Thanks to some research and an email from a kind reader of this blog we now have the answer to the "John Howell bottle" mystery previously mentioned in the comments dated July 4-6, 2004.
An article in the newsletter of "The Greater Buffalo Bottle Collectors Association" (see: http://ah.bfn.org/h/stockyd/jab/) explains as follows:
"As we continued to go deeper we hit groundwater which required that we don our barn boots and rubber gloves. On the bottom of the privy amidst the trash were floorboards that went in a vertical and horizontal pattern. Wedged under these boards were bottles. I pulled out a John Howell squat soda and turned to hand it to my son, Jacob, while in the privy next to me Monte was handing over the exact same bottle. Howell was in business in Buffalo from 1841 until his death in 1888. He began as a employee of Burr & Waters, started his own company with a gentlemen by the name of Smith and began his own business sometime after the Civil War. He was recognized throughout the country as a leader among the makers of pop soda water and mineral waters. His firm then continued under the auspices of his sons."
I am not aware of any family connection to this John Howell!Posted by jhowell at March 14, 2005 7:43 PM