Bottle Dating. Click here to move directly to the list of machine-made dating questions. It should be noted that features 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are primary indicators of machine-made manufacture. Feature 2 mold seam diameter is not as strongly diagnostic as the primary indicators as mouth-blown bottles sometimes can have very fine mold seams. Feature 7 describes a couple glass related features that are quite consistent in machine-made bottles, but not diagnostic, i.
In the U. This requirement was intended to discourage the re-use of bottles by bootleggers and moonshiners, though the biggest discouragement to that illicit activity was that liquor was now legally available. On January 1st, all liquor sold in the United States was required to be in bottles that had the above statement embossed in the glass Busch The statement was not required on wine or beer bottles, the latter category which was - and to some degree still is - bottled in re-useable bottles.
If your bottle has this statement embossed in the glass, it is a machine-made liquor bottle that dates between and the mids. This inscription is found only on machine-made bottles, with the rare exception of some Mexican-made for the U.
Inthe law requiring this statement was repealed.
If your machine-made bottle does not have this phrase embossed in the glass it is probably either not a spirits or liquor bottle, made outside the era the statement was required, or the bottle was originally sold outside the U. If you know the bottle is a U. A pre date is possible since some spirits - particularly whiskey and brandy - were available to a limited degree by prescription through pharmacists to be used " for medicinal purposes only.
This is because Prohibition occurred individually in most states between an with National Prohibition finally passed in and effective in early This time span was the peak changeover from hand to automated bottle production methods.
Note about a potential related dating refinement. Another requirement was specific liquor bottle permit numbers assigned to individual glass companies and specific factories which were authorized by the Federal Government to produce liquor bottles. These numbers were embossed on the base of many maybe all? This can often lead to enhanced dating refinement of midth century liquor bottle depending on the current information available for the glass maker.
This picture shows the "Diamond O-I" makers mark inside the white box click to enlarge. Pictured is a beer bottle made at the Owens-Illinois Glass Co.
Bottles with the highlighted mark in the image date between and the mids with some limited use of this mark until at least This mark is also called the "Saturn" mark by some due to its stylized resemblance.
Note: The "O" in the Diamond O-I marking is actually a vertically elongated oval, although referred to here as an "O" for simplicity. This makers mark is very common on bottles made during the to mids period as the company was and still is a dominant force in the bottle production world at that time Toulouse ; Lockhart d.
The various Owens-Illinois markings provide an opportunity to also identify which plant made the bottle and in what year.
OLD BOTTLE IDENTIFICATION AND DATING GUIDE. This webpage is intended to help novice collectors and non-collectors better identify, describe, and date the bottles they encounter. Bottle dating is approximate and just intended to give a relative placement in bottle making history. If the bottle has some other glass color no useful general dating information is possible. However, some bottle-type specific dating refinement is possible based on specific glass colors for both machine-made and mouth-blown bottles; see the Bottle/Glass Colors and Bottle Typing/Diagnostic Shapes pages for more information. Move to the other. Before the advent of the paper carton and the plastic milk jug, dairies would send milk men out to individual houses with glass bottles of milk. The shape of the glass bottle, as well as its color, labeling style, and other factors can help you determine whether you have an authentic find and get a sense of your bottle's saporiviafrancigena.com: Kate Miller-Wilson.
Specifically for the pictured export beer bottle, the script Duraglas marking and the stippling molded "roughness" around the outside edge of the base were both used first inso this bottle can date no earlier than that. The "1" to the right of Diamond O-I mark is the year code and in this case obviously can not be earlier than i.
Dating antique bottles requires knowledge of the evolution of bottle technology and the ability to research manufacturers and bottling companies. Although glass bottles have been made for a few thousand years, it was not until the 19th century that bottle use became common, coinciding with the industrial revolution. Bottle Dating. Examples of Dating Historic Bottles HOME: Bottle Dating: Examples. INTRODUCTION. This page provides some examples of how to use the website (primarily the Bottle Dating pages) to determine the approximate date or date range for various types of bottles made between the early s and the midth century. All of the dating information on this site, including the following dating key, is based on the researched history and evolution of American glass making, specific glass maker histories, and the above noted regional research on specific - typically embossed - company/product bottles. This body of information will be utilized and extrapolated to.
In the early s, realizing that single digit date codes were repeating e. At that point two digit year codes e. Unfortunately, the use of the one and two digit date codes was inconsistently used by different plants and mold makers so this is not a certain rule for dating.
