DESIGNER SODA BOTTLES

1920s

 The 1920s was a time expansion.  The First World War had ended and ushered in tremendous technological advances that permeated every facet of industry.  The Midwest was alive with new glass factories operating on a new fuel - natural gas. Around the turn of the century many factories got started in Ohio, Illinois and Indiana.  The older Eastern factories struggled with both the need for fuel but also the need to update their equipment. The newer glass makers employed the newest equipment, production from which could far out strip the hand tooling done in some factories.  There were glasshouses still hand tooling bottles but they were becoming scarce.  The ubiquitous Hutchinson soda was declared unsanitary. The invention of the crown seal in 1892 changed the industry.  Now peacetime brought prosperity heretofore unseen.  The new century meant new ideas and that mean new designs and new art forms.  The art of the times is reflected in the designs. 

THE DESIGNERS

Bottle design became a competition between glasshouses.  The bottle designers of the times had highly successful careers some of which spanned decades.  Their names and faces an unfamiliar but their work survives them.  Among the more prominent of the 1920s were:

Paul A. Ginter and Gayle D. Stewart and who were working for the American Bottle Company (1905-1929) which eventually became Owens Bottle Company and eventually Owens-Illinois.. 

Robert C. Graham and Frank R. Miller of the Graham Glass Company of Evansville, Indiana. Robert's Father had started the glass company and it operated from 1913-1930.  After 1916 it was a subsidiary of the Owens Bottle Company, Toledo;

Fredrick W. Schwenck of Cincinnati, Ohio;

Thomas C. Johnson of Atlanta, Georgia;

George N. Mas of Lynchburg, Virginia;

Claud A. Sears of Columbus, Georgia was assignor to the Chero-cola Company.

Vess Jones of New York City.

Chapman J. Root of Terra Haute, Indiana of the Root Glass started two factories, one for beverage bottles and the second one a year later in 1902 for jars.  Root sold the jar plant to the Ball Brothers in 1909 and the beverage plant to Owens-Illinois in 1932.  It was at the Root plant that the original design for the Coca Cola bottle was proposed by Alex Samuelson, a plant foreman..  By the 1920s, Root was operating three continuous tanks.( Some information taken from Bottle Makers and Their Marks - Julian Harrison Toulouse, 1971.)

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C. F. Sauer Company Richmond, Virginia Louis Steinberger
Jersey City, New Jersey
New Kensington, Pennsylvania  
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