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One approach to helping beginner identify their old bottles involves show them the bases of old bottles. The picture below at the left shows an iron pontil on the base jof a historical flask circa The middle picture shows an open pontil on the base of a cylindrical medicine bottle. The third picture shows the base of a milk bottle from just after the trun of the century. The disk-like mark is sometimes confused with a pontil.

Bottles which have all the primary characteristics noted above 1, 3, 4 without the suction scar 5 were produced by non-Owens automatic or semi-automatic machines and are somewhat harder to precisely date, though the vast majority post-date also. Narrow neck press-and-blow machine?

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It should be noted that one fairly early press-and-blow semi-automatic machine was designed to produce narrow bore bottles. This is accomplished so that there is no perceptible mark upon the bottle showing the joint, and the bottle stands every possible test as to strength.


The machine is operated much as all pressing machines are Although products of this machine are not conclusively known a bottle such as the one at this link - offset seams shoe polish bottle - may well be a product of the described machine as there is a distinct and abrupt interface edge at the shoulder where the mold seams for both the body and neck end and are offset.

This little bottle has a moderately narrow neck and a distinct valve or ejection mark on the base indicating press-and-blow machine manufacture. Added evidence to this theory is that an identical shape and size 2 oz. More specifically, non-Owens machine-made bottles with narrow necks similar to the amber beer bottle pictured earlier will always date after and typically after regardless of what type machine they were produced on since the first blow-and-blow semi-automatic machines capable of producing narrow necked bottles copied after English machines invented somewhat earlier were first made or used at that time in the U.

Boow ; Cable Very few narrow neck bottles made on the Owens machines will pre-date that time also.

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Bottles or jars with wide mouths like the jar pictured under Question 15 below may occasionally pre-dateto as early as aboutsince semi-automatic press-and-blow machines were being used to some degree by the mids. The first production bottles known to have been made on semi-automatic machines were wide mouth Vaseline bottles made by the C. Flaccus Glass Co. It is thought that probably all pre semi-automatic bottle machine production in the U.

No "lung blowers " employed. Travis Glass Co. Manager says machines are fast coming into play in bottle industry, plans eventually to have machines in place of "carrying in boys. This two table semi-automatic machine would have been hand fed with glass furnace likely to the right and does have the two different mold sets with the parison molds where the first "press" part of the cycle took place the set on the right. Blowing air would have been supplied by the hose visible at the top of the set of blow molds to the left, where the final "blow" part of the cycle took place.

This allows for a high probability begin date of around to for most wide mouth, machine-made bottles and jars Illinois Glass Company, However, since the products of automatic and semi-automatic non-Owens machines date from the same era as the Owens machine and are largely indistinguishable, they are all considered together on this machine-made bottle dating page.

With each chart the reader will find accompanying pictures to further aid in bottle identification and age. Chart 1 The Basics of Dating Bottles. Readers first need to develop the vocabulary necessary to distinguish early and late forms of bottles. The following charts and pictures on the dating bottles pages listed below should help. DATING BOTTLES BY THEIR TOPS AND BASES. A Look at Bottle Bases. One approach to helping beginner identify their old bottles involves show them the bases of old bottles. The picture below at the left shows an iron pontil on the base jof a historical flask circa The middle picture shows an open pontil on the base of a cylindrical medicine. Bottle Dating Australia to sensualist your mind, entice your body and elevate your spirit. I am fully ready in my heart to make an experience Bottle Dating Australiafor you that will be in /

Between and about orthe only fully automatic machine was the Owens Automatic Bottle Machine and until the late s they were granting exclusive licenses for various categories of bottles.

In aboutreliable gob-feeders became available which converted most types of semi-automatic machines to fully automatic at a lower cost than the Owens Machines.

26 rows  OLD BOTTLE IDENTIFICATION AND DATING GUIDE. This webpage is intended to help . Unlike the first portions of the Dating key (Questions #1 through #3 on the main Bottle Dating page; #4 through #7 on the Mouth-blown bottles portion of the dating key), each question on this page is an independent dating tool for which the response is not predicated on the outcome of . 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.

For instance the Carr-Lowery Glass Company Baltimore, MD began automatic bottle making inbut retained some hand-blowing operations until at least when Dr.

Toulouse published Bottle Makers and Their Marks! In one glass factory a wall had to be erected between the hand operations and the newly installed machine to prevent sabotage.

