Very Rare 7up Bottle - Looking for Details & Possible Value
  • I have an old, green, 7-up soda bottle which has an all white painted label with only "7-up ALKALINE REACTION THE GAS PURIFIES on it. (no lady or bubble images)
    Here are it's particulars:
    8" Tall
    Crown Top
    Smooth Base with embossing
    Embossed Text on Base reads:
    DR. PEPPER BOTT. CO. NEW ORLEANS, LA. (around outer edges)
    In center of base there is an embossed "7UP" (the "up" is underlined)
    Above the 7UP, it is very difficult to see, but it looks like a circle within a star, or between parentheses??? with a faint number 3 to the left and a 5 to the right of it.
    Under the 7UP, there is a faint number 2 or 3 embossed as well
    On the face of the bottle there is a painted white label: 7up ALKALINE REACTION THE GAS PURIFIES, with a white baseline.
    Under the label there is a faint embossing which reads c67
    There is a slight brown discoloration on the "S" of the word PURIFIES...see photos.
    Otherwise there are only the slight scratches common with a bottle of this age.

    Here is some info that I got from Bill Lockhart:
    I suspect this was a trial bottle put out by Seven-Up. The drink was originally advertised as a headache and overall cure.

    The embossing on the base tells a lot of the story. The logo is actually the I in an oval, superimposed on an elongated diamond used by the Owens-Illinois Glass Co. The bottle was made in factory #3 (the 3 to the left of the logo) at Huntington, West Virginia, one of the plants that made soda bottles. The date code (right of the logo) indicates that the bottle was made in 1935, only a year after the ACL process was adapted to use on glass. Thus, it is almost certainly the first bottle used by Seven-Up!! In 1936, the company went to the swimsuit girl label. It is a very cool bottle and an important find for the history of Seven-Up!!

    I have been searching websites for evidence of this bottle elsewhere...I remember seeing it only once before, and can't remember where! It never comes up in other's collections or on Ebay. It never appears in advertisements either. I find it perplexing.
    I was hoping to get confirmation of its description/age, and possible worth.
    Thank you kindly.
    Jack
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  • Does anyone have anything to add? Value even? Thanks. - Jack
  • Hi Jack, have not forgot about this one. I have a long-winded response in the making...it may take a few more days for me to find time to finish it.

    Chris
  • Thanks Chris. Breathe deeply.
  • Jack,

    Many seek a quick answer to the value of the antique object they have. Often it is the case that one can provide a simple number but many times finesse and connoisseurship are necessary. So is dogged research.

    It is entirely possible that this was the first ever 7-Up bottle ever made, that the design was experimental, that only 100 were made, that only 3 have survived, etc. but you may be the guy who has to do the research which convincingly makes the case. You may take a lot of time to gather this information and find yourself with a payback of $1 per hour or less. It is also possible that this machine made bottle is a lot more common than you think - after all, some plant tooled up to make this bottle and likely did not stop after a very short run. Who knows.

    If value is really the only thing on your mind then you need to start along these lines:

    - What is the most someone has paid for an ACL soda bottle?
    - What is the most someone has paid for any 7-Up collectible object?
    - What is the auction record for a Coca-Cola or other famous soda brand?

    Use this data to build a range of value based on other similar objects. Arguably, Coca Cola may be far more well known and collected brand so the 5 grand or thereabouts record for a Coke bottle may be some amount too high a range for yours. This much of the puzzle you should be able to assemble without too much effort.

    The next level of research involves going straight to people who worked for the company, who created the designs and who may have some knowledge or records. Today, 7-Up is owned by a big corporation which holds many brands. You may want to start there and see if there is someone who has records or historical info. If not, then you need to figure out where 7-Up was originally headquartered, get in touch with that city's historical society or library and see if they have any documents. You can then hope that local information like this leads you to someone who is still around who can tell you first hand a bit of what you want to know.

    Good luck on the search and please report back with your findings!

    Chris

  • Chris, I put in a request for more information with the Collections Director at the Dr. Pepper/7up museum in Waco, TX. Hopefully she can shed additional light on my bottle. Thanks for the long-winded message...good info.
    - Jack
  • Here is the reply from the Collections Manager at the Dr. Pepper/7up museum:

    I did some more research on the Dr Pepper franchise in New Orleans. The Zetzman family, who owned the franchise, was awarded a 7UP franchise by mail in 1933. This was typical of the time, with the 7UP company's President C. L. Grigg trusting the word and handshake of bottlers in order to get 7UP in markets. Apparently the introduction of 7UP in New Orleans was an initial flop, so in 1934 Mr. Grigg himself went to New Orleans (among other places in the south) to see if he could fix things. In 1934 the Zetzman family officially joined the 7UP family and made it their top priority. This didn't sit well with the Dr Pepper Company, who note in their franchise book that their relationship with the Zetzman family was "never very cordial" because they wouldn't do the advertising necessary to make sales. In 1937 the Dr Pepper Company bought their franchise back and put someone else in charge, and the Zetzman family made sure 7UP was the main drink in New Orleans.

    Because the bottle says "Dr Pepper Bott Co" this bottle has to date between 1933 and 1937. Based on everything I've read about C. L. Grigg, he was very fastidious and insisted bottlers stick to the formula and the 7 ounce green glass bottle. It is weird that the logo would stray this far, so I'm still not sure. My co-worker Joy has never seen the bottle either. Perhaps this was one of the bottles in production in that uncertain and unsuccessful year between 1933-1934?
  • This is an old 7 up bottle my husband found while digging, little info was available but shocked as the age
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  • my name is mike,i live in indiana,and i too have found a really old bottle. From what i can tell, my bottle is from 1947,with lady and bubbles,i know nothing about it and found it mostly buried in a corn field. it looks to b in excellent shape.
  • Michael - Welcome to the forum. Please start a new discussion and include photos of your bottle. Thanks -Chris
  • My name is Bram. I acquired a ribbed 7up bottle still full of 7up. It has a a peculiar cap, unlike other 7up bottles that I have seen. Can someone help determine when/why it was made, and how much it might be worth?
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  • The picture is not clear but it appears to be a Cork'n'Seal closure, not the usual crown top closure that most people are used to seeing on beer bottles. The closure helps the value a bit but this is still a very common bottle...
  • I have an ACL 7up amber squat bottle from Nashville. Instead of being embossed on the neck, it has an applied label. Value?
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