Noakes House Silent Auction Items: Winchester Coca-Cola Bottles

The reception and silent auction to celebrate the completion of the Samuel Noakes House on March 9 is drawing closer. While we count down until March 9, a number of items that will be available at the auction will be highlighted in the PHW blog.

A number of Coca-Cola items were uncovered in the Noakes House, including two of the distinctive hobble skirt bottles labelled for Winchester. The bottles found at the Noakes House likely date between 1951-1958.

A common misconception is that the city on the bottles is where the bottles were manufactured. In fact, the city is merely the marker of where the bottles were to be distributed, not where the bottles were made. These bottles were manufactured by the Owens-Illinois Glass Company, as noted by the manufacturer’s mark of an I enclosed in an oval. The bottles were dated to the 1951-1958 time period because the label reads “Min. contents 6 fl. oz.” Later bottles would read 6 1/2 fl. oz.

The Coca Cola Bottling Works came to Winchester in 1940-1941. Although originally constructed exclusively for bottling, the plant gradually changed to a distribution and warehouse by the 1970s. The Coca Cola building is itself a significant, if restrained, example of Art Deco architecture and an example of Coca Cola’s shrewd and innovative advertising acumen. As stated by Maral Kalbian, “The use of large plate-glass windows on the front of this building . . . signifies a departure from traditional designs of manufacturing facilities where production processes were concealed from the public. By placing this modern building within a residential neighborhood and allowing the bottling of Coca-Cola to be clearly visible to the passer-by, the Coca-Cola Company was using its architecture as a marketing device.”

This inviting style of Coca-Cola plant buildings seems to be a hallmark of the architects Davis & Platt. Similar designs to the Winchester building can be found in Frederick, Maryland; Silver Spring, Maryland; Romney, West Virginia; Williamsport, Pennsylvania; and an addition to an existing Coca-Cola facility in Alexandria, Virginia.

Learn more about the history of Coca-Cola bottles, glass manufacturer marks, and the Winchester Coca-Cola Bottling Works at,,, and

If you’d like to own this piece of history, tickets are still available for both the afternoon and evening reception and silent auction on March 9. The Coca-Cola bottles will be part of the afternoon auction items. Reserve your spot online via PayPal, or make your reservation by mailing in a check payable to PHW to 530 Amherst St., Winchester, VA 22601.

Afternoon Showing, 3-5 p.m. – $20 admission

Evening Showing, 6-8 p.m. – $30 admission