Labelled bottles

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Every now and again we dig bottles which still have their original labels attached which is quite remarkable considering a lot of them have been in the ground for a 100 plus years . The most common bottle tends to be Daddies Sauce or the Camp Coffee bottles that come out fully dressed in their original advertising labels . They are quite impressive and even the colours stand up pretty well despite the damp surrounding they have been buried in over the years .
The sad thing is though , they are very short lived once they are exposed to the air and one single wipe destroys the label in an instant and ends up being a colourful smudge and gone forever . We have tried all sorts to preserve them , leaving them in the heat of the sun to dry off and even spray glue which just about disintegrates them , nothing appears to keep them intact not even the warmth of a summers day . It is a shame really as they are quite nice and all original but once the fresh air gets to them then its all over and they are gone in an instant .

The saving grace tends to be bottles that have survived the test of time in dry conditions , away from the elements and over the years I have not been able to resist temptation while scouring the flea markets and car boots , any little bottle with its detailed label catches my eye and they can be picked up relatively cheap . There are other options and labels can be re reprinted and aged to look old but personally that isnt for me although others are quite happy to do this but I much prefer to find a bottle with the original label intact .

Labelled bottles are also a good reference source if you wish to date them just going by the telephone numbers and how many digits although this isnt a sure fire way of being exact but gives you a rough idea . the next option is the address and sometimes the proprietors name and with some archive research you can usually find the dates from when they were in business and for how long .
One of the earliest labelled bottles that gave me a fairly good idea of age is the Andrew .H. Paton pharmacist bottle which is from my old home Town in Watford , I know the address very well although the shop is long gone . The design on the label is a good giveaway with the stylised type face and patterned scroll work design , I knew it was early . Research on this bottle was pleasantly straightforward because Mr Paton entered a shop window display competition on June 30th 1916 . To think while this innocent English small Town competition was taking place , the following day British troops would embark on one of the most bloodiest battles in the History of the British Army on the killing fields of France , the Battle of the Somme . While this tragedy would befall the many young men of that generation , life carried on as it always tends to do in times of crisis . The countries flower of youth were two years into a World War but life carried on at home as best that it could under such tragic circumstances . It is these little simple details such as this which leads you onto a road of discovery and a small generic inanimate object as this little bottle then opens up a charming yet tragic insight into the past .
Despite the World at War , the competition and many others no doubt took place , to give a sense of normality to an otherwise dire situation far greater than anyone could possibly imagine
The winning prize was a staggering £25 a lot of money back in those days with 2nd at £15 , third at £10 and fourth £5 and eleven runners up with a consolation prize of £1 one of whom of the eleven was Mr Andrew .H. Paton .
The other selection of little labelled bottles will take further research and some I know already such as the much favoured Winsor and Newton bottles .
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Wow, finding them with labels is unreal, i didnt think they would survive
Camp coffee.....i still drink that :lol: but i make it with hot milk, absolutely lovely and beats any other coffees...... :ugeek:

Would clear nail varnish preserve the label?
or at least some of it if it could be applied gently without pulling the label about?
Maybe set it up in a small spray gun like a hobbyist one, would be gentler than brushing it on?....

Great read though fella :Star:
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What age is the Homeopathic bottle?
Looks like it has "tincture" put on it too

I just read that homeopathy was first discovered in 1796, which is quite crazy really
Were they still burning people for witchcraft at that time? :lol:
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The oxidisation of labels I can relate to copper coins when the protecting muck is cleaned off, a fast dry and applied wax/oil barrier really helps preserve. Yep only originals work for me too, it's nice to have your own personal museum! Fantastic condition labels you have there, a nice set! :thumbsup:
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Paul, another informative and well written post.
Really enjoyed the story behind the Paton bottle.
Having the labels, you can actually see the same as the customers of that era saw on the day they purchased the item.
Cheers, :thumbsup:
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These are beautiful remnants of a long forgotten past.

It is such a shame the old labels don’t survive after they leave the ground. I guess the only really safe option is to set up a vacuum system in the field to remove all the air and moisture and so the label doesn’t oxidise in the process. Not sure how you’d do that in the field though :lol: bit like some old copper coins that come out find but seriously suffer from oxidisation very quickly. Such a shame - survive for a hundred years then are ruined in hours :(

Love these old bottles, will keep an eye out for them in bric a brac shops cause I love them too :thumbsup:
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Great post :thumbsup: - I’d love to display items like this in the house, but I fear I’d have to get rid of Mrs Shaggy to be able to... :shock:
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That's crazy that they survived so well, what some great history in the labels :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

nicely saved :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Regards steve
A foolish faith in authority, is the worst enemy of truth." Albert Einstein
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Nice collection and nice read. :thumbsup:
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