In another instance, worker opposition was so strong that the machine operations were abandoned! These numbers help to determine general dating break probabilities for both machine-made and mouth-blown bottles. Likewise, the probability that a bottle exhibiting mouth-blown hand-made diagnostic features dating prior to the mids is very high and after the s is very low, though not impossible as noted above.

The link below allows a user to view an amazing short movie clip that shows two different early Owens Automatic Bottle Machines in operation.

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The first machine is the "Machine 5" which the film clip script notes as having been made in in Toledo, Ohio. This was apparently the earliest of the viable commercial machines, and in fact, the clip was made to help promote and sell the machine to potential buyers. The first person shown operating Machine 5 is Emil Bock, a mechanical genius who worked with Michael Owens from the "bicycle pump" early machine experimentation days s and transformed Mike's ideas into workable steel machines.

Michael Owens is the second person shown picking up and examining a couple beer bottles. This clip is also reported to be the only movie ever made showing Michael Owens who was reputed to be "camera shy.

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Film clip is compliments of the Owens-Illinois Glass Company. Many thanks to Phil Perry - a senior engineer with that company - who graciously provided this clip. Film clip of an early Owens Automatic Bottle Machine in operation. Machine-made Bottle Dating As with mouth-blown bottles, more precise dating of a machine-made bottle can be done with some confidence by using one or more of the various diagnostic features outlined in the questions on this page. Unlike the first portions of the Dating key Questions 1 through 3 on the main Bottle Dating page; 4 through 7 on the Mouth-blown bottles portion of the dating keyeach question on this page is an independent dating tool for which the response is not predicated on the outcome of any of the other questions.

Thus, these questions do not have to be viewed in order. The question numbers on this page continue where they left off on the mouth-blown bottle portion of the key. These markings are those of the Owens-Illinois Glass Company. Read through each of the questions to see which have pertinence to the bottle you wish to date. Hyperlink to other web pages that are suggested in each question for added information and then read the summary statement at the end of this page which will give some suggestions on where on this website a user could or should proceed to.

Keep track of the specific diagnostic feature date ranges listed in each question you consult, and once to the end of the page, use that information to ascertain the likely production date range of your bottle. As explained previously above, be aware that the "earliest" date used in the questions is not absolute. There were some wide mouth, semi-automatic machine produced bottles albeit a very low percentage which had machine-made characteristics minus a suction scar than can date back as early as the mids.

Lets begin with Question 8 right below A color other than colorless or aqua? The color of the glass in a machine-made bottle can, to a limited degree, be useful in dating.

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As with all of the dating points on this page, color must be considered in conjunction with other diagnostic characteristics in arriving at a probable date or date range for any given bottle - the "preponderance of evidence" concept.

With the increasing dominance of the automatic bottle machine in the s and on, bottle shapes, sizes, and colors became more and more standardized and uniform, i. Glass making technology progressed so that colorless aka "clear" glass became much cheaper to produce and displaced aqua as the dominant bottle glass color for containers where being able to see the products natural color was an important consideration.

An assortment of other colors were still common - particularly amber and to some degree, cobalt blue - but the range of common colors present in machine-made bottles was restricted compared to bottles produced in the 19th century.

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Bottle made from manganese dioxide decolorized glass exhibiting a slight lavender cast in the thick portions of the glass. Small utility bottle - ca. Click on Groves Chill Tonic to view a picture of an aqua medicinal from the era.

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The bottle pictured in Question 9 below with a plethora of bubbles in the glass would be considered a particular deep shade of aqua. The amount of aqua glass bottles produced declines throughout this period so that by the mid to late s the dominant colors for machine-made bottles excluding soda bottles and canning jars is colorless or amber.

Royal Crown Cola, Dr. Pepper both a greenish aquaand Coca-Cola "Georgia Green" are familiar examples of late era aqua bottles Toulouse For more information on this color, click a qua to go to its description on the Bottle Colors page. Bottle is of largely colorless aka "clear" glass Machine-made bottles with colorless glass can date from any time afterthough there is a relatively reliable dating break possible based on the type of colorless glass.

Decolorizing is in essence neutralizing the effects of the iron and carbonaceous impurities in the glass mix in order to obtain as colorless of glass as possible.

