Foster Clark’s Bottles

Foster Clark’s Bottles

Bottles embossed with the name of ‘Foster Clark & Co, Maidstone’, for ‘Eiffel Tower Fruit Juices’. In 1910, Foster Clark’s became a limited company. Bottles made after this date have ‘Foster Clark Ltd’ rather than ‘Foster Clark & Co’. The firm also made lemonade.

In the 1890s, the bottles had burst-off lips and an embossed image of the Eiffel Tower trademark. This then disappeared after the late 1890s.  In the 1900s, the long neck was retained but the applied lip appeared (visible on the bottle farthest right). By 1908, the short-necked bottle was superseding the long-necked one. The bottles in the photo were discarded after the death of Mary Everett in October 1908. Five were found, all bearing the name of ‘Foster Clark & Co’ (i.e. dating before 1910), and all were for fruit juices rather than lemonade. Three were of the short neck variety and two of the long neck, showing that the latter was already coming in by late 1908.

The bottles contained a powder for making up fruit juice drinks.

48 Comments

  1. fiverr eebest8

    Hey, thanks for the post.Much thanks again. Really Great.

    Reply
  2. Trish Crane

    I have some – are they worth anything . I can send some photos

    Reply
    • Tom Licence

      Hi Trish,

      They’re worth nothing I’m afraid. These bottles are extremely common.

      Tom

      Reply
  3. Bob Hodgson

    I found one today outside a rabbit hole near Skipton, North Yorkshire. Nice condition, unbroken, a bit stained inside and nice to read the history.

    Reply
    • Tom Licence

      That’s a long way from Maidstone – probably taken up by steam train. Thanks for letting us know! Tom

      Reply
  4. Bob Hodgson

    Meant to add it is the 1908 – 1910 pattern and writing.

    Reply
  5. Jill

    I found one this week whilst digging in my garden. Embossed with G. foster Clark &a Co. Maidstone. I’m in Berkshire

    Reply
  6. Martin

    I found a long-necked lemonade bottle Foster Clark & co so pre-1908 in a garden in Bromyard, Herefordshire today. Chipped rim sadly.

    Reply
  7. B Gould

    one found today on the isle of wight. 🙂 don’t care about value- nice bit of history.

    Reply
    • Tom Licence

      Absolutely – and thanks for letting us know. There must be thousands still buried all across the country.

      Reply
  8. Helen Moore

    We have found a Foster Clark Ltd bottle with “Eiffel Tower Lemonade” written on the side, could you tell me how old this is please.

    Reply
    • Tom Licence

      If it says ‘Ltd’ on the bottle it dates to after 1910.

      Reply
  9. Bernadette Tanham

    We live along the old Lancaster Canal (de-watered bit) and I have just dug one up from one of the beds. Limited so after 1910. People go on about littering today but from the amount of bottles of bits of china I frequently dig up the Victorians were also very good at it. The other bottles I usually find are for Peck’s paste.

    Reply
    • Tom Licence

      It sounds like the rubbish you’re finding dates to the 1910s or 1920s, when Peck’s products were popular. This rubbish will have been collected from households and dumped in the old canal beds rather than casually being discarded as litter – although people did litter too.

      Reply
  10. Patrick Reilley

    My son found one today in Vincentown NJ, US. It was actually in an old mill pond that is now a park. This on is Pre 1910 with “G. Foster Clark & Co” on one side and Eiffel Tower Lemonade on the obverse. But this ottle is much shorter and wider that what I have scene online with a long neck and wide flange, like it would be corked. Could this be an export only version. Happy to provide a picture upon request.

    Reply
  11. Paul

    I dug one up today in my garden in Jersey, Channel Islands. It’s a short-neck variety with ‘& Co’ written on it. Luckily, it’s in perfect condition.

    Reply
  12. 'Bob'

    I found a Foster Clark & Co, Maidstone and Eiffel Tower, Fruit Juices short neck bottle, 28.08.2017 in very good condition. In a little hamlet near Truro, Cornwall (UK).

    Reply
    • Tom Licence

      Thanks for letting us know, Bob. Having travelled all the way from Kent, it had become a national favourite.

      Reply
  13. Benita

    Found last week in Wilmslow Cheshire would you know how it made its way here?

    Reply
    • Tom Licence

      Thanks for letting us know, Benita. Foster Clark’s was becoming a national brand by the late 1890s, supplying stores all over the country and moving their products around by rail or by road.

      Reply
  14. David

    Found a Lemonade one today digging the garden at Norfolk

    Reply
  15. Gary

    Ive been working with the environment agency and national widelife and we found one today in fosdyke sea defence while sorting badger burrows out

    Reply
  16. Tait

    Found today at 11am.20th.jan.2018 Foster clark co.Maidstone, Eiffel Tower lemonade bottle excellent condition,whilst digging in Chobham surrey.

    Reply
  17. Tom Mowat

    Dug up a Foster Clark Ltd. Eiffel Tower Lemonade bottle today. Location Kincardine O’neil, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire.

    Reply
  18. Marie

    We found one today at Cliveden National Trust whilst pulling up a board in one of our outbuildings, unbroken and just a bit dirty!

    Reply
  19. Kate

    I have two bottles of G. Foster Clark & Co, Maidstone with Eiffel Tower fruit juices on the other side. I dug them up in Saffron Walden, Essex about forty years ago and added them to my small collection. Among others I have a A Geo R Sims bottle of Tatcho Hair Preparation found to contain 2.7 parts Borax, 2-5 parts glycerine, and small parts of quinine, formaldehyde, alcohol, and perfume!

