In the back of the store is a shelving unit with this wonderful display of old jars. Here’s a little history behind the master ink bottles.
Master inks filled wells around the world
By David McCormick
Master inks are a great part of our country’s history. If they could talk, what stories they could tell. Masters were used at Harvard and Yale and other colleges and universities, helping to put forward new ideas for a new country. They were found at the Civil War campsites at Gettysburg, Shiloh, and Fredericksburg, helping to record the acts of bravery as well as the horrific events that took place. The masters helped pen the letters home to friends and loved ones, and record events in soldiers’ fireside diaries. The masters are partially responsible for creating a record that lives to this day.
As their name implies, the master inks would be used to fill smaller ink containers. They often survived because they could be reused, whereas smaller inks might be thrown away.
While there is a lot of information on smaller inks, master inks are somewhat overlooked.
The master inks were generally made of glass, pottery or ceramic. They come in several varieties including ’pourer’ inks, which were used to top off inkwells and the bulk type, used for filling the inkwells.
Master inks are highly collectible. Their larger size allows them to be displayed more prominently than the smaller inks. The wide variety of colors and shapes offer a wide selection to the collector. Aside from their size, shape, and color, the master inks can be categorized by their makers, countries of origin, and age.
Besides the master ink bottles, blob top bottles, and ink bottles, there are 1800s Mason jars.
This is a wonderful variety of some very collectible pieces. Stop in soon and browse our 9,000 sq ft of collectibles. And don’t forget our Beer MuZeum – another 2,200 sq ft of brewmania and Nascar collectibles.
Of course, we’re here and we’ll be watchin’ for ya!
What is it about those tiny bottles we find in antique stores? So many sizes, shapes, colors, they’re just fascinating.
We have a wonderful collection of tiny bottles.
This selection has a few larger blue bottles. Can’t you picture them lining a window sill. Maybe you see them with a few wildflowers or a single white stem: a petunia, or a single white rose, or maybe just a beautiful white daisy.
No matter how you use them, tiny bottles make for a wonderful ‘collection’ and add a bit of personality to your home or office. Stop by soon, we’ll be watchin’ for ya!
Here at Bahoukas, we have a wide variety of bottles for the collector in your life. Old medicine and ink bottles, soda bottles, and, of course, a full 2nd story of beer bottles and cans. We can help you discover the perfect gift for Dad! Come explore. We’ll be watchin’ for ya!
The above photo is a small history of bottles all in one photo and available at Bahoukas Antique Mall. They include a beautiful torpedo soda bottle with a blob top from Greene King & Sons Limited of Bury, St. Edmonds. There are two ink bottles: igloo shaped and cone shaped, a Kiehl & Kiefer blog top soda bottle, a Wagner Ginger Ale bottle, a clay bottle for Weiss Beer Brewery (Baltimore), and a Chas. Zech glass soda bottle.
This link to history of bottles, from the Society for Historical Archaeology Inc. website, gives an outstanding amount of information regarding the bottles we’ve displayed. It shares the details on the many styles of ink bottles that were made.
The ink bottle to the left is called an ‘igloo style’ by J & IEM. Here’s an interesting quote about the use of ink before the late 1800s from the Society for Historical Archaeology Inc. website.
In Europe, glass inkwells dating from the early 18th century have been noted and advertisements for ink bottles date at least as early as the 1770s (Van den Bossche 2001; Faulkner 2009). Historically, it was not until the late 18th to early 19th century that ink was commonly available commercially in liquid form. Up until that time the most common commercial forms were as wafers, cakes, sticks, or as a powder from which the purchaser/user would add water to make ink. Druggists as well as printers, stationary and bookshop keepers often prepared, bottled, and sold ink during the 19th century and before in the New World (McKearin & Wilson 1978).
This Chas. Zech vintage soda bottle from Lancaster, PA is a crown top soda bottle.
The left photo shows a blob top bottle. The one below shows the crown top. This page from Aqua Explorersgives a wonderful history of bottle tops throughout history.
Another very interesting early glass bottle is the Torpedo Bottle, shown below. Here’s a link to a bit more information regarding the torpedo style vintage bottle – “The idea was that the soda kept in contact with the cork and stopped the cork from shrinking.”
This vintage bottle of Kiehl & Kiefer is a blob top soda bottle. What’s really beautiful is the “K” on the back side of the bottle,
Appropriately we happen to have a Christian Wagner Ginger Ale vintage bottle with crown top, (Oh, you didn’t know that George ‘Bahoukas’ is really George Wagner!)
The final vintage piece is a clay bottle by Sandkuhler’s for Weiss Beer Brewery of Baltimore.
Stop in to Bahoukas in Havre de Grace and discover great buys and learn a little history in the most leisurely way!