C.B. Owen & Co. Bottlers Cincinnati

Provenance: Doug Shutler Collection

Our light sapphire blue cylindrical glass soda bottle is embossed ‘C. B. OWEN & Co’ (1st line arch) over the word ‘BOTTLERS’ (2nd line horizontal) and ‘CINCINNATI’ (3rd line horizontal). The reverse side is embossed ‘C. B. O. & Co’ in an arc. The “o” in “Co” on the front is raised. The “o” in the “Co” on the reverse is raised and underlined. The dimensions are 7 ½” tall x 2 9/16″ wide and 3 ½” wide at the shoulder. The bottle is hand-blown in a two-leaf mold and has an improved pontil with an applied tapered collar mouth intended for a cork stopper.

See the museum example of a deep dark cobalt blue C. B. Owen & Co. soda water bottle from the Doug Shutler collection.

Not much is known about Chauncey B. Owen, who was listed as a “mineral water manufacturer” in Cincinnati City Directories from 1849 to 1857. He was born in Connecticut along with his wife, Fanny (Viets) Owen, on August 12, 1815. They had three children, all girls.

At first, C. B. Owen had his business on 3rd Street between Sycamore and Broadway. By 1853, he had relocated to 54 Vine StreetMineral water was a popular beverage as the Cincinnati directory that year also listed Henry Alwes (H. & J. Alwes Mineral Water bottle), Hartwell & Baker (Hartwell & Baker Bottlers bottle), H. Overdick & Co. (H. & D. Overdick blob soda), John Postell (Jno. Postell paneled tear drop soda), and William B. Tarr as mineral water manufacturers. Most of these bottles are represented in the Soda Water Gallery.

1856 seemed to be their banner year as C. B. Owen was listed as Chauncey B. Owen & Co. (C. B. O. and W. H. Moore) mineral water manufacturers, 134 W. 2nd in capital letters in the Cincinnati directory. They also put out an iron pontiled, twelve-sided cobalt blue bottle embossed ‘C. B. OWEN’S ROOT BEER CINCINNATI.’

C. B. Owen quickly fades from the scene as he is listed in a smaller type in the 1857 Cincinnati directory. Then in 1860, he must have moved on to being a miller and farmer in Ridgeville, Lorain, Ohio, which is a little west of Cleveland off Lake Erie. This information was in the 1860 United States Federal Census. Chauncey B. Owen would die on April 19, 1906, in Mecca, Trumball County, Ohio.

Primary Images: Both C. B. Owen & Co. soda water bottles imaged by the FOHBC Virtual Museum midwest studio by Alan DeMaison.

Support Image: 1855 lithograph titled “Cincinnati, Covington and Newport” – Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library 

Support: Reference to Soda & Beer Bottles of North America, Tod von Mechow

Support: Reference to The American Pontiled Soda Database Project

Support Images: Cobalt blue, teal green, and emerald green examples from Jim Hagenbuch, Glass Works Auctions.

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