I live in the New Hampshire country side. On one side of our property I could hook a golf ball through a window of my neighbors house, but in the other three points of the compass on our 4.5 acres we are surrounded by wetland, a horse pasture, a patch of forest and a farm.
Landscaping or simply beating back the wilds with scythe, weed trimmer, chainsaw and loppers is a rather constant activity around here. Its good old fashioned exercise with a side benefit of providing fuel for the wood stove and sunlight for the garden.
Yard work never fails to provide photographing opportunities in surprising ways. I don’t know if its the mind numbing hum of the weed trimmer (I have this nice quiet battery powered one that includes a built in timer called battery life that keeps one from over working themselves – Black & Decker LST136W 40V Max Lithium String Trimmer) or its just nature interrupting but I always seem to find a good excuse to stop the yard work a grab the camera for a couple of shots.
One time it was this strange and wonderful mushroom:
The next time it was a huge black toad that found its way to the bottom of the newly delivered wood pile:
Or the little guy who hopped around just under the whirling string of the trimmer. Sorry about the haircut little fella!
Today’s find was an old soda bottle that started poking up out of the ground. Unfortunately it was just the bottom half because it was rather interesting. I washed it off but the water and soap started to peel off the paint. Here is what was left:
The front label has a picture of a hillbilly firing a rifle at some kind of animal up the hill near an outhouse while a startled pig looks out at the viewer. It has the words “Made from flavors specially blended in the traditional hillbilly style” what ever that is. On the back there is the slogan “It’ll tickle yore innards!” and has an arm raising a glass.
I love it! The typeface alone is so awesome. Wish I had the whole bottle. I did some Google research and found out that low and behold, this was an early bottle for “Mountain Dew” and most likely from the 1960s.
The Hartman Beverage Co. of Knoxville, TN, first introduced Mountain Dew. The soda’s success attracted the attention of the Pepsi-Cola Co. who eventually purchased the brand name.
Early Mountain Dew bottles with the Hartman name on them are very scarce. The first bottles were clear, not green glass. A 7 oz. clear glass bottle sells for $100 and a 7 oz. green glass bottle is valued at $75
The bottle dates from the 1960s and are Pepsi-Cola products. Like Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola licenses local bottlers to produce their brand name soda. Each franchise used the name of a different hillbilly couple to identify soda bottled at their plant. The extact number of participating plants is unknown. Bottles are collected by plant. A green 7 oz. bottle has a value in the $12 to $15 range, a green 10 oz. bottle in the $8 to $10 range.
The whole bottle would look something like this:
Back in the day, the concepts of “landfill”, “waste transfer station” and “recycling center” were foreign concepts. Most of the trash was paper, cardboard, metal or glass. Not like all of the plastic that we have now. People out in the country typically had enough land that they could parcel off as their own little junkyard. That’s where the empties went along with the old car. Taking the car for a Sunday drive out in the country might have included tossing the bottle of pop out the window. Why not? There was so much country to go around. Times change. But I bet this is not the last little time capsule from the past I see pop up out of the ground.