The B. Whitworth Dispute

A follow up on the dispute by Gerard de Kamper:

The exact wording on the codd bottle I use for the basis of this dispute (see photos included as well as rubbings) reads as follows:

In front, The Yorkshire Mineral Water Co, Johannesburg and at the back,
A.P. Co, successor to, B. Whitworth, Leeds

There is a Pretoria codd bottle with two variations, the word Johannesburg gets swapped with Pretoria and the Pretoria codd says established 1840. There is also a codd with the same wording as the ginger beer with the exception of the word Leeds appearing on it. To strengthen my view I include the advertisement found in the 1905 Longlands Transvaal directory for the Yorkshire Mineral Water Co.

I would also like to include a list of names of people who own examples of these bottles and who dug it in Pretoria, in the Lykshuis dump.

Abrie Burger
Albert van Rensburg (more than one)
Ian Steuart (it is spelled that way)
Mike Conradie
Gerard de Kamper
Martin & Ria Venter
Two mortuary staff members

Now for the whole story as I see it. The impression is created that after B. Whitworth established his Mineral water works in Leeds England in 1940 he packed his whole factory, including the bottles, and moved to Pretoria. This would explain the a couple of things:

  • The Leeds appearing on the bottle
  • The "Patronized by Royalty" on the Ginger beer
  • The big amount of bottles found in South Africa (including both codds and ginger beers)

After he came to Pretoria he continued for a while using his old name and old bottles explaining the amount of them on the dump and then he moved over to using the name The Yorkshire Mineral Water Co.

Although the bottle was firstly made for the British market, ginger beer as well as mineral water was produced in Pretoria and Johannesburg under the name B. Whitworth. This makes the Whitworth bottle both British as well as South African.