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Because they were not allowed to put them in bottles with the "Coca-Cola" script, the bottlers developed their own "flavor bottles. Collectors can find an enormous variety in flavor bottles, and most are very inexpensive to collect. In the early s, The Coca-Cola Company sold its syrup to soda fountains, where it was mixed with carbonated water in proper proportions before serving the drink to customers.

The syrup bottles were ornately etched and equipped with a metal cap for precise serving. They were staples of small soda fountains from the turn of the century well into the s.

The bottles can be very valuable today, with the earliest in the series worth several thousand dollars or more in mint condition. Some Coca-Cola bottlers carried a line of seltzer, adding carbon dioxide to water to make it effervescent. Seltzer bottles are another popular collectible and can be worth hundreds of dollars or more, depending on their condition. Some are extremely decorative, with a wide range of colors, designs and etchings.

Some have script logos, as opposed to block type. Others have figures or animals. Town Names Until the early s, the town where the drink was bottled was embossed on the bottom of contour bottles.

Many of us remember playing the "distance game" when we were younger; the person whose bottle carried the name of the most distant city was the winner. Many collectors are intent on getting every variant of those bottles.

Veteran collector John Thom of Woodstock, Ga. His collection has grown to include some straight-sided bottles and even some Hutchinson Coca-Cola bottles. Several years ago, he came across a straight-sided bottle from the tiny town of Buena Vista, Ga. The bottle was one of several that had been dug up near Warm Springs, Ga. Finds like this add to the mystery and excitement of collecting.

Today, John says he buys bottles mostly at different Coca-Cola collectible conventions, through auctions or from other collectors. He still goes to flea markets and yard sales, although the competition for valuable items has picked up dramatically in recent years.

Return of Embossing In a special reintroduction inThe Coca-Cola Company restored the embossed bottles with the cities on the bottom to meet people's interest in recapturing part of the Company's heritage.

This time, however, the 24 cities embossed on the bottom of the 8-ounce glass contour bottle were selected because of their special connection - either historical or just plain fun - to Coca-Cola Atlanta, Ga. Cokeville, Wyoming, has its name on a bottle because the Company just liked the way the small town's name sounds.

In a future column, I'll discuss the topic of collecting commemorative bottles that were issued to honor championship sports teams and to mark other memorable occasions. These factors, combined with "a market for the finished product virtually in the 'back yard' of the plant" fostered a confident optimism about its success.

The plant of the Lynchburg Glass Works, Inc. Prescription, packers, panels, pickles, chows, jellies, flint and green bottles will be made. There will be two continuous tanks employed with a total of 16 ringholes. There will be no moldmaking shop. Work will be done by hand and semi-automatic machines, one Miller and three Cox machines being employed.

Beckett, who had supervised the entire construction of the plant, now served as General Manager. Earl Ross served as the factory superintendent. It was situated on a little over five acres 5. Most of the information we have about the plant comes from a description of the plant in a sales brochure from midafter the power house was rebuilt following a fire in late August, While these buildings were given names in the brochures, some served more than one purpose.

The Lynchburg Glass plant as it appeared in early viewed from Hudson Street looking southwest see aerial photo above. An aerial view of the Lynchburg Glass plant aroundlooking slightly northwest. At the lower right are two storage and loading sheds 8 with two boxcars spotted on the tracks nearby.

The numbers identify buildings in the descriptions below.

Coke's "Hobble-skirt" bottle: The Coca-Cola Company

The plant as it appeared in late View is from the northwest corner near the intersection of Ann and Hudson streets looking slightly southeast. The pole in left foreground holds a fire alarm call box. The sign on the office building has been edited in the photo for use in a later brochure click on image to open larger photo The Main Building was by feet, composed of two sections. One section 1 in Photo 4 above was approximately by feet, two stories, and was constructed with a clerestory roof in the center with tilt-opening windows for ventilation.

The basement was constructed with walls, floor, and ceiling of reinforced concrete. The main level was made of wood with a concrete floor. This building held two tanks and furnaces for making glass. There were concrete reinforcements around and between the furnaces, as well as between the furnaces and annealing lehrs. The tanks had a daily capacity of 22 and 28 tons respectively Lynchburg Glass Corporation would later increase this to 35 and 45 tons. They were originally continuous gas fired and could each feed eight rings, or deposit points for extracting glass to forming machines.

The gas to run these furnaces was produced on-site from four Cox Gas Producers located nearby in the Producer House. There is no information on which machines were installed and operating at any given time or exactly where they were located in the building.

