Falkirk students discover story of ‘historic’ ketchup bottle

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The First World War was probably still raging when some unknown citizen lobbed an empty bottle of ketchup into the Union Canal - to be discovered by Falkirk students a century later.

Working as volunteers with the Scottish Waterways Trust, they were busy cutting back vegetation on the canal when they discovered the unusual relic of times gone by - a logo clearly visible despite the mud caked on the glass.

Intrigued, the Trust managed to unearth the bottle’s history, discovering that it was produced in Rochester, New York, by the Curtice Brothers Company.

Nobody remembers Curtice blue label ketchup now, but in those far off days it was apparently popular enough to rival Heinz (which remains a massive brand to this day).

The Trust even managed to determine from the letters “BB” on the base that the bottle was probably made by the Berney Bond Glass Company in Pennsylvania, which it found was in business until around 1930.

Edgar and Simeon Curtice created Blue Label tomato ketchup and chili sauce as early as the late 1860’s - their firm preserved and packaged fruits, meats, jams, jellies, vegetables and preserves..

In a bizarre twist, a firm based in Vienna is now reportedly set to relaunch Curtice Brothers ketchup in the UK - “from certified organic farms, with 15 tomatoes found in each bottle”.

Unfortunately nobody can tell us if it will be as good as the original.