Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2013 September 5

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September 5[edit]


I'm having trouble understanding what the word "collectivism" entails. What does it mean for a society to be "collectivist" or for someone to be a "collectivist"? How does this juxtapose with "individualism" exactly? It's meaning appears sort of dodgy. I've been reading some classical liberal/libertarian material (or rants) lately, and it seems like their use more or less means "authority". — Melab±1 03:24, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure what "dodginess" you're talking about. Collectivism is just simply the opposite of individualism. A collectivist society or person values the group over the individual. What else do you want to know? --Trovatore (talk) 03:33, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I suppose there's a wide variability in whether the people are that way culturally, due to their religion, or are forced to act that way by laws. StuRat (talk) 08:02, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
"Dodgy" meaning unclear, incoherent, or contextually-variant. — Melab±1 04:15, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, pretty much all words are contextually variant. I don't see anything unclear or incoherent, though. --Trovatore (talk) 04:20, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps I'm only capable of seeing a group as a plurality, so the mindset expressed by the term is foreign to me and hence difficult to understand. Collectivism as such appears to collapse into relations between individuals. — Melab±1 11:41, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
The Kibbutz in Israel is a "collective," an economic entity organized among citizens in their place of residence with an entirely shared economy: ownership of the means of production and distribution of income.^ Internal policies are set by direct representation (a vote by all members on proposals presented by officeholders or committees). There are laws in the State of Israel pertaining to kibbutz members, e.g. prohibiting ownership of other land, the community covers the individual's tax obligation's, etc. The article here is largely historical, though, and may not offer much of an explanation. -- Deborahjay (talk) 11:30, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
^ (edited to add): The kibbutz is the employer of the resident-members, in production and service branches. The latter include a communal kitchen/dining room serving three meals a day, a communal laundry, onsite daycare from age 3 months and holiday day camp for school-age children. So much of the income is distributed in services: meals, laundry, child care, administration and landscaping, etc. AND housing plus maintenance is provided. The actual cash distributed is a monthly stipend based on number of family members and the children's ages. -- Deborahjay (talk) 13:48, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
The term "collectivist", if not entirely invented by, was certainly coopted and used extensively by Ayn Rand and her followers under objectivism in a purely perjorative sense to describe the exact wrong kind of philosophy that stood in opposition to her particular brand of strict intellectual individualism. To understand how the term is mostly used, one must become familiar with (not necessarily ascribe to, but merely become familiar with) her philosophy, if only because when you hear the term, it is most often used in the way she meant it. --Jayron32 01:57, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
In 1984, Goldstein's Book is titled "The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism", and I don't think Orwell had too much in common with Ayn Rand... AnonMoos (talk) 05:07, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
I think he had quite a lot in common with her. Not in details of policy prescription, no, not with Orwell being a self-proclaimed socialist. But both were uncompromising liberals in the broadest sense of the word.
That said, I don't agree with Jayron; "collectivism" is the standard antonym of "individualism" (the only other widely recognized choice, I think, would be "communitariansim"), and is not specific to Randian theory. --Trovatore (talk) 06:48, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Then what would monarchism be called? A singular person instead of an abstract group is lifted up higher, no? — Melab±1 11:45, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, it depends on what kind of monarch you're talking about. A symbolic monarch like the QofE is fairly irrelevant to either individualism or collectivism, except of course symbolically. Most more substantive monarchical traditions still consider the monarch to be the representative of the people in some sense, at the head of the people and perhaps not answerable to them, but still there for their benefit and not his own. So I'd still call that a form of collectivism.
If you have a dictator who rules by personal fiat and purely for his own ends, then I can see your point, that's not really about the collective. But how does he stay in power? I don't know of any example of such a dictator without a power base in a reasonably large group, though certainly it needn't be the whole society. --Trovatore (talk) 17:37, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
