Bennett & Carroll No. 120 Wood St. Pitts Pa
Bennett & Carroll
No. 120 Wood St.
William Bennett & Daniel J. Carroll, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Amber Chestnut Flask
Provenance: Chip Cable Collection
Bennett & Carroll bottles are extremely rare as the partners were only in business together from about December 1859 to December 15, 1860, when a Dissolution of Partnership was posted in the Pittsburgh Daily Post. The two gentlemen have their last names prominently embossed on a figural barrel and a flattened chestnut, both cherished by antique bottle collectors.
Our museum example is embossed in three lines on one face of the bottle. The first line reads ‘BENNETT & CARROLL’ in a delicate open letter space serif typestyle in a full half convex arch. Contained within, almost at the center of the bottle is horizontal straight-line serif copy reading ‘NO. 120 WOOD ST.’ There are two dots beneath a raised and smaller “o” in “No.” The same application is used for the “t” in “St.” The third line reads the same as the second line ‘PITTS PA.” There are no dots or periods.
The yellow-amber whiskey bottle was probably made at a Pittsburgh area glasshouse in 1859 or so. The large flattened chestnut form has an applied mouth with a ring and an iron pontil mark. The height is 8 inches, and the greatest width is 6 ¼ inches.
William Bennett was born around 1825 in England according to an 1850 United States Federal Census report. He was 25, living and working in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the restaurant business. His wife was named Elizabeth and was two years younger. Her mother Alice, 56, must have been living with them.
The 1850 Pittsburgh City Directory lists William Bennett as the proprietor of the eating and drinking establishment “Our House” located at 24 Diamond Alley. He must have known or was a friend of Daniel J. Carroll, as Daniel was listed as an engineer located at “44 Diamond Street.” This directory relationship would last all the way through the 1850s until a December 24, 1859, Pittsburgh Daily Post advertisement for “Bennett & Carroll, Importers and Wholesale Dealers in Brandies, Wines, Gins Old Monongahela & Rectified Whisky, &c. Tobacco, Cigars, London Porter and Brown Stout, Sauces, Ketsups, Salid Oil, &c. No. 120 Wood St.” The 1860 directory would also list Bennett & Carroll.
The use of a second “L” in Carroll differs from year to year in historical listings and is even different on the barrel whiskey bottle and our subject chestnut flask.
See the museum example of a Bennett & Carrol, 120 Wood St. Pittsburg figural barrel.
By 1861, Bennett and Carroll are no longer listed together, William Bennett would stay at 120 Wood St. as a liquor merchant as he purchased his partner out, and Daniel Carroll would go back to his engineering profession. Whether they remained friends or parted ways under a dark cloud is unknown. There were probably a lot of leftover and unused bottles unless they were still used by William Bennett.
Not much more is known about William Bennett other than he spent quite a bit of time in court in 1855. Bennett had been taken on by the Temperance League who had reported that he was serving and selling alcohol such as brandy, ale, and whiskey in his “restaurant” which was sometimes referred to as a saloon. On October 3, 1855, William Bennett was arrested causing a sensation in the city. One newspaper report said, “The Temperance League have procured able counsel and express their intention to test the law to the uttermost.” Bennett was going to be a test case in a controversial new law.
Primary Image: The Bennett & Carroll chestnut flask imaged on location by Alan DeMaison, FOHBC Virtual Museum Midwest Studio
Support Image: Auction Lot 18: “Bennett & Carroll / No. 120 Wood St. / Pitts PA” Whiskey Bottle, America, 1845-1860. Large flattened chestnut form, olive-yellow, applied mouth with ring – iron pontil mark, ht. 8 inches, greatest width. 6 1/4 inches; (1/8 inch shallow bubble burst below the letters “PA”). Rare, beautiful color, fine condition. Condition Update: Several manufacturers heat fissures in neck – Norman Heckler Jr. & Sr., Norman C. Heckler & Company, Auction #98
Support Image: Auction Lot 21: “Bennett & Carrol / 120 Wood St. / Pittsburg” Figural Whiskey Bottle, America, 1845-1860. Barrel form, bright yellowish apricot, applied square collared mouth – iron pontil mark, ht. 9 1/2 inches. H #1352 A scarce bottle with a crude exterior surface. Fine condition. – Norman Heckler Jr. & Sr., Norman C. Heckler & Company, Auction #195
Support Image: “Bennett & Carrol / 120 Wood St. / Pittsburg” Figural Whiskey Bottle, America, 1845-1860. – Jim Hagenbuch, Glass Works Auctions, Auction #98
Support Image: Auction Lot 131: “Bennett & Carrol / 120 Wood St / Pittsburg” Figural Whiskey Bottle, America, probably a Pittsburgh district glasshouse, 1855 – 1860. Brilliant yellowish golden, or light honey amber, barrel form, applied square collared mouth – iron pontil scar, ht. 9 1⁄4”, very near mint; (a little minor roughness along the back edge of the square collared mouth, otherwise pristine perfect). A beautiful example of this very rare whiskey barrel, bright, crisp, and nicely whittled. – John Pastor, American Glass Gallery, Auction #9
Support Image: Auction Lot 47: “BENNETT & CARROL / 120 WOOD ST. / PITTSBURGH”, (Denzin, BEN-31), Pennsylvania, ca. 1855 – 1865, medium yellow-olive barrel, 9 1/2”h, iron pontil, applied mouth. Cleaned to its original luster and overall excellent condition. It appears that two tiny chips, (one on a barrel ring the other opposite of the embossing) have been partially polished out. Occasionally seen in amber, but must be considered very rare in this stunning color! Brent Culver Collection. – Jim Hagenbuch, Glass Works Auctions, Auction #157
Support: Reference to Bennett & Carroll – Figural Barrel Series, Peachridgeglass.com
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