A LIVING HISTORY BLOG.

18TH CENTURY LIVING HISTORY IN AUSTRALIA.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Carrying Water in The 18th Century. Glass Bottles.

Carrying Water in The 18th Century. Glass Bottles.
To date I have found no evidence that glass bottles or saddle flasks were ever carried in a leather harness. Leather, wooden & ceramic water bottles with built in loops for straps & cordage are well known, but not so glass bottles. This is not to say that no one ever attached cordage or leather to a glass bottle in order to carry it slung from the shoulder, only that no primary documentation of this has been found to date. 
Glass wine bottles are believed to have been reused as water bottles & for carrying vegetable oil, but I must assume that these were either carried in the hand, or they were carried in a pack such as a knapsack, haversack, snapsack or market wallet. The name “saddle flask” given to a certain type of flat sided glass bottle suggests that it was carried in saddle bags or packs.
Pennsylvania German wooden costrel with strap lugs.

Leather costrels with carry strap lugs dated 1730.

A ceramic water bottle with carry strap lugs, 1601-1700 ad.

18th century wine bottle.

A 16th century glass costrel covered in embossed leather. This one I would have expected to have leather carry strap lugs included, but no sign that I can see. Research continues on this one.

American 18th century leather covered saddle flask.

18th century saddle flask.

18th century leather saddle flask with what appears to be a leather carry strap attached that has been folded & pushed into the spout.


One of two modern glass bottles the author covered in leather to replicate saddle flasks.


The author’s haversack that he may use to carry his two saddle flasks.


The author’s knapsack with his market wallet secured under the flap closure. A water bottle or flask could also be carried in this market wallet & one in the knapsack, but they would not be easily accessible on the trail.


The author’s snapsack. If the top were to be left untied, then this too would be a good way to carry water bottles or flasks.




Early American glass. The first factory in what is now the United States was a glass plant built at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1608. The venture failed within a year because of a famine that took the lives of many colonists. The Jamestown colonists tried glass making again in 1621, but an Indian attack in 1622 and the scarcity of workers ended this attempt in 1624. The industry was re-established in America in 1739, when Caspar Wistar built a glass making plant in what is now Salem County, New Jersey. This plant operated until 1780. http://www.texasglass.com/glass_facts/history_of_Glass.htm





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