Spirits and Contemporaries

Obsessive: 500 Sodas bringing flavour to the people


“I don´t work, I just play all day long.” 13 minutes of your live for the man, who offers the freedom of choice for sodapopbottles, people never had heard before.

Walter James Hawksford, US export manager 


“Schweppes – the table waters of Kings – supplied to the royal households, leading clubs, hotels & steamship lines” was claimed into the beginning 20th Century. One of these steamship lines was White Star…


Bridget Penney with a photograph of her grandfather Walter James Hawksford. More than one hundred years since RMS Titanic sank, a Weymouth woman will be remembering a survivor of the tragedy. Bridget Penney, from Southill, will be among families gathering at Southampton today to remember all those who took the fateful voyage across the Atlantic. Her grandfather Walter James Hawksford, only survived the sinking because he was asked to row in one of the lifeboats. The passenger liner sank on April 15, 1912, after hitting an iceberg off Newfoundland.The ship had been on its maiden voyage from South-ampton to New York, her passengers included some of the wealthiest people in the world as well as people emigrating to America to start a new life. Of the 2,224 people on board only 710 survived. Mrs Penney said she had known very little of her grandfather’s story, as he never spoke of it, until the family found a letter he had written after the tragedy and she did some investigating. She said: “He was working for drinks company Schweppes and was to be their first export manager in America. They paid for a first class ticket for him and his wife Edith. Luckily she couldn’t go.” On the night of April 14-15 he was awoken to a ‘bump and a long grinding sound’. The message was soon passed to passengers that an iceberg had damaged the ship and they went on to the deck. Women and children were put into the lifeboats first. Mrs Penney said: “I just keep thinking he must have been watching people get into the boats and knowing that he wasn’t going to be saved.” By a lucky stroke of fate it was his love of rowing and time spent in Kingston Rowing Club that saved his life.She said: “He was standing near lifeboat number three and they were a rower short. First officer William Murdoch turned and said ‘Is there anyone here who can row?’ “He put his hand up. “They rowed about half a mile out. “When the boat went down they all took their hats off and bowed their heads.” The 710 survivors were picked up by the ship Carpathia and taken to New York. Mr Hawksford was then able to write to his wife to let her know he was safe. In his letter he said: “Here I am you see, still alive and kicking, we have had a pretty rough time of it. I daresay you know almost as much by now as I do from the papers, so I won’t enlarge upon the horrors of it all.” He added: “The thing that has troubled me most is the anxiety you must all have had.” Mr Hawksford returned to England and the story that passed down through the family was that his brown hair turned white soon after his return. Mrs Penney said she would be in Southampton to pay her respects to all Titanic’s passengers and to remember her grandfather.She said: “I want to go and be where the boat was as a mark of respect for him.” THE DORSET ECHO, first published Saturday 14 April 2012 in News by the author Catherine Bolado, Senior Reporter


Schweppes Elvis 1961


1961 London Bus with “SSSCHWEPPESSS” advert. Headline “Elvis Presley, the full story by Hedda Hopper”. HH (May 2, 1885 – February 1, 1966) was one of America’s best-known gossip columnists. Hopper continued to write gossip to the end, her work appearing in many magazines and later on radio.

The legend of the “Hamilton” Bottle


Torpedo bottles, egg bottles, pointy enders, ovates, ballast bottles or bombs are often called mistakenly HAMILTON bottles. Named after William Francis Hamiltons embossed “Patent-Bottle” 1809 ff. He lived in Lower Mount Street in the City of Dublin and granted a Patent in 1809  “for a new Method of preparing Soda and other Mineral Waters…” – but definitly not for the special type of bottles, who could not stand up on their own. It is generally accepted, that JACOB SCHWEPPE was the industrial inventor of soda water and the first mass producer of Torpedo Bottles. He moved to London in 1792 and used egg shaped bottles until the turn of the century 1910. His earliest Torpedo Bottle was a pottery or stoneware bottle, the SCHWEPPES NO 1, followed from the pointilled Glass-Bottle “Margaret Street” from 1795 – 1831. Thank you David Walker Barker, Leeds/GB, for your example of the authentic Hamilton Patent Bottle, “Hamiltons Patent Aerated Waters” circa 1825 – 1830.

Bottle Club 1890

Schweppes Kilner


Vintage Schweppes skittle bottle 180mm tall with a base diameter of 45mm.
It has embossed on the front ‘SCHWEPPES’ and on the back the Royal Crest and underneath ‘ BY APPOINTMENT’. On the base is embossed the bottle’s manufacturer ‘K.B.LTD G 143’. This was Kilner Bros Ltd and they manufactured bottles from around 1870 until 1922, based in Thornhill Lee’s West Yorkshire.
This article was published by the Dewsbury Reporter in their Men of Science supplement: …Some idea of the magnitude of the operations carried out can be gathered from the fact that the firm employed seven commercial travelers and 600 workers. By this time the Kilners had also opened another extensive works in Conisborough which employed a further 500 workers. For many years Kilners held a leading position in the trade, and were patentees of a system for making the rims of bottles and jars one uniform size so they could be fitted with tin caps..

