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Liquor bottles are listed primarily on pages Once two-piece full sized molds came into common use in the early 19th century, the "case gin" shape above evolved but of course did not disappear into vertically straight sided multi-purpose bottles like that pictured to the left. The style was largely used for and identified with spirits but has been noted with embossing or labels for medicinal products, e. This is still true today with the acknowledged health benefits of red wine and dark beers - in moderation of course. Malt whiskey was widely claimed by the purveyors to be of high medicinal value, i.
There are even a few late 19th century flasks that were produced for Presidential elections Grover Cleveland, William Jennings Bryan, William McKinley that are cataloged within this group. Similar to the last flask is the variation where the narrow sides of the flask are also not strap sided but distinctly rounded, not coming to the pointed edge that the above flask has. Wolfe's bottles were produced in a wide variety of colors and sizes, though always apparently square. What constellations is associated with eagles? Most notably, these bottles were made with true applied finishes into the early 20th century and mouth-blown Benedictine bottles appear to have been made up until at least empirical observations. It also has a crudely tooled double ring finish, lacks air venting, and was blown in a cup-bottom mold like virtually all picnic flasks.
Although foreign made, bottles with this diagnostic feature were imported extensively into the U. This body texture feature is in the authors experience unique to case gin bottles; so much so that if a flat paneled fragment with that surface texture is found on a historic site it can be certainly attributed to being from an imported case gin bottle dating from the last half and probably last third of the 19th century to as late as the second decade of the 20th.
This general style and size of square bottle with a tall body and short neck was used primarily for various spirits and high alcohol medicinal products like bitters and sarsaparilla. In fact, this general shape was undoubtedly more commonly used for bitters, sarsaparilla, and other medicinal "tonic" products than for purely spirits - especially by the last quarter of the 19th century.
Finishes on these type bottles range widely but the most common were the oil like pictured and mineral finishes, with the double ring, brandy, and others used less commonly. Earlier versions s and before will have deeply domed bases and often various types of pontil scars; later versions s and after will have smooth non-pontiled scarred bases and are usually less domed i. The pictured example is embossed on three sides: Schiedam is a city in Holland near Rotterdam and was apparently just part of the proprietary name since this product was originally produced in New York and the bottles made in the U.
However, Wolfe's Aromatic Schnapps became a very popular "medicated gin" that was produced from the late s until well into the 20th century. Due to its popularity it was produced in various parts of the world with the bottles by at least the late s being blown overseas in addition to the U. Wolfe's bottles were produced in a wide variety of colors and sizes, though always apparently square. The pictured bottle is typical of square spirits bottles produced in the mid 19th century and has a crudely applied oil finish and a large grayish iron pontil mark on the base dating it to around Click on the following links to view more pictures of this bottle: The use of the specific style of bottle shown above for spirits was primarily between about and , with some use a bit later.
Examples with pontil scars would date from the Civil War or before. Smooth non-pontiled examples with applied finishes would date from the s to early s; tooled finishes from about and after empirical observations.
Similar bottles continued to be used for gin and other spirits well into the 20th century as shown in the Illinois Glass Company catalog the pictured bottles in this catalog were machine-made. As noted, this style was also very popular for the packaging of bitters and other typically high alcohol medicinal products.
Without embossing or labeling identifying the actual contents, it would be impossible to say what any given bottle like this actually held, though it is very likely to have been high in alcohol whatever it was. As noted previously, the line between medicine and spirits is often blurry prior to the National Prohibition. This is still true today with the acknowledged health benefits of red wine and dark beers - in moderation of course.
The pictured bottle is a typical, though slightly smaller than average, example of the style containing a pint i. It was made for the Louis Taussig Co. This example was blown in a two-piece cup-bottom mold, has an improved-tooled straight brandy more or less finish, plentiful air venting marks throughout the bottle, and a slightly pink tint caused by using manganese dioxide as a glass decolorant. As noted, this style seems to have originated just before the turn of the century 19th to 20th that is and was most popular towards the end of the mouth-blown manufacturing era just prior to National Prohibition, i.
