Message in a
Bottle - True Stories sent a Drift
in a Bottle
The interesting fact
concerning messages placed into bottles (message
in a bottle) and
tossed to the seas is they can float about indefinitely.
They can survive waves and storms that can sink ships. They
have been known to float about for decades, even centuries.
The following stories are actual accounts of the way this
mysterious and often romanticized method have been used.
Click on our
in a Bottle link
to view our entire line of custom designed Message in a
Bottle created by
Paolina and Ake Viking were married in Sicily in the autumn
of 1958, thanks to a far-traveling bottle. Two years earlier
Ake, a bored young Swedish sailor on a ship far out at sea
had dropped a message
in a bottle
overboard with a message asking any pretty girl who found it
to write. Paolina's father, a Sicilian fisherman, picked it
up and passed it to his daughter for a joke. Continuing the
joke, Paolina sent off a note to the young sailor, the
correspondence quickly grew warmer. Ake visited Sicily, and
the marriage soon followed their first meeting.
The strangest case was perhaps that of Chunosuke Matsuyama,
a Japanese seaman who was shipwrecked with 44 shipmates in
1784. Shortly before he and his companions died of
starvation on Pacific coral reef, Matsuyama carved a brief
account of their tragedy on a piece of wood, sealed it an a
bottle, and then threw it into the sea. In 1935, 150 years
later it washed up at the very seaside village where
Matsuyama had been born.
Messages placed in a bottle apparently had even an practical
purpose. In the 16th Century Queen Elizabeth I of England
used bottles to carry intelligence reports. "Elizabeth I
received an intelligence report by this means and was so
disconcerted to find it had been opened by a boatman at
Dover that she appointed an official Uncorker of Bottles and
decreed that no unauthorized person might open a
in a bottle, on pain
When he was Postmaster General for the American colonies,
Benjamin Franklin realized that, because their whaler
captains knew the currents much better than their English
counterparts, American ships were crossing the Atlantic much
quicker than the British mail packets. He therefore compiled
a chart using both the whalers' lore and information he
obtained by dropping bottles with written instructions into
the Gulf Stream and asking the finders to return them. The
information he recorded is little changed today.
In 1914 while crossing the English Channel, a homesick
British infantryman named Thomas Hughes wrote his wife a
letter, sealed it in an empty ginger-beer bottle, and tossed
it overboard. Two days later, he perished in battle. In
March 1999, a fisherman found the bottle in a Thames River
estuary. The fisherman was flown to Auckland, and personally
delivered the bottle to Hughes' 86-year-old daughter. She
treasured that note because it was the only letter she ever
had from her father.
In the spirit of the British Infantryman Mr. Hughes, we hope
your special message
in a bottle gives
you an everlasting memory.