Thursday, July 8, 2010

Old Bottles

"I Love Old Things, ones that were made to last, and have lasted. I love them because they bring me closer to the past from which I grew, and to those who made and used them. I love them because I admire ingenuity, skill, and design, and because I feel that it is right to cherish that which has been cherished by those who came before me." Harold Darling
Another great comfort to me are old things to cherish, enjoy and care for. Last year my in-laws were cleaning out their basement. They gave us a wonderful set of old bookshelves that came from an old doctors office in Burns where they live. They also gave us their collection of things acquired while scouting and hunting in the desert south of Burns over the years. These items were packed in boxes, and stored until yesterday. I got busy and started unrolling each newspaper wrapped item, and found that mostly the collection consisted of old jars and bottles.
After I finished unpacking them all on our ping pong table, the collection looked like the photo above. The largest one is a beautiful purple, and was originally a container to hold straws (at a soda fountain I guess). The smallest is a beautiful cobalt blue, with the tiniest little metal screw cap. They were made for a variety of purposes, and according to the 'labels' imprinted in the glass came from all across America and found their way to Harney County in SE Oregon.
They are all these gorgeous colors...of course the purple ones were clear glass originally...but have turned color in the sun. The whiskey flask in the back right, is the deepest royal purple and looks lovely held up to the light.

There were several old canning jars, and I just love old canning jars. One again is a beautiful shade of purple. There were about five pint sized canning jars, and I never knew they existed. They seem really small to hold much except maybe preserves. But they sure are cute! Two of the pints have their original glass lids and metal rings that hold them in place to seal. Two of them have ridges in their glass sides. Such beauty and originality, even when made for functionality.

The jars were closed in several ways, depending on their contents and use. Here are several glass lids or stoppers. The one on the left front is a deep deep green, but it didn't show up well in the photo.

Here are some metal screw caps that have survived the elements...

and even some corks that plugged up the long-necked bottles.
I am very thankful for the years that my in-laws spent digging in settlers 'garbage' pits, and all the beautiful glass that wasn't destroyed.

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