Dating old glass bottles

Embossed lettering can date prior to 1850, but most date to the late 19th century and later.

Embossed lettering is especially common on patent medicine bottles that date from the mid-19th century through the early 20th century. This often indicates the bottle manufacturer and will help date the bottle.

Since its initial posting in early 2005, the Historic Bottle Website has become a very useful resource to the historical archaeology community.

This makes its location on the SHA website in the new "Research Resources" section particularly appropriate.

Bottles With Mold Seams Check to see if seams go all the way from the base to the lip.

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I would encourage anyone interested in makers’ marks on beer bottles (and soda bottles) to check out his site…..

he has a extensive list with alot of great material on obscure glass and pottery companies here: Manuf Beer ******************************************************************************** Usually embossed on the base, marks may also appear on the lower heel area on certain types of bottles, especially sodas.

On earlier flasks, fruit jars, and soda bottles, and especially examples produced in the mid-nineteenth century period (1840s-1860s), the full factory name or initials may be embossed across the front.

Loaded with detailed descriptions and diagrams, and luscious high res photos, this is a superlative one-stop educational resource and vicarious digger experience.

Key sections include dating, typing/typology, glassmaking, colors, finishes, bodies and seams, bases, fragment identification and a glossary.