The leader could easily be ruling for his or her own ends while appeasing some other interests to remain in power. They could see the people below them as things to organize or they might want organize them to make something "great". Again, the word "collectivism" seems kind of dodgy to me. — Melab±1 05:17, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
Whatever the dictator's true goals, he sells it to his constituency as being about them as a collective. So it's at least purported collectivism.
Look, you've been asking about the word, but the word is not in any way "dodgy"; it's as clear as any other words in its general category. Is your real point about the argument? The argument you've probably been reading is that the two major collectivist systems of the 20th century, fascism and communism, are more alike than different, and that liberal capitalism stands in opposition to both, not for opposite reasons, but for the same reason. That's an assertion I personally agree with, but you're certainly entitled to criticize it if you like. But then take on the argument directly, not a word. --Trovatore (talk) 06:18, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
It is quite possible that the "classical liberal/libertarian" tracts mentioned by Melab are not using the word collectivism in the wider sense of "the practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it", but rather in the more narrow sense of "the ownership of land and the means of production by the people or the state, as a political principle or system". [1] Gabbe (talk) 08:02, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
To User:Trovatore's point just above - perhaps I'm naive (or disingenuous), but this "wider sense" "giving a group priority over each individual..." without an economic component, is characteristic of fascism. So I'm with User:Gabbe on the narrower sense. -- Deborahjay (talk) 09:39, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Fascism is a form of collectivism, of course. --Trovatore (talk) 16:19, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Isn't it more like some kind of militarism where people need to disciplined or somerhing like that? — Melab±1 05:17, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
I've seen one person make a distinction between corporatism and collectivism. — Melab±1 11:47, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
See also Bureaucratic collectivism... -- AnonMoos (talk) 18:35, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Are cultures with a very stick together attitude "collectivist"? — Melab±1 05:20, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Concepts like this have many senses, and have to be defined in the context they are being used in. A cancer can be aggressive and an investment strategy can be aggressive and a puppy can be aggressive all in different ways. If, say, a theoretical libertarian writer wants to use the word, it is up to her to define it for her audience. She might define states as collectivist if they ascribe authority to some group, racial, religious, class, etc., over the individual. An educational program might be collectivist if it is based on group projects, scoring as groups, and scoring by groups, rather than individual action and grading. You will find collectivist will contrast with individualist. But the exact meaning is going to depend on the context. μηδείς (talk) 19:00, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Expanding on Medeis' answer: After an author starts using terms, scholars and politically active intellectuals start to take her terms apart. They find the inherent contradictions in a contributor's terms. They note that the contributor failed to read any of the antecedent literature, or read it with major and fundamental failings. They note the intellectual contribution's lack of relevance to the major scholarly and intellectual discourses of the day, and so the incomprehensibility of the contribution. They question whether the contribution has any basis in empirical reality, and whether this basis is valid according to a field specific discipline of reading evidence from external reality. Finally, they largely ignore all these elements if the contributor is a French continental who is "sexy" with journals with un/ne(cess)ary punctuation, give them a free ride on the absence of empirical finding, valid interpretation, theoretical cogence, as long as it is relevant to a previous literature gestured at through parsimonious citation. The uses I've seen of "collectivist" are vacuous, and ignore a basic engagement with Enlightenment social contract work, or ideas following in the 1970s or 1980s on the ability of subjects to be governed as relationships that really exist as slippery things, rather than ideal negations of each other. OTOH, I've seen excellent libertarian work on the left and right that deals with the world as it is, and the potential spaces for subjects becoming no longer subject to sovereignty. Fifelfoo (talk) 22:36, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Comparison of loyalism and republicanism in British Isles & North America[edit]

