Monday, July 25, 2016

Alvin's 5" Leg or Cop the Bottle

Alvin Ansel Warren was born in 1895 in West Virginia.  In 1917 Alvin was living in Parkersburg when he registered for the Draft for World War I. His card says he had blue eyes and brown hair, is short with a medium build. It also says his right leg is 5 inches shorter than his left.

His employer is listed as Essex Glass Company and he calls himself a glass worker. I was curious.
The Essex Glass Company was one of the leading glass milk bottle manufactures in the United States. In 1913 Essex Glass purchased the Standard Milk Bottle Mfg. Co. factory in Parkersburg, West Virginia. 

In 1916 Essex Glass converted the Parkersburg plant to automated machines that were manned by one person and in 1917 the new machines were operating. In 1920 The Thatcher Manufacturing Company purchased the Essex Glass Company.

Because manganese is used as a decolorant in the manufacturing of the Essex bottle they solarize to be a pale purple. Between 1913 and 1920 Essex bottles were marked with an E4 as a logo.  These are found on the heel of the bottles.



By 1926 Alvin is working at the Universal Glass Products Company in Parmaco, Parkersburg, West Virginia. Universal mostly produced milk bottles between 1920 and 1940 and in1950 they started manufacturing liquor bottles. Their logo is UGP.


In 1938 a patent was granted to the Gennaro Boys for a bottle design that separated the cream from the milk in the bottle while pouring the milk. Universal Glass Products Company made the bottles for the Gennaros.  

Because the stern face at the top of the bottles resembled a Police Officer


 the bottles were called Cop the Cream and the company was named 


Cop the Cream Bottle Company. 

In April of 1942 Anvil again was required to register for the Draft. World War II  was happening. I discovered that in 1942 Alvin's eyes are listed as brown (not blue like before), his hair is now grey, he is 5'6" tall, which is still short but here is the interesting part when it asks if there are any physical characteristics that would aid in identification of him the answer he gives is none. The mystery of this is ... Wouldn't a leg that is 5" shorter than the other be a physical characteristic for identification? How did his eyes change color? 

I turned to the next page on the site and the back of the next card says the person is 5'3" has blue eyes, brown hair and is a cripple in his right leg.  Found him!

The scan of the draft cards is out of sync with the way they are presented on the website.  Good to know because only one side of the card has the person's name on it and descriptions may not be of you think they are. But then how do I know the first description was right.....