Posts Tagged ‘bottle’

Tarmaccing a drive (2)

January 10, 2012

We looked, yesterday, at the drain cover from our curator’s drive, which was recently resurfaced. Today we look at an unexpected find from under the old tarmac. It is a milk bottle.

This one third of a pint milk bottle must have been under the tarmac for 60 years. Down there it must have been safe from all the movement on the surface and it survived intact. Perhaps more surprisingly the bottle survived the ripping up of the old surface and remains intact. The local firm doing the work told Roger that finding bottles in this way is not unusual. Any found in our area have been promised to the museum.

Here is the bottle.

Milk bottle found under the curator's drive at Market Lavington

We can see, in this photo, the thick, chunky nature of the glass used back in the early 1950s. This, of course, was not an era of recycling. No, it was much better, for things were reused. The bottle would have been returned to the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) dairy, and reused. It therefore paid to make bottles robust.

The only lettering on the bottle is C.W.S. – on opposite sides of the bottle.

CWS - the Cooperative Wholesale Society

The third of a pint bottle was the standard size for school milk. There must have been millions of these bottles in circulation when every child at school was given this drink, each day. How one of them came to be preserved under the curator’s drive, we do not know, but it now finds a home on the kitchen table in the museum.

A sack bottle

April 25, 2011

Amongst what we call ‘The Treasures of Market Lavington’ is this rather odd looking bottle.

An 18th century sack bottle found during road works at Northbrook, market Lavington in the 1930s

This was an object, considered so worthless that was thrown away. Presumably the damage around the neck of the bottle made it unfit for purpose.  It is classed as a sack bottle. Sack was a name given to some wines. It is believed that sack is a corruption of sec – a dry wine.

This bottle dates from the early 18th century and came to light when road works were carried out at Northbrook in the 1930s.

Pairs of similar bottles have been found built into house walls. People believed this would ward off ill luck.

A Mystery item?

December 13, 2010


A mystery item at Market Lavington Museum? Not really! Read on to discover what it is.

Actually, this item is not really a mystery for we know just what its purpose was.

This piece of wood is about 4 cm diameter and a similar height. Maybe seeing the maker’s name might offer a clue.

This little item was made by a big company - Bratby and Hinchliffe.

It was made by Bratby & Hinchliffe of Manchester, Glasgow and London.

The device was clearly useful for we have another at Market Lavington Museum, almost identical but made locally.

A search on the web gives us the information that Bratby and Hinchliffe was founded in 1864. In 1961 they employed 300 people. They were making soft drink and mineral water bottling equipment.

This item performs the opposite of bottling mineral water. Its job was to open bottles to get the fizzy drink out. It worked with codd bottles, those old bottles that had an internally trapped marble acting as a stopper – held in place by the pressure of the drink. A user simply put the device on the bottle to form a kind of cap. When it was pushed down, the central pole in the cap pushed the marble in and then the drink could be poured out.

Here we see the opener on a codd bottle on the kitchen table at Market Lavington Museum.

Codd bottle opener in use at Market Lavington Museum

Like every item in the museum, this bottle opener has a local connection. This one was used by a family that lived on White Street, Market Lavington.

A Harvest Bottle

October 13, 2010

In the early years of the 21st century huge combine harvesters make quick work of the corn harvest, managed by one person sitting in an air conditioned cab. In times past things were very different, as teams of men worked all day, swinging the scythe to cut the corn down.

Then, as now, it was dusty work but then there was no escape in that wonderfully comfortable combine cab. And also then it was hard physical work so no wonder the men were thirsty. Each carried out to the harvest site, a bottle of drink – quite probably cider to help keep them refreshed at the fairly frequent short breaks. But their bottles needed topping up from time to time and the farmer would have provided liquid refreshment from a large eartehware bottle. We have such a bottle at Market Lavington Museum.

A harvest bottle at Market Lavington Museum

The thick earthenware structure helped to keep the vital liquid inside reasonably cool as the men worked away.

We do not have a date for this bottle but guess at nineteenth century.

The drink really must have provided relief to the labourers out in the open fields of the parish under the hot harvest sun.

You can find this bottle in the kitchen room at the museum.

An Ink Bottle

October 4, 2010

These days people hardly use pens at all and if they do, it is unlikely to be a liquid ink based pen. But plenty of  older folks will remember ink wells and dip in pens from their school days. Many classes had ink monitors, given the task of filling the ink wells which may have come from a larg bottle containing Stevens Ink. As scholars got older, they progressed to fountain pens with levers on the side to squash air out of the pen’s ink tank so that new ink could be sucked in from an ink bottle. This might well have been a bottle of Quink Ink.

Today we look at a much older bottle which was dug up in the garden of 14, High Street, Easterton. This bottle was given to the museum earlier this year. As can be seen in the photo, it is not in perfect condition.

An ink bottle found at 14, High Street, Easterton and now at Market Lavington Museum

This bottle is thought to date from the early years of the twentieth century. Its clever feature is its shape – the two grooves allow pens to rest on the bottle.

Market Lavington Museum are always pleased to receive donations like this bottle as long as they have a parish connection. They help to tell the story of life in the area and many visitors enjoy seeing items which they once used themselves. If you have items to donate then please contact the curator.