I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Seaglass - The Bootleggers' Legacy

 Some recent finds....

And discoveries...

A few weeks ago my son had a late evening sports practice. The playing fields and golf course here are on the bay side of of our little island, and most end at the waterfront with a steel seawall that drops straight into deep water in the bay. You can kind of see the stop of the golf green here, with the geese in the foreground....

But on that spring evening, full moon, very low tide...my son decided to chase an errant ball, and following its trajectory, found out that there is a small hidden white sand beach! At just one spot, maybe only at springtime low tides.

And instead of the seawall it just has a boulder wall and is accessible if you're a boy looking for a lost golf ball. He climbed down to that tiny unknown beach...and found seaglass! Masses of seaglass! Which he gathered up and brought home to me! I was so proud...My son! Willing to stop a round of golf! For seaglass! My boy!

The glass is mostly old and very thick...I believe the shards are bases of the old pressurized seltzer spritz bottles. The seltzer [or soda water] was highly pressurized and the thick glass kept the bottles from exploding! i One says Plaza Beverage Company Long Island City NY. It was probably like one of these.  Our golf course was designed in the 1920s...and saw more than its share of rum running boats during Prohibition! Not to mention all the parties at the clubhouse...and the old bottles were just tossed in the bay. The relative calm of the bay's water meant the shards stayed large and pristine...in their own way.

One of the newer pieces is a very large Coca Cola bottle, probably c. 1970s...like this one

And other smaller bits...cobalt, pale lime...

Below, antique seltzer bottles [google images]. Amazingly, when I lived in Brooklyn, not very many years ago, every other week the seltzer man would deliver a case of a dozen re-filled bottles just like these! In a wooden crate. I think it cost about a dollar a bottle.

Plus egg cream syrup, yum!

These bottles sell for  around $85.oo each, on into the hundreds. We mostly got turquoise, red, and green ones...no deposit even! OMG, the crate alone was probably worth hundreds....but in Brooklyn's oldest neighborhoods, tradition carries on.

My daughter has done well too---no wonder I find nothing!  


 This is one of her latest collections...

see the tiny old medicine bottle, still has its cork..more than 100 years later!

Pretty treasures....

Now if only I could figure out a way to that tiny beach! I hope I don't have to take up sunset golf to get there!



.....................gone to the beach