This is a ginger beer flagon with a metal handle, screw top and bottom pouring orifice but no tap. Used to advertise H. Lee and Sons’ Soda water, this piece is a notable example of brewery advertising history for a well-known local Berkhamsted firm.
H. Lee and Sons were a mineral water supplier who also made dry ginger ale, cordials, and ginger wine in the late 1880s and early1900s.
Henry Lee was born in 1855 in Potten End. He bought a well-established mineral water business and then purchased and converted stables in Berkhamsted High Street into his offices. The building still stands on the corner of Three Close Lane, just off Berkhamsted High Street.
In the late 1800s, soda water was flavoured artificial mineral water i.e. water with a purposeful addition of various compounds and / or flavouring and, of course, carbonation.