bottle in my collection holds a special fascination for me:
......... it all began in 1973 when a co-worker said he may have a couple of old bottles for me. I drove
to his home and purchased my first "St. Andrews Wine Of Life Root" bottle. At the time, I placed it upon my shelf
, as is typical for me , without much more inquiring thought, however...Months later, while digging in north Bristol, I dug several broken "Wine Of Life Root" bottles and some
smaller aqua bottles embossed, "Andrews M'f'g.Co. Bristol,Tenn."
My curiosity now piqued,I had to know more
about the bottle on my shelf and the possible relationship with these scattered shards. In my mind, questions arose about
its unusual name, strange contents, label appearence, box graphics, even the Proprietor - all intriguing me. Other
questions made themselves known, too. Such as: when was the bottle made, for how long was it made, who made it, when
did the company begin, how long did it operate, why did it cease? And last , but not least, did it have any particular
significance to or for Bristol ?
It was this curiosity that set
me upon an on and off quest for information about Andrews , and - had nothing to do with a friend's comment that I resembled
the picture of Andrews depicted upon his medicine boxes. It would be quite some time before I even saw a box, and by
then, I was well on my way into delving into the Past.
As I got more and more involved
with researching Andrews, I encountered information about other Bristol companies, ie...patent medicine manufacturers,
pharmaceutical companies, chemical companies, drug stores, whiskey dealers, brewing company agents, milk, and soda bottlers.
I began taking notes and arranging the information by dates. I also began collecting all types of Bristol bottles. After all,
I needed pictures as well as data.
For some reason, my attentions
became more focused upon the Patent Medicine and Whiskey bottles and their Proprietors. Possibly, because so little was known
or published about them. And, what little was known was often in error or badly misaligned.
Bristol's "Whiskey Era" was well
kept under wraps and infrequently alluded to, as if Bristolians were ashamed of that time in its history - not unlike the
family member who is known as a "Black Sheep" and no one is supposed to mention his name, much less talk about him. I
saw no reason for such an attitude to be so prevalent, after all - distilling whiskey was an old and honorable
profession whose methods and recipes were often passed down from generation to generation. It was the way many people made
their living, providing food and shelter for their families, paying their bills, and additionally providing tangible goods
purchased by others.
As with all things, the whiskeys
and patent medicines had their negative aspects such as over-indulgers and abusers, but this is no reason to shun the
past or to misalign those who legally sold the products, nor to discard the postive influences and contributions they may
Kind of got off topic there...Anyway, it wasn't long before I
had enough information for a book, which I self-published 200 copies. It sold reasonably well. I sold more copies in
Knoxville than in Bristol - proving , ( to me anyway), that many Bristolians were yet shunning and disapproving
of their own colorful history.
Maybe time will change that perception...I'll continue
to do my part.
Basically, I'm an avid
bottle collector who enjoys researching the backgrounds of my bottles as much as the bottles themselves. Over the years, I
have shared or contributed the results of my research to The Hobby in several ways, - either through newsletter articles,
or magazine articles, about The Hobby, or via an infrequent newspaper interview. I did self-publish a book
about Bristol's whiskey and medicinal bottles in 1995 and have toyed with the idea of reprinting it with updated info
and pictures. That is yet to be seen though.
From 1991 to about mid-1997, I was a
"Reporter" for Bottles & Extras magazine, ( even had a "Press Pass."...LOL), being published
by Scott Grandstaff and Kitty Roach in Happy Camp, CA. They were great people to work with and great for The Hobby.
They struggled with the magazine for some time, before turning it over to the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors organization
- www.fohbc.com. Since then I have written but a few articles for this version of the
magazine, mainly due to time constraints and running out of material to write about.
In 1998 & 1999, I additionally
wrote a couple of articles for James Hagenbuch's magazine for The Hobby : Antique Bottle & Glass Collector,
www.glswrk-auction.com , published in East Greenville, PA. Jim's a great fellow to know.
I served as "The Digger"
newsletter Editor for the East Tenn. Antique Bottle & Collectibles Society, based in Knoxville, for two years. Later,
I served as President, Show Chairman, and "The Groundhog Gazette" newsletter Editor for the State of Franklin
Antique Bottle & Collectibles Association. I quit both groups, as I just didn't have the time , or
inclination, anymore to participate on a regular basis.
Below are listed my articles and which
issue/when written for your perusal...
