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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

SRD Jars - Who made them?


Gunner Bailey
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I have 3 jars all made by Persons of Chesterfield which is really nice because I live in Chesterfield and its great to see your home town connection with the war effort.

Nim.

Nim

Did you know there were two Peason firms in Chesterfield? James Pearson and Pearsons. There was also the Barker Pottery, E Wright & Co Ltd, Knowles & Son, all in Chesterfeild, so a a very good percentage of SRD's started their life in your town.

Gunner Bailey

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GB

Nice to see the thread bubbling along. The pottery maker didn't know that those items would be covered. The wicker-work was made on the actual jar and not as an independent item of kit to be fitted later. You would destroy it if you tried to remove it.

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GB

Nice to see the thread bubbling along. The pottery maker didn't know that those items would be covered. The wicker-work was made on the actual jar and not as an independent item of kit to be fitted later. You would destroy it if you tried to remove it.

This poses the question about the SRD jars that are not marked SRD. I had always presumed they were made to be covered with wicker. I have found a few unmarked jars in France, all with the standard makers, SKEY, Pearson etc and thought wicker was the only possible reason. Could they be just manufacturing errors that were sent out into use? Perhap we will never know, but the official spec does state that all jars had to be marked SRD.

GB

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This poses the question about the SRD jars that are not marked SRD. I had always presumed they were made to be covered with wicker. I have found a few unmarked jars in France, all with the standard makers, SKEY, Pearson etc and thought wicker was the only possible reason. Could they be just manufacturing errors that were sent out into use? Perhap we will never know, but the official spec does state that all jars had to be marked SRD.

Since the jars were made to a type that was also available for other commerical uses, perhaps the un-SRD marked examples were simply already available, and pressed into service?

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Since the jars were made to a type that was also available for other commerical uses, perhaps the un-SRD marked examples were simply already available, and pressed into service?

Andrew

Yes that makes sense. As these jars were also used by the drinks trade, the production line probably served both customers and maybe unmarked jars were diverted to fill orders.

GB

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Just to add a little bit more, I have recently found parts of a jar that had a thread in the top. I thought they may have been more recent items but looking around a bric a bric shop there were some screw top jars dated 1913 and 1916. So my next question is: are there any SRD jars in existence with internal screw tops.

Mick

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Just to add a little bit more, I have recently found parts of a jar that had a thread in the top. I thought they may have been more recent items but looking around a bric a bric shop there were some screw top jars dated 1913 and 1916. So my next question is: are there any SRD jars in existence with internal screw tops.

Mick

Mick

Never seen one so far, but I tend to agree with Andrew's comment about pieces being diverted from civilian production orders to make up numbers. It could account for the non marked SRD's and maybe the odd screw top. Discount nothing in this subject! In a local antique shop there is a jar that is identical in size, shape and colour to an SRD jar, but the top is marked to a Buckinghamshire brewery. These jars were extensively used by the drinks trade before WW1.

John

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I have seen recently a Jar with 'Ghost' SRD letters, instead of black letters, just different coloured glaze, not sure what that points to, perhaps the black letters scraped off and re-glazed? Paul.

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Gunner Bailey

You might remember my dissertation upon Navy Rum (RN) and my fleeting mention of our jars being encased in wicker for issue to subs,minesweepers, FPBs ? Our RN ones were of 1 gallon size and the wicker body was joined at the neck with the top piece by seperately woven strands of wickerwork. If you HAD to seperate them it ain't impossible to replace the wicker,but you would have to be lucky with the colour match thereafter !

Sotonmate

Edit: just seen the pic of the wicker jar. The red band, (Don't leave this anywhere hot,like hidden in the ER for midnight "gulpers"), is as we had them in the MOD(N),the handles were nothing like as prominent,more flat,thought I guess it was possible that there were a few like that somewhere !

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Hi Norman

My wicker clad SRD has handles that are at their highest, level with the top of the jar. So more compact than Paul's. Here's a photo.

John

post-8629-1227196566.jpg

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GB

Just like the RN jars !!

Sotonmate

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GB

Just like the RN jars !!

Sotonmate

Excellent! I did try to find out more about it from the seller, who phoned her son to find out what had been in it. The answer came back 'Alcohol'.

GB ;)

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I have two Pearson (Chesterfield) rum jars; one James Pearson Ltd, the other says Pearson and Co and one by F Brayne and Co (London) My Dad has a half size jar as well.

