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Hidden Treasures In The Tree

What surprises did we find inside the hollow base of the tree? Nestled in the potting soil of the tree stump was an intact, clear glass jar – cylinder in shape with a short-waisted neck; approximately 5-1/4” tall x 1-5/8” wide. The jar number is 3404 ½. The glass mark at the bottom looks like a chess pawn. I contacted the Toledo Museum of Art glass history with this information. They were able to tell me the mark was a capstan and the company was Capstan Glass Company, Connellsville, Pennsylvania (1919-1938); they made commercial packer jars.

The name capstan was selected for the glass plant because it seemed to tie in with the “anchor” of Anchor Cap and Closure Company. A capstan is a device on ships which assists in the handling of the anchor (

The museum gave me a link to an article written by Barry L. Bernas in Bottles & Extra, July-August 2007; Capstan Tumblers, Jar and Bottles Used by the American Stores Company. In gleaning the article, I decided to see if I could find Mr. Bernas’s email/phone number. The Internet worked great. I called and spoke with Mr. Bernas. He was able to tell me, with the jar description and number, that the jar was listed in the Capstan Glass Jar Catalog as an olive jar, 1930-31, vacuum cap. It was a one-time use, pry-off cap, depression-era jar.

This jar is totally intact. Maybe a hungry farmer ate his lunch under the shade of the tree and left it behind at the end of a hard day’s work. We’ll never know how it got inside the tree base. – Therese Meyer

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