Object of the Day

Object of the Day: Ashtray, c. 1930

I am so amused with this ashtray; I have never seen one like it! It was recovered by Bill Badders from the bottom of Gatun Lake in the early 1930s. The underside is labeled with “Brion,” does anyone know what this refers to? Was it a ship?

8 Comments

  • Reginald Hayden

    The Dutch cargo ship Brion, built in 1921, capsized and foundered on January 21, 1934 near Gatun Locks. Ship carried general cargo on a voyage from Guyaquil to Cristobal. Reginald Hayden

  • Lew Stabler

    The Brion sank in Gatun Lake in 1934. She still lies in about 65 feet of water about 150 west of the ACP Dive School in Gatun. The school was located where it is because of the laboratory that happened to be lying so close to the shore. Today the bow and stern extremities are marked by two green spherical buoys on the eastern edge of the Gatun Lake anchorage, just south of the Gatun Yacht Club. I have more information that I can attach to an email for anyone who wants to contact me.

  • Janice Scott

    This was probably the forerunner of what became a very popular style ashtray! The bottom is all metal & could hold a 1/2 water, thus when one tapped out a cigarette, & tipped the top, the cigarette butt went into the water & well extinguished; nor did it sit smoldering until icompletely burned out.
    In the 60s there were similar style ashtrays with poofy fabric bottom filled which made them look kind of like a soft pin cushion that was filled with sand (little rocks, beads etc) to wait them down & kept them from blowing off a table.
    It’s good you showed how the top tipped into the bottom sort of like a spittoon (which were prevalent in offices and other public buildings throughout the CZ-canal zone).
    In later years, I imagine the spittoons had some kind of chemical in them to keep them from breeding mosquitoes (like hospital bedposts that were set in water to keep ants off the patients -uh, until someone realize they were breeding mosquitoes in the malaria ward!)
    Spittoons were disgusting but no more so than men in Texas who ‘chew’ (tobacco) & carry a paper cup around the grocery store into which they spit their chewing tobacco!

    Janice

    Sent from my iPhone

  • BOB ZUMBADO

    COULD THIS WILLIAM BADDERS BE THE SAME PERSON AWARDED THE MEDAL OF HONOR FOR HIS HEROIC WORK DURING SALVAGE AND RESCUE OPERATIONS OF THE USS SQUALUS IN 1939?

    • Lew Stabler

      The 200 were the servicemen and for-
      mer servicemen who hold the Con-
      gressional Medal of Honor, the highest
      award their country can give. The
      Zonian was William G. Badders, Sal-
      vage Master and Master Diver for the
      Industrial Division.

      This is from the Review of June 6, 1958.

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