Cheers, Michelle

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I have two Pearson (Chesterfield) rum jars; one James Pearson Ltd, the other says Pearson and Co and one by F Brayne and Co (London) My Dad has a half size jar as well.

Cheers, Michelle

Hi Michelle

Thanks for the information. Certainly Pearson & Co jars are the most common , but James Pearson and F Brayne are quite scarce. Pearson & Co (Chesterfield) Ltd is I believe the mark from 1925 so those without the Ltd will be WW1 era.

Gunner Bailey

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GB

Out of curiosity are there ANY traces of red wax around the neck of the Jar ? This is what we used to seal the cork in and mark with the Admiralty seal.

Sotonmate

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  • 3 weeks later...
Has anyone come across a one pint jar?

Mick

Hi Mick

I've just bought my first 1/2 Gallon jar. Now you have set a new challenge!

John

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My challenge is to get my mate to part with his spare 2 gallon jar without parting with any dosh.

Mick

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GB

Out of curiosity are there ANY traces of red wax around the neck of the Jar ? This is what we used to seal the cork in and mark with the Admiralty seal.

Sotonmate

I've had a good look but the top it very clean. No traces on the wicker either. It still has a cork in though. Was the mark any any device we know?

GB

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I don't know anything about SRD jars, but have done a fair bit of research on brewery history and have a fair bit of knowledge on the similar stoneware jars used in the trade. Apologies if you don't think this is relevant but it might be of use.

Brewery jars came with both cork and screw stoppers, but almost all 20th century jars had screw stoppers, corks remained in use for spirits and non-drink liquids (eg ink) until a much later date. Half gallon and upward jars almost invariably had wicker cases, the polystyrene packaging of its day. In most cases the wickerwork only came up to the bottom of the shoulder so printing on the shoulder such as the brewery name was visible and there are cases where paper labels were stuck on the shoulder or on the wicker. A lot of these jars were used for home deliver services to private households. Some jars had a tap at the bottom so they could be stood on a table or bar and drink served without lifting the jar. Some 2 gallon cider jars had the name on the side so perhaps weren't wicker encased. Small pint or quart jars were probably for spirit or non drink use, they were not usually wicker encased but came in a square or rectangular "shopping basket" divided into compartments.

Numbers on jars get attributed to all sorts of things and in the case of brewery jars are usually not dates. Numbers on the base or associated with the makers mark are usually said to be associated with the manufacturer - stock numbers, inspection/control numbers or even identifying the individual potter for piece work are suggested. A lot of brewery jars were individually numbered, in the same way as casks, for stock control. Delivery note and collection note had the jar/cask number recorded so that unreturned containers could be charged for - the railways did the same thing for everything from ropes and tarpaulins, through baskets and boxes to wagons. SRD jars don't seem to have had this sort of control number.

Again, apologies if you think this is off topic and shouldn't be here.

Robert

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Robert, anything you can add is very much appreciated. You mention numbers but what about letters? for example I have a couple with an impressed P which is seperate and distinct from the makers mark.

mick

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Robert

Thanks for the information in your post. It is entirely relevant to the subject of SRDs as many of the SRD makers were regular suppliers to the brewery and soft drinks trades. As Mick says there are sometimes odd impressed or printed letters and numbers on SRD jars that I think are possibly inspection marks, but could be batch marks. I have a Pearsons jar with a P on the opposite side to the SRD marking and I also have a Doulton that has 42 impressed into the side. It is a WW1 jar so it's not a date.

In the Albert museum they have lots of SRD jars in the underground section but by the entrance they have a large range of commercial drinks jars, a few of which have screw tops. I have seen some with taps on the bottom as well. A local antique shop has one impressed with 'Domestos' and it has a tap at the base. Clearly not one from the drinks trade. but made in a similar factory.

One thing that makes SRD research difficult is that many jar makers merged with other potteries so many of the names didn't last long. Potteries are in many cases transient businesses. For example there are SRD jarsmarked Batesons 1914, but this is not the date of the jar but the date Batesons started up. The merged with another company soon after and the name disappeared.

Interesting subject and a classic WW1 icon.

Gunner Bailey

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GB

The mark on the rum jar seal was a foul anchor and a number underneath it which indicated the packing depot.

Sotonmate

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