The J-Spout Cone Top Can:
Cone tops come in multiple styles. The J-Spout had an elongated spout similar to a bottle neck resembling a “J” and for obvious reasons, to adapt to the bottle capping machinery during the introduction of canning beer. The first J-Spout was issues in 1937 introduced by the Crown Cork & Seal Company.
One “Claim to Fame” was my J-Spout collection. I started specializing in J-spout cones after I got lucky and purchased a Boston Light Ale! After that I sold and traded all the other cans I had to accumulate one of the first largest J-spout collection known. Now I know collectors reading this will point out Marc Tracy may be the new King of J-spouts but that was years after my collection was sold and pieced out. I sure hope Marc got allot of them and would love to see a picture of his collection at its peak! Unfortunately, my collection peaked out at a time before digital cameras and media were in everyone’s hands. The photos I do have are scanned from old Kodak pictures and are not the whole collection. I’ve added other photos found that were either mine or represent one I had.
I got into collecting these special cone tops just about the time everyone was gasping at the thought that some beer cans are selling for $1000 or more. Also timing was right as some advanced collectors like the McCoys, Ernei Oest, Wally Gilberts, Chuck and others were parting with some of their rare and prized cans. Also some can dealers like the Rogalski Brothers were consigning and selling some really rare cans. I was trading and buying for everyone I could get my hand on. I even took loans out and sold my car to get every one available.
I soon had many rare key J-spouts including maybe the best Bushkill known, Fredericks, Chester, Brockert Porter, Wacker Little Dutch, Graupner’s Old German, Chevy Ale and many more. All said and done at the peak of this collection, I had 65 different J-spout, Have documented at least 10 unknown variations and slight differences. I can’t put my hands on it but I developed a list of all know J-spouts including the variations I found and think it was around 80ish.
My J-spout collection finally got to a stalemate. I could not accumulate anymore. I tried like heck to get a few other I knew of like the Blue Hudephol, and Kaiers but they were locked down in other collections and would take ridiculous cash to even think of getting. I started to take a break from the collection. Soon after I started to pick up flying and got my private pilots license. It was not feasible renting an aircraft and I needed to raise funds for a half share purchase of an airplane. I tried to reason with myself and keep the collection, but it had to be sold or no plane.
I remember flying my rental plane to Ohio and meeting a fellow collector at a small airport with my collection on board. It a hotel room near the airport we negotiated a price for the collection. I remember debating on values like whether the Wacker Little Dutch slightly off grade was worth $500 and If the Fredericks would sell for more than $1500. It’s a sick nightmare now what that collection sold for but I will say it was just before the big price boom and fair for it’s time. I can now look back and think about how much it would be worth today or the memory of the people I met and negotiated to get them, the hard work and efforts in the seed collections to be able to trade and of course being able to say at one time I lead the pack for the largest J-spout collection know.
Since then a few more J-Spouts have surfaced which were not known. I love this hobby!