RMS Rhone 1865 – 1867

15 Schweppes RMS RHONE

The R.M.S. Rhone was part of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company which provided services between England, Caribbean and South America. It was a high-class vessel with a short career. In 1867 she was one of about 75 vessels damaged or lost in a hurricane. Hundred years later, Bert Kilbride, a diver known as “The last Priate of the Carribbean”, lifted a treasure of egg bottles, filled with genuine (Schweppes?) mineral water. Today, the wreck is one of the most popular dives in the British Virgin Islands.

Working Class Heroes

03 Schweppes Industry

the term “soft drinks” was originated to distinguish the flavoured drinks from hard liquor or spirits. Soft drinks were recommended as a substitute in the effort to change the hard-drinking habits of the English and early Americans.

Commander Whitehead

on board the liner Queen Elizabeth where British fashions were shown to American buyers, are COMMANDER WHITEHEAD of Schweppes U.S.A. on left and LORD DUNMORE. 10.11.1965. wikipedia: Walter Edward WhiteheadCBE (20 May 1908 – 16 April 1978) was a British Royal Navy officer, a veteran of the South Pacific campaign, better known as the advertising representative of Schweppes Tonic Water. The first campaign was created by Ogilvy & Mather Agency in 1955 and ran through the 1960s. Born in Aldershot, England, Commander Whitehead was at one time the President of Schweppes (USA) and General Manager (Overseas). He died in Petersfield.[1

Oscar Wilde

05 Schweppes O.Wilde

in full Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde   (born Oct. 16, 1854, Dublin, Ire.—died Nov. 30, 1900, ParisFrance), Irish wit, poet, and dramatist whose reputation rests on his only novelThe Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and on his comic masterpieces Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). He was a spokesman for the late 19th-century Aesthetic movement in England, which advocated art for art’s sake, and he was the object of celebrated civil and criminal suits involving homosexuality and ending in his imprisonment (1895–97).

Jane Austen


(born Dec. 16, 1775, Steventon, Hampshire, Eng.—died July 18, 1817, Winchester, Hampshire), English writer who first gave the novel its distinctly modern character through her treatment of ordinary people in everyday life. Austen created the comedy of manners of middle-class life in the England of her time in her novels, Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814),Emma (1815), and Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (published posthumously, 1817)….

Seltzer Man


when water was worth. Take 12 minutes of your time for this impressive slow-beverage documentation. A man and his baby, surviving in NY. In my opinion: oscar-award 🙂

John Cleese


in full John Marwood Cleese  (born October 27, 1939, Weston-super-MareSomerset,England), British comic actor best known for his television work on Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers. Famous is John Cleese’s first advert for Schweppes 1988, that was shown exclusively on VHS tapes of A Fish Called Wanda. Here on youtube, he expresses his thoughts on subliminal advertising. VIDEO:

Bert Kilbride


“I have been a treasure seeker around the British Virgin Islands for over 5 decades where I resided from the 1950´s through 2005. I have charted (in my head) 138 ship wrecks. My mom taught me to swim before I could walk and I hhave been a diver for almost a century now. ” On January 8, 2008, his heart and kidneys were 94 years old and just couldn´t support him any longer.

The Queen Victorian Aera, Schweppe´s boomtime

02 Schweppes Victoria

in full Alexandrina Victoria   (born May 24, 1819, Kensington Palace, London,England—died January 22, 1901, Osborne, near CowesIsle of Wight), queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1837–1901) and empress of India (1876–1901). She was the last of the House of Hanover and gave her name to an era, theVictorian Age. During her reign the English monarchy took on its modern ceremonial character.

Willliam IV

14 Schweppes William

also called Prince William Henry, Duke Of Clarence (1789–1830), GermanWilhelm Heinrich, byname The Sailor King   (born Aug. 21, 1765,  London—died June 20, 1837, Windsor Castle, near London), king of Great Britain and Ireland and king of Hanover from June 26, 1830. In 1831, the Post Office Directory recorded J.Schweppe & Co. as “Soda and Mineral Water Manufacturers to Their Majesties and the Royal Family”. In the British Imperial Calendar for 1833, J.Schweppe is listed as purveyor of soda water to His Majesty´s Household.

