These two 1920's bottles pictured are embossed M. J. Harlow , Margate which is a Margate mineral water company that no longer exists . The initials standing for Michael James Harlow who as records show was in business in late 1877 producing mineral waters from the old brewery at 94 High Street, Margate. Today the site is occupied by W.H.Smith.
Harlow's position at the 94 high street was well placed for trade and like all mineral water business's in the town, Harlow prospered well due to the Victorian holiday trade. By 1898 the business moved to larger premises with a manufacturing plant and offices in Chaucer Road, Margate. Many people may be unfamiliar with this address which in 1901 became Addiscombe Road after some of the streets in Margate were renamed. The directory in Margate library does list the business as trading from 33 Addiscombe Road, Margate in 1901.
Trading from Addiscombe Road, Harlow soon became a major player in the Margate mineral water trade competing with the likes of Reeve & Co , Hawley Street and Barrett & Co, Eaton Road supplying the hotel trade and visitor destinations with mineral waters and ginger beer. Harlow bottles carried the heavy embossment MJH which was very distinctive and appeared on most bottles. The bottles pictured are the crown cap type which the company used up until 1924 when the business closed due to difficult trading conditions due to the post first world war slump that hit the holiday trade. The site was taken over by Barrett & Co who remained manufacturing on the site until the 1980's.
M J Harlow used many glass bottle designs like aqua embossed Hamiltons which in the early years were acid etched . Other glass bottles included aqua embossed Codd's, aqua embossed internal screw top cylinder, green embossed dumpy seltzer and aqua embossed Sykes Mcvay. In my time I have came across every example of each except the Sykes Mcvay which is a very rare find. I have also found fragments bearing the address 94 High Street, Margate in the cave at Kingsgate that collapsed in 1978 and collapsed again in 1998 due to subsidence.
Today many of the bottles disposed of from the Chaucer Road / Addiscombe Road site remain buried under the raised ground besides Dane Park that links Thanet Road Margate with the bottom of Wildernesss Hill, Margate when the artificial rock face at Dane Park was also constructed close to the pond.