M.T. Bridwell / L.T. Bridwell


Company Names, addresses, dates1:
  Moses T. Bridwell, 349 M Street SW (1873-1878)
  Moses T. Bridwell, 351 M Street SW (1879-1887)
  Moses T. Bridwell, 359 M Street SW (1886)
  Moses T. Bridwell, 361 M Street SW (1888-1892)
  Moses T. Bridwell, 363 M Street SW (1890-1892)
  Lewis T. Bridwell, 337 Pa Ave NW (1887-1888)
  Lewis T. Bridwell, 621 7th Street SW (1889-1892)
  Lewis T. Bridwell, 615 7th street SW (1883, 1894)

Notes:
Moses T. Bridwell (1824-1892) was listed as a "Mead Manufacturer" in the 1870 census. He was listed as a bottler in the 1890 and 1891 DC directories. An advertisement in the February 2, 1881 Washington Post said M.T. Bridwell was "established 1850", and the advertisement at the bottom of this web page says he started circa 1852, but the earliest mention of him as a bottler in city directories is 18731.
The book "Historical & Commercial Sketches of Washington", compiled by E.E. Barton in 1884, says that Bridwell's bottling depot at 347-351 M Street SW was 75x100 feet, and that Bridwell had 12 first-class assistants and 6 to 7 wagons used to deliver his products. It also says that he bottled Tonic beer, soda waters, mineral water, etc of all kinds & flavors. 6

Lewis T. Bridwell, born ~1856, was listed as Moses T. Bridwell's son in the 1860 & 1870 census. In an 1890 DC directory, his occupation was listed as a saloon owner and his father was listed as a bottler. His father died in 1892, so presumably he took over the bottling business at that time. There is a photo of L.T. Bridwell's Oyster bar at 615 7th street in the book "Images of America Southwest Washington DC" with a sign that says Christian Heurich's Lager Beer was bottled by L.T. Bridwell2. He shows up in DC city directories as both a bottler (1892) and a saloon owner (1888-1891).
In August of 1883, Lewis Bridwell was a wholesale and retail liquor dealer at 615 7th St SW, and had to sell his business to William C. Scribner to pay off his debts4. Lewis Bridwell shows up again in the 1894 city directory at 615 7th St. SW, listed under Wine & Liquors.
In December of 1900, 61 year old Clementina Bridwell and 29 year old Cora Bridwell were arrested at 361 M St SW for drinking at an unlicensed bar5. I suspect Clementina was Moses's wife.


L.T. Bridwell Bottles:

bridwell_11 book # 98
This is an amber 7.75" hutchinson bottle embossed:
front: L.T. BRIDWELL / 615 7TH ST. S.W. / WASHINGTON / D.C. / REGISTERED
(the embossing has been painted white - the original embossing would not have been painted)
bridwell_01 book # 99
This is an aqua 6.75" hutchinson bottle embossed:
round slugplate: L.T. BRIDWELL / 615 SEVENTH ST SW / WASHINGTON D.C.
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO BE SOLD
base: 49
bridwell_02 book # 100
This is a 9" aqua baltimore-loop top bottle embossed:
round slugplate: L.T. BRIDWELL / 615 SEVENTH ST / SW / WASHINGTON D.C.
Note that the "N" in "SEVENTH" is backwards.
bridwell_03 book # 101
This is a 7.3" aqua baltimore-loop top bottle embossed:
round slugplate: L.T. BRIDWELL / 615 7TH ST. SW / WASHINGTON D.C.
base: 18



M.T. Bridwell Bottles:
bridwell_04 book # 102
This partial aqua squat bottle is embossed:
round slugplate: M.T.B. / 351 M. ST. S.W. / D.C.
bridwell_05 book # 104
This is a 9.5" blue-aqua blob top bottle embossed:
round slugplate: M.T.B. / 351 M. ST. S.W. / D.C. 1881
bridwell_06 book # 106
On the left is a 9" aqua blob top with a metal stopper, and on the right is a 9.75" clear baltimore-loop top. Both bottles are embossed:
round slugplate: M.T.B. / 363 M. ST. S.W. / WASHINGTON, D.C.
rear (left bottle only): THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO / BE SOLD
mtb_06 book # 107
This is a 6.5" aqua hutchinson embossed:
tombstone slugplate: M.T.B. / 351 / M. ST. S.W. / WASH'G'TN D.C.
bridwell_07 book # 108
This is a 6.2" aqua hutchinson embossed the same as the bottle above except for the street number:
tombstone slugplate: M.T.B. / 363 / M. ST. S.W. / WASH'G'TN D.C.
bridwell_10 book # 109
This partial aqua Codd bottle is embossed:
front: M. T. BRIDWELL / 351.M.ST.S.W / WASHINGTON / D.C
rear: CODD'S PATENT / RE-ISS / AUG 13TH 1878 / H. CODD & CO / 23 PARK ROW / NEW YORK
base: B
A Codd bottle is one with a glass marble that pushed against the top to seal the carbonated beverage in. Bridwell is the only bottler I know of from Washington DC who used Codd style bottles.
bridwell_10a book # 109
This is yet another partial aqua Codd bottle - the same as the one above. The only embossing on this one is "M. T. BR" and part of the "351", but presumably when it was whole, it was embossed the same as the partial bottle above. I tried to photograph it so the marble would be visible.
bridwell_08 book # 111
This is a 6.5" aqua hutchinson bottle embossed:
round slugplate: M.T. BRIDWELL / 363 M. ST. S.W. / WASHINGTON D.C.
bridwell_09 book # 112
This is a 7" aqua hutchinson bottle, very similar to the one above except that it has a harp embossed on the back. I don't know what the significance of the harp is. The bottle is embossed:
round slugplate: M.T. BRIDWEL / 363 M. ST. S.W. / WASHINGTON D.C.
back: (picture of a harp)
Note that "BRIDWEL" is spelled with only one "L" on this bottle.


Other Items:
bridwell_1887 This is an advertisement from the 1887 book "Washington Hisorical sketches of the Capital City of our Country", by John P. Coffin. The book says that Bridwell started 35 years earlier (1852) bottling and selling root beer using a hand cart as his delivery wagon (this sounds fishy because he was listed as a Tailor in some of the earlier directories). It says 16 years earlier (1871) he began at 363 M St SW, adding a grocery and notion store, and that he'd built a new building for bottling about 4 years earlier (1883). It said he employed about 20 hands.3


1 Boyd's Directory for the District of Columbia (various years)
2 Images of Americ Southwest Washington DC by Paul K. Williams
3 Washington Historical sketches of the City of our Country by John P. Coffin
4 The Washington Post, August 18, 1883 page 8
5 The Washington Post, December 24, 1900 page 9
6 Historical & Commercial Sketches of Washington, 1884, compiled by E.E. Barton, p.139



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This page last updated on April 15, 2016.