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. The bottles used for illustration are a small but diverse assortment designed to give users guidance on how to work a bottle through the dating information to answer the Homepage's primary question 1 - What is the age of the bottle? The example bottles are tracked though the Bottle Dating page questions in that pages directed sequence. 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. Each of the green question hyperlinks result in a pop-up page showing the particular question on the Dating Page; once read it should be deleted to avoid clutter.
The user is now directed under all of the Question 5 options to move to Question 6 , which deals with diagnostic base features. This question asks if there are any mold seams within the outside edges of the bottle base.
Click on each of the bottle base pictures to the left and it is apparent that both bottle "A" and "B" have mold seams on the base.
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This yields a "YES" answer to Question 6 for both bottles and suggests a date of about to as the latest date that these bottles would likely have been manufactured. Under the "YES" answer for Question 6 there is more dating refinement possible based on the type or orientation of mold seams on the base, as follows: This yields a likely date range under this question of between and the mids for non-pontiled bottles like "A".
At this point in the dating, the overlapping date ranges from all the questions gives the user a narrowed probable date range of to the mids for bottle "A".
At this point non-pontiled base, post-bottom mold conformation, tooled finish we now have a probable date range of between the late s and for bottle "B". The user is now directed to move to the last question in the Mouth-Blown bottle section of the Dating page - Question 7 - which deals with air venting marks on the bottle surface. Air venting marks can be a very useful dating tool for bottles manufactured during the late 19th century. Close inspection of both bottles shows that neither have air venting marks anywhere on the bottle.
This is consistent with the flattened embossing as air vented molds allowed for the production of bottles with more distinct "sharper" embossing. This all indicates that both bottles were likely produced no later than about The lack of air venting does not help with the dating refinement of bottle "A" so we actually reached the end of dating for "A" with Question 6.
Subsequent research indicates that Scovill's Cincinnati office closed sometime in indicating that bottle "B" most likely dates no later than ; a reasonable an quite narrow date range would thus be the late s to [Holcombe ]. Embossed bottles like these offer some hope for the existence of additional information on the history of the product. The Blasi and Holcombe books in particular have excellent overviews on what is known of the product history and supports the date ranges determined above.
A search on the internet will turn up some scattered references to the bottle - primarily ones that are for sale or just referenced - but little historical information. The reverse side and base are not embossed.
From this embossing we know that this bottle is a milk or cream bottle; so the bottle type has been already established. It is apparent that the answer to Question 1 is " YES " since this bottle has raised embossing. The picture to the right is a close-up of the neck and finish of the Cloverdale Dairy bottle. 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.
The bottle also does not have a ground down surface at the top of the finish i. This feature would nominally yield a " NO " answer to Question 2, indicating it is a mouth-blown bottle and dating prior to about , and move one to Question 4 on the Mouth-blown Bottles section of the Dating page complex.
However, this determination would be incorrect for this bottle! It is noted in the "Exception note" just under the "NO" answer to Question 2 that machine-made milk bottles made between the early s through at least the s are the major exception to the side mold seam rule as these bottles exhibit a disappearance of the side mold seams on the neck that emulates that found on a mouth-blown bottle with a tooled finish.
However, these bottles lack other mouth-blown characteristics and have one feature that is only found on machine-made bottles made by a press-and-blow machine - a valve or ejection mark on the base. We now have a dating range - albeit a fairly wide range - for this bottle from the early s to about The user is then encouraged in the note under Question 2 to move to the Machine-made Bottles section Question 8 where one bit of additional dating refinement is that the glass has a slight straw color tint indicating manufacture after the late s.
For brevity we will skip that portion of the Dating page. Additional information on this website could be found by visiting the Bottle Bases page which would provide some information the small circular, press-and-blow machine induced valve aka ejection mark on the base picture below. The noted scuffing and wear on the bottle is a result of milk bottles typically being reused dozens or scores of times Lockhart pers.
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. Pacific Coast Glass used this mark from to Roller ; Lockhart pers. Additional information is provided by the authors half pint version of this same bottle which has the "PC in a split rectangle" mark very distinctly embossed in the same location; a very common spot for milk bottles made by Pacific Coast Glass.
Thus, we now can be quite certain that this milk bottle was made between and , which is consistent - though much more precise - than the date range arrived at above. This is an example of the importance of makers marks - when such a mark is present - in the entire equation of dating a bottle. Giarde's book Glass Milk Bottles: The two latter works would provide some general information on milk bottles that would be pertinent though not specific to this Nevada example.
This includes dating by glass weight Girade which indicates a pre-WWII manufacturing date for this bottle and information on plate embossing, valve marks, finishes, closures, and more Lockhart This final example will date two different age examples of bottles with virtually the same size and shape but which held different products and came from opposite ends of the country.
It is apparent that the answer to Question 1 is " YES " since both bottles have raised embossing. 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 is where the two bottles quickly diverge in the key.
