Gibson Rye Whiskey barrel

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Gibson Rye Whiskey barrel

Unread postby George F Plummer » Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:05 pm

I've rescued an old Gibson Rye Whiskey barrel with one end missing. The other end (head I presume) has Gibson Distillery Co. logo. Have digital photos showing logo, external condition after cleaning and internal evidence of charring. Seeking "EllenJ" or others who may be interested in the photos or who may provide insight regarding the "Gibson Distillery Co. Successors. John Gibson's Son and Co. Gibson's Pure Rye Whiskey . Gibsonton Mills, P.A."
Every thing I did in my life that was worth while, I caught hell for. [Earl Warren]
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Unread postby bourbonv » Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:03 am

George,
I wish you would post some photographs here. I would love to see the old barrel and I am sure other would enjoy it as well.

I have moved my Gibson Timeline forward for you read. It is in the Non-Bourbon Whiskey Forum as Gibson Canadian Whiskey Timeline.
Mike Veach
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Unread postby bunghole » Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:46 pm

George,

:idea: When you are making a new post look at the bottom of the screen for "Add An Attachment" . Click to add photos. Please be aware that you must downsize your image's file size to something like 150KB or less. If the file size is too large it will be rejected. Most digital imaging software except the most lame has the ability to accomplish this task.

Now please try again!
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Unread postby George F Plummer » Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:42 pm

The barrel head (a test)

Image
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Unread postby Mark » Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:51 am

First type in your message body and then to add the picture:

1)You have to click on the Add Attachment button when making a reply or post. That brings up a new set of buttons below. 2) Then click on Browse and browse thru your hard drive till you see the photo file and click on it. That puts the files location into the filename line to the left of where you clicked browse. 3) Once thats in click Add Attachment and then 4) once it adds the attachment (which may take a bit as it has to send the pic to our server and depending on size and your connection it may take a bit) click submit
Attachments
HowToAttach.JPG
HowToAttach.JPG (107.87 KiB) Viewed 2752 times
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Unread postby George F Plummer » Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:21 am

As simple as that! I'll give it a try.

Great. It worked. I'll send three more later.

Thanks Mark.


George
Attachments
Hoopslipped.JPG
I think the hoops may have thinned by rusting and the staves wore down, thus causing the slippage toward the center. Note also the small bung hole near the base (which is really the barrel head). That hole probably is not original.
Hoopslipped.JPG (59.34 KiB) Viewed 2729 times
After Cleaning.jpg
I don't know how far I should go with restoration. Any advice??
After Cleaning.jpg (27.57 KiB) Viewed 2726 times
Charring.JPG
Charring most evident above and near this opened end. The barrel may have been used as a rain barrel, thus the graying of the charred portion.
Charring.JPG (56.79 KiB) Viewed 2727 times
Gibson Distilling Co..jpg
I have shellacked the head to preserve what is left. Can you see also the traces of a rose pigment on some of the stave ends and the charred lip of the ends as well.
Gibson Distilling Co..jpg (53.88 KiB) Viewed 2734 times
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Unread postby Mark » Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:51 am

Not a problem George, thanks for sharing the pics!
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Unread postby bourbonv » Tue Oct 03, 2006 12:29 pm

Great pictures. Is there a serial number on the head? It is hard to tell from the photograph exactly what is on the head. I agree the smaller hole is something added later, maybe for some type of spiget for water use if it was a rain barrel. It does appear to be an 8 hoop barrel making it quite old, at least 50 years old.
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Unread postby George F Plummer » Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:04 pm

Thanks Mike.

There is no serial number on the head: there is a set of numbers stamped at the equator of the barrel, just to the left of the bunghole, as follows:

8 4
6 3 4
3 4 8 7
1 1 0
3 8 3 5



The writing on the head is:

"Gibson Distilling Co
Successors
John Gibson's Son & Co.
Gibson's
Pure
RYE WHISKEY
Cooper Distilled
Gibsonton Mills, PA"

The barrel is 22" inside at its widest, 20" across the head, and stands 33" high. When I carried her (I think of her as I do a boat) out of the cellar, the four center hoops fell off. The markings on her showed that she was a six hoop barrel, not eight. It also seems she was laquered black overall and quite possibly with a red head (except for the trade mark) and foot.

The picture showing the color of the inside in pretty close to true. Also, on a good dry day I swear I can smell the rye she once held.

As far as age is concerned, I have guessed as much as 100 years based upon the trade mark, Mark's time line and the article posted by "EllenJ."

Are there any pictures of Gibson barrels that you have seen?

George
Every thing I did in my life that was worth while, I caught hell for. [Earl Warren]
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Unread postby cowdery » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:53 am

Actually, this is a pretty rare thing, preserved more or less in its original form because someone pressed it into service as a rain barrel and didn't do anything to it except drill that hole.
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Unread postby bourbonv » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:42 am

This does appear to be a very early barrel, probably pre-prohibition. Does it look slightly smaller than a modern barrel? Most pre-prohibition barrels were 48 gallon instead of the modern 52 gallon. They were not quite as big in the middle.

I would recomend doing as little as possible to the barrel - stablize it and maybe screw the hoops into the staves because as the barrel dries out it will shink and fall apart. The fact that it served as a water barrel may be why it has survived.
Mike Veach
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Unread postby George F Plummer » Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:39 pm

Yes Mike. Based on the rough measures, the volume is around 6 cu. ft. or, in capacity, 45 gallons. And the bilge is much less pronounced than those of the wine barrels that accompanied her. The quarter hoops and bilge hoops had once been secured by heavy duty iron carpet tack-like nails which I recovered from the staves and reset to resecure the hoops as you have suggested. The whole thing was pretty loosey-goosey until I filled it with water and let it stand for awhile. It seems to have tightened up a bit since then. You'll notice that the head hoop at the missing end has been driven down pretty far on the barrel. I suspect that who ever did that was trying to tighten up an all-ready-dried-out-shrink of a barrel. This could also explain the slippage of the quarter and bilge hoops toward the narrowed bilge. I'll have to keep that in mind if I try to replace the missing head.

Later,

George
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