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. Painter seam stops below lip common on sodas and beers image supplied by Harry Pristis s machine made crown top seam runs to top of bottle common on sodas and beers - Preset machine made metal cap top seam runs to top used a metal cap with twisted wire seal common on medicines s - s. Baltimore loop looks like blob top on outside inside of mouth has an ring shaped depression seam ends below lip used on beer and soda bottles. Hutchinson stopper seam stops at lip found on Hutchinson type sodas used a spring loaded wire and rubber seal. Flat Tooled uniform shape, no drippy bottom seam stops part way up neck circular tool marks often seen around neck inside of neck is smooth. Tooled Ring uniform shape, no drippy bottom seam stops part way up neck circular tool marks often seen around neck.
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. As noted in Munsey's book, " When it comes to methods of dating bottles As Munsey also notes - " Most of what is used today to date bottles Still all true today.
This body of information will be utilized and extrapolated to make dating and typing estimates for the majority of bottles for which there is either no specific company or glass maker information available or such is not possible to determine because the bottles are unmarked i. Stell Newman Newman Newman's key made a noble attempt at simplifying bottle dating, but is weakened by the fact that the subject is much too complex to be conducive to such a simple approach by itself.
Also, 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. Newman wryly recognized all this with his reworking of an old saying: "This bottle dating key is for the guidance of the wise and the obedience of fools.
This website is designed to have the informational depth, pictures, and illustrations necessary to solve the problems of the Newman key though his warning still holds, although hopefully less so. This entire website is essentially a key to the dating and typing of bottles.
However, the author of this site still recommends Dr. 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 best the following key can do is get a user to a reliably close dating range estimate. Other information on this website usually must be reviewed to fine tune the information about a specific bottle.
Dating baby bottles
In addition, other references beyond the scope of this website usually must be consulted to get as complete of a dating and typing story as is possible for any given bottle. This include period newspapers, business directories, glass makers catalogs, trade journals and related publications, and other sources too numerous to detail. Keep this all in mind as you progress through the key which follows and on into the other website pages Starting with Question 1follow through the questions as suggested.
There is frequent hyper-linking between the diagnostic characteristics and terminology listed on this page and other website pages. This is done to allow the user to get more information or clarification as they proceed through the key. Pursue these links freely since they will take a user to more details on bottle dating and identification and hopefully add to the users knowledge and understanding about the bottle being "keying out. The three questions found on this page below answer several basic questions about a given bottle.
Answers to these questions will then direct a user to one of the two additional dating pages which are extensions of this key for the two major classes of bottles: mouth-blown bottles and machine-made bottles.
Read the questions - and accompanying explanations and exceptions - very carefully as the correct answer is critical to moving properly through the "key.
For examples of how to use this dating key see the Examples of Dating Historic Bottles page. 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. This page also shows how other portions of this website can provide information pertinent to the bottle in question. See the About This Site page for more information about the author and contributors.
First this cautionary note: Bottle dating is not a precise science! Using just physical, manufacturing related diagnostic features, most utilitarian bottles can usually only be accurately placed within a date range of years (i.e., to or ). Dating baby bottles - Join the leader in footing services and find a date today. Join and search! Want to meet eligible single woman who share your zest for life? Indeed, for those who've tried and failed to find the right man offline, relations can provide. How to get a good man. It is not easy for women to find a good man, and to be honest it is not easy for a man to find a good woman. Jun 22, Dr. Brown's Original Bottle, 8 ounce, 4-Pack Simply the Best Baby Bottle. Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Baby Bottles are a tried and tested favorite with parents focused on helping their little ones experience happy feeding/5(K).
For brevity, most of the specific references are not noted in the key's narratives. They are noted on the other website pages which expand on the information summarized in the key. If you know your bottle is machine-made click Machine-Made Bottles to move directly to that page. If you know your bottle is mouth-blown aka hand-made click Mouth-blown Bottles to move directly to that page. If unsure about what embossing or vertical side mold seams picture below are, click on Bottle Morphology to see this sub-page for a illustration and explanation of these and many other key bottle related physical features.