Similarly, the bottle is paper labeled as having been used by the Columbia Brewing Inc. Tacoma, WA. Van Wieren Once again though, this bit of information does not help pin down the date. The clincher for the date is the heavier thicker glass that this particular bottle was made with identifying it as having been made just prior to the wartime reduction in the amount of glass used for many bottle types as a conservation effort during WWII. This bottle is also an example of how even with the relatively ample amount of information Owens-Illinois bottle bases provide, one may still need to rely on more than one piece of data e.
Between and about the Owens-Illinois Glass Co. The base image to the right is of this newer mark on a bottle made at plant 21 Portland, OR. Date codes with this later mark still in use today are variable with both single and double digit codes like in the image observed, though recently made beer bottles s and later seem to consistently have two digit codes empirical observations.
For a discussion of the Duraglas marking - shown on the amber beer bottle base above - see Question 17 below.
That company's marks are probably the most commonly encountered U. When present, bottle makers marks can be an excellent tool for helping with the dating of historic bottles. Since there were so many different makers markings on both mouth-blown and machine-made bottles, they are not covered in this key. The top illustration shows a cork finish i. The bottom illustration shows the same type bottle with a screw thread finish with the metal cap on.
This catalog shows the availability of both closure types from the same manufacturer in the late s with the note that the screw caps are ". Sealed with some other type closure? The cork finish versus screw-thread finish can be helpful in dating machine-made bottles but only allows for a moderately accurate dating break which to a large degree is bottle type specific.
The utility here for dating is that certain types of bottles made the transition from cork accepting to screw-thread finishes during the mids through the s; see illustrations to the right. External screw-threads were first used during the midth century though almost exclusively on canning jars including the famous Mason's "" jar.
The use of screw threads was still limited by the lack of precision in hand production processes.
These older external screw thread bottles would likely have keyed out as mouth-blown in Question 2 because of the ground lip surface present on most mouth-blown external screw-thread bottles. External screw threads became more common as fully automatic bottle machines dominated over hand production methods, since machines produced much more uniform and precise finish dimensions allowing for standardized caps.
External screw-threads came to dominate closure types by the Depression sexcept on soda and beer bottles. Cork closure, machine-made medicinals, food, inks, and some non-alcoholic beverage bottles usually date prior to the early s, though there are numerous exceptions. Plastic caps for external threaded finishes: an excellent bottle dating feature.
Plastic caps for screw thread finishes can be an excellent tool for dating. Bakelite - an early thermosetting plastic - made its debut in as a screw cap closure material though was first patented in Berge This provides a terminus post quem earliest date of use of for bottles with the plastic cap still present.
The bottle illustrated is from a Owens-Illinois Glass Co. Toledo, OH.
DATING BOTTLES BY THEIR TOPS AND BASES
External "screw" thread finish - The bottle you have has external screw threads - which are usually either continuous or non-continuous or variations on these themes.
Most all types of machine-made bottles with external screw threads date from the late s or after, though some types - like catsup bottles - were commonly screw-threaded from the beginning of machine manufacture in the early s. Bottle made by the Owens-Illinois Co. Oakland, CA. Applied color labeling or lettering also known as ACL or pyroglazing was a common way of permanently labeling or owner marking a bottle without the use of fragile paper labels.
It was most common by far on soda and milk bottles, but can occasionally be found on other types of bottles. See the image to the right for an example of a simple two "color" black and white ACL soda bottle.
Many beverage and some other types of bottles are still produced today with ACL's e.
Where to Buy and Sell Milk Bottles
The following recent article - available only on this website - is highly recommended for those wanting to know just about everything about ACL's:. The Glamorous Applied Color Labels. A c omprehensive article on the history, processes and use of ACL labeling beginning in the early s.
DATING BOTTLES BY THEIR TOPS AND BASES. A Look at Bottle Bases. One approach to helping beginner identify their old bottles involves show them the bases of old bottles. The picture below at the left shows an iron pontil on the base jof a historical flask circa The middle picture shows an open pontil on the base of a cylindrical medicine. Cream-Top Milk Bottles On March 3, , Norman A. Henderson received Patent No. 1, for a "Milk Bottle and Cream Separator for use Therewith" and assigned it to the Cream Top Bottle Corp. These bottles display a bulbous neck to contain the cream as it rises to the top of the milk (Figure ). Henderson had applied for the patent. If you are attempting to estimate the approximate manufacturing date - or age - of a particular bottle (or significant sized fragment) the first page to visit would be the Bottle Dating page and its related sub-pages. These pages lead a user through a series of questions about the physical/morphological characteristics of historic bottles which help to narrow down the age of .
