L. Prober 1322 LP S 3rd St. Philada
L P (Monogram)
1322 3rd St. Philada
This Bottle Not To Be Sold
Louis & Bessie Prober, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Citron Green Hutchinson Soda Water
Provenance: Tod von Mechow Collection
Louis Prober has his name “L. Prober” and “LP” monogram embossed on this outstanding citron green Hutchinson bottle that dates to around 1908. The consignor notes that collectors in this niche refer to Louis and his bottle as the Mexican privy digger, “El Prober.”
The cylindrical Hutch measures 7 ½ x 2 ¼ (5 ¾) inches, has a smooth base, and rounded collar, is hand blown, and would have used a Hutchinson internal spring stopper. Charles G. Hutchinson invented and patented the Hutchinson Patent Stopper in 1879 to replace cork bottle stoppers commonly used on soda water or pop bottles. His invention employed a wire spring attached to a rubber seal. Production of these stoppers was discontinued after 1912.
The Hutch is embossed ‘L. PROBER’ in a convex arch over a decorative ‘LP’ typestyle monogram. To the left of the monogram is vertically embossed address numerals ‘1332’ with an inwards slant. To the right of the monogram is similarly embossed ‘3RD ST.’ The “RD” in “3rd” is raised and underlined. Vertically opposite “L. Prober” is embossed ‘PHILADA’ in a concave under-arch. The entire graphics arrangement is set with an oval plate. The reverse of the bottle is embossed in smaller sans serif letters reading ‘REGISTERED’ and ‘THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD’ in three horizontal lines. The base is embossed with the numeral ‘674.’ The bottom bottle sides are multifaceted, with ten sides. The glasshouse is unknown. Glass colors associated with the bottle are aquamarine, light green and citron.
The 1900 United States Federal Census Report notes that Louis Prober was 35 years old, a soda water manufacturer, was born in January 1865 in Russia, and that both of his parents were also Russian. Prober emigrated to the United States in 1893. The Prober family in 1900 consisted of Louis, his wife Bessie, 26; Jacob Prober, 9; Pincus Prober, 7; Lizzie Prober, 6; Ida Prober, 2; and Annie Prober, three months. They lived and worked out of 437 and 438 Christian Street in Philadelphia.
Unfortunately, Louis Prober died in November 1902. Philadelphia directory listings after his death state that “Mrs. Prober,” or alternately “Bessie Prober,” was a bottler and ran a “Mineral Water” business up through 1911. From 1906 to 1911, she was addressed at 1332 South 3rd Street, which is embossed and dates our bottle. Mrs. Prober died on April 1, 1957.
Primary Image: L. Prober (LP Monogram) Hutchinson bottle imaged on location by Alan DeMaison, FOHBC Virtual Museum Midwest Studio.
Support: Reference to Soda & Beer Bottles of North America, Tod von Mechow.
Support: Reference to Hutch Book by Ron Fowler. This site focuses on the historical development of the North American soft drink industry from 1879 to World War I. The Hutchinson era features the Hutchinson Bottle Directory, a fully searchable, free-access database cataloging extensive data on over 17,000 different Hutchinson bottles.
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