Articles for Bottles & Extras magazine:
#11 Humorous article
#19 The Vase
#22 Winchester,VA Bottle Show
#28 Harrisonburg,VA Bottle Show
#32 Holston Bottling Co.of Bristol
#37 Columbia, S.C. Bottle Show
#40 Harrisonburg,VA. Bottle Show
#42 Wood Drug Co. of Bristol
#45 Gerstle Medicine Co.of Bluff City
#48 Collecting Label Only Bottles
#51 Louisville, KY, Bottle Show
#53 Mansfield, Ohio Bottle Show
#55 Knoxville, Tn. Bottle Show
#57 The Other Dickeys of Bristol
Vol.6 #3 Dr.Enuf.Tri-City Bev.Co.
#5 Columbia,S.C. Bottle Show
#7 Louisville, KY. Bottle Show
#11 Asheville, N.C. Bottle Show
Vol.7#1 Richmond,VA. Bottle Show
#10 Knoxville Dig - Mike Barbera
Vol.8#1 Nashville,Tn Bottle Show
#6 S.E. Massengill Co. of Bristol
For Antique Bottle & Glass Collector magazine:
1999- March...St. Andrews Sarsaparilla of Bristol
July...Unicoi County Digging Story
2000... Farrar's Sarsaparilla of Bristol
Deep Springs Tn. Whiskey Poster
(this list is incomplete...will update as I locate the other issues.)
#15 Dr.Pepper/ Pepper Bros. of Bristol
#20 Hillsville VA Flea Market
#27 Johnson City, Tn. Dig Story
#29 Dr.Pepper, Pt.2
#36 Dixie Bottling Works of Bristol
#38 Isaac A. Nickels of Bristol
#41 Knoxville, TN. Bottle Show
#44 Asheville, N.C. Bottle Show
#46 Andrews Mfg.Co. of Bristol
#50 Carrie Nation in Bristol
Columbia, S.C. Bottle Show
#52 Mystic Wine of Life Co.of Bristol
Harrisonburg,VA. Bottle Show
#54 Union, S.C. Bottle Show
#56 Asheville, N.C. Bottle Show
#58 Mountain Dew/Tri-City Bev.Co.
Richmond, VA. Bottle Show
SuperDigger in Greeneville
#4 Isaac Nickels Jug
#6 Chelfs Cistern Dig /Johnson City
#8 Harrisonburg, VA. Bottle Show
#12 Dr.Enuf Update/Tri-City Bev.Co
#3 Whiskey Jugs of Bristol
#11 Asheville,N.C. Bottle Show
#4 Bryant's Grocery of Bristol
Vol.9#4 E.Gouge & Co. of Bristol
NEXT PAGE >>>>
Sources - Bibliography
i) Library of King College, Bristol,Tenn.
- Newspaper Microfilms
ii) Bristol,TN-VA Public Library - Newspaper
Microfilms & City Directories
iii) 1904 Bristol Herald Industrial
iv) Bristol-Goodson Industry &
Resources in 1885 -W.F.Henry/Reporter
v) Witness To An Epoch -
vi) Double Destiny
- Robert Loving
vii) Historic Sites of Sullivan County
- Muriel Spoden
viii) Bristol Tennessee-Virginia : A History
- V.N. "Bud" Phillips
ix) Spirits & Medicinal Bottles
of Bristol, Tenn.-Va. - Charlie Barnette
x) The Passing Years
- Bristol Historical Association
xi) City of Bristol @ 1915
xii) A Pictorial History -
Bristol Historical Association
xiii) Whiskey, An American Pictorial History
- Oscar Getz
xiv) Prohibition, 13 Years That Changed
America - Edward Behr
xv) The Shadow Of The Bottle -
Review & Herald Publishing Co.
xvi) Historic Sullivan - Oliver Taylor
xvii) One Year At A Time - Bristol - 1907
- Lonnie & Kim Blevins
xviii) Honoring Our Heritage: Faces & Places
From The Past -
& Kim Blevins and Roy & Carolyn Williams
xvix) Between the States: Bristol Tennessee -
Virginia During the Civil War - V.N. "Bud" Phillips
xx) Pioneers in Paradise - Bristol,
Tenn-Va. - V.N. "Bud" Phillips
xxi) A Good Place to Live - Bristol,
Tenn-Va. - V.N. "Bud" Phillips
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