Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Many Stars of The Pacific Glass Works

For quite some time now I have been collecting the EARLY unembossed cylinder of the San Francisco glass houses made in the 1860s. These earlier 5ths and 6ths differ slightly than your average 1870s or 80s examples and often have crude large tops, flat bases, and swirled glass. Below are fifteen Pacific Glass Works, then later SFPGW, stars that show up on some of the cylinders from the early 60's to the mid 80's (although there are likely more than these). Below are photos of the stars ranging from oldest first and newest last (in my opinion).



  1. Excellent pictures of some of your early, colorful, and crude Western Cylinders. We will talk and speculate some more during my visit to the bay in November about the possible sequence (likely chronological order) of the Western stars. Maybe we can dig a few PGW examlples if we can get into some early holes. Gosh those sure are tough bottles to find....It's almost more unlikely to dig a few of the early and rare cylinders (pictured above) than it is to dig some of the Top 25 Western Fifths.

    We're on the right track so far -- much more digging, research, documenting, and theory-testing to be done....

  2. Andrew,
    Of your 9 photos shown, I believe the 5th photo down would represent the oldest "western" design, that particular design is seen on the bottom of the E. Wideman[n[ & J. Chappas [z] bitters bottle. Research has shown that that product was marketed during the 1863-'64 time frame when both men were in co-partnership together for a short time.

    Also your 1st photo I don't believe is the earliest embossed PGW cylinder, the example you recently acquired would be in my opinion the earliest. The lettering font is much smaller and cruder in appearance and is virtually identical in style to the base embossed PGW soda W. S. WRIGHT which does seen to have evidence to indicate it was made during the 1863 year of manufacture.

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  4. Very cool project you have going there Andrew. It's about time someone gets to the bottom of this star stuff ! As you are aware, some of the stars go into the 70s and 80s as well and could be SFPGW

  5. Hey AP, stars 6 through 9 I believe to be mid 70s to mid 80s and are probably SFPGW. The hard part is finding an example that has both a star AND a wild color !

  6. Ya'll just wait a bit, ya'heer. Oops... I've just returned from South Carolina after nearly two weeks and need to relearn speaking Oregonian.

    All kidding aside; just prior to our leaving, I purchased a collection that I've chased for over three decades. There were some key embossed players but frankly, the bulk of it fits in with the current blog focus. Cases and cases of early S.F. star base colored glop cylinders. Yup, an entire rainbow.

    They need a good bath as they've got nearly fifty years of cigarette smoke, dust and grime on them. Photos as time allows.

    And nope, they are not up for grabs at this time...

  7. Andrew, If you look at the old postings in the western bitters news you will see an N.B. Jacobs hock wine style bottle that I understand was his earliest bitters bottle. The Seal Bottle has the star embossed in the seal itself with the eight point star and dates from the early 1860's. Photos are posted as well.


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