Vintage Water Bottles

Ever since the earliest humans realized that they could carry water in gourds and animal skins, transporting fresh, clean water has been a serious enterprise.  In 218 BCE, Hannibal and his troops recuperated from battle at Source Perrier in France. A hundred years later the Romans were building huge aqueducts to carry fresh water to their cities. Leonardo Da Vinci was fond of water from San Pellegrino,  and Napoleon was known to carry fresh spring water with him at all times.

Many of today’s most famous water companies have been operating for over a hundred years. In 1845, Poland Spring Water Company was founded when tourists wanted to bring home the delicious spring water as a souvenir of their vacation. Perrier was first bottled in 1863 under the rule of Napoleon III, and Deer Park spring water was founded in 1863. President Taft and his wife spent their honeymoon at Deer Park, and as was fashionable then, they “took the waters.”

Pont du Gard, Roman Aqueduct in Southern France.

Pont du Gard, Roman Aqueduct in Southern France.

President Taft and family.

President Taft and family.

Great Bear was founded in 1888 to transport spring water from New York State to Manhattan’s growing population.

The water bottles were packed in wooden crates and delivered to homes and offices just like they are today.

water delivery.

water delivery.

antique water cooler

antique water coolers

We found our Great Bear water bottle at one of our favorite antique stores.

three of our favorites

three of our favorites

We also use one as a doorstop.

We also use one as a doorstop.

We buy them whenever we find them- which lately has been less and less frequently. Maybe people are starting to catch on…



Filed under eco home, vintage

3 responses to “Vintage Water Bottles

  1. Janie

    Hi there,

    Really enjoyed seeing pictures of the Great Bear bottles and reading the history….
    My husband emptied out his Uncle’s home in Albany and have 1 gallon bottle that says Great Bear.

    It seems a bit opalescent…or maybe just needs a good rinsing. It has the original cap, too.

    Any idea what it’s worth?


  2. Michael Patton

    My wife decided to pick up my glass great bear that i have had for 18 yrs and droppped it. I need to find another one can you help me

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