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trench food and their containers


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#26 Peter Doyle

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:36 AM

Interesting thread. Basically, amongst the commonest bottles, found during archaeological investigations, are often:

HP Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce
OK Sauce
Bovril
Bairds Pickle
Camp Coffee
Shiphams Paste
Roses Lime Cordial

Also found:
Schweppes plus
Various 'mineral water' type bottles, usually of the 'Modified Hamilton' type, which is kind of Perrier shaped, as illustrated. Hamilton bottles are club shaped, designed to lie down so that their corks remain moist. These were awkward, of course, so the flat bottom was introduced (thereby negating the point of the original). I have not see marble stoppered (Codd's bottles) or bullet stoppered mineral waters during archaeological investigations, but would not be surprised. (Some are illustrated in my 'Tommy's war' book)

Such items were sent from home as discussed,. Others were purchased when on rest. Some were undoubtedly obtained from EFC (expeditionary Force Canteens). Sauces to help make the food palatable were favoured.

Hope this helps
Peter




#27 20thdivision

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:38 AM

QUOTE (centurion @ Mar 11 2009, 10:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
From the Britvic web site

"Idris is a popular ginger beer which has had Royal Warrants awarded to it by four generations of the Royal Family.

The Idris company was originally founded in 1873 by Thomas Howell Williams who was so struck by the beauty of the Idris Mountains in Wales, near where he lived, that he changed his name to Thomas Idris."

Still made and marketed by Britvic but in very garish cans. Another Malstrom pattern bottle - these seem to have been popular for ginger beer which in its early 20th century version was very gassy indeed - the shape resisted bursting and the neck allowed the stopper to be wired in.

Here's anopther one to add to the list I have now
managed to sort out how to attch a photo to a posting ( forgive my ignorance all you "p.c literates"---)this one is from the original posting "found very close to a British Trench---A Sausage bottle"
No name or i.d on base or side. approx 7" high diameter 4" and the NECK opening 3". Bloomin big sausages!!!-----any ideas of origin????? Cheers Dave. p.s. hope you get the correct photo!!!

#28 seadog

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:42 PM

QUOTE (20thdivision @ Mar 11 2009, 10:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
managed to sort out how to attch a photo to a posting ( forgive my ignorance all you "p.c literates"---)this one is from the original posting "found very close to a British Trench---A Sausage bottle"



Still no photos - have a try posting in the "A PLACE TO PLAY" area of the Forum to check whether a photo is displayed.

Remember, Max size 100kb and Max width 600 pixels

Good Luck

Norman

#29 centurion

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 02:06 PM

QUOTE (Peter Doyle @ Mar 11 2009, 10:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Various 'mineral water' type bottles, usually of the 'Modified Hamilton' type, which is kind of Perrier shaped, as illustrated. Hamilton bottles are club shaped, designed to lie down so that their corks remain moist. These were awkward, of course, so the flat bottom was introduced (thereby negating the point of the original).


Hamilton bottles are in fact a misnomer and this designation springs from errors made by bottle collectors in the 1960s. The error was due to misinterpreting the words patent and Hamilton that appeared on the side of some early mineral water bottles. Hamilton did not patent the torpedo bottle shape and indeed may not have been the inventor; the patent was in fact for the mineral water itself. Torpedo shaped bottles appear at the same time as carbonated water (invented by Joseph Priestly) at the end of the 18th century. The glass bottles made at the time were often not strong enough to contain the pressure of the gas and could explode (the bottom blew off). Glass capable of holding fizzy liquids was only made in Britain at the time and was very expensive; as a result it was reserved for expensive liquids such as Champaign. Drinks such as ginger beer were normally contained in stoneware bottles. The torpedo shape allowed cheaper glass to maintain the necessary strength to hold carbonated drinks. The fact that it made it necessary to lay the bottle on its side and so keep the cork moist was an added benefit but not the original raison d'etre. (After all conventional wine bottles are stored on their side to keep the corks moist). Torpedo bottles were also made in stoneware at the beginning of the 19th century. By 1914 glass making had improved considerably and the torpedo bottle was unnecessary being largely replaced by Malstrom's 1901 patent design and even 'normal' shaped bottles.

#30 seadog

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 02:37 PM

Centurion, your mention of ginger beer in stoneware bottles prompted me to go completely “off topic” and post this photo of such a bottle, saved with some other items when the complete contents of the business were being thrown into a rubbish skip in the 1960`s. This business was opposite my parent’s house and this bottle is prized in my collection and I believe quite rare here in Bristol. As I have said apologies for going off at a tangent but thanks for the info.

Norman

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#31 20thdivision

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:19 PM

QUOTE (seadog @ Mar 11 2009, 02:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Centurion, your mention of ginger beer in stoneware bottles prompted me to go completely "off topic" and post this photo of such a bottle, saved with some other items when the complete contents of the business were being thrown into a rubbish skip in the 1960`s. This business was opposite my parent's house and this bottle is prized in my collection and I believe quite rare here in Bristol. As I have said apologies for going off at a tangent but thanks for the info.

Norman

THANKS Seadog!!----will do!!!!!!!!
Dave.

