Q: Recently while digging for utilities on former farmland, I dug up this old green glass bottle with a rounded bottom. In raised letters it says "Cantrell & Cochrane" and "Belfast & Dublin" on the sides. The round bottom interests me. Can you tell me about it?
A: Dr. Thomas Cantrell established a business selling soft drinks in Belfast, Ireland, in 1852. Alderman Henry Cochrane became a partner in 1868, when Cantrell & Cochrane was established. The company made mineral water and medicated aerated water. Round-bottom bottles were made from 1869 until the early 1900s. Ginger ale, seltzer water, and medicated aerated water were sold in round-bottom bottles. Because the bottle had to be laid on its side, the cork stayed moist and didn't dry out. Holders have since been made to display the bottles upright. These bottles are sometimes called "ballast bottles" because they may have been used as ballast on ships. The Belfast company is still in business, now operating as C&C Group. Value of your bottle: $15 to $20.