This important unlisted Baltimore ten pin was recently dug, and I am glad to have been the person to acquire it from the original diggers. Here are some pictures of the bottle and some information about James Stewart The ten pin is embossed J.V'D. STEWART - BALTIMORE emerald green, 8" tall, tapered blob, ten pin form, with a smooth base. This bottle, probably a product of the Baltimore Glass Works at Federal Hill, Even though it is not pontiled, it is surely of the pontil era, as are all of the Baltimore ten pins and torpedoes.


The bottle was excavated at the very bottom of a New Orleans privy, up river from the Chopitoulas, off Richards St. It was found alongside items that were both pontiled and smooth  based, including some black glass Hostetter bitters. The privy appeared to have been "dipped",  but not at this deepest level. This area is known to have quartered Union troops during the civil war. It is possible that the bottle was originally brought to that location by Union soldiers, although I believe the manufacture of the bottle dates to the 1850's. It would  not be uncommon, considering the re-use factor of glass in this era, for a soda bottle to be in good condition, and in use, 5 or 6 years after its manufacture. We know from examples of open pontiled and smooth based medicine and druggist bottles, embossed with his name,  that J.V'D. STEWART was a Baltimore druggist who operated through the transitional period from the pontil to the snap case era. He probably sold soda water at his drug store, which was certainly not unheard of during this period, though it is more unusual to find druggists bottling soda water, than "bottlers" like C.A.COLE whose sole enterprise was the bottling of porter, root beer and other carbonated beverages. The fact that the bottle found it's way to New Orleans may be a factor in its having survived intact. Baltimore had a very sound bottle return program in the 1850's and 60's, and most sodas of this type were re-used until broken. The majority of those unearthed are damaged. But in this case, the bottles "possessor" may have deemed the prospect of returning it a bit inconvenient. In any event, it won't be the first case of a soda traveling far from home and ending up in a privy in fine condition.


The J.V'D. Stewart Ten Pin


Open Pontiled J.V'D. Stewart Medicine


Thanks to Norman Bleuler ,Dave Gleaton, and Wil Martindale