and other stuff
Nice!! I sure like adding to the collection using the ol' shovel. Congrats. Lance.
Great find ! Many San Diego collectors consider the Miller's flask a "local bottle", because of its dominance and popularity to the Diego market in the 1870's. It's very possible, the label on the reverse could have had a local distrubutor's name on it, authorized by E. Martin of course.AP
I like the idea of a localized, E. Martin authorized paper label on the reverse side. What's the ratio of single roll AT to double roll AT on the Miller flasks, A.P.? Do you think there are 2-3 single roll examples for every double roll example? And I wonder if the double roll examples are later 1870's to very early 80's?
Lance, in my experience there seems to now be an even split on the large Miller's as to style of top. The light yellow olive(green) examples seem to always come with a single roll, as do the deep chocolate, and olive ambers. The light yellow ambers, and medium ambers come with the double roll fairly often. As to age, I believe the double roll tops are a bit later...but not by much. I know of no small designs with a double roll top, and I believe they are earlier than the large design. Sorry for rambling... Dale M.
In my running count of these, I have it at about 4 to 1. Also, I believe they are the same age, and it was more of a matter of the glassblower's preference of lipping tool or availability. I've seen the Wormer's and Bitterwitch's w both styles of tops as well, and dug in the same context.AP
Lance, I have always felt the double roll tops were later, but I don't have any real proof. The Miller's brand was very popular in the early mining camps of Utah. Many examples have been found over the years in camps that were most active from 1871 to 1877. Early hard rock mining in Utah peaked in 1876/77. The big mining camps of Park City and the Tintic District were going strong later, mid 1880's thru the 1920s. The agents for Millers Extra in Utah were the Boukofsky brothers. They seemed to have had some business issues in the later 1870s, and the Miller's brand was not advertised in the Salt Lake papers after 1876 or 1877. My point being, in Utah only single roll top Miller's are found. Never been a double roll top example found whole or broken to my knowledge. Miller's not sold in Utah after 1877. Could this mean that double roll top Millers made their appearance after 1877, and are later than the single rolls? Who knows. Have there been any double roll top Millers found in Nevada or are they just a So. Cal. bottle?
Many double rolls have been found in NorCal as well. Interesting how only the single rolls have been found in Utah..... I've dug them side by side in Norcal. As for SoCal Miller's; my hunch is they are part of the Cerro Gordo Miller concentration. Just about anyplace in SoCal associated with the Cerro Gordo boom has Millers. In Remi Nadeau's book "City Makers", he covers quite thoroughly, the supply routes for the Cerro Gordo. By sea; San Diego, Anaheim Landing, Ventura, and Santa Barbara were used. These places, by no strange coincidence are all quite "Millery"...It would be neat to research and see who was the E Martin agent in San Diego. Who was the "Boukofsky" of that city?? I have a few 1870s SD newspapers in my newspaper collection, but there are no ads for Millers. I think a more intense search online or at the local archives scouring many newspapers down there would eventually turn up some ads.I still dont believe there is any age difference in the singles or double rolls. Rather, it was convenience and production speed to use the single lipping tool more often. I've just seen too many of these mixed in the same pits, same goes for Wormser's and slick flasks. If I was the lipping guy at the factory, I'd probably reach fo the "single lip" tool every time as well. Just looks faster and easier. They also saved a lttle on glass too, not sure if that mattered or not though.... There are several Western meds that come both ways too. Maybe the lipping tool choice was also influenced by the origin of the glassworker....East Coast,,,vs a West Coast trained guy ?? The double roll seemed to become only option and the standard in later yrs when flasks went to the tool top process (mid 80's). We still dig a lot of single roll half pint flasks in late 70's - early 80's holes out here in Cal. These were probably the transition years and last of the singles....AP
Great information A.P. Certainly many early flasks come with both single and double roll tops so the Utah thing with single roll Miller's only is, quite possibly, just an odd quirk. The related J.F. flasks and Crown Shoulder E.Martin flasks are only found with single roll tops I think? They are from that same 1876-1879 period give or take. As our old friend used to remind us about such conjecture, "just another SWAG".
Sole Agent: I forgot too, that the Jesse's come both ways..... and I wouldnt say one was older then the other on those either. I've seen both styles of Jesse's in layers with 4pc Circles and crown shldr Martin 1/5's, 2 name Bears., Birds. Definetly late 70s, early 80s. all the time.I agree that the small design Miller's are the earlier bottle and the large design came right after. How many yrs do you think the small designs ran ?My town, Vallejo, is in ways similiar to your mining town booms. It was a hardscrabble working class town of RR guys, shipyard workers, mill workers and most were Irish. It boomed big from 1869 to early 1874 because of being the Cal Pacific RR headquarters and origin. The trains went to Marysville and to VC. Had a dulldrom from mid 74' til early 78 when CPRR bought CAL P and moved the base to Oakland, then it took off real big again in mid 78' and spiked each time there was a war (yeah, too bad the wars werent in the 1870s or 8os !). The real estate promoters from the City thought is was going to become another S.F., and a birdseye was drawn in 1871 to promote the town. Big shot photographer Carlton Watkins came in 70 or 71 and took many panoramic photos, and quite a few saloon owners from S.F. closed-up and moved to Vallejo to get in on the "boom". Even the Mormom who built San Francisco, Sam Brannan, was in on it. He donated a fire pumper wagon, because the place was growing and burning down too fast for the local fire dept to keep up with ! He used his influence to get CALP RR to freight it for free ! I happened to dig up the large brass key tag dated 1872 for the Engine and its newly former volunteer Fire Dept..... Frisbee Engine Co. The engine was apparently stored in one of the wagon sheds at the Empire Soda Works, as Frank O'Grady (owner of soda works) was on the dept. Other volunteers were most likely his fellow members of the Vallejo Rifle Co. militia, where O'Grady was the Capt. (dug the keytag at the soda works site). I know this is getting way off track, but it's funny how one piece of information leads to another and another.....That initial boom is why we get the non-crowns and small designs in Vallejo. Then in the second boom, we see the fake Cutters (E Martin 1/5s),large Millers, the 4 pc Circles and the 3 strap flasks. AP
Wow, thanks for all the info Sole Agent & AP! It's always great to get the scoop from two of the most revered Western Whiskey Wizards!And yes, more time researching early So Cal newspapers is needed and would likely provide additional digging inspiration, E. Martin products in particular. Next on my bucket list is the counterpart to the Miller's flask, the ever elusive Miller's Fifth!!!
I wonder what products are in the San Diego mining towns...hmmmmmmmmm !
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