Note: It should be pointed out that embossed milk and soda bottles continued to be made well after similar ACL versions were dominating the market, with embossed milk bottles made into the s and soda bottles into the s and later [empirical observations]. This mark was formed by machines that utilized a push-rod valve to eject the partially expanded parison out of the one-piece blank mold the "press" part of the process to be grd by "transfer tongs" when shifting the parison to the second blow mold the "blow" part of the machine process Tooley The circle is incised or sharply indented into the surface of the glass and can be distinctly felt by running ones fingernail over the mark.
On somewhat rare occasions by a few different glass companies the valve rod had a mold number incised in it which would emboss the base of the bottle with this number when ejecting the parison; these numbers will always be centered in within the ejection mark Lockhart pers. Toulouse b noted that this mark is " It is also very common on canning jars, including many that were produced by semi-automatic press-and-blow machines possibly as early as Birmingham ; Leybourne The milk bottle pictured above is covered on the Bottle Dating Examples page.
The square milk bottle base pictured dates from the mid to late s and is discussed at this link: Blake-Hart patent milk bottle. At least one manufacturer Cumberland Glass Manufacturing CompanyBridgeton, NJ invented and used a type of semi-automatic press-and-blow machine in which did produce narrow neck bottles that most likely resulted in a valve mark on the base of the bottles produced in the early s Lockhart pers.
Thus, the presence of a valve mark on a soda or beer bottles would indicate a narrow manufacture date in the early s. During the mids, semi-automatic machines began to be used for the production of bottles and jars. For the first decade or so of use i. Because of this, non -Owens machine-made bottles see "General Machine-made Diagnostic Features" point 5 at the beginning of this page with narrow necks- like the medicinal bottles pictured below right - will essentially always date after and virtually always after A review of Illinois Glass Company catalogs from the early s shows that wide mouth bottles - certainly made by semi-automatic "Machine Made" methods - first appear in the catalog and were not present in catalogs before that time.
The types of bottles illustrated on these pages would be considered typical of the earliest machine-made bottles in the U. Most other types of bottles still would have been mouth-blown during this same era. To summarize: Wide mouth bore bottles and jars with machine-made characteristics can date from as early as the mids, but primarily date after about A wide-mouth machine-made canning jar is pictured above left.
Narrow mouth machine-made bottles - regardless of the type machine they were produced on e. The picture to the right shows a narrow mouth machine-made bottle left bottle that was produced by the Owens machine and likely dates between and the early s.
Lockhart, Bill. Another exclusive article published here only; this one on the fascinating history and bottles of yet another well know product Vaseline that is still in production today.
It was very uncommon until the early 20th century for the capacity or volume of the contents of a bottle to be noted in the embossing or on the label or closure sometimes.
The image to the right shows a very late mouth-blown druggist bottle to early s from Spokane, WA. On March 3,Congress passed H. Although the Pure Food and Drug Act demanded a great deal of labeling information, it did not require the inclusion of volume specification. The Gould Amendment corrected that oversight when it stated that the "quantity of the contents be. In other words, the industry actually had a grace period in required compliance until September 3, In order to be in compliance with the Gould Amendment, soda bottlers in El Paso along with those in the rest of the U.
All bottles bearing volume data can therefore be dated as no earlier than and probably not until Thus far, I have found no datable, mouth-blown, El Paso soda bottles containing volume information. This suggests that they were produced prior to the Gould Amendment or at least no later than All other machine-made bottles that I have examined, filled by El Paso bottlers, bore volume information. Lockhart Given this information, it appears that the majority of machine-made and some mouth-blown items like pictured above beverage, food, and medicinal bottles with embossed or labeled specific capacity or volume information likely date from or later.
This information is of no use for bottles without volume embossing with no label still present or for bottles that did not hold a beverage, food, or medicinal product, all of which were regulated by the Pure Food and Drug Act of The use of volume notations on earlier milk bottles was likely associated with the demands for more cleanliness, reliability, and predictability of the product once home delivery began to be popular in the early s though reportedly began in See the milk bottle section of the typology pages for more information.
