ohio piece seen on ebay [link]. An aluminum knob marked Werk-Brau Findlay O.

    And here's a vintage Werk Brau watch fob that's on ebay, too. [Link]

    A quick google search finds that Werk-Brau was started in Findlay in 1947 by blacksmiths Duke Werkheiser and Dutch Brautigan, and is still going strong, family owned for 3 generations, manufacturing specialty products for the heavy equipment industry. (Buckets and attachments for excavating.)

    [Source: Werk Brau website]

    Like to watch heavy equipment in action? Here's their commercial video.

    [Note: As far as any featured eBay items are concerned, neither myself nor the club are recommending the item, the venue or the seller. These are simply for show-and-tell. Enjoy!]

    Check out all the other Featuring Findlay posts. The link list is in the right-hand column, just scroll down.
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    Research Notes on Julius Stephan Pharmacist Medicine Bottle / Clifton Cinci OH

    Julius Stephan / Pharmacist / 312 Ludlow - Clifton

    SCA embossed medicine bottle, circa 1910s

    From our Inbox --
    Hi there, I got your email from doing some research on the web. But anyway I live in New Orleans and I’m a young bottle collector* just getting started, well I’ve acquired a bottle from Ohio. Julius Stephan 312 LudLow Ave-Clifton. I’m trying to find someone in Ohio that collects so I was trying to see if you know anything about this bottle. I found one document with record of this but absolutely nothing else. No other bottle like it, so do you have any information about this person or have you heard of him. Any information will be appreciated, Thank You.
    *See, young collectors are out there!

    Of course I couldn't resist the chance to do some googlin' and see what I could find out about Julius Stephan, Pharmacist.

    It's an Ohio town bottle, but I learned that this Clifton is a suburb of Cincinnati, not the town of Clifton near Dayton, and is known for its Ludlow Avenue Shopping and Dining District along Ludlow Avenue, centered on its juncture with Clifton Avenue.

     He was a ''successful'' pharmacist at least by 1896 -- link

    Then in 1897 he had money probs --  link -- where he apparently left town without telling his creditors, or paying them -- then he returned, and cleaned up his act -- link

    It is not often that drug stores are turned over to the hands of receivers, but Judge Jelke last week appointed Dr. William Stephan receiver for the Julius Stephan drug store, situated at the corner of Hemlock and McMillan streets. Walnut Hills. Cincinnati, on account of the claims of certain creditors. It appears that a chattel mortgage was given by Stephan to the Stein Vogeler Drug Company, but the validity of this transaction was disputed by the John D. Park & Sons Co., which had a judgment for $3​___ against Stephan, and in consequence of troubles and disputes arising, it was deemed prudent to place the business in the hands of a receiver. The strange part of the business is that: Julius Stephan is u​nd​erstood to have l​eft the city, and has forgotten to leave his address behind him. "

    His store inventory was sold off to FR Merrill -- link

    This shot glass sold on ebay for nothing $$wise cuz the seller did not put the name in the title(!!).

    It shows us that Stephan had other Cinci locations before the Clifton store.

    It's embossed:  
    2112 W. SIXTH ST. 

    728 E. McMILLAN ST.  -- link

    I did find that Stephan bought the Clifton store in 1909 from Louis Roettig. link
    Well, that was fun, but that's all I found. No other bottles, so I'm guessing it's a scarce bottle. I'd keep my eye on ebay. 

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    Jar People Are the Best! Some Highlights of 2014's Fruit Jar and Bottle Shows / A Photo Album

    Jars in sparkling Spring colors in my window.

    Below are a selection of screen shot photos from some of the Midwest Fruit Jar Club's 2014 newsletters.

    What's the best thing about the antique bottle hobby? The PEOPLE, of course! So in addition to jars and bottles, here are some friendly faces from recent events.

    The pix are just teasers. For the rest of the photos and articles written by Joe Coulson, read the entire newsletter:

    • January 2014 -- coverage of the January 2014 Muncie Fruit Jar Show pre-show hotel get-together/show'n'tell.
    • February 2014 -- a tour of "Mr. Atlas", Russ Crupe's collection and a show report on the February 2014 Columbus Bottle Show.
    • March 2014 -- show report on the March 2014 St. Louis Bottle Show
    • April 2014
    • May 2014

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    Got Jars? Want to Know What Your Fruit Jars Are Worth? Get These 2014 Updated Price Guides

    2014's Jar Books Are Here!

    Redbook #11 and Fruit Jar Annual 2015

    Get these important additions to your reference library. Whether you're a newbie, or a long-time collector of fruit jars, you'll want these latest updates to 2 classic fruit jar guides.

    They'll help with more than just values. These guides will help you identify which jars you have, and which ones you want to look for. Each one gives you different information to help you in curating your collection. The authors will share their insight from decades as collectors. They share some history, like who the jar was made for and/or by, known sizes and colors, info on embossing and closure variations, and more.

    Here's a little more about each book, taken from their websites. Hit those links to BUY the books.


    RED BOOK NO. 11 - The Collector’s Guide to Old Fruit Jars by Douglas M. Leybourne, Jr.

    "The purpose of the book has never changed, “to list and describe, as accurately as possible, all the known varieties of fruit jars as well as provide guidance in the valuation of same”."

    Red Book No. 11 offers many needed updates:

    • 35 Additional Pages
    • Over 500 New Additions and Revisions
    • Canadian, Australian, and Other Foreign Jars Widely Updated
    • Expanded Section On Reproduction Jars
    • Revised Pricing Based on Many Sources of Reference
    • Purchase directly from the author - BUY LINK


    That's Jerry McCann on the right (with Joe Coulson).

    FRUIT JAR ANNUAL 2015 - The Guide to Collecting Fruit Jars - Published by Jerry McCann

    All-new and expanded, the HUGE new 2015 edition contains 380 pages, featuring...

    • Comprehensive PRICE GUIDE of fruit jars and related packer jars.
    • Cross referenced with Dick Rollers STANDARD FRUIT JAR REFERENCE
    • Listing information on availability, closures and history in the glass houses that manufactured or jobbed the jars.
    • 380 Pages Packed with Comprehensive Listings & Values
    • 7 Feature Articles by Barry Bernas, Ton Caniff, Bill Lockhart, and Jerry McCann
    • Fruit Jar Collector Directory
    • Softbound, spiral bound with 380 easy-to-read pages, with photos, drawings and period ads.

    TABLE OF CONTENTS for 2015 Edition:
    2.....From the Publisher
    4.....Dr. Robert Arthur
    14....C. Burnham & Co.
    32....Label Space Extra - Dog Food & The War
    38....Everett Glass Companies/Everett, Pennsylvania
    52....What Fruit Jars did Everett Glass Co. Produce?
    65....News Briefs – Useful Information
    73....William Fenn’s Carrie Nation Water Bottle
    77....The Fruit Jar Price Guide
    330...Appendix A: Decorative Packers’ Jars
    343...Appendix B: “Art Deco” Design Patented Jars
    359...“Art Deco” Design Patented Jars Not Found
    363...The Fruit Jar Collector Directory

    This invaluable reference guide is offered direct from the publisher Jerry McCann to customers of North American Glass

    Available for 55.00 plus shipping. BUY LINK

    Bonus -- To show you a taste of what the articles are like, here are images of an article from last year's 2014 Fruit Jar Annual. (Click each page to enlarge.)

    E.S. MORRIS & CO. by Jerome McCann, about the rare E.S. Morris & Co. Sweet Palm Oil half pint jar.

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