Superior Old Rye Whiskey, Ephrata PA

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Superior Old Rye Whiskey, Ephrata PA

Unread postby citydweller » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:07 pm

This thing is just cool... now that it's clean. It was almost black with soot and had thick, gooey contents all over the inside when I pulled it out of a basement.

It's big - 11 inches tall, 3-1/2 inches across at the base. Three-part mold with applied tapered top, six pin-sized vent marks on the shoulder, NO embossed marks anywhere. I would date it to around 1880 at first, except that it fluoresces strong, bright yellow-green under UV light. This, along with lack of embossed maker's mark or patent, could suggest either an earlier date (1840-1870), or a small local glass house using it's own molds and recycled civil war-era glass. The mold seams are also fairly thick and on the rough side, and quickly blend away to nothing less than an inch up the neck, which could suggest a much earlier date copying Rickett's patent.

Private label on the neck reads "Dawson Spangler Ephrata Pa". There is also printing on the outside edges of the neck label, but it's impossible to read anything more than a letter or two, even with macro photos.

That's what I know. More knowledgable contributions would be appreciated!

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citydweller
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Re: Superior Old Rye Whiskey, Ephrata PA

Unread postby Bourbon Joe » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:51 pm

I live just a few miles from Ephrata PA. That bottle is very unique.
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Re: Superior Old Rye Whiskey, Ephrata PA

Unread postby ethangsmith » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:00 am

Joe, I also live a few miles from Ephrata. Whereabouts are you?
If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.
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Re: Superior Old Rye Whiskey, Ephrata PA

Unread postby ethangsmith » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:01 am

Oh, and that is a REALLY cool bottle!
If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.
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Re: Superior Old Rye Whiskey, Ephrata PA

Unread postby Bourbon Joe » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:42 am

ethangsmith wrote:Joe, I also live a few miles from Ephrata. Whereabouts are you?

Sinking Spring. Stop in some time.
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Re: Superior Old Rye Whiskey, Ephrata PA

Unread postby ethangsmith » Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:17 pm

I should! If ever you see anything at the Lancaster or York premium stores you want me to pick up, just let me know and I'll see to it that you get it! I want to do another Michter's get-together again. If it materializes, I'll be sure to send you a message!
If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.
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Re: Superior Old Rye Whiskey, Ephrata PA

Unread postby citydweller » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:37 pm

Anyone have an educated idea for a date for this bottle? The fluorescence under UV light is throwing me a curve-ball. I cleaned it very thoroughly and it still fluoresces very bright green-yellow under a blacklight, indicating soda ash in place of lead in the glass recipe, which is a distinctly Civil War era indicator in common American glass products. The three-mold construction would also speak to this timeframe, but the lack of patent or maker marks embossed on the bottle's body also goes against the grain of documented bottle history.
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Re: Superior Old Rye Whiskey, Ephrata PA

Unread postby ethangsmith » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:11 pm

Can't really find anything doing a quick search. There were literally hundreds of small distillers in and around this area from the 1800's until prohibition. I think your guess of the Civil War era is probably very close to accurate though.
If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.
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Re: Superior Old Rye Whiskey, Ephrata PA

Unread postby citydweller » Thu May 29, 2014 2:09 pm

Well three years and dozens of boxes later, we learn something more about this bottle. Discovered a check book from the house the bottle came from, with all the cancelled checks glued back into it.

And, low and behold, here's a check to liquor purveyor Dawson Spangler, dated January 5, 1895, for five bucks. Now if that isn't one cool "go-with" I don't know what is.

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Re: Superior Old Rye Whiskey, Ephrata PA

Unread postby ethangsmith » Thu May 29, 2014 6:46 pm

Awesome find! It's amazing what is out there floating around just waiting to be found.
If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.
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