Eps 13 Brief History of Havre de Grace Bottles

Advertising, Bottles, Businesses

The featured image is of a jug compliments of J.T. Kennedy of Havre de Grace. We’re still researching this name and business.

Bottles Tell Stories

We’ve mentioned this in other videos. Vintage bottles can give us details of not only the obvious “bottled in Havre de Grace,” but also details about other industries from distilleries to dairies, pharmacies to rectifiers.

Listen to George share an overview:

Video Highlights

Harford County Bottle Book

vintage jugs, Hecht's Hotel, Havre de Grace, MD
vintage jugs, Hecht’s Hotel, Havre de Grace, MD

Pharmacy Bottles


vintage one pint liquid bottle, Cedar Grove Dairy, R. H. Mitchell, Havre de Grace, MD

We’ll be doing a separate blog on Dairies and vintage milk bottles. This one is a one-pint liquid milk bottle from Cedar Grove Dairy, R. H. Mitchell, of Havre de Grace

George also mentions Westwood Farms, and Silver Bros. Dairy.

vintage milk bottles at Bahoukas Havre de Grace History MuZeum

Soda Bottles

vintage Whistle Bottling Co photo of plant with trucks and men
Whistle Bottling Co.

Whistle Bottling Co. was one of the first. Then Kelly Beverage took it over.

vintage photo of Kelly Beverage Co with trucks and staff in front of building, Havre de Grace
Kelly Beverage Co.

Besides Whistle and Kelly Soda beverage bottles, they also bottled NuGrape, Chesterfield, Good Grape. George has a bottle called JicJac Soda. If you know anything about it or happen to have a nicer bottle you’d like to include in his Havre de Grace History MuZeum, stop in and see him. We did find this link to some history on JicJac Soda.

Coca-Cola has operated a plant here in Havre de Grace since Capt. Hiram Stanley opened a plant in July 1920. In 1923 it was sold to Col. Hebditch who created a growing and thriving enterprise. Interestingly, we’ve learned of a Coca-Cola bottle from 1915 with Havre de Grace imprinted on it. Still researching…

It’s interesting to note that you can have several bottles that appear exactly the same with the exception of the bottom plate.

Like a Stronger Drink?

Consider the variety of distilleries and ‘rectifiers’ that existed in Havre de Grace.

So, what’s a rectifier?

 In those days (in Kentucky after 1792) they were simply called “rectifiers” because they purchased whiskey from a distiller and then “rectified” it to create a taste profile that would meet their standards. Many of these rectifiers simply married two or more whiskeys together to create the profile they wanted while others would create what we now call a blended whiskey by using GNS (Grain Neutral Spirits) and flavorings such as caramel and prune juice to create their products. The rectifiers did not often disclose where they acquired their spirits or what they did to create their whiskey any more than today’s Non-Distilling Producers.

from bourbonVeach
Directory listing - Havre de Grace - for Rectifiers: Lansdowne Distillery and Maryland Springs Distillery
vintage bottle, J. H. Fahey, Havre de Grace
Vintage bottle, I. Hecht & Bro wholesale liquors dealers, Havre de Grace, MD

A Few Unique Additions

seltzer bottle from Thompson's HotAir Bottling Works, Havre de Grace
Vintage Bottle of blended whiskey by Lansdowne Reserve, Landsdowne Distillery, Havre de Grace MD
lage for American Brew bottled for West Side Distributing Co., Havre de Grace

Just a ‘tip of the iceberg’ introduction to vintage bottles and how you can learn a bit of local history from them. We’ll have more in upcoming posts referring to specific dairies, distilleries, and other industries and their historical buildings.

In the meantime, don’t forget our ‘casual historian’ is always waiting for your stories and any memorabilia you may want to share.

Remember, don’t throw the Havre de Grace ‘stuff’ out when you’re cleaning out a home, settling an estate, or just ‘downsizing,’ without checking in with George. Don’t give him cause to cry!!!

Please SHARE these posts and SUBSCRIBE to his youtube channel.

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