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Books to Aid Research

There is an abundance of literature that can help research a whiskey brand and its owner. Some of the better ones are collected here: you can find many more in The www.pre-pro.com Library.

Whiskey Brands
Bottle Collecting, General
Bottle Collecting, Regional
History of the Liquor Industry, General
History of Individual Distillers

 

Whiskey Brands
Researching brands and their ownership would be infinitely more difficult if it were not for the diligent work of Bob Snyder, the founder of the self-named "Snyder Whiskey Research Center". Mr. Snyder spent many years researching the pre-prohibition whiskey industry and issued two books that are invaluable for those wishing to learn more about their shot collection.

Whiskey Paper, by Robert E Snyder, 1980
This is a 96-page collection of letterheads, labels, advertisements, and sales information. Many familiar brands and distillers can be found here. Included are two pages of photographs of shot-glasses.
Available from this website for $20.00, shipping included. Contact sales@pre-pro.com for details.
 

Whiskey Brands, by Robert E Snyder, 2002
A binder containing lists of 6,500 brands and their owners and date of registration. Mr. Snyder used the binder format to allow for updates. Note that all of the information contained in Whiskey Brands has been converted to electronic form and is freely available in the Robert E Snyder Whiskey Brand database here at www.pre-pro.com. The database containes over 10,000 brands as of writing (2009)!
 

 

Bottle and Glass Collecting, General 
The bottle-collecting world is way ahead of us in terms of cataloging  merchants and distillers who produced shot glasses.  They also have useful ideas regarding displays, photographing glass, and cleaning out persistent  deposits that one sometimes finds in the bottom of a shot.  There is an abundance of literature on bottle collecting, but listed below are some of the notables. 

The Official Price Guide to Bottles, by Jim Megura, 2000.  Thirteenth Edition, The Crown Publishing Group, New York, NY:  ISBN #0-676-60184-7,    $17.95   Availability: In your local bookstore

The Illustrated Guide to Collecting Bottles, by Cecil Munsey, 1970.  Hawthorn Books, New York, NY: ISBN # 0-8012-3940-4  Availability: Out of Print - check used book sellers.  This is a must-have book for understanding the history of glass and the glass-industry.  Lots of nice pictures.  While there is nothing in shot glasses per se, there is an abundance of relevant information presented in a highly readable form.

Dictionary of Spirits and Whiskey Bottles, by John C. Fountain and Donald Colcleaser, 1969. Ole Empty Bottle House Publishing Co. Availability: Out of Print - check used book sellers

Digger Odell's Official Antique Bottle and Glass Collector Magazine Price Guide, Vol. 8 Whiskeys, by John Odell, 2005.  Available from http://www.bottlebooks.com/products.htm, $34, shipping included

Glass of Cumberland Maryland Area, by Dale Murschell, 2002.  Self-published.  This is a wonderful book on the glassmakers who made and etched the old shots, including a section on George Truog of Maryland Glass Etching Works Fame.  Contact Dale directly at mountainmonster@mountain.net for a copy, and see his website www.cumberlandglass.org.  The text is derived from the book, but you'll still want to get a copy for the additional photo's and figures.

 

Bottle Collecting, Regional

Redigging the West, by Lynn Blumenstein, 1965. Old Time Bottle Publishing Co., Salem, OR.  Availability: Out of Print - check used book sellers

Spirits Bottles of the Old West, by Bill and Betty Wilson, 1968. Antique and Hobby Publishing Co, Amador City, CA. Availability: Out of Print - check used book sellers - expect to pay around $50.

Whiskey Bottles of the Old West, by John L. Thomas, 2002.  An updated and revised edition of a classic, published by Liza A. Brighton, 61 Terrace View Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066. ISBN #09663143-2-8  $69.95 Limited availability, order from Bill Ham P.O.Box 427, Downieville, CA 95936, FAX: 530.289.1228.  For more information, see http://www.bittersbottles.net/

      John Thomas' four earlier books are detailed at www.buywhiskeybottle.com, and there are links to help you find the books at Amazon.com.  They include:

Whiskey Bottles and Liquor Containers from the State of Washington
, by John L. Thomas, 1998. Amanta, Soquel, CA.

Whiskey Bottles and Liquor Containers from the State of Oregon, by John L. Thomas, 1998.

Whiskey Bottles, by John L. Thomas, 1977.  Maverick Publications, Box 243, Bend OR 97701.  ISBN 89288-088-2 

Picnics, Coffins, Shoo-Flies, by John L. Thomas, 1974.  Maverick Publications, Box 243, Bend OR 97701.  ISBN 0-89288-009-0


 

History of the Liquor Industry, General

Dictionary of the History of the American Brewing and Distilling Industries, by W. L. Downard, 1980.  Greenwood, Westport, CT.

The Social History of Bourbon.  An Unhurried Account of Our Star-Spangled American Drink, by Gerald Carson, 1963.  Reprinted in 1984 by University Press, Kentucky.  ISBN# 0-8131-1509-4.  Availability: Out of Print, but readily available from used book sellers

Whiskey.  An American Pictorial History, by Oscar Getz, 1978.  David McKay Co., New York, NY.  Availability: Out of Print, but readily available from used book sellers

Bluegrass, Belles and BourbonA Pictorial History of Whiskey in Kentucky by H. H. Kroll, 1969, Barnes & Co., Inc. , Cranbury NJ.  Availability: Out of Print, but readily available from used book sellers

The Book of Classic American Whiskeys, by Mark H. Wayback and James F Harris, 1995.  Open Court Publishing Co., La Salle IL.  ISBN# 0-8126-9305-1.  Availability: In your local bookstore:  $26.95

 

History of Individual Distillers

The Evolution of the Bourbon Whiskey Industry in Kentucky, by Sam K. Cecil, 1999.  Turner Publishing Co., Paducah KY.  ISBN# 1-56311-486-0. Availability: In your local bookstore:  $35.00
This is an outstanding book with histories of many of the old Kentucky distilleries based on the unpublished work of Whit Coyte.

Jack Daniel's Legacy, by Ben A Green, 1967.  Rich Printing Co., Nashville TN.  Availability: Out of Print - but readily available from used book sellers

But Always Fine Bourbon.  Pappy Van Winkle and the Story of Old Fitzgerald, by Sally Van Winkle Campbell, 1999.  Limestone Lane Press, Louisville, KY.  ISBN# 0-9674208-0-6.  Out of Print - but available from used book sellers

The American Whiskey Jug, by Jack Sullivan, 2002.  This is a self-published compendium of articles written for various magazines.  Jack is a whiskey research maestro and his articles contain many histories of individual distillers -- albeit with a jug slant.  He actually taught me a thing or two about the Philadelphia dealers and I thought that I was the expert!  Jack can be reached at 4300 Ivanhoe Pl., Alexandria, VA 22304.

The Whiskey Ceramics of Scotland, Ireland and England, by Jack Sullivan, 2002.  A companion volume to the one above.  

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