The style was largely used for and identified with spirits but has been noted with embossing or labels for medicinal products, e. This bottle is identically shaped to the one pictured, though in the "5 to the gallon" fifth size. It is also mouth-blown, likely dates between and based on shape, improved-tooled finish, multiple air venting marks, and cup-bottom mold production , and probably contained a high alcohol product as consumers of the time would have identified this shape with spirits Lindsey It should also be noted that very similar to identically shaped bottles were used for olive oil, salad dressing, vinegar and likely other liquid food products during the first few decades of the 20th century Zumwalt The style was also apparently used for wine as indicated by the dark amber bottle pictured at the following links: The base is embossed with the makers mark of an "H" in a triangle indicating manufacture by J.
However, this bottle most likely dates from around to Prohibition though could also be a "medicinal" product that was produced during Prohibition, i.
Short Squatty Square Spirits bottles: As with the cylinder liquor bottles discussed earlier, what could be made tall and relatively narrow could also be made shorter and squattier. Square liquor bottles were also produced with a short and proportionally wide body and a neck that is approximately as tall as the body. The Illinois Glass Company catalogs from the early s list an assortment of different variations on this style theme which have decorative necks.
See the IGCo. Catalog page for more distant cousins to this bottle style. Other glass manufacturers used similar names during that era Swindell ; Cumberland Typical finishes on mouth-blown and earlier machine-made items bottles were, like with most liquor bottles, the brandy or straight brandy finish. Other styles would be uncommon, though a double ring finish is observed occasionally, e.
The bottle pictured here is a typical example of the type with a neck that is about as tall as the body, but retains the original labels. It has an improved-tooled finish, was blown in a cup-bottom mold, and dates from the late s to very early s. This particular quart sized bottle is interesting in several respects due to the labels. One side has a label attesting to the products testing by an " analytical and consulting chemist " in who attested that the whiskey is " Another side has a label warning the purchaser " To guard against refilling of this bottle, see that the capsule is wired and sealed and cork branded "; a reference to the extensive - though not illegal - re-use of bottles during the era; though this company could have also re-used this bottle Busch Click on the following links to for more views of this bottle: The square squat style for liquor appears to have been most popular from the s on.
These bottles almost always exhibit the diagnostic characteristics of the era: Machine-made examples with a brandy or straight brandy finish cork closure date from the early to mid s overlapping with the mouth-blown versions through National Prohibition.
This shape was also commonly used for imported Scotch Whiskey during the same era noted above for mouth-blown bottles Unitt The final shape in this section is one that is transitioning into the next category of spirits bottles - flasks. It is rectangular in cross-section with rounded corners, a proportionally tall body, and short neck. It is a common shape for early 20th century liquor bottles and in smaller sizes would be considered a type of flask see next section.
Even in this larger size - like the quart size pictured to the left - it could be considered a large flask shape. This style also usually but not always has a raised band or strap down both narrow sides, although the strap or banded sides seem to be less common on the smaller one pint or less sizes than the larger sizes empirical observations.
The early 20th century Illinois Glass Company catalogs click following links to view the specific pages in the catalog listed this shape as a "Baltimore Oval" available with either a "brandy finish" or "screw top" in the flasks section IGCo. Production sizes ranged from 4 ozs. Observed finishes on this shape bottle are usually the brandy or straight brandy types with a prescription or patent finish possible but noted much less frequently.
Internal or external threads with ground rim are occasionally seen on mouth-blown versions. The pictured bottle is quart sized, was manufactured for the John C. This particular bottle has the original label indicating that the product was " Guaranteed by Jno. This bottle also exhibits typical early 20th century mouth-blown features: Click on the following links to see additional pictures of this bottle: This type bottle with inside threads - like the pictured example - seem to be primarily a Western American phenomena, with few noted from the Midwest or East Sellari ; Barnett This shape of bottle was most popular during the first couple decades of the 20th century, i.