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Bottle "A" has a side mold seam which ends immediately below the sloppy base of the finish as shown in the picture to the right upper. This yields a " NO " answer to Question 2 and we now may conclude that "A" is a mouth-blown bottle likely dating prior to The user is now directed to move to Question 4 for bottle "A" - the first question in the section of the key that deals with the dating of mouth-blown bottles.
Bottle "B" does not have a ground down surface on the top of the finish but does have a side mold seam which goes up through and to the top of the finish - see picture to right lower. It also has the highly diagnostic horizontal mold seam circling the neck just below the bottom of the finish as well as the multiple and offset seams that are indicative of a machine manufacturing.
This yields a " YES " answer to Question 2 and we know that this is a machine-made bottle likely dating it no earlier than about For bottle "B", the user is now directed on the Dating page to move to the Machine-made Bottles portion of the Dating page. To keep the dating less confusing here, we will first finish with bottle "A", then move to bottle "B" further down the page. The picture to the left top shows that bottle "A" has no evidence of any type of pontil scar or mark on the base.
So the answer to Question 4 is "NO" which indicates that bottle "A" is not likely to date prior to So at this point in the Dating key we can be confident that bottle "A" dates somewhere between about and Click on the "A" picture above to see more distinctly where the side mold seams ends on this bottle. This bottle has a side mold seam that distinctly ends right at the base of the finish. There is also an obvious and almost "sloppy" excess of glass flowing from the base of the finish onto the neck.
The user is now directed to move to Question 6 , which deals with diagnostic base features. Click on the base picture for "A" to the upper left and it is obvious that this bottle has mold seams on the base. This yields a "YES" answer to Question 6 which helps confirm that this bottle was made no later than about Under the "YES" answer for Question 6 there is more dating refinement possible based on the type or orientation of mold seams on the base.
Bottle "A" has a distinctive "key mold" seam - a base mold seam that has a arch or notch in the middle portion. This yields a likely date range under this question of between and for non-pontiled bottles like "A".
At this point in the dating, the overlapping date ranges from all the questions gives the user a much narrowed probable date range of to for bottle "A". Close inspection of bottle "A" indicates no evidence of air venting marks anywhere on the bottle. This is consistent with the very flattened embossing on this bottle can not be seen in the picture.
This indicates that bottle A" was produced prior to The lack of air venting does not help with the dating refinement of bottle "A" so we actually reached the end of dating with Question 6 and its conclusion that bottle "A" was highly likely to have been blown between and Bertrand which sank in the Missouri River in April had dozens of cases of these black glass Hostetter's Bitters on board. It is likely this bottle also dates from that era, i. Read through the introductory section of Machine-made Bottles for general information about machine-made bottles, then move on to the first question in that section - Question 8 - which deals with the glass color.
This section of the Dating key is a series of independent questions where the answer to any given one is not dependent on the answer to another; a user may sequentially view each of the questions.
Since the glass does have significant sized bubbles, it likely dates during the period between and s. Move to the next question. The base picture of bottle "B" does show a diamond with "" inside on the base, but it is not the distinctive "Diamond O-I" marking shown under this question. The latter company was in operation during the era this bottle most likely dates from - Toulouse The proximity of the company to Oregon would make it a likely source.
The bottle does have a distinctive suction mark indicating that it was made by an Owens Automatic Bottle Machine. These machines were licensed by Owens Bottle Company and used by many other companies, however.
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. According to Toulouse , the company also used a diamond as a makers marking, though with the company initials in it.
This is all circumstantial evidence, but it does point towards it being probable that the subject Celro-Kola was produced by IPGCo. This bottle has a cork closure finish so under this question the bottle classifies under option "A" - Cork Style Finish. This gives added evidence that the bottle definitely dates prior to or so. Given all the information above, we can quite confidently conclude that bottle "B" dates somewhere between about and the early s.
This style and size of square amber "bitters" or "tonic" bottle with a cork style finish usually dates no later than the mid s and is actually relatively uncommon as a machine-made item; most have mouth-blown features. To summarize Example 5, we have two morphologically and stylistically very similar bottles which were likely manufactured about 50 years apart. Once again more information could be found on these bottles by searching the internet. The most information can be found on Hostetter's Bitters which was one of the most popular American bitters products between the mids first introduced in [Odell ] and about , although it was made until at least as a "tonic" instead of a "bitters.
Treasure in a Cornfield - The Discovery and Excavation of the Steamboat Arabia Hawley is about another Missouri River steamship which sank in , salvaged in the s and which had at least 11 bottles of Hostetter's on board. A quick search on the internet also turned up an excellent article on Hostetter's on the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors site at the following URL: Because of the likely regional distribution of the Celro-Kola product there would likely be less information available on it.
However, there is some which is quite useful in narrowing down the age. Fike's book notes that the product was advertised in and in Portland. This is not inconsistent with the dating done above but is on the earlier edge of the range. Ron Fowler's book "Soda: This sets the earliest date for this bottle as , further refining the probable age as somewhere between and the early to mid s.
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