Dr. Charles Aprill (New Orleans), saw the picture above in another post, and commented.
In the top row, there are two blue bottles. Is the left one a WELLS, MILLER & PROVOST? Is the one on the right a smooth base, “cathedral” pepper sauce? Would love to see a photo of these. Love to discuss size, scarcity of these. Wonderful display. c.a.
In response, I followed up with another picture (see below) and posted on the Aprill’s facebook page.
Dr. Charles Aprill, saw the picture above and commented:
The pic of the display was great. Prompts me to post some blue “foods”. Two ’WELLS, MILLER & PROVOST” and a smooth base “cathedral” pepper sauce. Would love a dialog with Mr. Pellegrini. I’m curious about the scarcity of these items.
Mike Dolcini comments:
The blue WM&P in Lou’s display was dug in San Francisco.
I have an 8″ and 9″, dug in the “South”, another pair of “attic” WM&P, 8″ and 9″. Do not know where they came from? I wonder how scarce these are? c.a.
Inquiring minds want to know. Blue WELLS / MILLER / & PROVOST “pepper sauces”, probably held “catsup” They come in 8″ and 9″ variants. All are pretty scarce. Which size is the most scarce? Help from “food bottle ” or “blue” collectors. c.a.
Lou Pellegrini (email to PRG):
The cathedral is smooth base, I acquired it in 1988 from Kim Kokles, believe he acquired it from Russell Wilkes. Tom Phillips I believe, has some knowledge on these blue sauces also. My estimates is 4 to 6 examples . On the large size Wells, I had knowledge of the Aprills having one, now I know they have two !! The only other one I have seen Norm Heckler had for sale at the Expo in Las Vegas back in 1988 , sorry I passed on it then. The small size have popped up over the years a few have been dug on the west coast. I acquired mine from Mike Stuckey back in the 70′s . Still would estimate a dozen or so of that size.
WELLS, MILLER & PROVOST was a successful New York City food packing firm established in 1837 by John Wells. Ebenezer Miller and Stephen Provost joined with Miller by 1844 and operated under their three names until the mid-1880s (Zumwalt 1980). This particular bottle on the left (Photo Glass Works Auctions) has a crudely applied one-part extract type finish (more or less), blowpipe pontil scarred base, and was hinge mold blown with certainly no evidence of mold air venting (the author has never observed a pontil scarred, mold air vented bottle). These attributes are consistent with a manufacture during the 1850s or early 1860s. One of these bottles with an original label noted that it contained “tomato catsup” and similar bottles from this company have been recorded in cobalt blue and deep green, though the vast majority are aqua (Zumwalt 1980; empirical observations). Pickle bottles from this company were also excavated from both the steamships Arabia and Bertrand which sank in the Missouri River in 1856 and 1865, respectively (Switzer 1974; Hawley 1998). This gives some indication of how commonly used these bottles were during the mid-19th century. (Sha.org)