J. Rother


Company Names, addresses, dates:
  Rother's Vinegar Depot, Corner Green & Olive Streets, Georgetown (c1843-1850) 1,2

Notes:
Julius Rother started a Vinegar Depot and Mineral Water Bottling establishment at the corner of Olive & Green Streets, in Georgetown, Washington DC.
Mineral Water refers to what we nowadays call soda pop.

An article in the National Intelligencer newspaper from August 24, 1847 touted the cleanliness of Rother's Mineral Water manufacturing facility & process. It invited "scientific gentlemen" to inspect his facility. It listed some Doctors who had inspected it and found it "superior". The article mentions that his mineral water comes in bottles with J Rother impressed on the glass.
That same article mentions that Rothers mineral water is approved of by his fellow citizens, except for the "jealous exertions of one man". I assume that one man was his rival Agricola Favier , because an August 17, 1849 article in that same paper described a lawsuit between Rother & Favier because Favier allegedly published a card that maligned Rother's mineral water.

On August 21, 1850, Rother sold his mineral water and vinegar factory to messrs Louis Henke and William N.H. Maack . The announcement in the September 3, 1850 issue of the National Intelligencer said that Rother thanked the public for their patronage, and asked them to bestow the same on the new owners2.

All the known J Rother bottles are torpedo shaped and embossed with "J. ROTHER" like the ones below, although they come in additional colors. Based on the shape and color of the bottles, they are beleived to be made by the Baltimore Glass Works (1799-1905).


Bottles:

rother_01 book # 614
This is an 8.5" yellow-olive colored torpedo shaped bottle with a tapered lip. It is embossed:
veritically on the side: J. ROTHER
rother_03 book # 614
This is an 8.5" green torpedo shaped bottle with a tapered lip. It is embossed:
veritically on the side: J. ROTHER
rother_05 book # 614
This is a 9" puce torpedo shaped bottle with a tapered lip. It is embossed:
veritically on the side: J. ROTHER


Here's a picture of the puce bottle with strong back-lighting, to bring out the color:
rother_06


Here's a picture of the other 2 bottles laid on their sides:
rother_02 rother_04


It appears the two bottles were from different molds. This photo shows a close-up of the embossing - if you look closely, you can see differences. The tail of the 'J' for instance, is noticably different.
two_molds


1 (based on the fact that S.C. Palmer bottles said "best since 1843" - it is assumed that his basis for that was that the original bottling company that he purchased in 1875 had started in 1843)
2 National Intelligencer Newspaper article, Sep 3, 1850 p.3



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This page last updated on July 30, 2015.