Friday, February 5, 2010
Pepsi:Cola, Sixty Years On
An "artifact" on the battlefield. Here lies a carelessly tossed 8 oz Pepsi bottle, near the Bloody Angle. In the early days of the battlefield park, visitors could drive a full circle around the "Mule Shoe" Salient and pull off on the south side of the road, across from the Union monuments and a now long gone "ranger shack".
Sometime in the late 1940's a visitor took pause to refresh his thirst and then pitched his empty soda bottle into the woods. The specimen happens to be what bottle collectors would call a "DD, ACL" which in layman speak means a double dot, applied color label. A "double dot" refers to the doubled dash or colon between the words Pepsi and Cola. The two color label (perhaps hard to distinguish in the photo) is considered a second style for the era, simply red and white, while blue had been included in its predecessor. Along the base of the bottle, just below the label, it indicates in white lettering the product had originated from the Richmond, Virginia plant.
It is interesting, I think, that somewhere around eighty-five years after the fierce engagement that was fought here, someone thought so little of the human sacrifices that once covered the grounds around them that they left their "modern" litter behind. Now, perhaps sixty plus years after that act of carelessness, that discarded "empty" had assumed a place as "artifact". The Pepsi bottle is not alone. A simple pedestrian survey will reveal a small assortment of beer cans and bottles. One hundred and forty-six years have come and gone since the days that the debris of war dominated the landscape.