Artur Kozlowski


the bottle-diver at a secret lake in a foreign language: “Bardzo ciekawe podwodne znalezisko. Butelka po wodzie sodowej z najstarszej na swiecie manufaktury Schweppe, produkujacej wodę sodowa. Zakłady te produkowały taką wode w latach 1834-1883 w Dublinie na Berner Street. Oryginalna inskrypcja na butelce brzmi: J. SCHWEPPE & Co. 51 BERNER STREET OXFORD STREET GENUINE SUPERIOR AERATED WATERS.” VIDEOS:

Rebirthing of an egg bottle in Valparaiso by Ramon Martinez/Recolecta Antiguedades Botteleros

Charles Dickens

01 Schweppes Dickens

in full Charles John Huffam Dickens    (born February 7, 1812, PortsmouthHampshireEngland—died June 9, 1870, Gad’s Hill, near Chatham, Kent), English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian era. His many volumes include such works as A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, Bleak House,A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, and Our Mutual Friend.Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity than had any previous author during his lifetime. Much in his work could appeal to simple and sophisticated, to the poor and to the queen, and technological developments as well as the qualities of his work enabled his fame to spread worldwide very quickly.

Al Capone

06 Schweppes Prohibition

byname of Alphonse Capone, also called Scarface   (born Jan. 17, 1899, Brooklyn, N.Y., U.S.—died Jan. 25, 1947, Palm Island, Fla.), the most famous American gangster, who dominated  organized crime in Chicago from 1925 to 1931. In the prohibition-year 1927, Capone and his gang were pulling in approximately $60 million per year- most of it from beer. Capone not only controlled the sale of liquor to over 10,000 speakeasies, but he also controlled the supply from Canada to Florida.

07 Schweppes Capone

the period of the US-prohibition (1920-1933) pushed the popularity  of long- and softdrinks. Coke´s arrow pointed to the refreshment of soda-fountains, Schweppes established his career as multi-talented mixer. I do not know exactly the components of Capones drinks, (his gang shown above), but for sure Schweppes was part of the Chicago lifestyle …

08 Schweppes Chicago 30

Dr. Emery

09 Schweppes Dr.Emerys Flask

this bottle is unique and one of the most storytelling items of my collection. A rare leather and glass flask from the prohibition era. It is signed on the bottom Dr. Thy M Emery and has the date August 1929. It also has an inscription by Dr. Emery that reads: “The Shot How Big I say. How I meant it then. I know now.” The front of the flask reads: Shasta Springs, Cal./You can’t Fool Nature!/Prohibitionists have Red Noses and Will Tell you Where to fill Flask./August 1929. The other side reads: Drink Meter/Directions/Take Internally/One Drink Freezing/Two Drinks Moderating/Three Drinks Fair and Warmer/Four Drinks Hot and Sultry/Empty Cyclone/Thunder and Lightning. Measures 5 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″. A great piece of history, which has survived Dr. Emery.

10 Schweppes Prohib. Recipe

dr. Emery would have used “recipes” like this.  A original government issued Prohibition Prescription for Spirits Frumenti, the US pharmaceutical term for Whiskey, 2 fluid ounces every 3 times daily! From the days of Al Capone, flappers and moonshine this prescription was the only legal way to drink liquor in the US! The whiskey was prescribed for Mrs. Pilles, by Dr. Raub, on January 22, 1933, and was filled the same day by Pharmacist, Alvin H. Kern, of Easton, PA. It was issued by the Treasury Department and is printed on, beautiful pink paper. In the center is the old Treasury Seal with the Latin inscription, “Thesaur. Amer. Septent. Sigil.”. When you hold this prescription up to the light PROHIBITION is watermarked, as with the metal strips that are used in U.S. bills today. This was the pharmacist’s duplicate copy, printed on the back are the “Instructions”, one of which is: “This duplicate prescription must be retained by the druggist as permanent record, open to inspection by Federal Officers”, the top copy was sent to the government. The prescription measures 5 1/2″ x 4 1/2″. Thank you Grace from New Jersey for your great research!

Big Beards


the australian pub with no beer, Episode: Old Hepburn Hotel turns the beer taps off for the first time in 100 years, and the Black Widow Bikie Gang are not too impressed… until they have their first taste of a Fluffy Duck! See more at youtube  

Sir Adrian Cadbury

01 Schweppes Book 83

02 Adrian Schweppes

Winds of change. In 1983, Schweppes marked his 200th bicentenary with “Schweppes – the first 200 years”. Here is one of 1130 copies worldwide, signed by the author Douglas A.Simmons and Basil E.S.Collins of Cadbury-Schweppes. Accompanied by product-milestones on australian beermats.

Chairman for 24 years was Sir George Adrian Hayhurst Cadbury (born 1929), a former British Olympic rower. He managed Cadbury/Schweppes (established 1969) as a central operated global brand. Since 2006, the brand is managed nationwide by concessionary companies.

(will continue)

13 Coke Schweppes

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