Dented Glass Jar: Bishop's Spoon Ledge Jar / Cooper & Co Grocers, Glasgow / History & Photos

I came across this odd looking glass jar, and thought I'd share my findings. It's an English jar, not rare, they come up on ebay for less than $20.00. And the history of the jar is not a mystery, but it's still an interesting piece.

The jar has lots of embossing on 2 sides. 

On one panel you see a raised hand pointing to the dented corner. 
Embossing reads: SPOON LEDGE / BISHOP'S PATENT No 5040.
The adjacent panel has: COOPER & Co / GLASGOW / LIVERPOOL / LONDON / ETC. 
The base is embossed: GLASS MADE IN FRANCE

The jar has a dent, similar to a dent-milk bottle, in which the dent performs as a cream separator. [Dent milk bottle info here.]

Apparently the jar was designed for honey and jam, to rest the spoon on inside the jar, so it wouldn't sink into the yummy goo and get the handle all sticky.

The jar's inventor, AH Bishop, worked for his family's large and successful Scottish grocery store company, COOPER'S.
  • Thomas Bishop was born in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, and founded a grocery business that also ran tea rooms in Glasgow. 
  • The business rivalled the similar and contemporary enterprise of Thomas J. Lipton (1850-1931), both being founded on importing and marketing tea in Glasgow. 
  • Bishop's firm was named Cooper's after his aunt who lent him money to start the business. 
  • On his death it became a public company and his son Andrew Henderson Bishop was then Chairman; he also had a passion as an amateur archaeologist (q.v.). 
  • Having been early pioneers of the supermarket system the company became part of a larger chain, Coopers Fine-Fare, in 1955.

Interior of Coopers. [Source]

The interior of Cooper & Co's grocery shop in Great Western Road, c 1890s.

Cooper & Co was founded by Thomas Bishop in 1871 and became one of Scotland's leading grocery shop chains. 

The building at 499 Great Western Road, famous for its French Renaissance facade and clock tower, was erected in 1886 and contained beautiful fixtures and fittings. The pillars are decorated with garlands of fruit and female faces at the bottom, with intricate plasterwork leaves and swirls at the ceiling. 

The floor has the typical multi-coloured tiling of the period. There are a wide variety of goods on display including fresh fruit and vegetables, tinned and bottled foodstuffs, mops and brushes.

The shop closed in the early 1980s and the premises were converted for use as a pub. 

More photos and the story of the what happened to the original tea room and Cooper Grocery store building here.

Portraits of Thomas Bishop and Arthur Bishop:

Portrait of AH BISHOP
Arthur Henderson Bishop (1874 – 1957) 

  • Combined participation in the family business with a keen interest in amateur archaeology and collecting. 
  • In his time, he had one of the largest pre-historic collections in Scotland. 
  • In 1951, the year the University of Glasgow celebrated its quincentenary, Bishop gifted his collection of prehistoric artefacts from Great Britain and the Continent to the Hunterian Museum
  • Following the death of his wife, he moved to Switzerland in 1941 and remained there until his death in 1957

Arthur Bishop also had a famous home, Thornton Hall, and a fondness for curling.
  • He moved to Thorntonhall (the town) in 1904 when he bought Thornton Hall, the estate home.
  • He laid out extensive gardens and a floodlit curling rink, which was powered by his own plant.
  • A.H.Bishop first appears in the minutes of Haremyres Curling Club in 1904 when he paid ten shillings as an occasional member of the Haremyres Curling Club.
  •  In 1930 he was elected Honorary President of the club which office he held untill 1954.
  • The Henderson Bishop has to be the most prestigious ladies curling competition held in Scotland
  • Source: Curling Contest --

The Henderson Bishop Ladies Curling Trophy

Curling history here -

  • Arthur Bishop was the son of the founder of Cooper & Co. wholesale grocer. 
  • He married Mary McAlpine in 1897 and set up home at Burncroft.
  • In 1904 he bought Thornton Hall where he maintained an interest in pig breeding. The sties were surprisingly close to the house. 
  • He laid out extensive gardens and a floodlit curling rink, powered by his own plant.
  • He extended the railroad station platform and built his own entrance gate. In the sidings he kept a private rail car which could be hurriedly coupled to the Glasgow train.
  • In 1939 Bishop sold Thorntonhall and the advent of World War II in 1939 changed Thorntonhall for all time.

Findlay Antique Bottle Club
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