Bottles and Breweriana

W.A. WILKINSON LTD

Bottles, price lists, adverts…
images courtesy and copyright of Jim Rickard and Philip/Carol Tallent

A short guide to W.A.Wilkinson bottles – Jim Rickard

These are beer bottles. They are both of about 3/4 pint size and are of a size referred to as “glass porters” by bottle collectors. Beer bottles usually come in three sizes: half pint sizes, porter size and pint size with pint bottles becoming more predominant after about 1920. These bottles are usually black but come in a range of ambers and greens too.

In terms of the companies, W A Wilkinson had the biggest mineral water and beer bottling business in North Tyneside and was in business from the 1870s right through ’til after the second world war. His closest competitor was probably Matthew Knott whose business on 52, 53, and 54 Nile Street ran from the 1870s until some time in the 1920s. Both companies were smaller than some of the Newcastle or Sunderland companies such as Newcastle Breweries or Vaux but traded mainly in North Tyneside (as it is now) and around Blyth/Bedlington and not so much in Newcastle.

 

If you find a bottle from North Shields I would say there was about a 50% chance it would be from W A Wilkinson and about a 25% chance it would be from Matthew Knott, the other companies were smaller and not so long lived (I have only dug one whole bottle this year and it was from W A Wilkinson!). Both W A Wilkinson and Matthew Knott used a large number of different bottles, partly for the different drinks they sold and partly because they had to keep replacing their bottles as they got thrown away. And also because styles changed as time progressed.

WA Wilkinson used two trade marks on his bottles, a codd bottle (a type of pop bottle patented in 1872 and popular until about 1910 with a marble stopper) and a unicorn both at the same time. Around about 1910 he dropped the codd bottle and just used the unicorn. I have attached a photograph of the 4 W A Wilkinson glass porter bottles I have – the embossing is a little hard to read and doesn’t photograph particularly well – the two in the centre are particularly well embossed examples, the main difference between them is that one is a cork stopper and the other has an internal screw stopper. The one on the end has had a transfer sand blasted onto it of the unicorn whereas the others all have codd bottles.

 

The only known photo of W.A. Wilkinson’s.

W.A. WILKINSON SHOP c1920s AT CORNER OF KING STREET/GEORGE STREET

Empire Day? Pictured outside Percy Gardens, Tynemouth

WILKINSON’S DELIVERY CART c1905

early 1900s

NEWSPAPER ADVERT

2 stout beer bottles and 1 hop beer bottle with unicorn trade mark

STONEWARE BOTTLES

early 1910s

NEWSPAPER ADVERT

Rare trade advert for W.A. Wilkinson Ltd post World War 2.
Note the new manufacturing address, 34 King Street (over the road from the bombed factory which was at 51 King Street, adjacent to Tynemouth Road) and the new shop address. Wilkinson’s also had premises at 170 Tynemouth Road – now a pizza take-away business.

NEWSPAPER ADVERT c1949

detail of flagon imprint

STONEWARE FLAGON

c1910 – probably a unique survivor

STONEWARE GALLON FLAGON

early stoneware bottle with unicorn imprint

STONEWARE BOTTLE

bottle/flagon stopper

VULCANITE BOTTLE STOPPER

crate for Smila soda bottles – again probably unique

12 BOTTLE SMILA CRATE c1930

Drink Smila!

12 BOTTLE SMILA CRATE c1930

note the bottles inside the crate

12 BOTTLE SMILA CRATE c1930

c1915

SMILA ENAMEL SIGN

CORONATION MUG

1911

CORONATION MUG

1940s LABELLED BOTTLES

LABELLED BOTTLES

Nourishing Stout advertising card – c1920?

ADVERTISING CARD

Bottle expert Dr Jim Rickard with the late Leslie Wilkinson

JIM RICKARD WITH THE LATE LESLIE WILKINSON

Appeal for the return of bottles, 1901

BOTTLE SHORTAGE NOTICE

Return bottles appeal – 1919

BOTTLE SHORTAGE NOTICE, 1919

c1930

PRICE LIST

c1930

PRICE LIST

c1930

PRICE LIST

c1930

PRICE LIST