Is there anywhere I can find a comparison of Irish Unionists with Canadian Loyalists, vis a vis Irish Republicans and American Patriots? Or, is there a written comparison of Cromwellianism in England with the American Revolution, the British Empire a spawn of the Stewarts and the American Republic a spawn of Cromwell? Has anybody done a study of Franco-Scottish political relations in Canada (New France and Nova Scotia) stemming from the Auld Alliance, and Jacobitism in the context of the Seven Years' War? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:05, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

The OP seems to have his timelines crossed. The Irish did not arrive in Canada in significant mumbers until the early to mid 19th century, well after U.S. Independence; indeed, the population of Canada was still largely French before the American Revolution, in spite of the British conquest in 1763. Large movements of English colonists began with the United Empire Loyalists post-Revolution. Many of the first Irish to arrive, who settled in present-day Quebec, became absorbed by the local French population because the two groups shared a religion and opposition to the British. As for the Scots, important Scottish immigration to Nova Scotia took place after the mass deportation of the (French-speaking) Acadian population from the area; The two populations had little interaction and, in any case historical affinities between France and Scotland would have little weight compared to the Acadians' sentiment that the (British and Scottish) settlers had dispossessed them of their land. --Xuxl (talk) 09:48, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Both Irish and French troops fought in the 1745 Rebellion (against the Hanoverian government forces). Note that the Jacobites were mainly supported by Catholics (or at least High Church Anglicans); the Catholic leaning Stuarts having been deposed in the Glorious Revolution, whereas the Hanoverians were installed to prevent a Catholic succession. In Ireland, the Jacobites were opposed by the Williamites at the Siege of Derry; the present day Ulster Loyalists strongly associate themselves with the Williamists. So in a British context, the House of Stewart and the Loyalists were in direct opposition to each other.
However, at least some of the Founding Fathers of the United States were descendants of those who had supported the Puritan Cromwell and had fled to America after his regime collapsed, so you may have a point on that, albeit maybe a little tenuous. Alansplodge (talk) 12:39, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
While that may be true of some New England Founding Fathers, it is not the same in the South. See English overseas possessions in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms for a discussion of Maryland and Virginia. Rmhermen (talk) 13:53, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I thought afterwards that I might have been making a sweeping statement. Thanks for clarifying. Alansplodge (talk) 14:50, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
There was a British caricature entitled "The Yankie Doodles Intrenchments Near Boston 1776" which shows a somewhat puritanically-dressed revolutionary saying "Tis Old Olivers Cause: No Monarchy nor Laws". However, I'm not sure whether too many people made such an association at the time... AnonMoos (talk) 05:02, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

My question was whether there has been a published political analysis comparing and contrasting the trends and forms of government between the British homeland and the British colonies. For instance, Ireland and Northern Ireland are both Irish, just divided by their form of government and religious affiliation. Ireland is Catholic and Republican, Northern Ireland Anglo-Presbyterian and Monarchist. America is Puritan and Republican, while Canada is Anglo-Catholic and Monarchist. This distinction can even be applied to the similarities and differences of Hawaii as part of America (Republican) and Australia & New Zealand (Monarchist) in the South Seas. I don't expect anybody to have written anything about that though--the colonial legacy of Captain Cook's discoveries, and the interaction between America with the Commonwealth, is a little too obscure for editorial punditry.

Other than religious and political differences, there isn't anything different between the two Irelands and the two Americas, or between Hawaii and the other Antipodean colonies. Patrick Henry compared George III with Charles I, and he with Caesar. I was not asking for the historical settlement of Canada, but it is true that the Scots have a bigger presence there, and not only Cape Breton but Montreal. The Irish went to Newfoundland. There isn't really any distinctly Scottish presence in America by comparison--most of the Presidents were English, for instance, aside from Monroe, Polk, and maybe Buchanan (via Ulster), or Arthur (again, via Ulster). Most Scots in America are Orangist and Presbyterian, being pro-English, assimilating into the English population. I could not see Jacobitism being at all sympathetic to the Americans, who described themselves as Whigs opposed to Catholic and Anglican absolutism. The Canadians, of course, were the Tories on the other side of the aisle. The English Whigs in America opposed pacifying the French, who just so happened to live alongside the Tory Scots.

