ARTICLES WITH INFORMATION FOR WISCONSIN ANTIQUE BOTTLE COLLECTORS:::.
Every bottle diver and privy digger knows the let down you feel when you find a mint, heavily embossed, nice colored bottle in a spot that has the age for greatness when the bottle happens to be a more common national brand rather than a local or even state bottle. This one was interesting enough that I decided to throw it on ebay.
The actual privy dig was disappointing. We had permission at an ancient house. There were huge trees over the entire yard and the fall of 2003 had been very dry... Probing was a struggle. We found one, 'later feeling,' privy in a yard that should have four and at least one privy in the 1850 to 1870 range.
When I started listing the bottle I decided to make it fun. Other than the description the entire listing is a joke.
Below in blue is the actual listing that ended October 25th 2003 on ebay. The bottle sold for $33. I received four comments from ebay members concerned about the story in the first couple of days it was on ebay. One pointed out that I had mistakenly told that the anonymous Theodore was actually Peter. I went back three days into the auction to add a notice that the entire listing was just for ebay buyer entertainment.
THOMPSON MINI CHERRY PHOSPHATE CHICAGO BOTTLE Item number: 3248382138
This a very nice little sample size embossed on all four sides. On the front it says, "DIRECTIONS ONE TEASPOONFULL EXTRACT THREE OF SUGAR ONE GLASS WATER HOT OR COLD DRINK FREELY"
When I first read those words it was more than I could take... I had to try it! I have to tell you I don't know how they survived back then if they drank this stuff freely... When we unearthed it I patted the bottom of the bottle until a chunk about the size of one teaspoon popped out. I put that in a old glass we found right before we found the bottle. (How lucky is that?) Then I went over to a bucket that had rain water in and filled the glass almost to the top.
I was going to drink it then figuring my digging partner (for the sake of his anonymity we'll call him Theodore) is on a diet anyway so he won't want the sugar. Well, who would have guessed it. He said it's a special occasion to find a bottle like this still full. It really was considering it didn't even have a cork. Anyway, he wanted to add the sugar. The homeowner was gone and being in a small town we didn't think any of the local stores would be open.
(That was our first mistake) I wanted to just drink it sugar free but he insisted. We found a bee hive earlier when we were probing so Peter figured bees have honey and that should be a good source of sugar. It was his idea so I let Peter dig the hive. Man, they were on him like white on rice but I have to give him credit, he just kept on digging. It turned out that he got stung about two hundred times and it was a yellow jacket nest... They don't have honey. I tried to tell him.
He was breathing funny and everything so I called 911. The guys from the volunteer fire department that came felt so sorry for us that one of them went home and got us some sugar. I think they were hopeful we would share the Cherry Phosphate with them. We mixed the sugar in and I got one little sip before Peter snatched the cup right out of my hand and bolted into a nearby buckthorn thicket. The firemen said it must be delirium from the anaphylactic shock caused by being stung some 200 times. I tried to chase him down but Peter climbed a small tree and kicked at me as I climbed after him. He drank the whole glass all by himself up there in that tree. The firemen thought the stuff must have had a really high alcohol content because he was acting sort of drunk after he drank it.
Peter made the mistake of laughing when the volunteer police chief told him to come down. They tazered him three times before he finally let go his grip on the little tree trunk and fell the four feet to the ground convulsing and drooling like a rabid animal on it's last legs. They were going to arrest him and take him in for interrogation but I put an end to that nonsense!... That hole was at least five foot deep and five feet wide and I wasn't going to fill it in all by myself!
It's embossed on one side, "WILD CHERRY PHOSPHATE" On the other side, "THOMPSON PHO'S CO. CHICAGO" The back has a neat little pattern like a cross embossed on it. The bottle stands 5 and 3/8ths inches tall and is an inch and three sixteenths by an inch and one sixteenth at the base. This bottle has a nice deep aqua color and a different sort of thick blobish top than you see on old medicines. The bottle is in great condition with only some very light oxidization from being under ground for over 100 years. A light tumble would make this mint. It really is a nice little antique piece of Illinois history.
All that commotion on a simple privy dig and the stuff tasted like crap! Anyway, buyer agrees to pay $4.50 shipping. Insurance is extra at buyers request. Thanks and good luck!!!
On Oct-21-03 at 18:37:21 PDT, seller added the following information: THE STORY IN THIS DESCRIPTION IS A JOKE FOR YOUR FUN