Have you ever come across brightly colored glass bottles with faces on them in your grandma’s living room or while raiding the attic? Chances are they might have been Wheaton bottles. Wheaton bottles were once a mainstay in many South New Jersey homes and still are in some homes.
Wheaton bottles come in various brightly colored glasses in sizes ranging from ⅛ ounces to 5 gallons. You can recognize a Wheaton bottle by checking the base for “TCW” and other variants of the trademark. A logo of a “W in a circle” can also help identify a Wheaton glass bottle. You might also be able to recognize them by the faces of famous political and historical figures on them.
You will undoubtedly come across many bottles while looking through collections of passed-down trinkets in the attic, but how do you tell which one is a Wheaton glass bottle? Let’s take a deeper look into Wheaton bottles and their history.
A simple way to know if the bottle you’re holding might be a vintage Wheaton glass bottle is to check the bottom or base.
- Is the bottle marked with either “T. C. W. & Co” or “T. C. W.” on its base? If so, then yes, you are holding a Wheaton Glass bottle. Some Wheaton bottles could also be marked “W / II”, “T. C. W. Co.”, “TCW”, “TCWCo.”, “WHEATON GLASS CO”, or “Wheaton” on their bases.
- Logos could also help you identify a Wheaton glass bottle. Does the glass bottle you’re holding have a “W” in a circle on its base? If yes, you might be holding a Wheaton glass bottle. If the W in the circle has an underline, it might also indicate that the bottle might be a Wheaton glass bottle.
- Some Wheaton bottles also bear images of past American presidents and luminaries. The company started marking eponymous decorative bottles in 1967. These bottles featured the faces of past presidents, past luminaries, astronauts, and military leaders. These eponymous bottles all had iridescent highlights and share the Boston watch fob design.
You can determine the age of a Wheaton glass bottle by observing the trademark or logo on its base. Glass bottles with the trademark “T. C. W. & Co” or “T. C. W.” were manufactured by the company between 1888 and 1901. The company used “T. C. W. Co.” on bottles manufactured between 1938 and 1970, and “WHEATON GLASS CO.” was used on glass bottles produced between 1946 and 1970.
If the logo on the bottle is a W in a circle, the bottle was manufactured between 1946 and 1996. If the logo is “W / II”, then the bottle was produced between 1888 and 1915. If “WHEATON N.J.” is embossed on it, it was produced between 1970 and 2007.
If the logo on the bottle is one of a stylized W, with the last vertical segment of the W resembling a wine glass or goblet, the bottle was produced between 1980 and 1984. This was the logo used by a division of the company, Wheaton Fine Glassware which closed down in 1984.
If a commemorative bottle features past presidents, it was made after 1969. If it features astronauts, it was made after 1971, and if it features military leaders, it was made after 1974.
The company started as T.C. Wheaton & Co. The company was founded in New Jersey by Theodore Corson Wheaton in 1888. He was a pharmacist and a businessman. After several developments, diversification, and expansions, 1971 witnessed the birth of Wheaton Industries which was considered the parent company of its numerous divisions.
Diversification and expansion continued and created the division, Wheaton Fine Glassware in mid-1980. The division closed all operations in 1984 after yielding no profit. The company, however, adapted to the changing market and created Wheaton Science Plastics in 1987.
Eventually, the company was acquired in 1996 by Alusuisse-Lonza Holding, Ltd. They created a division known as Algroup Wheaton. The firm was later acquired by Alcan Inc. in 2000. Wheaton Science Products was spun off and later rechristened Wheaton Industries in late 2006.
Today, Wheaton USA now produces bottles, flasks, chemistry glassware, and plastic containers.
Wheaton Glass started in 1888 and became an important part of the economy of Southern New Jersey. It has over 126 years of experience developing and manufacturing high-quality glass.
The eponymous commemorative Wheaton bottles are not highly valued at auctions and online sales. This is because the production runs of these bottles in the 1970s were relatively large. Also, the bottles aren’t dainty collectibles and are quite sturdy, making them hard to damage.
The value of the presidential bottles rises when they come in good condition along with their original boxes. Unboxed Franklin Delano Roosevelt bottles sell in retail in the $10 to $25 range. The rarer vintage bottles can sell as high as $40.
In 1969, the company started producing miniature presidential decanters. In 1971, they released an entire series of mini presidential decanters that featured the first twelve presidents. At the time, they sold for $5. As of 2009, in good condition, these bottles sold in the range of $2 to $20. The first presidential decanter, one of John F Kennedy in very good condition along with its original box, was priced at $150 in the fall of 2009.
Production of the earlier decanters was highest in the 1970s. This is why the earlier presidential decanters were the least valued. The production of these decanters was discontinued in 1989. A President George H.W Bush decanter was the last issue and makes it the one with the highest value. It was priced at $60 in 2009.
In the 1970s, the company decided to make numerous miniature versions of the bottles they created in the late 1800s. These replicas are valued between $2 and $20.
The best way to determine the value of any Wheaton glass bottle is to take it to a professional antique appraiser. An antique appraiser would be able to accurately tell you the value of any Wheaton bottle you have in your possession.
While Wheaton bottles aren’t worth very much, they can be a wonderful addition to your collection. You can also use them to decorate your living space. They come in many colors that might complement your living room or dining table.
It’s not difficult to identify a Wheaton glass bottle. With just a few checks, you can determine whether a bottle is a Wheaton Glass bottle. The logo and trademark on the base are sure giveaways. When in doubt, you can take the bottle to a more professional eye. A professional appraiser or a pawn shop can help you out.