Fruit Jars ~ Pacific Glass Works ~ Root and Hollieanna ~ Color Runs and Info



Winter's the perfect time to take out your antique bottles and fruit jars and play with them.  Jeff Klingler shares his photos of some of his Root jars, and his Pacific Glass Works jars.

To see more photos of these, and read more info about them, as well as see 100's of other great jars, head over to this very active fruit jar discussion group -- it's definitely NOT just Ball jars, even though it's called the Ball Jar Collectors Community Center.

Jars in the above photo: 'STAR & CRESCENT' ~ 'THE ALSTON' ~ 'SEALFAST SOLD BY - LIMA OHIO' ~ 'THE VAN VLIET JAR OF 1881' ~ 'RUBY SPECIAL'

Left to right:
[See the entire Root jars post/thread here.]
  • nice OLIVE GREEN half gallon, my best color. (ex Shirley McDonald collection)
  • qt size GREEN (and nothing but GREEN)
  • pt size Lighter Olive Green... almost an Apple Green color
  • qt AQUA... a more Aqua/Blue color
  • qt size Olive Green (ex Marty Troxell collection)
  • half gallon Lighter Green

Rootin' Around

A little Root Glass Co. history (source):


The Root Glass Company of Terre Haute Indiana was named after its president Chapman J. Root and made Root fruit jars from 1906 to 1909. In 1909 the company (at least the fruit jar part) was purchased by the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company. The jar plant was closed in 1913. Owens-Illinois acquired another part of the Root company and operated one of the company's plants until 1932.
An icon of American history, the famous Coca-Cola bottle, is also an interesting historical side note to the Root story. In 1916 the Coca-Cola company asked various bottle manufacturers to design a unique Coca-Cola bottle. Almost a dozen designs were submitted and studied by a committee of seven bottlers, who met at the 1916 bottlers’ convention in Atlanta. The committee’s final selection was a design submitted by the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana. The well-known hobble skirt Coke bottle. 
A somewhat scarce jar made by the Root company is the Hollieanna Mason. Judging by its more modern design it was probably produced later than the Root mason (by the Owens/Illinois division of the company.) The jar itself was produced for a grocery store concern called Oakley.

It's a MASH-UP


 From the Terre Haute Postcards website:
On August 9th, 1909, Hollie N. Oakley of Terre Haute opened his first grocery store at 1105 Wabash Avenue. The store was a success and Oakley's soon became the largest independent grocery chain in Indiana. By 1920, there were 33 Oakley stores in and around the Wabash Valley alone.

Here are some great old photos from the Wabash Valley Digital Memory Project website.


Here's Oakley's grocery store in Terre Haute Indiana, circa 1909.


A later version of an Oakley's Grocery store, still no mention of Hollieanna as a brand name.

HOLLIEANNA -- What a great jar. I had to look up the history, and found a little info about Hollieana / Oakley / grocery. What I didn't find is any reference to or pix of Oakley or Hollieanna products.

The Hollieanna name is a cute mash-up of the Oakley's first names, Hollie and Anna. They have a foundation which has a website:
The Oakley Foundation is a private foundation established in 1954 to promote religious, educational and charitable endeavors, particularly in the states of Indiana, Illinois, and Florida.
The history on the site is extremely brief. Here's one tidbit, referring to the “Follow Your Food” exhibit at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum :

The Hollie and Anna Oakley Foundation’s sponsorship of the exhibit honors the Oakley family’s history in the grocery business and the importance of agriculture to Indiana’s economy.



I also found a shopping center in Winterpark, Florida named HOLLIEANNA that has a Publix Grocery store. That led me to Jeff Perry's public Linked In listing that tells us:

Oakley is a family business that owns and operates commercial real estate in west central Indiana, and central Florida. We were incorporated in 1929 and operated 99 grocery stores.  
The company eventually sold the grocery business to Kroger, but retained some real estate. This real estate forms the base of our operations now. Over the years we have re-developed sites in both Indiana and Florida, including the Hollieanna Center Publix Re-build. 

And now we leave Indiana and head not for Florida, but for the wild west. 
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Go West, Young Man -- Pacific Glass Works


Left to Right (with Red Book #10 numbers)
[See the entire Pacific Glass jars post/thread here.]
  • RB637-1    a very scarce PACKED BY COLLINS WHEATON & LUHRS S.F. (ex Randy Hoffman collection)
  • RB2896     a great Apple Green half gallon PACIFIC GLASS WORKS SAN FRANCISCO (ex Alex Kerr, Al Vignon, Tom Schumm, Bill Burgess collections)
  • RB796      DODGE SWEENEY & Co's CALIFORNIA BUTTER (ex Randy Hoffman collection)
  • RB2896     qt size Apple Green PACIFIC GLASS WORKS SAN FRANCISCO
  • RB2553    qt size SAN FRANCISCO GLASS WORKS (ex Bill Dudley collection)
  • RB2553    half gallon SAN FRANCISCO GLASS WORKS 
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EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!





Here's a morbid article about an accident at the Pacific Glass Works that was published un the New York Time on November 30, 1900. (link) -- The San Francisco paper covered it in more depth, including gruesome illustrations. Read it here -- http://www.sfweekly.com/2012-08-15/news/football-san-francisco-and-pacific-glass-works-history-sports-tragedy/full/

(Click article image to enlarge)

Exterior view of earthquake damage at the Pacific Glass Works Company, San Francisco, 1906
Photo from USC Library


Pacific Glass Works had more bad luck due to the 1906 earthquake.

Want to learn more about Pacific Glass Works? Read lots of articles discussing the history and the historic bottles and jars made by PGW on the Western Bitters blog. Tons of info, and photos.

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