Dating antique glass bottles

Bottles made before the Civil War typically did not have embossed details, as the technology to create embossing was uncommon.If the product or company's name or logo is on the bottle, look up that particular name or symbol for additional history on that particular product.

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In 1880, the five Ball brothers used a $200 loan from their uncle to start a business manufacturing tin cans for products such as paint and kerosene.

Bottles designed for decorative purposes, or as special reissue editions from various liquid product companies, look much like bottle designs that are much older.

While the physical shape of the bottle is somewhat indicative of its age, other telltale signs are a bit more accurate for pinpointing its origin and production date.

This type of bottle-making narrows the bottle's age from the early 1800s to the early 1900s.

A horizontal seam near the shoulder of the bottle ages it to post-1814 until the end of the 19th century.

If the bottle looks perfectly clean with impeccable design and the glass contains no discoloration, such as an iridescent sheen, it is likely a reproduction.

Check the bottle bottom for a reproduction company stamp.

Some small glass-blowing shops still blow bottles by hand as novelty or decorative products, but the glass is most likely much thinner than old glass and shows no discoloration.

Embossed brand names, letters, logos or shapes offer major clues as to the bottle's original purpose, maker and age.

Bottles with a seam all the way up through the lip age the bottle to the 20th or 21st century.

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