It was particularly commonly used for rye whiskey, but was used for other spirits also. Mouth-blown examples usually were made in a cup-bottom molds occasionally post-bottom molds , with ample air venting marks, and a tooled or improved tooled finish.
The style with a cork closure "square ring finish" apparently lived on at least into the s as the style was still being offered in the Illinois Glass Company's catalog but in sizes from 7 to 16 oz. See the "Baltimore Oval" flask covered below. Similar machine-made bottles with external threads would date from the late s or end of Prohibition until the late 20th century, though actual examples haven't been observed by the author of this website but are likely to exist.
Flask Styles not considered "figured". Flasks of widely varying shapes and sizes were a very common container for spirits of all kinds, originating in the need for a traveling bottle. A flask is a bottle originally designed to be portable and easy to carry, which is typically oval to a rounded rectangle in cross-section, and laterally compressed on two sides. Though the "flask shape" can be found in a multitude of sizes; on this website flasks are considered to have a capacity of about 16 oz.
As with all the bottle types described on this site; there is almost endless variations; crossovers; and hybrids on any shape theme with flasks. Given this a user should again not get too caught up in specific details. Some of the earliest types of American made flasks were blown in pattern molds. Many of these flasks were produced by an early method of glass blowing called the "half-post method. Bottles and flasks could be patterned once like the linked nursing bottle which is pattern molded; but not of half-post manufacture; this style was also used for liquor adult nursing bottle.
The forest green "Pitkin" style flask pictured to the left is of early American origin and produced by the half-post method; note the horizontal ridge encircling the shoulder just below the neck. The light green "Pitkin" style flask pictured at this link - light green "Pitkin" - is another example of a double patterned "broken swirl" flask from the same era. Not all "Pitkin" style flasks were made by New England glass factories; many were made by various glassworks further to the west as well as South New Jersey, and possibly other locations including England.
The "Pitkin" style flask to the right was most likely produced at a Midwestern glass factory - western Pennsylvania Pittsburgh most likely - during the first third of the 19th century.
It's heritage is indicated by the brighter green color and the somewhat more circular shape of the bottle body. Click Midwestern Pitkin close-up to view a close-up of this flask which distinctly shows the half-post "ridge" on the upper shoulder as well as the pattern mold ridges. This flask would be referred to as being "swirled to the left.
Pattern molded bottles are some of the earliest American bottles. American made pattern molded flasks like the "Pitkins" would not likely date after the s and typically would date from the s to about Because of the early production of these type bottles, pattern molded bottles and flasks are rarely found on historic sites in the West, but would be commonly encountered on early sites in the East and Midwest.
These were previously covered above as a separate category due the ubiquity and the historical significance of that grouping. See the Figured Flasks section of this page for coverage of that spirits bottle category.
The name "union oval" was used by glass makers for both liquor flasks and druggist bottles which are both more or less oval in cross section with a raised strap or band down the sides. The difference between the two groups is that the druggist bottles are straight sided, i. In the collector world the name union oval is applied to an assortment of subtly different liquor flasks that fall into two main classes - those with the raised strap or band down the side "strap side union oval" and those that do not have the strap and are more or less rounded on the narrow side simply called a "union oval" or "knife edge union oval" if the side comes to a bit sharper edge.
An early union oval type flask that has its heritage linked with the figured flasks is the pint aqua flask pictured to the right which would be considered a strap side union oval. Click here for more views of this flask: Many Western collectors consider the distinctive outward curve to the bent leg of the letter "R" to be the work of a particular mold cutter associated with that glassworks. This is a common embossing feature on many Western bottles of the s and s, though not unique as some bottles made east of the Mississippi also have this feature.
Click on the following links to see additional view pictures of this flask: The "knife-edge" variation of the union oval flask has no raised straps on the side, but instead comes to a rounded point of sorts at the side mold seams. The "sharp" edges to the side are best seen by clicking on the base view picture linked below.