Return back to this page by closing the Bottle Morphology page. Vertical side mold seam on the neck of a beer bottle ending well below the finish, indicating that it was at least partially handmade - ca.
YES - The bottle has embossing or visible vertical side mold seams somewhere on the body between the heel and the base of the finish or lip. A bottle may have mold seams but no embossing, but all embossed bottles were molded and have mold seams even if they are not readily apparent.
See note 2 below if there is embossing but it is only within a disk of glass which appears applied to the neck, shoulder or body of the bottle. This bottle is either free-blown"dip" molde or was produced in a "turn-mold" aka "paste-mold" where the side mold seam is erased during manufacturing. A "NO" answer is much less likely than "YES" for this question as a very large majority of bottles made during the 19th century and virtually all made during the 20th century were mold blown resulting in mold seams; see the note below.
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Notes : 1. A low probability though possible "NO" alternative is that the user has an unembossed, molded bottle with no visible vertical side mold seams. This can be due to one or a combination of factors including post-molding hot glass "flow" masking the mold seams, fire polishing of the bottle body, or atypically good mold part s fitting precision. If necessary, look very closely at the bottle shoulder - the best location to see vertical side seams on mouth-blown and most machine-made bottles - in good light with a hand lens to see if there is at least some faint evidence of where the mold part edges came together.
Often the vertical side mold seams are evidenced by very faint changes in glass density in lines where one would expect mold seams to be.
If the embossing on a bottle is only within a separately applied blob seal similar to that shown to the right click to enlargeand found nowhere else on the bottle, the bottle is almost certainly mouth-blown. This is another low probability choice but certainly possible. One of the longest running "myths" in the world of bottle dating is that the side mold seam can be read like a thermometer to determine the age of a bottle.
The concept is that the higher the side mold seam on the bottle the later it was made - at least in the era from the early to mid 19th century until the first few decades of the 20th century. Kendrick's explains in the text pages that It is true that the mold seams can be used like a thermometer to determine the approximate age of a bottle.
The closer to the top of the bottle the seams extend, the more recent was the production of the bottle. The chart accompanying this statement notes that bottles made before have a side mold seam ending on the shoulder or low on the neck, between and the seam ends just below the finish, between and the seam ends within the finish just below the finish rim top lip surfaceand those made after have mold seams ending right at the top surface of the finish, i.
Although there are examples of bottles having mold seams that fit these date ranges properly, the issue of dating bottles is much more complicated than the simple reading of side mold seams.
If it were that simple much of this website would be unnecessary! For example, the process that produces a tooled finish frequently erases traces of the side mold seam up to an inch below the base of the finish whereas the typical applied finish has the seam ending higher - right at the base of the finish Lockhart et.
The reason this is noted here is that the concept keeps popping up in the literature of bottle dating and identification ranging from Sellari's books Sellari published shortly after Kendrick's book to as recent as Fike and Heetderk's For a broader discussion of this subject see Lockhart, et al. If unsure about what the liprimor finish of a bottle is, check the Bottle Morphology sub-page.
This is a "machine-made" bottle or jar and will also usually have a highly diagnostic horizontal mold seam just below the finish base that circles the neck.
The picture to the left shows both of these mold seams click to enlarge. If your bottle fits this description, click Machine-made Bottles to move to the related webpage which allows the user to pursue more information on bottles produced almost totally in the 20th century by some type of automatic or semi-automatic bottle machine.
The vast majority of U. The following is a discussion of the most common exceptions to the side mold seam "rule" describing a few types of machine-made bottles on which the vertical side mold seams do not quite reach the top edge of the finish making them possible appear to be mouth-blown. Fire Polishing - Although infrequently encountered, machine-made bottles may have fire polished finish rims - a process which eradicated evidence of the neck-ring mold seam on the rim of the bottle.
These bottles will not have the side mold seam proceeding from the upper finish side over and onto the rim itself. Ostensibly this was done to remove the mold seam rim "bump" that was sometimes left by earlier machines - an action which may have helped facilitate better sealing with crown caps, screw-thread caps, or similar closures which sealed on the rim of the finish.
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.
