Since there were hundreds of thousands of uniquely different bottles produced in the United States (and Canada**) between the late 18th century and the 1950s (Fike 1987), it is beyond the scope or even possibility of this site (or website or book) to provide specific details about more than just a tiny fraction of a percent of that variety of bottles.Even then the bottles discussed in depth are so primarily to illustrate the presented information and concepts.The information on this website will, however, usually produce a reliable manufacturing date range for a majority of American utilitarian bottles manufactured from the early 1800s to the mid-20th century.Using physical, manufacturing related diagnostic features, most utilitarian bottles can usually only be accurately placed within a date range of 10-15 years (i.e., 1870-1880 or 1885) . Like many industries making the leap from manual craftsman production to industrialization and automation, technological advances in bottle manufacturing were not immediately accepted by glass manufacturers or their workers.) to the specific dating questions on the Bottle Dating page are included so that a user can reference the necessary portions of that page.
What technology, techniques, or processes were used to manufacture the bottle? Where did the bottle come from, i.e., where was it made and/or used? Where can I go for more information on historic bottles?
This page provides some examples of how to use the website (primarily the Bottle Dating pages) to determine the approximate date or date range for various types of bottles made between the early 1800s and the mid-20th century.
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?
This site instead attempts to help the user determine some key facts - approximate age & function - about any given utilitarian* bottle/jar based on observable physical characteristics.
Hundreds of specific historic bottles are used as examples within the pages of this website to illustrate the concepts discussed; with luck you may find the specific bottle you have an interest in discussed though typically you will not.
This bottle dating "key" is a relatively simple "first cut" on the dating of a bottle.