This flask has a crudely applied finish and was blown in a post-bottom mold with no air venting - all evidence of an s or early s date for this style of flask. Click on the following links to view additional pictures of this pint flask: The knife-edge style of union oval flask appears to date primarily from the s into the s Thomas , ; empirical observations.
Similar to the last flask is the variation where the narrow sides of the flask are also not strap sided but distinctly rounded, not coming to the pointed edge that the above flask has. A half-pint example is pictured to the right. This particular flask is embossed O. This flask has a tooled double ring finish, no air venting marks, and was produced in a post-bottom mold.
Click on the following links for additional images of this flask: These non-strap sided, rounded side union oval flasks appear to date from the s well into the early s. This particular flask is an example of the tendency for smaller bottles to have their finishes tooled earlier than larger ones. These "full measure" bottles had a specific capacity that was affirmed to the potential customer by the embossing and appear to be a reaction to the very common "scant" sizes which held less capacity than the named size would indicate.
Scant sizes are discussed briefly in the coffin section which follows this one. This bottle has the manufacturing features noted a few sentences down and likely dates from the to era. This flask still contained the original year old bourbon whiskey when acquired by the author, which was appropriately disposed of. Both flasks also date from the early s. These later strap side union oval flasks are usually found in aqua, colorless, or amber glass with other colors much rarer , have tooled double ring finishes, and are air vented.
Many of these flasks also have plate mold circles in evidence and sometimes have embossing inside the plate. Union oval type flasks appear to have originated around the time of the American Civil War and continued into the early 20th century. More specifically on the dating of variations: Some of the earliest union oval flasks were made by the same companies along the Eastern Seaboard that made the figured flasks discussed early on this page.
Whitney Glass Works pint flask ; close-up pictures of the base, finish, and stopper. However, like with most liquor flasks, union oval flasks without proprietary embossing out number those with that type of embossing many fold. Machine-made union oval flasks most likely date no earlier than and are actually fairly unusual as the style largely disappeared in the early to mid s based on a review of various glassmakers catalogs. These flasks came in an assortment of sizes ranging from a few ounces to a quart, but a very large majority of them are found in the pint and half pint sizes, which actually held around ozs.
Bottle makers would often call the smaller capacity - smaller than the nominal name size - bottles "scant" capacities and the full size the "full measure" version Wightman ca. When found with embossing this greatly increases the probability of narrowing down the date range tighter with the opportunity of company related information being found in local business directories.
The colors of these flasks are dominated by clear or colorless sometimes with a pinkish, amethyst, or faint straw tint ; aqua and shades of amber are much less common; any other color is very unusual.
Finishes are dominated by the brandy and straight brandy styles, with the oil and champagne finishes being much less common and other types rare. One minor variation of the shoo-fly flask is the "Bell Punch Flask" which differs only in that it has a bead ring on about the middle of the neck; click Illinois Glass Company catalog page to view a illustration of this type flask left hand page, lower left corner.
A transitional style of sorts between the union oval and the shoo-fly were the Newman's patent flask. These flasks have the mostly rounded sides and oval cross section of the union oval flask, but also have the sharper taper and a somewhat more defined and flattened front and back panel similar to the shoo-fly. These flasks are embossed on the base with C. Click Newman's patent , to view the original patent. Patent Office b; Toulouse The Newman flasks are always mouth-blown and when made in an amber pint size that dates between and about Click Bottle Closures to view more information on this type of flask.
It has a tooled straight brandy finish, two air venting marks on each side, and was blown in a cup-bottom mold - all consistent with the estimated date which is based on a combination of company historical information and diagnostic features Thomas Click on the following hyperlinks to see more photos of this flask: Of interest, upon close inspection it is obvious that this flask was produced with the exact same plate that was used to make the picnic flask pictured and described in the next section.