They will also have other machine-made characteristics as described on the Machine-made Bottles page. In the experience of the website author, these machine-made bottles are rarely encountered and likely a function of early machine-made wares to s that had less precise mold fitting and resulted in the need for fire polishing to facilitate proper closure function.
Milk Bottles - Many milk bottles made with press-and-blow machines from the very early s into at least the s resulted in vertical side mold seams that gradually fade out on the neck distinctly below the base of the finish. Click here for a picture of a typical s to s milk bottle.
This exception to the side mold seam "rule" was caused by the specific workings of these machines which masked the upper portion of the side mold seam. Click on the image to the right to view both mold seam features pointed out on a press-and-blow machine manufactured milk bottle made by the Pacific Coast Glass Company San Francisco, CA.
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. 26 rows OLD BOTTLE IDENTIFICATION AND DATING GUIDE. This webpage is intended to . dairy. These bottles survived the change to square morphs as did the regular cream top. Oddly, Pecora also designed a baby-face ice cream cone and received Design Patent No. , on May 31 of the same year. Pecora formed the Pecora Baby Top Products Co. to sell bottles of this design. This, however, was a distribution firm not a glass house.
If your bottle is a milk bottle that fits this description, click Machine-made Bottles to move to the Machine-made bottles dating page for more possible dating refinement and to pursue more information. The image to the left is a close-up of the shoulder, neck and finish of a small Sheaffers ink bottle click to enlarge for more detail.
The image shows the vertical side mold seam ending on the outside edge of the bead finish at a "ring" mold the upper portion of a parison or "blank" mold induced horizontal mold seam that encircles the extreme outer edge of the finish.
The side mold seam does not extend onto the top surface of the finish, i. These features are pointed out - and much more readable - on the larger hyperlinked image; click to view. The image to the right is a close-up of a small, medium green, machine-made ink bottle. As above, click on the image to view a larger and much more readable version with the various features pointed out.
This termination of the side mold seam within the finish short of the rim Sheaffers ink or actually short of the finish itself green ink on these bottles makes it appear upon casual glance that these are mouth-blown bottles having either an improved tooled finish Sheaffers or an applied finish green ink. However, both bottles are certainly machine-made.
Click Sheaffers Ink to view the discussion of this bottles features on the Household Bottles typology page. 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.
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. This is also pointed out on the image above; click to enlarge. The earlier green glass ink bottle is also certainly machine-made, most likely on an early semi-automaticblow-and-blow machine based on its crudeness and lack of a suction scar. 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 machine-made bottles.
Instead, there is distinct horizontal mold seam protruding slightly on the outside edge of the lower finish and another vague mold seam encircling the bottle located on the shoulder near the base of the neck. This indicates that the neck ring mold portion of the parison mold produced the finish, neck, and a small portion of the shoulder.
Look for mold seams. The earliest bottles were hand-blown by a glassblower with a blowpipe and lack seams.
How to Date Antique Glass Bottles
Is the bottle highly symmetrical, but lacking mold seams? This type of bottle was probably dip-molded and dates after circa Is the base indented with an irregular to round pontil scar? This, and no mold seams, is another indication of a hand-blown bottle.
A pontil rod held the nearly molten bottle during the final stages of manufacture. The scar was left when the pontil was detached from the bottle. Look for side mold seams. If the seams disappear in the neck, the bottle was probably "blown-in-mold" and dates circa to early s.
Is a pontil mark present along with disappearing side mold seams? This bottle probably dates circa to Do the mold seams disappear in the neck, but the bottle lacks a pontil mark? Blown-in-mold bottles without pontil marks date circa s to s. Do the mold seams go all the way from the base to the lip? This is a machine-made bottle and dates after Look for a "suction" scar on the base. This will be shallower, wider and more perfectly circular than a pontil mark. Bottles with suction scars were made in an Owens Automatic Bottle Machine and date after The Owens machine revolutionized the bottle industry.
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Check for lack of bubbles and uniform glass thickness. This is another indication of a machine-made bottle.
Is embossed lettering present? Most bottles with embossed lettering date from the late 19th century and later.
Lettering on the body will give clues to the contents and lettering on the base will give clues to the manufacturer. Both require more specific research to refine the bottle's date beyond observation of technology.