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December 11, 2004

Perry bottle factories?

More information is being accumulated and passed along by readers concerning the evidence that at least one glass factory once was located right here in Perry. I appreciate all the contributions. One letter was of special interest to me and I think that you will find it fascinating, too.

Sam Jerome, over in Orlando, has been a friend for many years. He writes as follows: "I read with much interest the Nov. 27 issue of the Perry Daily Journal and your column about glass bottles found by others in this area. I, too, am a collector of bottles.

"I find three bottles listed in my source of information (Oklahoma Soda Bottles by Johnnie Fletcher). They are all embossed. Two are listed as (made by) J.L. McCarthy, Perry, O.T. The third bottle (apparently) was from the Perry Steam Bottling Works, Perry, Oklahoma. (This state did not formally enter the union until 1907. Before that, it was "Oklahoma Territory," or "Indian Territory," both usually abbreviated as O.T. or I.T.)

"The 'O'Rourke Bros.' were listed in the 1909-11 Perry City Directory under "Bottlers." Their address was listed as 'South end of 6th and Santa Fee (Fe?) RR.' There also is an article in the Nov. 15, 1893, Perry Daily Democrat about a Mr. N.T. Cheadle purchasing a bottle plant in Chicago and moving it to Perry, Okla. He planned to open a bottling company in partnership with Mr. Ed Parks. Although I am not sure of the exact dates, I believe this is the beginning of the Perry Steam Bottling Works.

"My source also lists the bottle from the Steam Bottling Works as 'scarce.' I have one of those bottles in my collection."

"I do hope my information has helped provide more information about the glass bottles from the Perry glass plants."

I cannot speak for others, but the information supplied by Sam has been helpful to me. And it will continue to be useful in the years ahead. There should be more about this bit of local history as time goes by. Thanks to all contributors, and especially to the readers who realized this was a neglected story.