This shows that the plates were sometimes interchangeable between molds - at least if made by the same glass company. This is not an uncommon observation with shoo-fly and picnic flasks; sometimes the same plate was even utilized between the pint and half pint sizes. The amber "pint" about 10 oz. It has an "improved" tooled brandy finish, is not air vented, and was blown in a cup-bottom mold. It does have body crudity slightly sunken sides and somewhat rounded embossing consistent with a lack of air venting, though Thomas notes that other examples are air vented.
This is fairly consistent with a mids manufacturing date, though the "improved" tooled finishes are more typical of a post manufacturing date. Thomas's narrow date range is likely also based on the rarity of these flasks implying a limited production time. The shoo-fly flask seems to have originated in the early s but examples were made well into the 20th century, including by automatic bottle machines.
Distinguishing features of the picnic flask style are: See the pictures as the shape is easier to visualize than to describe. The small base does contribute to the flask being a bit "tipsy" though its functionality was to fit in a persons pocket or purse easily while still being able to stand up if needed.
The angle of the shoulders and heel vary to some degree between different picnic flasks with some shoulders projecting from the neck less perpendicularly i. The outside edges of the flask when viewed straight on from the front also vary from slightly flattened to gently rounded with no obvious vertical flattening; see the pictures here for subtle variations in shape.
Distinct variations of the picnic flask include the "Cummings" and "Jo Jo" or "Jo-Jo" - pictured to the left , both of which are similar to the picnic except that they are generally narrower from side to side. Click on Illinois Glass Co. The Jo Jo flask tends to have distinctly flattened front and back panels like a shoo-fly flask and seems to be a hybrid between the two styles.
The Jo Jo flasks was a popular type used by the South Carolina State Dispensary state operated liquor business during their years of operation between and Click on the following links for more views of the pint Jo Jo flask from the Dispensary: Records show that E.
Picnic flasks came in an assortment of sizes ranging from a few ounces to quart though a very large majority of those made were in the "pint" and "half pint" sizes, which typically held around 10 ozs.
Early glass makers catalogs noted that the 10 oz. Be aware that a large majority of these flasks do not have embossing like the examples pictured here, though the presence of embossing greatly increases the probability of more tightly narrowing down the date range tighter with the opportunity of company related information being found in local business directories. The color of picnic flasks is dominated by clear or colorless sometimes with a pinkish, amethyst, or faint straw tint ; aqua and shades of amber are much less common; any other color is very unusual.
Click picnic colors to view an image of the array of different glass colors that are possible in this style of flask. This photo also shows the finish variety that can be found, which is relatively limited.
Image courtesy of Garth Ziegenhagen. The typical picnic finish is the double ring, though the brandy, straight brandy, bead, oil, and even internal and external screw threads were utilized on occasion. Click pint picnic flask with continuous external screw threads to see a ca. Click screw thread close-up to see a close-up which shows that the glass under the cap does not have the slight pinkish tint that the remainder of the bottle exhibits, which has been exposed to daylight.
The colorless flask pictured in the upper left corner of this section is embossed identically to the colorless shoo-fly flask pictured in the previous section.
In fact, it was produced using the exact same plate as the shoo-fly except that the plate was placed into a picnic shaped plate mold. This "pint" actually oz. It has a crudely tooled double ring finish, two air venting marks on each side, and was blown in a cup-bottom mold - all features consistent with the estimated date range which was based on a combination of company historical information and the manufacturing related diagnostic features Thomas The amber "pint" oz.
It also has a crudely tooled double ring finish, lacks air venting, and was blown in a cup-bottom mold like virtually all picnic flasks. Amber is a relatively uncommon color for picnic flasks, but was occasionally used during its popularity range late s to mid s. Click on the following links to see other view pictures of this flask: The picnic flask appears to have originated in the late s and were produced well into the 20th century, including by automatic bottle machines.
