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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Jim Mulligan Tongs a Cedar Run Bottle

It seems as if I may have started something with my March 23, 2011 posting of John Headley's mystery bottle from West Creek. While I haven't gotten any extra information on John's bottle, Jim Mulligan from Leektown stopped by the Bass River Community Library last week with a mystery bottle of his own.

Jim found the green colored bottle while clamming off the bridge leading to Long Beach Island. He surmised that it probably was a soda bottle but couldn't provide any information about it, other than what the inscription said and where he found it.

The machine made bottle is clearly not as old as the "Headley" bottle as its top accepted a pressed on bottle cap that is still used today, the color was uniform throughout, and there were no bubbles in the glass. I'm guessing that it may be from the 1940's, but I'm no authority on old bottles. It's inscription, if not its age, should be interesting to history buffs in our area.

The dark green color of the bottle makes reading the raised lettering somewhat difficult, so a bottle rubbing was clearly in order. I found a purple crayon and some plain white paper and produced the following rubbing which mentions the proprietor, J. Mascolo and the Cedar Run, N.J. Bottling Works.

The recessed bottom of the bottle reads, "1108. Registered. Contents 8 Fl. Oz."

The bottle's inscription raises two primary questions - Just who was this "J. Mascolo" and where was the Cedar Run Bottling Works? Unfortunately, I don't have a clue regarding the answers to those questions, so I emailed a photo of the bottle and the rubbing to Tim Hart, a local area historian, who is knowledgeable regarding the Cedar Run - Stafford Township area. Following is an email reply that I received from Tim.

Dear Peter:

James Mascolo was an entrepreneur. He was one of the first Italian American business people in lower Ocean County. He built Paradise Cove in Tuckerton, owned a series of roadside cabins in Cedar Run, and owned “Jimmies Restaurant” in Manahawkin (later Carroll’s restaurant).

Many bottles say they are from Ocean County – but after the destruction of the Barnegat glass works (building is gone by 1920) I have no evidence of any bottles being produced in Ocean County.


Armed with the newly acquired information obtained from Tim Hart, I was able to find Jim Mascolo's obituary in my genealogy files.

Tim's information and the obituary answers the first question regarding just who J. Mascolo was, but it doesn't directly answer the second question as to the Cedar Run Bottling Company. Tim's comments, however, suggest that the bottle was probably manufactured outside of the Ocean County area with the Cedar Run Bottling Company inscription likely commissioned by Jim Mascolo who sold the soda in the Cedar Run area.

I am hoping that someone out in the Blog-O-Sphere can shed some light on the Cedar Run Bottling Company. Surely there are some area bottle collectors who may have some helpful information.

Pete S

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