Bottles and Firearms Recovered

The number and type of food bottles by Unit
Canning jars
Canning jar makers
Mustard and olive oil bottles
Wine bottle counts by unit location
Wine bottles
Liquor flask and shot glass locations
ABGM Co. beer and L. Albert S.L.O. Soda Works bottles

Both food related and beverage bottles were recovered (including alcohol
bottles, flasks, and shot glasses).  The location of these items within the
outhouse vault was critical in determining whether they were associated with
the students, the nuns, or hired help.

As expected, food related bottles followed a similar pattern with preserve and condiment bottles found predominantly in Unit A.   Although many canning jars were found in Unit A (7), more were
recovered from Unit C (11).  However, 10 canning jars were found in backdirt and not assigned to a unit location.  It is likely that jars found in backdirt came from the Unit “A” location as this was the area disturbed by the mechanical excavator.

Canning Jars

Of the canning jar manufacturers, “The Gem” jar was the most popular.  The screw top version of this jar was manufactured by the Hero Glass Works of Philadelphia beginning in 1870 and through 1880 (Toulouse 1971:223).

Hero Glass Works took over the fruit jar business assets from the Consolidated Fruit Jar Co. and changed their name to the Hero Fruit Jar Company.  They continued to make “The Gem” under the
Consolidated name till 1884.

The very next year the Mason Fruit Jar Co. was formed in Philadelphia.  The “MASON” name was used on jars manufactured by the Mason Fruit Jar Co. between 1885 and 1900.  After 1900, the word “MASON’S” or “MASON JAR” was used.  This company closed in 1907 and another “Mason Fruit Jar Co.” was set up in Coffeyville Kansas.   In 1909 Ball Brothers bought this business and closed it in 1912 (Toulouse 1971:344).  The Ball Bros. Glass Manufacturing Co. operated from 1888 till 1919.  It was later renamed Ball Bros. Co. (1919-69) and then Ball Corp. (1969-).

Three “Lightening” fruit jars were recovered from the privy.  The patent for the “Lightening seal” was bought by Henry Putnam in 1875.  The patent was for a seal that closed small-mouth bottles and it was used extensively for beverage bottles before the crown cap was invented.  In 1882, Putnam received his own patent for the application of the Lightening seal to fruit jars.   By 1886, his “Lightening” fruit jars were manufactured by the Hazel Glass Co. (Toulouse 1971:331).  C. N. Brady of the Hazel Glass Co. started the Atlas Glass Co. and using the newly developed Blue glass making machine the Atlas Company manufactured the “Atlas E-Z SEAL” version of the “Lightening” jar.  In 1901, Brady merged Atlas Glass with Republic Glass Co. (a company that made jelly tumblers) and the Wheeling Metal Co. (that made caps for Mason jars).  The new company was called “Atlas Glass and Metal Company”.  The next year (1902) Brady combined his new Atlas Company with the old Hazel Glass Co. forming “Hazel Atlas”.  This company manufactured the Atlas E-Z Seal fruit jars until it was bought by the Continental Can Co. in 1957 (Toulouse 1971:239).

Other Food Bottles

Other food related bottles included pickle/preserve ware, condiment bottles such as mustard, catsup, jelly tumblers, and spice shakers as well as oil bottles and serving bottles such as castor bottles.

Cooking Related items

Cooking related materials included 4 pans, 3 panhandles, and a coffee pot.  All were of gray enamelware and popular items in the Sears mail- order catalog.


The only food related bottles most commonly found in the Unit C part of the privy vault were wine bottles.  It is possible that wine would have been used both for medicinal purposes in the infirmary as well as for the sacraments during services in the Chapel building.  These uses would explain its dominance in the Unit C section of the privy.


Several “male oriented” materials were recovered.  These materials did not appear to fit within the “all-girl convent school” genre.  Most were recovered from the Unit A location.  These materials included whiskey and beer bottles and flasks, shot glasses, a smoking pipe stem and firearm material.

Whiskey and beer bottles included Jesse Moore Hunt’s Bourbon & Rye and John Rapp & Son bottles.

Bourbon and beer

Jesse Moore Kentucky bourbon was distributed in San Francisco by Elia Chielovich (a Serbian immigrant).  Henry B. Hunt worked in the San Francisco Office.  During the 1870’s, the Moores decided Hunt was a better salesman and sacked Chielovich.  Hunt became a partner in the company in 1876 and it became known as Jesse Moore-Hunt Co. (G.E. White 2003).

Both shoo-fly and picnic flasks were recovered as were shot glasses.

Alcohol flasks and shot glass

Other beverage bottles included aqua beer and soda bottles.  The picture shows an ABGM Co. beer bottle and an L. Albert  S.L.O. Soda Works bottle with Hutchinson spring stopper still attached.

The ABGM Co. mark was used by the Adolphus Busch Glass Manufacturing Co. between 1886 and 1928 (Toulouse 1971:26).

The localized nature of these items within Unit A of the privy vault suggests that serious booze drinking was taking place in the kitchen/laundry building area.

It is very possible that the school hired a male cook or laundry person that used this area.  It is also possible that a school- employed “handyman” may have operated out of this building which would explain the alcohol and firearm items found in the Unit A area of the vault.


Firearm items included a 40 cal. slug (A-129), a W.R.A. Co 32-40 casing (A-130 made for the Winchester 1892 repeating rifle), a UMC 44-40 casing (A-131 made for the 1892 Colt revolver),
several 22 cal. long and short casings, and 12 gage shotgun cartridges.  Shotgun casings included 1901 Winchester Repeater (B-128), 1901 Blue Rival (C-112), and UMC Co. Black Club (C-112)
(Dillon 1995:83).

Firearm material and location