The bases of mid to late 20th century, machine-made bottles very commonly have a textured effect covering all or a portion of the base - see the image to the left. The noted conveyor belt utility would only involve the stippling on the resting surface of the bottle base - like that on the beer bottle base below where the stippling pattern is just on the outside base edge where contact would occur. Without the stippling the thermal shock that would occur with full base contact on the conveyor would create stresses that can cause the bottle to burst, or reduce its overall tensile strength.
Dating glass milk bottles
Various stippling patterns were also added to bottle bases for largely esthetic reasons, such as the green soda bottle base to the left. None of the stippling - given the indented nature of the base center and lack of stippling on the resting surface - would have come in contact with the conveyor belt. Stippling is shown on both the bottle bases in the images and was typically produced by hand punching the base plate of the bottle mold. Knurling was machine impressed on the base plate. Practically speaking for the purposes of this website, the difference between the two is unimportant and the precise "look" of these base designs varies quite a bit over time, with different bottle types and between bottle makers.
Click knurled base to see such as defined by a Owens-Illinois engineer Phil Perry, pers. The above and linked photos courtesy of Carol Serr.
Other types of base perimeter stippling resembles small crescents - - which is very common on modern beer bottles. Another design commonly seen on the base perimeter of late 20th century and modern wine bottles is like this:. Knurling or stippling was first used on glass insulators inspecifically by the Hemingray Glass Company a subsidiary of Owens-Illinois Glass Co.
This feature is called a "corrugated base" by insulator collectors Bill Meier, pers. It is not precisely certain when this feature first was used on bottles although it likely first appeared in on bottles produced by the Owens-Illinois Glass Co. Both of the pictured bottle bases note such with the script Duraglas on the base. This likely terminus post quem is supported by date codes noted by the author and others on bottles made by that company Lockhart d; empirical observations.
So if one has a machine-made bottle with a stippled base one can be quite certain that it dates from or later.
As a side note, the Duraglas in upper and lower case script as shown in the images dates the bottle from between to possible as late as DURAGLAS in all capital block letters dates after to some point that the company dispensed with it altogether - probably in the s Toulouse ; empirical observations. This inscription is only seen on Owens-Illinois Glass Co. Be aware that many times the embossing on a bottle base is not a manufacturers or "makers mark" but instead is either related to the product the bottle contained, the user of the bottle, or is for internal manufacturer related tracking e.
When present, however, makers marks - in hand with answers to the other questions noted prior - will often allow for a distinct narrowing of the date range in which a given bottles was likely produced. As one can see, when present makers marks can be one of the best dating tools of all! These articles deal with specific makers markings and the history of the companies behind those markings.
This will be a "work-in-progress" over the coming years as scores more BRG articles including revisions and ates of past articles are planned to be "e-published" via this website on an array of other bottle makers. Those without an asterisk are considered final although may be revised in the future as new information is available.
Click the following link to go directly to that listing of makers marking articles: Bottle Makers Articles.
This completes the portion of the key that deals with machine-made bottles and is the end of the key for diagnostic bottle dating. Consider the answers and dating overlap information provided by the above questions together in arriving at a likely age range for your bottle. As with the mouth-blown bottles, there are a number of other physical attributes of bottles that can variably allow for more precise dating.
From this point a user must consult other pages for additional information on a given bottle. The label will tell you which dairy used your bottle, which can sometimes have an impact on the value. As with any collectible item, there are reproduction milk bottles on the market. Some of these are simply modern decorative items or milk bottles used by modern dairies and aren't intended to pass as antiques. However, others are fakes of particularly valuable bottles. Either way, it's very important to understand how to identify these pieces.
There are a few ways to know you have a reproduction. Because they were so common only a few decades ago, milk bottles are still very easy to find in antique stores, at flea markets, and even at garage sales. However, if you're a collector looking for a specific style or era, you may have better luck buying or selling a bottle on the Internet.
The following retailers are a good place to start your search:. Before you buy or sell a milk bottle, it helps to know how much it's worth. Assigning value to your bottle isn't an exact science, but it's important to get some sense of the price it should fetch. This process can help. Check the bottle's condition. Chips and cracks will greatly reduce your bottle's value, as will excessive wear from rattling in the milk case.
However, all used milk bottles will show some scratches. See if you have a rare bottle. Unfortunately, rare bottles are vulnerable to reproduction, but authentic pieces can fetch top dollar. According to Collector's Weeklythese include the following types:. When you've dated your bottle and examined its condition, you can look at current pricing for similar bottles on and from sites specializing in milk bottles. This will give you a general idea about the value of your bottle.