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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

F.W. Bradley / San Diego

A few days ago, I remarked just how rare some of the small town cylinders are. The example of "THE MIRROR JAMES LERTORA SANTA MARIA CAL." that recently closed in American Bottle Auctions reinforced both the value and the demand for these rarities.



My old pal, "the Mole Man - AKA Doc Barnes" just touched base with me and was good enough to share both some history of an infinitely rarer So. Cal. amber cylinder along with some good photos of it and the matching flask. There's a darned good chance that Bradley's whiskey slid across the bar at the El Paso Saloon pictured above~ Here's what he had to say:


"This is a very rare San Diego tool top short fifth, dating 1900 (turn of the century). There is this one and it is damaged with stone bruises on the body. There is a mint one in the old Kallis Collection. That makes 2, if there is anymore I haven't heard of them. The flask are tough, as with many of the San Diego bottles, especially the embossed whiskey stuff, but, this flask is one of the more common of what we have. The company that put this out was F.W. Bradley here in Dago on the border.










They sold Wines and Whiskies, they also have a embossed 1/2 Pint flask, maybe more stuff, I can't remember or find my notes? They liked to advertise their wares, there is advertising for this company."





















Although incorporated as a city in 1850, San Diego didn't amount to much early on.


San Diego is anything but a small town these days but back in the 1870's and 80's, it really didn't have a lot going for it. San Diego was about to change though, and in a big way. As the turn of the century approached, things really started to hop, mainly due to the US Naval presence.



 By the late 90's it had really begun to take on a look of respectability.








They hosted the Panama-California Exposition in 1915 and I suspect that the F.W. Bradley fifth and flask date may to that era. Unlisted, this is a rare opportunity to view a bottle that not many even knew existed.


And since we're on the subject of unlisted... regardless of where you live, Please, take a few minutes to shoot some good crisp digitals - scribble down whatever you know about the provenance and or history of your western gem and send your new find to me. This is what is going to make this a killer site; sharing items that most have never heard of or seen! You'll get full credit and we'll be passing on history to fellow collectors.





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