#32 manchester terrier

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 12:43 AM

facinating stuff. here's a link to some info on Rawlings.

now the burning question for me is where did Centurion gain his encyclopedic knowledge of early bottles. a miss spent youth digging victorian dumps or a career in the glass industry ?

cheers

baz

#33 centurion

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 11:03 AM

QUOTE (manchester terrier @ Mar 14 2009, 12:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
facinating stuff. here's a link to some info on Rawlings.

now the burning question for me is where did Centurion gain his encyclopedic knowledge of early bottles. a miss spent youth digging victorian dumps or a career in the glass industry ?

cheers

baz


A long long time ago I worked for an outfit called Schweppes

#34 uncle bill

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 11:53 AM

HP Sauce was imported into France via the Expeditionary Force Canteen. I have an original crate for the brown stuff stamped up to the EFC at Le Havre. I suppose that this was also distributed via the YMCA canteens and various comfort funds. I would imagine that most of these bottles found their way into France in this way rather than having been sent by relatives.

#35 centurion

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 04:39 PM

QUOTE (seadog @ Mar 11 2009, 02:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Centurion, your mention of ginger beer in stoneware bottles prompted me to go completely "off topic" and post this photo of such a bottle, saved with some other items when the complete contents of the business were being thrown into a rubbish skip in the 1960`s. This business was opposite my parent's house and this bottle is prized in my collection and I believe quite rare here in Bristol. As I have said apologies for going off at a tangent but thanks for the info.

Norman



Stoneware bottles not unlike the one shown would have been used in WW1. However their use was in a decline, one that became quite steep after 1920. This was because of hygene issues - its quite difficult to check if the inside of an opaque bottle is clean and there were some high profile court cases over poisoning due to noxious things in ginger beer bottles, including I think a dead and deaying mouse!

#36 Wardog

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 12:29 AM

Horlick's tablets were another item in use. Cheers, Paul.

#37 20thdivision

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 05:04 PM

QUOTE (centurion @ Mar 14 2009, 11:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A long long time ago I worked for an outfit called Schweppes

Hi Centurian-Bit off subject I know---interested to know you worked for schwepps.!! Did they own "R Whites" at any point? My Family ran thriving ginger-beer manufacturing business in London from 1854 til c 1901---Family rumour says they sold it tio "R Whites" aboput that time--dio you know where I can find out if this is true? Archives etc?). "cheers" Dave B.

#38 centurion

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 05:15 PM

QUOTE (20thdivision @ Mar 15 2009, 05:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Centurian-Bit off subject I know---interested to know you worked for schwepps.!! Did they own "R Whites" at any point? My Family ran thriving ginger-beer manufacturing business in London from 1854 til c 1901---Family rumour says they sold it tio "R Whites" aboput that time--dio you know where I can find out if this is true? Archives etc?). "cheers" Dave B.



Not during my time which was just before the merger with Cadbury

#39 maldon

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 06:41 PM

QUOTE (20thdivision @ Mar 9 2009, 06:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was recently given a green glass bottle found near a British Trench, described as " a sausage jar". It occured to me that there must have been a multitude of different containers used for shipping food across from the UK for consumption in the trenches.The usual image is of bully beef cans--but there must have been many more different sorts! I'm surprised that glass was used to transport food in--even more surprised it remained in one piece so close to British trenches. Any experts out there on this subject? Where else was glass used? Any other examples?
The height is 7" and the diameter of the opening is 3"
I will try to get a photo of it with this posting-----it is the first time I have attempted this- so I hope it works.
Thanks Dave B.


Just as an aside, one of my Maldon men was Lieutenant Herbert edward MARKHAM (RMLI). His family owned 'Markham's Aerated Waters' and they produced lemonade, ginger beer and tonic water in stone bottles and marble bottles and "Hamiltons" 9bomb bottles. There is a report that he took pleanty of it to the front so the WS Markham bottles are out there somewhere!

SPN
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#40 Grovetown

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 09:05 PM

QUOTE (centurion @ Mar 14 2009, 04:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
there were some high profile court cases over poisoning due to noxious things in ginger beer bottles, including I think a dead and deaying mouse!

A snail.

The legendary (for lawyers, at least) Donoghue v Stevenson.

Best wishes,

GT.


#41 centurion

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 10:35 PM

QUOTE (Grovetown @ Mar 15 2009, 09:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A snail.

The legendary (for lawyers, at least) Donoghue v Stevenson.

Best wishes,

GT.


But not the only such case

#42 angelab

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 11:18 PM

QUOTE (centurion @ Mar 11 2009, 02:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
... Torpedo shaped bottles appear at the same time as carbonated water (invented by Joseph Priestly) at the end of the 18th century. ...The fact that it made it necessary to lay the bottle on its side and so keep the cork moist was an added benefit but not the original raison d'etre. ... By 1914 glass making had improved considerably and the torpedo bottle was unnecessary being largely replaced by Malstrom's 1901 patent design and even 'normal' shaped bottles.



[SIGH] I was just about to add to this thread that the curator of one of the countless small museums I have visited on the Somme explained to me once that the "torpedo" bottles were specially for the trenches, as you could keep them upright once opened by sticking them in the mud, and where would you ever find a flat surface on which to stand a flat-bottomed bottle.

But then an expert like Centurion comes along with the real story.... mad.gif

Angela


#43 Grovetown

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 08:17 AM

QUOTE (centurion @ Mar 15 2009, 10:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But not the only such case

No doubt, although the only Case of Rotting Animals in Ginger Beer they teach in LLB/ Law School land...

Best wishes,

GT, LLB.