I was looking for some published materials debating these points. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:16, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Society Islands[edit]

Did the Society Islands use to referred to only the Leeward Islands (Society Islands) while the Windward Islands (Society Islands) were called the Georgian Islands? Please don't cite Wikipedia articles I have read the related ones. Old maps like this one seem to depict the islands as two seperate groups as I have suggested. When and why did Georgrian Islands become called the Society Islands too?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 05:20, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

I found; New Zealand Electronic Text Collection - The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 64 (p. 96) "The names of the various groups are somewhat confusing; in many instances I have given those by which they are most popularly known. It is difficult to name correctly the two groups, generally called the Society Islands. Captain Wallis, I believe, named them the Georgian Islands, in honour of George III. Cook called them the Society Islands, in honour of the Royal Society. Ellis calls the Eastern Group (Tahiti) the Georgian Islands, and the Western Group, the Society Islands. I think that Tahiti should be called the Society Islands, as it was there that Cook made his observations." This seems to date from the 1870s, but I can't pin it down exactly.
The Daily Alta, California, of 3 June 1880 says; "The term Society Islands, comprehends the Tahiti or Georgian Islands, the latter being under French Protectorate, with an area of 463 square miles, and a population of about 14,000, including several hundred soldiers, and about 700 foreign residents. The Society Inlands proper are independent, having an area of 213 square miles, and a population of about 4000." Alansplodge (talk) 16:11, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I found a similar lack of consistent nomenclature looking at the historical maps of the Pacific collected here (which start from before Europeans reached the islands). Obviously there is varying level of detail, but here’s what I see:
  • Most maps from the beginning label the entire group (both Windward and Leeward) “Society Islands”.
  • The first mention of “Georgian Islands” in the collection is 1832 (PE Hamm) and it’s applied to the Windward group only (the Leeward group is unnamed).
  • The first map to name the Windward and Leeward groups differently is in 1844 (RC Smith), where the Windward group are called “Georgian Islands” and the Leeward group “Society Islands”. For the next hundred years, a few maps repeat this, but most continue to use “Society Islands” for both groups, including detailed maps of that region specifically.
  • (from 1873, a few label the Leeward group “Society Islands” while grouping the Windward islands under The Marquesas.)
  • The label “Leeward Islands” first appears in Adolf Stieler’s 1891 map. Both groups are still together called “Society Islands” and there is no separate label for the Windward group. The first map in the collection with both “Windward Group” and “Leeward Group” is Matthew Northrup’s 1902 “Islands of the Pacific Ocean.”[2]
The collection goes up to 1931. (talk) 21:14, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Someone on the Misc desk mentioned Google NGram viewer. Here is the interesting result for "Society Islands" versus "Georgian Islands"; no Georgian results after about 1900. (talk) 12:01, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Biography of Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Bin Saud[edit]

The wikipedia page mentions the Prince's birth year as 1955 and claims that he was a finance minister in the early 1960s. Is this true?? Can the same be verified and corrected if the same is not true?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:35, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

It was his father, Prince Talal, who was finance minister. I have amended the article, with a citation. Thank you for spotting this error - Karenjc 08:46, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Most powerful governor in the U.S.[edit]

Which state governor in the US has the strongest position? I mean the position within the state government and accross the USA itsself. The most influencal within the USA is likely the Governor of California or New York, because those states are very populous. But within the state government?-- (talk) 09:17, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

According to Thad Beyle, a political scientist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, it's the Governor of Massachusetts[3]. Clarityfiend (talk) 09:54, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
See [4] for the 2010 ranking of institutional powers. Massachusetts is still at top. PrimeHunter (talk) 12:54, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I suppose you mean in what US-state the power is more concentrated on the governor, right? OsmanRF34 (talk) 17:49, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Le Figaro[edit]

Is there a place where to consult old editions of Le Figaro online (at least the front page)? I expecially need the ones from the year 1945 to 1949. -- (talk) 10:32, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