They would have been located somewhere between the furnaces and the annealing lehrs. The second lower roofed section of this building 2 above was also approximately by 98 feet with a basement.

These were located about 30 feet from the furnace. They were each 65 feet long and seven feet wide with oil fired burners to keep the glass from cooling too quickly. There was also space for sorting and packing products as they came out of the lehrs.

The basement was also used for general storage. It contained three large two story high bins for storing soda ash, lime, and sand, the primary ingredients of glass. An elevated trestle of the Southern Railroad ran alongside this building See Photo 4 above to allow material to be unloaded directly to the top of the storage bins. The ingredients were measured and weighed on the first floor then conveyed to an electric powered Beckwith Machinery Company automatic batch mixer on the second floor, which in turn fed the mixed raw material to the furnaces.

Aerial view of the remains of the original railroad siding that served the Lynchburg plant, which was located above and to the left of the photo. This siding remnant is all that remains of the Lynchburg facility The Power House 4 was a 50 by 37 feet frame building.

302A 002

We do not know how it was originally constructed, but after the August, fire it was rebuilt with iron siding and roof. It was located near the Batch House and Main Building near the railroad trestle.

It housed two 66 inch by 18 feet horizontal return tubular boilers with water feed pump and water heater. While not specifically stated in the records, these were probably oil fired boilers. The generated steam was used by the steam powered machinery as well as by the Gas Producer.

Also in this building were two steam-driven duplex air compressors, one 12x14x12 and one 14x16x14, along with air storage and regulator tanks and pumps. The compressed air would be used by the forming machines in making bottles and later fruit jars.


The Producer House 5 was located near the Power House. It was 64 by 37 feet, two story brick with an iron roof. The first floor housed four Cox No.

These machines used coal to produce fuel gas that was used to fire the furnaces. The two story Box Shop 6 was 38 by 30 feet, The first floor was used for lumber storage. It was located to the rear of the main building near the area where ware was removed from the lehrs, sorted, and packed. The second floor was connected to the main building's packing area by an elevated walkway for ease of access.

The Ware Shed or Storage Building 7 was 80 by 48 feet, used to store finished products before shipping. Finished product would have been moved from the ware shed along a dirt and gravel road to these sheds to be loaded onto railroad cars.

The Office Building 9 was a five room, two story wood frame building. It was located at the front of the site a distance away from the factory, and housed office and record keeping equipment, as well as two iron safes. While we do not know exactly how it was originally equipped, we know that later part of it, presumably the upstairs, served as a living apartment for J. It was filled directly from tank cars. There was also a 15 HP electric generator to power lights. Presumably this was located in the Power House, especially if it was steam powered which is not stated.

The plant included a variety of molds, presses, bottle blowing machines, and other equipment to produce glassware. These included a W. Some of these molds were made after the plant began production. Production The plant went into production on March 11,soon after its completion.

Like the Lynchburg Glass Works, the Chamber of Commerce and its affiliated enterprises had promoted the company. Also like the glass works, it was financed by local investors.

However, with some hints of impropriety in the news accounts, the company was put into the hands of receivers during The property was sold a couple of years later to a company intending to make plows. There is some indication that the glass plant began operating only part time, or that there was a brief interruption of production in March, In any case, by the end of March the plant was in full production.

While it is possible that they also produced some food containers none have been found that can be identified with the company. While the company's logo was likely an L within an oval, it was not used on most of Lynchburg Glass Works' ware. Most are marked Lbg on the base, heel, or both. Lynchburg Glass Works had obtained a license to make the patented Coca-Cola "hobbleskirt" bottle, and was among the first of a small group of glass makers to produce the iconic bottle in and Most of these Coke bottles have city names on the base.

However, they also exist with the Lbg logo on the heel and no lettering on the base, and with Lgb on both the heel and the base with no city. Most occur in a smoky gray glass but a few have been confirmed in a light blue aqua tint. All are fairly scarce and are prized by Coca-Cola collectors because of their unusual color and limited production. Lynchburg also made bottles for Coca-Cola flavored drinks see photo right and Coca-Cola distributed soda water. All of the Lynchburg-made Coca-Cola bottles of both types with cities that I have confirmed are from cities in North Carolina or Virginia.

Some have been reported from Culpeper, VA, but I have not confirmed that. These were distributed mostly in southwestern Virginia and the Carolinas, and are more common than the Coke bottles.

Only a few have been found with city names. Lynchburg also made the art-deco "checkerboard" Pepsi-Cola bottle, which is quite rare at right, right photo.

