There are a large number of books on the market currently and we hope to bring you reviews and information on a regular basis. Some of the most interesting and certainly best value for money books are in the Shire Album range. There are over 250 of these and they retail for only a few pounds/$. They are all highly informative, well illustrated and come in a handy pocket size in A5 format. Here are two I have to hand.

Shire Album 80 - The Victorian Druggist and Chemist by W A Jackson

This 32 page is an ideal introduction for anyone searching for information about Old Chemists Shops. There are chapters on The Shop, Storage Containers, Dispensing Equipment, Counter Lines, Chemists Sundries, Doctor's Instruments, Further Reading and Places to Visit.. The book is well illustrated - look out for the fabulous old chemist's rounds and display bottles. Pot lids, ointment pots, baby feeders, inhalers and eyebaths all put in an appearance, so this book would certainly appeal to a bottle collector. The places to visit include a lot of interesting museums, some of which have their own re-created Chemist Shops - a great little book !

Shire Album 269 - Soft Drinks by Colin Emmins

This 32 page book would have obvious appeal for collectors of codds and other mineral water bottles. It traces the history of soft drinks from its beginnings 200 years ago, almost right up until the present day. There are chapters on the Distant Scene, Sailors, Scientists and Soda Water Makers, Flavours and Mixers, The Story up to Date, Further Reading and Places to visit. The book has plenty of fabulous illustrations, including mineral water related advertising I have seen nowhere else. I was very pleased to see this book refuse to use the term "hamilton" when describing egg-ended bottles (or ovates !!) Nice to see another publication getting its information right. Old photographs show sellers and consumers taking the waters a hundred years ago - fabulous ! . I read this book from cover to cover - it was a totally fascinating read - and all for only a few pounds. I have never heard of Colin Emmins but I salute him on producing this excellent little book !!!

Shire Publication's address is ;

Shire Publications Ltd, Cromwell House, Church Street, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire HP17 PAJ UK You may sometimes find them on sale at the largest collectors fairs.There is a Shire Album on Bottle Collecting.

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