Antique Bottles

Posted: 1st February 2012 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography, The Antiques Toad Show
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All my life I’ve been fascinated with bottles and containers.  No, not containers like we find at the Toys ‘R Us when we buy the latest Buzz Lightyear toy for our grandchildren (did I just date myself?), but rather containers or bottles that have some form of character or interest to them.  Today’s post is a continuation of our running photoblog series “The Antiques Toad Show” which showcases items we were fortunate enough to have a chance to photograph at the Metchosin Pioneer Museum late last year.  Our best friends dad, heretofore referred as “The Curator”, allowed us complete and unfettered access to the entire facility one lovely Sunday afternoon after the museum had closed.  Needless to say, we came away with more pictures than we could have imagined…

Antique Bottle - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Bottle - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

This is a lovely bottle, apparently one which held a Canadian red wine at some point in its life.  The details in the glass are absolutely wonderful, and the color is warm and slightly reminiscent of items from an older time.  I also really loved the remnants of the label here.  A quick search online for the company “Rubyvin” turned up nothing, so I am left with the belief that this winery is now long gone.  This just adds so much further interest to the picture; you would be hard pressed to find another one like this anywhere I imagine!

Antique Bottle - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Bottle - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

This appears to be from a Toronto, Canada based distillery.  Based on the details in the label, the company was established in 1832 and this particular bottle was capped in 1887.  Could you possibly imagine how smooth this would be if the bottle was still sealed and filled today?  The label for this beauty is still partially intact, adding character to the bottle, as does the natural wear and coating of dust that lives on it.  For some reason this picture makes me instantly think of pirates on the high seas uncorking a bottle of something strong and delicious.  I’m not sure why, to be honest.

Don’t get me wrong; I have no intention of hacking off a leg or acquiring a parrot anytime soon here…

Antique Bottle - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Bottle - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

This beverage was brewed right here in the city we live in; Victoria, BC, Canada!!  It comes complete with one of those cork type stoppers from long ago, and this is a prime reason why I just love this image.  I am not sure if Ginger Beer is the same thing, or precursor to, our modern Ginger Ale that we see everywhere.  Perhaps one of our readers can share some details on this?

Antique Bottle - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Bottle - Metchosin Pioneer Museum, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Our final image in today’s post is of another Ginger Beer bottle, this time from a different bottling company.  But once again, it appears to come from the city we live in!  I had no idea that Victoria at some point in its history was an industry leader in the manufacturing of Ginger Beer.  Or that it was even a presence in this market.

I really do think this is one of the things I love so much about photography in general…  it forces you to look closely at things you may have otherwise passed by without a second thought, and through this process I have learned so much about the area we live in and our rich, albeit short, history.

And on that note, my good friends, it’s been an awfully long day here at The Hollow.  I think this Toad could use a glass of Swamp Juice in one form or another.  So with those words, I take my leave and tip my hat to you!

Thanks so much for your visit today, we really do appreciate it.  As always, we encourage everyone to leave us any comments you may have, as we truly love to hear from all our visitors.



  1. nice to see some old bottles surviving. Reminds me of finding a cache of teardrop shaped glass bottles as a kid. They were designed to be stopperd with marbles.

    Oh and ginger beer and ale are different the beer can be alcoholic.

    • Thanks so much for your kind visit and comments here, Chris. We really appreciate it more than we can properly express. I love old things like this, sure sounds like you share the sentiments, my friend. Thank you again.

  2. What a terrific post Toad. I too love vintage bottles. These are great examples.

  3. Very interesting bottle collection! I agree with you about looking at things. Sometimes people take things for granted and just overlook them. There is beauty in everything around us if we open our eyes to it. Another fine post Toad!

  4. avatar Fred Norris says:

    Very well presented Toad,your images really bring out the age of these old classics!Ginger beer originated in my part of the world,but between you and me old Boy I would prefer the taste of that smooth old whiskey!

  5. avatar Adam Allegro says:

    These look simply fantastic!!! Well done Toad! I have a certain fascination with these relics of history as well. Thanks for the treat!

  6. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Great images Toad. I too love these old bottles and the times they must have seen.

  7. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    That Rye whiskey bottle is so badass. I want it so I can have some fun with it. Great stuff Toads!

  8. avatar Rick Louie says:

    Some cool bottles! I think my roommate in college tried to use some bottles simular to the ginger beer bottle to make some beer once. Let’s just say we woke up to popping bottles in the middle of the night. What a mess! These have much more character than the bottles of today!

  9. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Very cool toad, love those things. My mom has a nice collection of those radioactive bottles – the green ones that glow in a black light – so cool.

  10. avatar Jim Nix says:

    just wonderful to see these things Toad, great photos and I bet these bottles could tell some stories about the good old days!!

    • They sure could, Jim, thank you ever so kindly! I’ll also bet that the emptying of some of these bottles resulted in some pretty good stories, too!! LOL Thanks ever so kindly Jim, we sure do appreciate all your support!

  11. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Love those ginger beer bottle Toad – my how things change over the years! Very cool post!

  12. Awesome write up as always. I think the rye whiskey bottle was my favorite. Have a good weekend my friend.

  13. avatar Dave DiCello says:

    Oh wow, these are just BEYOND cool my friend!! Stunning shots!

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