These flasks appear to have been made by at least several different American glass manufacturing companies and were possibly also produced by foreign glass makers. Barrel flasks are listed in the earlier Illinois Glass Company catalogs but disappeared by the edition giving some idea of the termination date for the style IGCo. Machine-made examples have not been observed but are possible. The finish on these flasks - particularly the pint size - were often designed to accept a club sauce type stopper and shell cork.
Only the pint and half-pint actually 12 and 6 ozs. Colors are varied, with aqua and colorless the most common, though shades of amber, green, and even cobalt blue have been observed empirical observations. These flasks were usually blown in cup-bottom molds and are likely air vented, though the vent marks appear to be well hidden by the body design on the flasks pictured here. The two flasks pictured above are typical of the style and most likely date from between and which was the heyday of the style.
They are in the most common colors - aqua and colorless. Both have tooled finishes and were blown in a cup-bottom mold. The taller pint size flask is also embossed J. Click on the following links to see more images of the pint flask: On the reverse, superimposed over the barrel staves, is a rooster which was the symbol for the Democratic party in some Midwestern states at that time indicating that this is where these flasks were most likely produced.
The barrel flask type noted here appears to have originated in the mid to late s and were likely produced until at least the early s. Specifically based on empirical observations: Distinguishing features of the Eagle flask style are: These flasks came in a myriad of sizes from 3 ozs. Rarely, the finish is an oil finish; other finish styles are, of course, possible but have not been observed empirical observations.
This company began operation in and ended business by the end of when statewide Prohibition in Oregon was passed and took effect Thomas a. These flasks have "improved" tooled finishes, multiple 5 air venting marks on both shoulders, and were blown in a cup-bottom mold - all consistent with a late mouth-blown production date to mid s.
These are typical shape and sizes of the Eagle flask. Click on the following hyperlinks to view more pictures of the pint flask: Eagle flasks appear to have originated in the very early s and produced until general phase-out sometime during Prohibition probably the late s.
Physically, the Olympia flask is a symmetrically flattened oval in cross-section with relatively flat panels on the front and back. It also tapers noticeably from the shoulder to the heel.
Click on the illustration to see the entire page from the catalog showing this flask. A competing style variation was the "Washington" flask image to the right which is very similar to the Olympia except for relatively narrow beveled panels on each side of the flattened front panel instead of rounded edges like the Olympia; a Washington flask is pictured to the right below.
The name "Washington" was apparently coined by John Thomas in his book " Whiskey Bottles and Liquor Containers from the State of Washington " since this style was popular in Washington between about and , when statewide Prohibition took effect Thomas b. The maker or makers of these type flasks are unknown, but may well have been a West Coast glassmaker. All of these type flasks have tooled or improved tooled finishes, are multiple air vented at the shoulder and usually other locations, and were blown in cup-bottom molds.
Finishes are often the brandy or straight brandy, though the IGCo. The pair of half-pint ozs. Olympia flasks pictured to the left above are both embossed identifying their origin as the "Log Cabin" saloon in Baker City, OR.
Both flasks are half-pints that were blown in a cup-bottom plate mold as noted in the IGCo. According to the historical record business directories Hoff operated his Baker City saloon from until Oregon's statewide Prohibition in with the flasks dating between and when Baker City was officially name changed to just Baker Thomas a. Olympia flasks image courtesy of Garth Ziegenhagen.
It dates from or as the Union Avenue Exchange saloon was only in business for a couple years under the proprietorship of Henry Hergert Thomas a. This particular flask has an "improved" tooled brandy finish, multiple air venting marks including on the base, and was blown in a cup-bottom mold - all consistent with a manufacturing date of the s.
Click on the following links to view additional pictures of this flask: Washington flask - This is an example of a larger "pint" 12 to 14 oz. It dates during the era of popularity for these flasks just before Prohibition, i. Photo courtesy of Garth Ziegenhagen. The Olympia and Washington type flasks originated in the very late s or early s and were popular up until National Prohibition. They are also observed with the I. Click on the Olympia illustration above to view this latter mark as shown in the IGCo.
