What type of bottle is it? This entire website is essentially a "key" - albeit a complex one - to the dating and typing typology of historic bottles. In addition, this site also assists the user with these questions: What technology, techniques, or processes were used to manufacture the bottle?
Where did the bottle come from, i. Where can I go for more information on historic bottles? Blow-pipe or "open" type pontil scar. Even then the bottles discussed in depth are so primarily to illustrate the presented information and concepts.
Hundreds of specific historic bottles are used as examples within the pages of this website to illustrate the concepts discussed; with luck you may find the specific bottle you have an interest in discussed though typically you will not. This website is intended for This website will help you determine what to look for when identifying and dating historic bottles. 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 - or morphological - characteristics of historic bottles which help to narrow down the age of an item. This complex of pages is a major hub of the rest of this website and the best place to start a search. Also linked to the Dating page is a sub-page called Examples of Dating Historic Bottles which tracks a few different bottles through a dating and general information quest to illustrate how the dating process and this website work.
If you are interested in identifying what a bottle was likely used for - i. This very large complex of pages includes bottle type specific sub-pages with extensive style based dating information, including complete scans of 5 different early 20th century to bottle makers catalogs spanning the mouth-blown to machine-made bottle manufacturing era!
Be aware that none of the pages are all inclusive since related information exists on one or many other website pages. For example, there is information pertinent to dating a bottle on virtually every website page. The title of any given page gives the predominant theme of that page and would be the first place to start when pursuing information on that particular subject. However, the process of bottle identification and dating is quite complex with many exceptions; thus, the need for many web pages covering a lot of descriptive information.
A listing or "map" of all the main subject pages and connected sub-pages found within this website is found at the following link Website Map. Use that page to get a feel for the structure of this website and to access any of the other web pages. It is suggested that if you only bookmark one page of this website for future reference, that it be the Website Map.
That page also includes a summary of recent changes and additions to this website. When possible, the information on this website is given general reliability rating estimates e. Baffle Marks and Pontil Scars: A Reader on Historic Bottle Identification. This huge pages , recently released work is one of the best "bottle books" there is for helping with the complicated subject of bottle identification. It also includes "Bottle Dating Worksheets" pages 51 to 55 by Rebecca Allen and this author to assist in the systematic dating of an historic bottle based on the information in that dating key as well as other information on the website.
In part, this book fulfills this authors long time desire to have a hard copy "field guide" version of this website for use by archaeologists and others by having at least the dating portions available in printed form to take to the field.
Beyond that the book includes more information about historic bottle identification typology , bottle production, and more than can be summarized here. The book is available at www. It is also available as a downloadable PDF file. All proceeds from sale of this book go directly to benefit the work of the Society for Historical Archaeology! This website is designed to provide information on the dating of typical utilitarian bottles and jars made in the United States from the late 18th through midth centuries.
It does not attempt to address the dating of "specialty" or imported bottles made during that time, though much of the information found on this website is pertinent to these items to varying degrees. What is a utilitarian bottle or jar? What are specialty bottles? Both are hard questions to answer and the answer is somewhat arbitrary in the end. For this website the distinction between the two categories is related to the varying time frames that different glass making techniques were used for for the two classes of bottles.
Click on utilitarian bottles or "specialty" bottles to view the portion of the Glossary Page that covers these subjects. We have tried to define the distinction between these two classes of bottles from the perspective of the intent of and information found on this website.
This website was prepared based primarily on information about bottle manufacturing technologies, processes, and styles specific to the United States. Empirical observations indicate that Canadian-made bottles very often followed similar glassmaking technique and process chronologies making much of the information applicable to Canadian made bottles. If using this site for the dating or typing of a known or likely Canadian-made bottle, keep this in mind as the reliability of the information may be reduced.
The subject of Canadian-made and imported primarily European bottles is addressed by the following question on the FAQ's page: The opinions expressed are those of the author of this website and not necessarily those of The Society for Historical Archaeology nor the Bureau of Land Management. This website created and managed by: Viewers are encouraged, for personal or classroom use, to download limited copies of posted material.
No material may be copied for commercial purposes. Author reserves the right to update this information as appropriate.