    Reply
  20. Richard

    We dug up a Foster Clark & Co Maidstone Eiffel Tower Lemonade bottle in our garden near Oswestry last weekend. It was full of soil but has scrubbed up well and is in perfect condition.

    Reply
  21. Greg

    I found one in Tickenham near Bristol. Pre 1908. Great condition. Now has a single daffodil in it. Great talking piece on my table. Everyone asks about it. Nice to say it’s over 100 years old.

    Reply
  22. Jackie Bowen

    I found one today in my garden in Cirencester! Blue glass perfect condition complete with glass stopper

    Reply
  23. Tracey Heppleston

    Found a Foster Clark ltd Maidstone clear bottle with Eiffel Tower Lemonade on the other side in perfect condition.

    Have been digging up part of our garden which was an old farm dating back to 1593. The guys found all sorts of objects but no treasure , yet!

    Reply
  24. Michelle Enstone

    Have just found a Foster Clark Ltd Eiffel Tower Lemonade in our garden in Somerset

    Reply
  25. Ashleigh Johnson

    Dug up one of these bottles in Eastbourne yesterday.

    Reply
  26. Victoria Tate

    my nine year old daughter fished one out of our stream in West Dorset. Good for her to get involved in the history of this object.

    Reply
  27. Kevin

    I just found one in my cellar. Eiffel Tower Fruit Juices on one side and G.Foster Clark & Co on the other. In Perfect condition.

    Reply
  28. Elizabeth Burn

    Hi We have inherited bottles found by my father in law not sure where but one is foster Clark and co Maidstone Eiffel Tower fruit juice did you say this was before 1908 ? We have a ESS Camp Coffee and chicory bottle which says Glasgow on one side and Paterson’s on another side. also a bottle with P H Galloway Ltd Chemists London S E17

    Reply
  29. Tom Licence

    Hi Elizabeth, if it’s FC ‘and co’ it’s before 1910. That was the year the firm became a limited company. Best regards, Tom

    Reply
  30. Maggie May

    I have found a Foster Clarke & Co. Maidstone, green bottle with lip, Eiffel Tower Lemonade. I assume this is pre 1910. It was lovely to read your information regarding these bottles. I am in the Scottish Borders!

    Reply
    • Tom Licence

      Hi Maggie – thanks for getting in touch! ‘Awaiting moderation’ is simply a auto-response telling you that I haven’t yet got round to reading your comment. If the bottle you’ve found has a lip rather than a burst-off top it should date to the 1900s. If the neck is short, it probably dates to the period 1906-1910. Glad you’re enjoying the website. I’ll be putting more items on soon, from our ongoing digs in Yarmouth. Tom

      Reply
  31. Glen

    On the beach today i found a little green Foster Clark & co bottle with Eiffel Tower Lemonade uncovered by the waves during the storm the other day. Largs north Ayshire.

    Reply
  32. Joanna Wheatland

    Found a Foster Clark Ltd lemonade bottle today while walking beside the old Wilts & Berks canal bed (abandoned in 1914) outside Chippenham, Wilts.

    Reply
  33. Malcolm

    A few years ago I found a Foster Clark & Co Maidstone Eiffel Tower Lemonade bottle with number 1574 on the underside. It was embedded in the roots of a huge willow tree that had fallen at the nature reserve at Narborough Bog, Leicester.
    Where were the bottles made? Is there glass making in the Maidstone area?

    Reply
  34. Terry

    I have a FOSTER CLARK LTD, MAIDSTONE on one side and on the other is EIFFEL TOWER, LEMONADE. It also seems to have a G on the bottom, or, it could be a mold position number. No chips or crack and does have some lovely air bubbles. We current call Georgia, USA home.

    Reply
  35. Nomad

    Found mine in Gresford, Wrexham LL12. Pre 1910 as has no Ltd company on it.Amazing that hundreds of these beautiful bottles have survived.Mine has the long neck which has had it’s lip expertly chipped away, bringing it to a sharp edge.For what reason I don’t know.Maybe to use as a die or stamp..

    Reply
    • Tom Licence

      Hi Nomad,

      This kind of lip is called a ‘burst-off lip’ (or sometimes, incorrectly, a ‘sheared-lip’). It was created deliberately at the point of manufacture by allowing a bubble to form at the top of the neck, and then burst. It was cheaper and quicker than rolling over the top of the glass to create an ‘applied lip’ of the sort that came later. Foster Clarke bottles with burst-off lips were in use until the early 1900s. By c. 1903 they had been replaced with the applied-lip variety.

      Reply
  36. Nick KING

    We found a Foster Clarke Ltd bottle when a work team of rangers was digging on a part of GODOLPHIN National Trust property in Cornwall last week.
    A long way and time from Maidstone !

    Reply
  37. Lorraine Burnett

    We found a Foster Clark Maidstone Eiffel Tower Lemonade whilst digging in our garden today I Devon. The neck has been broken off unfortunately but a nice find.

    Reply
  38. Kevin Storey

    We live in Kent in a house that was a pub until the 1960’s, we just found a Foster Clarke & Co long necked, burst-off lip bottle marked Eiffel Tower Fruit Juices. From your excellent website that dates it from around 1900 to 1903. Many thanks for sharing your information.

    Reply
    • Tom Licence

      Glad to help, Kevin. This product tended to be purchased and consumed pretty quickly, so it was probably discarded about that time. There may be other rubbish with it. At Guston, near Deal, I excavated a lot of Victorian and Edwardian rubbish that had been dumped in chalk pits at the rear of a row of cottages. It was common at that time to throw away rubbish at the end of the garden, in a secluded or overgrown spot.

      Reply

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