It seems that Le Figaro is only available online from 1826 to 1840, 1854 to 1942 [5] and then from 1996 forward [6] [7]. According to this article, the break is due to copyright issues.
You can buy issues from the 1940s for 4,99 € an issue but the sample front pages don’t let you read anything beyond the biggest headline. The only other thing I can think of is that you can get some front page images (usually of newsworthy events) by entering Le Figaro +”date” into google image search [8]. But perhaps others will have better suggestions. (talk) 13:41, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
You may also try to ask at Wikipedia:WikiProject Resource Exchange, because people there may have access to original or digital copies. 2001:18E8:2:1020:E054:F577:E495:113D (talk) 15:26, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Question about Mr. Ernest E. Evans[edit]

I recently went through my Mom's papers and came across her immigration card from Italy. She came to America on the Steamship Auguotus on 7/5/30. When she arrived in the USA a man by the name Ernest E. Evans signed as Counsul of the USA. He is already part of your history but no mention is stated about this position. Is he the same person who won the medal of Honor? Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrsismath (talkcontribs) 13:00, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

I don't think he can be. The subject of our article Ernest E. Evans (and the medal recipient) was a student in the US Naval Academy in 1930. We don't seem to have an article on your Ernest Evans. (talk) 13:10, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Aha, found your Evans. See here. It says: "Evans, Ernest Edwin (b. 1891) — also known as Ernest E. Evans — Born in Rochester, Monroe County, N.Y., April 18, 1891. Stenographer; U.S. Vice Consul in Madrid, 1917-18; Tangier, 1919-21; Mexico City, 1924; Ceiba, 1926; U.S. Consul in Naples, 1929-32; Bradford, 1938. Burial location unknown." (talk) 13:13, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Can a legal system be so perfect that you never ever convict an innocent guy?[edit]

I wonder whether any system can reach that degree of perfection. I know that legal instruments like 'in dubio pro reo', presumption of innocence, habeas corpus, Miranda's rights, access to legal counsel and so on, will reduce the amount of innocents in prisons, but isn't a residual risk always a given? OsmanRF34 (talk) 17:04, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Only in science fiction, or if you never convict anyone who pleads not guilty. Paul B (talk) 17:23, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Your second suggestion would still get innocent in prison: see false confession. OsmanRF34 (talk) 17:25, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
It's easy: don't convict anyone and you will really "never ever convict an innocent guy". That is a very low standard of perfection. Presumably, some failed states have such "legal systems"...
That is why a binary classifier is not often evaluated using just its specificity without sensitivity (we have one article - Sensitivity and specificity - about both). And if one wants to evaluate it using just one number, we get something like Matthews correlation coefficient, Cohen's kappa, or, at least, accuracy.
As you can see, strangely enough, in a sense it is not a question about humanities, but about mathematics (or engineering, if you wish). --Martynas Patasius (talk) 18:11, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, when I was asking the question I was thinking that computer programs always have flaws and that airplanes are never totally safe. OsmanRF34 (talk) 18:18, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
In my capacity as an airplane, I am 100% totally safe, and so are you. (talk) 22:30, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't know what you are talking about. But no, you are never 100% safe, although you can ignore the residual risk for all practical purposes. In the same way you can take for granted that you won't win in main prize in the lottery. 22:49, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I read 178's statement as an assertion that, since he never functions as an airplane, there is no risk stemming from his functioning as an airplane. I'm at a loss to explain what he's responding to, though. --Trovatore (talk) 23:47, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
If a person who is declared guilty can never be found innocent the condition is satisfied. In England people who are guilty but have a lot of evidence that says otherwise are pardoned rather than being found innocent therefore it has a perfect justice system. Dmcq (talk) 23:14, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't really follow what you're trying to say. The question is not whether a person who can be determined to be innocent might be found guilty. It's whether a person who really is innocent might be found guilty. --Trovatore (talk) 23:17, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
See the Law of Suspects for a historical example. A perfect system (using the very narrow definition of "perfect" in the original question) could regard the mere fact that someone has been suspected of a crime as sufficient to make him a criminal, so nobody that's in prison will be innocent, even if they didn't actually _do_ anything illegal. A similar alternative is to arrange a state's legal system so that it's impossible to live a normal life without doing _something_ illegal occasionally (driving at 31 mph in a 30 limit?), so that everyone imprisoned will be guilty of something, even if it's not the crime they were accused of. Tevildo (talk) 16:50, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
The only way of ensuring that an innocent person is never falsely convicted is to know with 100 percent certainty that a given individual did or did not commit the crime. And the only way to know that for sure would be to have every person monitored 24 x 7. I think the average citizen wouldn't be too keen on that approach. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:42, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Even then you wouldn't be able to see into people's minds - you may know that Person X fatally injured Person Y because it's all captured on an omnipresent recording system, but you wouldn't know whether he intended to kill him, whether he believed he was acting to defend himself, whether he was insane at the time, etc. Proteus (Talk) 08:42, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Another problem with such a system is that it would have to be absolutely impossible for even the most skilled hacker/film director to create a fabricated recording. Tevildo (talk) 16:50, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Even then, Minority Report. μηδείς (talk) 22:26, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Mysterious symbol on bottle top[edit]

