Aug. 1972: Cordova man shows off bottle collection; local swimmer makes amazing turnaround


Sometimes the most interesting stories aren't found on the front pages of Mountain Eagles of the past. This week an article on an inside page from August 1972 about the bottle collection of J.G. Pounds caught my attention.  

Pounds, a Cordova man, had been collecting bottles for about a year and a half and already had between 3,000 and 4,000. Six countries were represented — Great Britain, Japan, Italy, Ireland, Canada and France. 

Most of the bottles were unearthed at old dumps in Birmingham.

The Eagle was especially fascinated by a "pig" bottle, which originated in Japan in 1860.

"It has three different size portions to it, the middle containing a marble. Alkalide pressure in the bottle caused the marble to press against a rubber stopper, located in the top portion. To open it, the opening of the bottle was hit with the palm of the hand, thus thrusting the marble to go down into the middle portion so the drink could be released. To get a drink, the marble had to be positioned just right or it would stray back to the stopper, closing the bottle back up," staff writer Peggy Brown reported.

Pounds also had a few purple bottles in his collection and others turning their color in the sun. The effect was caused by manganese being used to make glass bottles between 1880 and 1910. After seven years of sun exposure, the glass turns purple.

Pounds also had Hutchison stopper bottles.

"These bottles had a cork with a wire on top, used for opening and closing the bottle. However, the cork never was removed. The bottle was opened by pushing the cork down and drinking the 'blob soda' over the wire," according to the article.

Pounds also had an ink pitcher used in the 1800s to hold ink used in printing presses and a Coke bottle stamped Dec. 25, 1923.

"You are not supposed to patent anything on a legal holiday," Pounds said.

Coke's hobble skirt bottle, which turned 100 in 2015, came about during a time when sodas were kept in tubs of ice to to keep them cold.

"If you wanted a drink, you would have to reach in and pull it out. If it wasn't the kind you wanted, you would have to put it back and reach again. So a hobble skirt was invented for 'feel' and you would know what you were getting before you pulled it out," Brown wrote.

Another inside page story of interest to me was titled, "Profile of Courage: From Tragedy to Triumph."

Wayne Lindley wrote the story about his oldest daughter, Jeannie, who was in and out of Children's Hospital several times from the time she was one month old. 

At Johns Hopkins, a doctor told Lindley and his wife that there was nothing that could be done for their daughter.

"Her reflexes were gone. She didn't respond to sight tests. She was too weak to survive an electroencephalograph and everything else came up wrong. They recommended that she be fed the lowest cost formula because she was going to die anyway," Lindley wrote.

At seven months old, Jeannie weighed a pound less than she had at birth. She was admitted to Children's Hospital for the third time in her young life and underwent a tracheotomy and had an IV feeding tube inserted.

Jeannie was one of four infants in critical condition at the time. One by one, the others passed away. After 57 days in the hospital, she was released.

Jeannie struggled to learn to walk and talk after being delayed for so long. Her first years in school were difficult.

Then, at age 7, she took swimming lessons at Memorial Park. She began swimming competitively the next year and did well.

At age 13, she was asked to compete in the 15-17 year-old girls swim team and won an event in Huntsville.

"With the prestige of swimming, pride seems to grow and that's worth a 180 degree change i attitude sometimes. Believe it or not, Jeannie changed from a C-,D,F student to an A and B student in one season," Lindley wrote.

Lindley shared his story with the Eagle both to applaud the city of Jasper for making recreation programs open to local youth and to inspire others to "dream the impossible dream and reach the unreachable goal."

Jennifer Cohron is the Daily Mountain Eagle's features editor.