Museum logo
Museum logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Object ID # 1959.055.002
Object Name Bottle
Title Soda Bottle? Found at Owen Sound, Ont.
Lexicon category 5: T&E For Science & Technology
Date 19th-century
Made Unknown glassmaker
Place of Origin Unknown
Description Aqua-coloured, torpedo-shaped bottle with pointy end (cannot stand up).
It has bubble imperfections, suggesting age, as well as some "stretch" marks from its manufacturing.
Makers mark None
Provenance The previous owner, Harvey McDougall, lived at Owen Sound, Ontario circa 1959.

When the Co-operators Insurance Building was being excavated for, workmen found this old bottle. The site had formerly been the residence of Robert Wightman and his family. Prior to 1909, the street was known as La Marchand Place, and after 1909, known as 906 1st Ave. West., and the house was at the 9th St. corner.

Mr. Robert Wightman was born at Toronto on August 20, 1839. After his education at Upper Canada College, Mr. Wightman came to Owen Sound, Canada West, and established his drugstore business in 1866. The business was in operation for about 45 years. Circa 1881, the drugstore was located on Poulett St. [2nd Ave. East].

Mr. Wightman was involved with the Owen Sound Board of Trade when it was organized in 1881. He also was a member of St. George's Lodge and was Honourary President of the Grey and Bruce Trust & Loan Co. (he was an original member / director of the Grey and Bruce Loan & Savings Co.).

The Wightmans belonged to St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church and resided on "La Marchand Place Street" (later the address was called 906 1st Ave. West).

The 1881 census of Owen Sound listed Robert as 41 years of age, Jane as 35, and their daughter Frances as 11.

In the 1880s, Robert Wightman sold drugs, chemicals, patent and proprietory medicines, and had a large stock of wines and liquors. In addition to being an agent for some products, he also produced his own preparations as well.

Other items at Grey Roots:
1959.055.001 a&b Two hand-drawn plans for Robert Wightman's residence, by architect Frederick Brown, 1884
1970.078.004 Tintype photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Wightman
1971.113.001 Bottle embossed with "R. Wightman"
1993.024.029 Souvenir booklet (1904) p. 74 has advertisement
1995.021.001 THE CANADIAN TRADE REVIEW, Aug. 1899, includes an image of Robert Wightman's house.
1997.008.004 Wm. Kennedy & Sons 1878-1881 cash book lists "Mr. Wightman's Account $9.70".
Collection Bottles & Equipment, 19th-c Collection
Material Glass
Dimensions L-23.5 Dia-7 cm
Found Owen Sound, Grey County
People Wightman, Robert
Function 9th-century medical practitioners sometimes had "cupping glasses" to add them when bleeding patients, but they tend to be more cup-like. Druggists used to have show globes that they would display in their store windows that had to be held in something else, as they could not stand on their own. This item seems more like a cupping glass in function, but more research is needed to verify this. Sometimes a cupping glass was long so that a taper could be placed inside and withdrawn to create the vacuum effect needed. There were also torpedo-shaped soda bottles in the 19th-century (but these often have emboss-moulded lettering).