The shift to the fully automated bottle machine from mouth-blown and some semi-automatic methods in the early 20th century is the classic example (Toulouse 1967, 1969a). The same bottle could have been recycled and reused many times for many years before finally being discarded - entire or broken (Busch 1987).
This was almost universal with many beverage bottle types (e.g., soda, beer, milk) but was variably common with just about any type bottle - especially prior to 1920.
Please be aware that in order to gain the maximum information about any particular bottle (e.g., dating, typing) the user must usually must review a number of pages within this website.
This bottle dating "key" is a relatively simple "first cut" on the dating of a bottle.
While running a bottle through the key questions, the user is frequently directed to move to other website pages to explain diagnostic features and concepts as well as to add depth and/or precision to the initial dating estimate.
Acceptance often occurred over a period of many years or decades in some cases.
This technology lag makes some diagnostic characteristics better than others for dating. As a corollary to #1, consider the following quote: "Treat terminal dates with care.
Pontiled base fragments could also be from later produced "specialty" bottles which are described below.5.
Some bottle shapes are indicative of a particular manufacturing era, though many bottle styles/shapes were used for so many years - like the cylinder whiskey "fifth" or square snuff bottle - that the shape itself is not indicative of age.
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.
)Reuse, of course, does not change the manufacturing date of the bottle itself, but care must be exercised when using the known date of one or a few bottles to date other items found from the same context.
When a likely or known "older" item is found in a known "newer" site it is referred to as deposition lag.
This page and associated sub-pages allows a user to run an American produced utilitarian bottle or a significantly sized bottle fragment 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.