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. To return from other accessed hyperlinks, use the back arrow on your browser. If a user needs to refresh themselves on the terminology used to describe the various parts of the bottle, click on Bottle Morphology to view a pop-up page of physical bottle feature definitions.
Once the likely bottle age or date range is determined, some examples of other places to look for more information is provided. Lets get started with the first bottle which is relatively easy to date Click on the bottle photo to view a larger version of the image. Start with Question 1 on the Dating page.
It is apparent that the answer to Question 1 is "YES" since this bottle has raised embossing in the form of the "swirls" on the shoulder. The embossing indicates that this has to be a molded bottle and can not be either free-blown, dip molded, or from a turn-mold. The user is now directed to move to Question 2 which deals primarily with the side mold seam. The picture to the lower right is a close-up of finish of the Mission bottle.
The bottle also does not have a ground down surface on the top of the finish. The user is now directed on the Dating page to move to the Machine-made Bottles portion of the Dating page. This section of the dating key is a series of independent questions where the answer to any given question is not dependent on the answer to another; a user may view the questions in any order. A user would first 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.
Since the bottle appears clear or colorless, "B" is the answer that fits this bottle. In reading through "B", there are a couple other options available to help refine the dating a bit. If one looks closely at the thick glass in the base of the bottle, one can see that the glass is not quite perfectly colorless, but instead has a slight "straw" or washed out amber tint to the glass picture of base below.
Looking at the two options under Question 8, it is clear no pun intended that this bottle matches refinement 2 which makes it highly probable that this bottle dates after and but probably no later than the s. We now have refined the bottle age range a bit more - between about and Move to Question 9 dealing with bubbles in the glass. A close look at the picture indicates no bubbles in the glass, though subtle glass details cannot be easily portrayed in a picture.
In hand, the bottle does not have any bubbles in the glass. Since the glass is without bubbles, it likely dates during or after the mids. Go to the next question. Question 10 is not pertinent to this bottle as it does not have the statement Federal Law Forbids Sale or Reuse of this Bottle embossed in the glass and it not a liquor bottle.
Question 11 deals with the presence or absence of the specific bottle makers mark for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company. The picture to the left shows that the base of this bottle does have the distinctive "Diamond O-I" marking just under the "7". The "I" can appear as a dot in the middle of this mark like with this bottle, though on most it is a more or less distinctive "I". Reading down through the narrative in Question 11, we find out that the number just to the right of the Diamond-O-I mark is the last two digits of the year the bottle was manufactured, which on this bottle is a "46".
So at this point we know that this bottle was made in A user need go no further through the Dating page questions to refine the date further. However, for example sake we will continue through the questions. For more information on Owens-Illinois marks, see Bill Lockhart and Russ Hoenig's a retired senior engineer for Owens-Illinois recent work - available only on this website - at the following link pdf file: Question 12 deals primarily with cork versus screw top closures.
This bottle has neither of the closure types noted; it instead has a crown top. As the information under this question notes, ACL's in the U. By considering the dating information arrived at above - excluding the makers markings on the base - we can still make a reasonable determination that this bottle almost certainly dates no earlier than ACL, lack of bubbles and could be as recent as the s straw tinted colorless glass.
The makers mark cinches the date in the s of course, but without this marking the bottle date could not be refined further. This site contains very limited information on specific companies that utilized bottles; such information is impossibly beyond the scope of this or any site or book. However, if more information were desired a quick search on the internet using the words "Mission Dry Corporation" the embossing on the base would lead a user to an assortment of information indicating that the company was bottling as early as , that its primary product was soda water, that these style Mission bottles date into the mids, and miscellaneous information about specific company products like cans, labels, etc.
One of the top returns on the search list would be the "e-Book" entitled Bottles on the Border: 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. Click Historic Bottle Related Links page to find links to the assortment of pdf files that comprise this printable e-Book. Click on the bottle photos to view a larger version of the image. There are no sharp lines to the bottle, just rounded corners and features.
This question asks if there is either any embossing on the bottle or if there are mold seams present on the body, shoulder, or neck. A thorough search of the bottle glass surface finds no embossing and no apparent mold seams anywhere. The answer to Question 1 is "NO", indicating that this bottle is either free-blown, dip molded, or from a turn-mold.
The user is now directed to move to Question 3 which differentiates unembossed, seam-free bottles into several categories. Since this bottle is not cylindrical the answer to Question 3 is "NO". We now know that this bottle was either a free-blown or dip molded and that it is highly likely to date prior to - possibly much earlier.
As the picture below right shows, this bottle does have a blowpipe or "open" pontil scar on the base. See the pontil scars page for more information. The blowpipe style pontil scar puts the date of this bottle as no later than approximately and does indicate that it could date back to or even before.
The overall crudity of the bottle would indicate a manufacturing time on the earlier end of this range. Thus, our Dating key derived age range for this bottle is to , with a high likelihood of dating prior to This bottle keyed out much quicker than the first example because this is as far as the dating key goes for free-blown bottles.
This early American-made bottle was free-blown not dip molded most likely at a New England glasshouse between and References that could be consulted for this information include: This example will date two slightly different examples of the same patent or proprietary medicine Hall's Balsam for the Lungs to illustrate how the Dating page questions can differentiate the age of different versions of the same type bottle made for a lengthy period.
The embossing on both bottles is relatively flattened and not particularly "sharp. It is apparent that the answer to Question 1 is "YES" since both of these bottles have embossed lettering which indicates they are molded bottles; they can not be either free-blown, dip molded, or from a turn-mold. The picture to the right is a close-up of both bottle finishes.
It shows that the side mold seam on both bottles stop well below the top of the finish. On close observation it is apparent that neither bottle has a ground down top surface to the finish. This yields a "NO" answer to Question 2 and we now may conclude that these are both mouth-blown bottles almost certainly dating prior to The user is now directed to move to Question 4 - the first question in the section of the key that deals with the dating of mouth-blown bottles.
This question deals with whether the base of a bottle has a pontil scar, and if present, what type of pontil scar. The pictures below show that neither of these bottles have any evidence of a pontil scar on the base. So the answer to Question 4 is "NO" which yields an earliest manufacturing date for both bottles of about At this point in the Dating key we can be confident that both bottles date somewhere between about and The user is now directed to move to Question 5 , which deals with way the bottle was finished, i.
Click on the picture above to see more distinctly where the side mold seams end on the two bottles. This is the point in the Dating key where our two bottles diverge from each other.
Bottle "A" has a side mold seam that distinctly ends right at the base of the finish. There is also a "drip" of excess glass on the left side of the neck that appears to have flowed from the base of the finish onto the upper portion of the neck.
Given these two diagnostic features, the answer to Question 5 for bottle "A" is option A - this bottle has a "true" applied finish which very likely dates "A" as no later than to We now have narrowed bottle "A" down to a high probability date range between and Bottle "B" differs from "A" in that the side mold seam ends a quarter inch below the lower edge of the finish and there are horizontal, concentric tooling rings around the upper neck and finish "wiping" out the mold seam.
If one looks closely at the middle portion of the neck on bottle "B", there is a slight bulging out towards the outside of the bottle of the inside glass surface.
This is a common feature resulting from the action of the "lipping" or "finishing" tool. This bottle clearly has a tooled finish which makes option B the correct choice for bottle "B" under Question 5. This feature makes it likely that this bottle dates from or after the late s. We now have narrowed bottle "B" down to a highly probable date range of the late s to 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. 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.