Bottle Database
Bottle Tops
Bottle Base
Bottle Closures
Rarity Guide
Dating Guide
Condition Guide
Purchasing Bottles
Digging for Bottles
Diving for Bottles
Bottle Articles
About Us
Bottles Wanted
Bottles For Sale
Photos of the Past
Bottle Humor
Bottle Puzzle
Contact Us


George Washington Helme was born May 18, 1822 in Kingston, Pa. George quit school at the age of 16 and went to work as a clerk for Asa Packer who was a wealthy contractor. In 1851 he moved to Shreveport, Louisiana and became a member of the Louisiana Bar. By 1852 he opened up a law office. In 1858 he would marry Margaret Appleby whose father was Leonard Appleby from Spotswood, New Jersey. Leonard established the Railroad Mill in 1825. This tobacco mill is thought to be one of the earliest snuff mills in the country at that time.

In 1866 George Helme partner with his brother in law Jacob Appleby involving the Railroad Mill property. By 1872 George was the sole owner. He would continue running the Railroad Mill until the late 1880s. George would purchase the property between Jamesburg and Spotswood which today is the city of Helmetta. This is where he would have a new Snuff Mill built along with 105 homes for his workers. He named the town after his family surname (Helme) and his daughter Antoinetta ('etta").

Below is a photo of the Railroad Snuff Mill 1890.

helme factory 1890

On June 13 1893 George would pass away of a heart attack. Over 1500 people attended his funeral.

It was reported in the Jamesburg Record Newspaper that George was the second wealthiest man in New Jersey.

February 1900 the American Snuff purchased the George W. Helme Company. In May 1900 the George W. Helme Company was dissolved but still continued under the name George W. Helme Company.

George's son George A. Helme became president of the company. The last Helme to serve as a director of the company was George A. son James B. Helme who died in 1956. In 1986 the company was purchased by the American Maize Products. The Mill continued until 1993.

Below are photos of some of their bottles, jars and crocks.

This jar is embossed Helme's Railroad Mills.

helme railroad jar 1.helme rail road jar 2

helme railroad jar 3

The jar below the base is marked Lorillard P. Co. The lid is embossed Geo. W. Helme Co. of New Jrsey Patented July 16 1872.

helme jar 1

helme jar 2.helme jar 3

Below is a lid embossed American Snuff Co. of New Jersey Pat July 16 1872.

helme jar 4.helme lorillard american 2

Below is a 1 quart crock.

helme crock 1.helme crock 2

Below is a 1 gallon crock counter display. Lorillard Tobacco Co. Maccoboy Snuff Helme Co.

helme crock 3.helme crock 4

Below are two clear glass snuff jars.

helme snuff clear jars

helme clear glass jar 2.helme clear glass jar 2

Below is a Helme snuff bottle.

helme snuff bottle.Courtesy of ebay.

Below are some trade cards from the company. Courtesy of ebay.

helme trade card 2

helme trade card


Tobacco Town, George W. Helme Snuff Mill.

Jamesburg Record Newspapers.

Frank & Frank Jr. (Wicker) Jar Collection. No longer have.

helme railroad jar 1a..helme jar 1a

helme clear glass jar a

Back to Articles