Anyone able to identify this symbol? It was found in an old theatre in Brampton, Ontario, Canada (vaudeville, then film, then community theatre and touring show), by a rep of the owner, so it could be real or a prop. (It's real glass.)

-- Zanimum (talk) 18:02, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

I can't interpret it, but I should point out that the extra GET parameter causes my browser to say "you've chosen to open..." and give a directory to save the image, which may have put some people off (there's so much reason to be hyper paranoid recently). But leads to the image without such complication. Wnt (talk) 23:48, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
It looks a bit like a Caganer to me. Doubt that's it though. Dismas|(talk) 00:26, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Ha, nice. Doubt that's it too. though. (Sorry, distracted typing yesterday.) -- Zanimum (talk) 12:24, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

I've uploaded a few more photos, and it's an album now, so no more automatic downloading issue... It looks like a monk to me, someone else suggested a troll. -- Zanimum (talk) 01:06, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

I think it's a miniature elf or leprechaun in the palm of a hand. I can't find any reference to such a thing, though. Looie496 (talk) 01:08, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Oh yeah, I hadn't thought of the relationship between hand and design. That certainly a strong possibility. -- Zanimum (talk) 12:24, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Being a bottle top that is green and in the shape of an elf/fairy/leprechaun in a place that dates back to the vaudeville era makes me wonder if it possibly has something to do with absinthe. (Perhaps it was a topper for a particular brand of absinthe at the time?) -- (talk) 05:17, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Ooh, that is intriguing. That said (and sorry for not linking to a story on the theatre) the building opened in 1922, and the Toronto Star's recent article on absinthe suggested it was banned by then. It could have been an empty leftover bottle, though, or bootlegged. -- Zanimum (talk) 12:24, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Vernors has a gnome for a mascot. Any possibility that's it ? Vernors is from Detroit, which is fairly close to Brampton, Ontario (4 hour drive). StuRat (talk) 10:17, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Interesting, that's the first I've heard of the brand. I'm realizing I didn't put measurements in here, only on FB, the bottle's only about 4 inches tall, not too practical for ginger ale. Interesting idea, though. -- Zanimum (talk) 12:24, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Soda pop bottles used to be quite small, by modern standards. Also, it might have just contained the syrup, which would then be added to seltzer to make the drink, in which case that small bottle might make quite a lot. StuRat (talk) 12:11, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

So the object is going to museum committee this morning at 9 am ET, I think it'll be accepted thanks to the provenance, no matter what the usage, but your suggestions have been helpful, folks! (If anyone has any more ideas, feel free to pitch them, as if it goes into the collection, there's technically no deadline. (I work at Peel Art Gallery, Museum + Archives.) -- Zanimum (talk) 12:24, 6 September 2013 (UTC)