There was an unintended environmental impact of the new plant. In April,the Lynchburg Health Department instructed farmers of truck gardens near the plant that they could not sell fresh produce raised near the plant.

The concern was the danger of tiny particles of glass from the plant settling on fresh vegetables, which then might be ingested. These were mostly "tenders," usually young boys, who assisted the skilled glass blowers. They were protesting working hours, specifically the company's refusal to pay for a full day on Saturday even though the late Saturday shift was only a half-day the furnace was blocked, or reduced to non-production temperature on Saturday night.

The company reported that only about 25 were involved and that most had returned to work by the afternoon. Some later reports were that "quite a number" had quit. The plant could not employ all the boys who had applied for the open positions. While the damage was not significant, the safe had to be drilled open to recover its contents.

The company kept the week's cash payroll in the safe on Friday night. A former employee who was aware of the practice was arrested. Zimmerman now served as Assistant Superintendent in charge of hiring. Sometime during the year, W. Ryland as secretary of the company.

By December the plant was running only two 8-hour shifts with approximately employees. The plant shut down on December 18,with plans to restart the plant early in January. The earlier failure of the Dawson Manufacturing Company likely contributed to slow sales. There is no record that the plant reopened in January as planned. It appears that the plant was idle for a period of time at the beginning of the year.

Eller also attended the Glass Container Association meeting that summer. Loyd took the additional position as treasurer, sharing that responsibility, at least officially, with N.

Lynchburg was still listed as making "Flint jellies, flint and green soft drink and prescriptions. The fire originated in the "boiler room" of the power house and it is likely that the power house and adjacent areas were damaged.

Immediate plans were made to rebuild the damaged portions of the plant. With the loss of the Coca-Cola business, prospects for the coming year did not look good. Overall, sales had been relatively good and the company had actually increased production capacity. At this time, the plant employed 95 workers. It is not known when the plant went back into production, although the shutdown was expected to last at least through January 1, Zimmerman, who had been Assistant Superintendent, had replaced B.

Beckett as General Manager. In effect, the company was bankrupt. It is not clear what caused the financial problems at the plant. Perhaps the same business downturn that had caused the American Glass Company in Richmond, Virginia, to shut down for a month in had also affected Lynchburg. In any case, the company was placed into the hands of N. Eller as trustee to sell the property for the benefit of creditors.

The trustee announces that there are no known preferences except for taxes. By the terms of the assignment the trustee is required to sell the corporate property as a whole, at public auction to the highest bidder, after due notice has been given. The contact person for the ad was John Victor.

Notes Some of the references to Trade Journals are courtesy of Bob Stahr and other researchers at The Insulator Gazettean archive of glass-making and insulator history. They are referenced here by permission. The text or photocopies of most of the journals and other references below are available at The Insulator Gazetteon this web site, or can be accessed elsewhere on the Internet. Issues of The Richmond Times-Dispatch through are available online.

While we do not have detailed financial records from either company, one document may be illustrative. A balance sheet was entered into the later Lynchburg Glass Corporation's Board Minutes from January, as the company was trying to secure a loan. However, a penciled notation beside this entry says "loss for year Minutes, January 24, An oral account given to N.

Woodward in by William H. Woodward in personal correspondance and in an interview in Springfield, Ohio, November 5, While we do not have production records for Lynchburg Glass Works, some records from the later Lynchburg Glass Corporation illustrate the problem. Weekly Operating Statement for Week ending March Oral account given to N.

Woodward in personal correspondance and in an interview in Springfield. Ohio, November 5, Some publications incorrectly list the secretary as D. Rylans, Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, Vol. The Lynchburg News, Sunday, February 17,p. Lynchburg Glass Works Stockholders, A typewritten list of the stockholders, number of shares each, and price for Lynchburg Glass Works' stocks was found among the records of the Lynchburg Glass Corporation recovered from W.

Access to the records courtesy of Justin Stoudt. See Lynchburg Glass Works Stockholders, There is a perception among some historians and economists that the business environment at Lynchburg during the early twentieth century was dominated and negatively impacted by an "elite" group of businessmen, what one writer referred to as an "oligarchy" Clifton Potter and Dorothy Potter, Lynchburg: A City Set on Seven Hills.

Arcadia Publishing,p. There is some opinion that such domination by such a small group of businessmen contributed to stagnation of economic growth in the city and to eventual decline Chad R.

Miller, The Tholian Web: ByJean Gottmann gave an even more pointed analysis: While that reality had made Lynchburg an industrial and economic powerhouse in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, it also hindered adaptation to changing circumstances and the attraction of new industry.

A case of Lynchburg bottles ready for shipment.