The primary physical masking agents used in the first half of the 20th century were manganese dioxide, selenium, and arsenic. All potentially leave a very slight residual color to the glass that is usually visible when looking closely at the thickest portion of the base or sides.


For more information click colorless glass to go to that section of the Bottle Colors page. Manganese dioxide causes the glass to have a very slight lavender or amethyst tint which is amplified to varying degrees with exposure to sunlight or artificial radiation.

When selenium or arsenic or a combination of the two is used to decolorize glass, it often leaves a very faint "straw" cast to the thick glass portions which is not affected or intensified by sunlight. Note: It has been thought for many years that selenium produced the "straw" cast to otherwise colorless - and almost exclusively - machine-made bottles. However, it is now thought to be a function of using arsenic - probably in tandem with selenium - as the decolorizer [Tooley ; Lockhart pers.

HOME: Bottle Dating. INTRODUCTION. This page and associated sub-pages allows a user to run an American produced utilitarian bottle or a significantly sized bottle fragment(s) through a series of questions based primarily on diagnostic physical, manufacturing related characteristics or features to determine the approximate manufacturing age range of the item.

The following dating refinements are possible with colorless machine-made bottles:. The large majority of machine-made bottles with a slight to moderate lavender or amethyst tint - indicating manganese oxide was used as the decolorizer - date between and the early s top picture above right; click small amethyst wide-mouth bottle for a picture of this entire bottle though some can date as late as the s.

Machine-made s oda bottles were generally not decolorized with manganese after Lockhart a. Based on empirical observations, one or both of these decolorizers are still in use today although after the s other decolorizing agents and glass producing processes were used resulting in less abundant "straw" tinted bottles.

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Bottle made of some other color of glass If the bottle has some other glass color no useful general dating information is possible. Move to the other questions below for more dating opportunities. If so, how many and what size and shape? Bubbles in the shoulder glass of a bottle. This is an extreme example of the number of bubbles to be found in a bottle. This is a Mexican made liquor bottle intended for the U. The image to the left is a close-up of a bottle with bubbles in atypically high quantity for illustrative purposes.

Bubbles are caused by an assortment of irregularities in the production process including a glass pot or tank that was too hot or not full enough, glass cut-off or shearing irregularities, and various gob feeder problems. In the glass making industry, small bubbles were referred to as "seeds" and larger bubbles as "blisters" Tooley Similar to the color question above, the presence of bubbles in the glass can help some in pinning down the date of a machine bottle, but must be used in conjunction with other features to more confidently narrow down a date range as it is not conclusive by itself.

More specifically, there appears to have been an increase in the homogeneity and uniformity of glass as the technological advances of the machine era proceeded. However, this feature is still a tenuous one since there are many early machine-made bottles with few or no bubbles. As a general rule of thumb, earlier machine-made bottles and jars i.

The absence of bubbles or presence of only a very few small "seed" bubbles less than a pin-head in size or very narrow "V" shaped bubbles, denotes a bottle that is more likely to date from or after the s. If one takes a look at glass bottles found in supermarkets today they would be hard pressed to find even one bubble in all the bottles looked at combined as technology has all but eradicated this flaw in glassmaking.

This embossing was legally required on all liquor bottles sold in the U. These diagrams should help clarify age differences based on both form and function. With each chart the reader will find accompanying pictures to further aid in bottle identification and age.

Readers first need to develop the vocabulary necessary to distinguish early and late forms of bottles. The following charts and pictures on the dating bottles pages listed below should help. Chart 1 The Basics of Dating Bottles Readers first need to develop the vocabulary necessary to distinguish early and late forms of bottles.

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The pictures below are from two early machine made medicine bottles. I have put up pictures of the lips so that the readers can see how they mold goes all the way over the top as shown below. Notice how sharp and fine the mold seam line is. This is different than an older hand tooled, hand blown bottle. The pressure from the automatic machine was strong and the molds fit tight leaving only a very thin line. In the neck on the right notice how just below the collar the mold seam goes complete around the neck.

This was the manner in which the early Owens bottles were blown. But the process was completed in a single blow. Both of these medicine bottles look much like their earlier counterparts.

How to Date Antique Glass Bottles

This is the base of the bottle whose lip is shown above left. Note the diagonal line which cuts across the base is obliterated by the Owens Ring the large off-center curcular feature.

Inside the Owens ring are several numbers. Owens' early bottles were often cruder than their hand blown hand tooled counterparts.

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