Dating black glass bottles, bottle dating examples

  1. But the process was completed in a single blow.
  2. Warning Do not estimate a bottle's age by its shape.
  3. Post Bottles Do the mold seams go all the way from the base to the lip?
  4. Notice also how unlike most pontil marks, the Owens ring covers the whole base of this bottle.

Close up of iron pontil Close up of an open pontil milk base for comparison. By the midth century, embossed lettering and marking on bottle bodies and bases, denoting manufacturers and products, made more precise dating possible. The three questions found on this page below answer several basic questions about a given bottle. The user is now directed on the Dating page to move to the Machine-made Bottles portion of the Dating page.

Also, advice the format and space constraints of a journal article do not allow for the elaboration and illustrations necessary to make a key function fully Jones b. They are noted on the other website pages which expand on the information summarized in the key. Return back to this page by closing the Bottle Morphology page. The pictures below are from two early machine made medicine bottles.

Once the likely bottle age or date range is determined, some examples of other places to look for more information is provided. Thousands of people ask Digger questions about their bottles. One unique closure to the late s was a three point screw top. The the lower left corner you can see evidence of the diagonal mold seam which at one time bisected the base.

Dating Antique Bottles


Is the lettering applied and in color? There is also no neck ring mold seam immediately below the finish like found on most Owens machine produced bottles and on a majority of all machine-made bottles. Please be aware that in order to gain the maximum information about any particular bottle e. It also has no neck ring mold seam immediately below the finish like found on most Owens machine produced bottles or on the majority of all machine-made bottles.

The picture to the right is a close-up of both bottle finishes. They will also have other machine-made characteristics as described on the Machine-made Bottles page. Before jumping into the key, it must again be emphasized that no single key can get a user to an absolutely precise date for any bottle. The two latter works would provide some general information on milk bottles that would be pertinent though not specific to this Nevada example.

Antique Black Glass Bottles

For brevity, most of the specific references are not noted in the key's narratives. Unlike most screw caps, the three point screw top had three lugs jutting out from the lip which were to engage a metal cap. If it were that simple much of this website would be unnecessary! No material may be copied for commercial purposes. Also keep in mind that bottles could have been used and refilled multiple times.

Close-up of the finish lip of an Illinois Glass Co. This feature makes it likely that this bottle dates from or after the late s. The reverse side and base are not embossed. Close inspection of both bottles shows that neither have air venting marks anywhere on the bottle.

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Dating Antique Bottles

Inside the Owens ring are several numbers. However, there is some which is quite useful in narrowing down the age. Notice how sharp and fine the mold seam line is. The middle picture shows an open pontil on the base of a cylindrical medicine bottle. Time has taken its toll on records, of course, but much of what happened in the past was simply not documented well or at all as with most endeavors of common people in the past.

The automatic bottle machine was much more precise in gathering an exact amount of glass and the same amount of glass for each bottle this consistency lead to more uniform products. This is an example of the importance of makers marks - when such a mark is present - in the entire equation of dating a bottle. This page guides a user through the key for seven different type and age bottles with several being side-by-side comparisons of very similar bottles of different eras. See the pontil scars page for more information. When a dating sequence dead ends, it will be noted and other website pages suggested and hyperlinked for the user to consult.

Antique Black Glass Bottles

  • The makers mark cinches the date in the s of course, but without this marking the bottle date could not be refined further.
  • If your bottle is an ink fitting the descriptions above, click Machine-made Bottles to move to the Machine-made bottles dating page for more possible dating refinement and to pursue more information.
  • This bottle has side mold seams which fade out on the neck where indicated in the picture click to enlarge and do not show at any point above that on the bottle.
  • In short, there was and is nothing to stop a glassmaker from using an obsolete method in the production of a bottle.
  • That is the point of this website.

The closer to the top of the bottle the seams extend, the more recent was the production of the bottle. Click Historic Bottle Related Links page to find links to the assortment of pdf files that comprise this printable e-Book. This technology lag makes some diagnostic characteristics better than others for dating. Do the mold seams disappear in the neck, ecards rotten but the bottle lacks a pontil mark?

Beginning collectors often confuse an Owen's ring with a pontil mark and it is easy to see why this happens. Is a pontil mark present along with disappearing side mold seams? The embossing indicates that these have to be a molded bottles and can not be either free-blown, dip molded, or from a turn-mold. This closure can be found on Whisky and medicine bottles of the period.

The image to the right is a close-up of a small, medium green, machine-made ink bottle. This was almost universal with many beverage bottle types e. This is consistent with the very flattened embossing on this bottle can not be seen in the picture.

Does the bottle appear light purple in color? This e-Book is now posted on this website and contains an extensive amount of information on soda bottles in general as well as specifically to those used in West Texas. There is, however, one additional bit of information that greatly assists the dating of this bottle - the very faint rectangle embossed on the front heel of the bottle. Shape is more indicative of function - i. These bottles will not have the side mold seam proceeding from the upper finish side over and onto the rim itself.

Bottle Dating Examples

Click Mouth-blown Bottles to move to the portion of the Dating key for Mouth-blown bottles new webpage. All this adds to the fascination with bottle making, but makes systematic dating similar to solving Rubik's cube - ostensibly simple on the surface but complex in practice. Hyperlinks in green to the specific dating questions on the Bottle Dating page are included so that a user can reference the necessary portions of that page. Bertrand which sank in the Missouri River in April had dozens of cases of these black glass Hostetter's Bitters on board. In hand, the bottle does not have any bubbles in the glass.


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Click here for a picture of a typical s to s milk bottle. This is where the two bottles quickly diverge in the key. All turn-mold bottles are round in cross section and unless stained, will usually have a polished looking sheen to the glass surface. Keep in mind that older technology often persisted and some bottles date later than you might think. Is the bottle highly symmetrical, but lacking mold seams?


Move to the next question. For a broader discussion of this subject see Lockhart, et al. On close observation it is apparent that neither bottle has a ground down top surface to the finish.

How to Identify Antique Glass Bottles. The third picture shows the base of a milk bottle from just after the trun of the century. Dating antique bottles requires knowledge of the evolution of bottle technology and the ability to research manufacturers and bottling companies. This is not inconsistent with the dating done above but is on the earlier edge of the range.

The overall crudity of the bottle would indicate a manufacturing time on the earlier end of this range. Return to the top of this page. Instead, there is one located near the base of the neck indicating that the neck ring mold portion of the parison mold produced the finish, neck, and a portion of the shoulder. Many specialty bottles were imported from Europe, though that fact may be at times hard to impossible to ascertain.


The author of this website also has a labeled only version of a Celro-Kola Company product that has a distinct Illinois Pacific Glass Company mark, i. The earlier green glass ink bottle is also certainly machine-made, most likely on an early semi-automatic, blow-and-blow machine based on its crudeness and lack of a suction scar. These bottles will, however, have the vertical side mold seam progressing all the way to the very top of the finish side, just not onto the rim. However, one can usually ascertain something more about most historic bottles if one is willing to spend some time doing additional research in libraries, on the internet, museums, and other places.

The concentric rings are not always as obvious as the picture shows click to enlarge and sometimes not visible, though if present it is a conclusive diagnostic feature. It is unlikely that this bottle was made during the same era, but instead was reused for a lengthy period or otherwise retained until broken or discarded. In the s, dating website the bottle mimicked early forms which were hand tooled and sealed with a cork. It is not always easy to find all the information you desire on a specific bottle as is noted and outlined in the examples above.

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