dating bottle caps

Pamela Morin, 37 years old


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Bottle collecting has become an increasingly popular hobby among antique lovers in the United States. These bottles are more plentiful dating bottle caps considerably less expensive to purchase than their older counterparts, making it possible to possess an interesting bottle collection without substantial investment. From the days of the crockery jug untilcork-style rubber stoppers were used on the standard Clorox bleach amber glass bottles. Ina screw cap was introduced, and a modern adaptation of that top is still used today. These more modern screw cap bottles can be easily identified by their threaded necks as contrasted with the smooth finish, cork-style necks of the earlier Clorox bottles. Height and content capacity is another way to determine the vintage of Clorox bottles.

As Berge noted in referring to bottles, the " This bottle dating "key" is a relatively simple "first cut" on the dating of a bottle. Please be aware that in order to gain the maximum information about any particular bottle e. Unfortunately, the complexities of precisely dating bottles is beyond the scope of any simple key. A substantial amount of bottle type specific information must be reviewed dating bottle caps a user to increase the probability of dating accuracy.

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 dating bottle caps just after the trun of the century.
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Bottle Dating. Click here to move directly to the list of machine-made dating questions. It should be noted that features 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are primary indicators of machine-made manufacture. Feature 2 mold seam diameter is not as strongly diagnostic as the primary indicators as mouth-blown bottles sometimes can have very fine mold seams. Feature 7 describes a couple glass related features that are quite consistent in machine-made bottles, but not diagnostic, i. Note: the term "parison mold" and "blank mold" are synonymous for the first mold in the two mold machine process. Vertical side mold seams which usually see the Note box below point 3 for an exception run up to the highest point of the finish and often onto the extreme top finish surface i. The statement about machine-made bottles may seem contradictory finer but more visually distinct but is a function of the higher machine blowing dating bottle caps. Most machine-made bottles have mold seams about the thickness of a hair while most visible mouth-blown mold seams tend to be several times as thick, higher, but more rounded. Mold seam thickness and how high it protrudes [height] is of only moderate use in telling a machine-made bottle from a mouth-blown bottle, though if a bottle fragment has a hair fine mold seam, it is highly likely to be from a machine-made bottle.

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 dating bottle caps 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. Painter seam stops below lip common on sodas and beers image supplied by Harry Pristis.

Maltese Cross cap variant -translucent glass with faint aqua tint. Lewis R. Boyd was issued a patent for his invention on Dating bottle caps 30, The patent can be viewed here, a pdf file from the sha. Tremendous numbers of these glass lids were made, by a number of glass companies, many of whom are unidentified.
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