Machine-made versions of at least the Olympia flasks exist, and like the other machine-made flasks noted on this page, would date from the mid to late s into at least the early s. It appears, however, that this general style of flask did not last long after National Prohibition was implemented in as they are not listed in glassmaker catalogs after the early s IGCo. The finishes on Baltimore Oval flasks are typically a tooled or "improved" tooled brandy or straight brandy type, though mouth-blown versions do frequently come with external screw-threads like the flask pictured below.
These flasks also always seem to have air venting marks - often many in various places - and were blown in a cup-bottom mold; all features consistent with an early 20th century manufacture. Just what a "family liquor store" meant may seem strange to us these days drinking children? It was not an uncommon designation during the early 20th century and likely was an attempt to put a more humane face on liquor sales during those volatile days of rising prohibitionist fervor. In fact, if you run a search on the internet now one will turn up a lot of "family liquor stores" still in existence.
These flasks have improved tooled finishes, multiple air venting marks on both shoulders and along the mould seams, and were blown in a cup-bottom mold; all consistent with the business dates for James Gully from to Thomas a. Click on the following links to view more images of the pint size: It has a molded, continuous, external screw thread with some tooling to the finish above the threads; it does not have a ground rim. This is very late mouth-blown bottle that dates from between and when National Prohibition was essentially implemented, as it is maker marked on the base "M" in a circle indicating probable manufacture by the Maryland Glass Co.
Click on the following links for more images of this flask: The Baltimore style flasks appear to have originated in the very late s or early s and were popular up until sometime during National Prohibition. However, like with most flasks, Baltimore Oval flasks without proprietary embossing greatly out number those with embossing.
Machines began to dominate production by the mid to late s and mouth-blown Baltimore Oval flasks began to disappear about this time. Machine-made Baltimore Oval type flasks were made in to the s then seem to largely be replaced by the Dandy next flask and other more modern styles. Like with the mouth-blown versions, the most common machine-made sizes continued to be the pint and half pint various glassmakers catalogs, empirical observations.
Later machine-made examples s and later are dominated by external screw threads, though corks are still occasionally seen in modern versions of these flasks. Mouth-blown examples of these flasks appear to all have been blown in a cup-bottom mold and are usually copiously air vented, reflecting the mouth-blown technology of the early s.
This flask has an "improved" tooled finish, multiple air venting marks including on the base, and was blown in a cup-bottom mold - all consistent with a manufacturing date during the first couple decades of the 20th century. Given the Anti-Saloon League and related Christian Women's Temperance Union induced anti-alcohol fervor during this time period it is not unlikely that many of the customers were or were soon to become bachelors!
For more information on the Anti-Saloon League, which was a significant force in the American social and political world during the early s, click on the following link: On occasion, Dandy flasks were produced with a finish that accepts an inside thread stopper. This flask has an "improved" tooled finish, multiple air venting marks including on the base, and was blown in a cup-bottom mold - again all consistent with a manufacturing date during the couple decades of the 20th century.
In fact, it is highly dateable bottles like this and the previous one that provide the support for the diagnostic features based date ranges found on this website. The picture to the left is of an "early" machine-made Dandy flask that has the label, box, and original contents. It is actually dated on the paper cork seal as being bottled during the "Fall of " with additional labeling on the reverse noting that it is for "Medicinal Purposes Only" reflecting the implementation of the Volstead Act on June 30th, making it illegal to sell spirits purely as a beverage.
This notation on the shoulder or sometimes lower sides of Dandy flasks - machine-made and mouth-blown - is very common. This statement was required to be embossed on all liquor bottles sold in the U. Based on the makers marking on base, this machine-made liquor flask was manufactured in by the Owens-Illinois Glass Company.
Click to base view to view an image of this bottles base showing the distinct suction scar made by the Owens Automatic Bottle Machine. Click shoulder, neck, and finish view for a close-up image showing the very modern looking continuous external thread finish with the lower ring portion of the cap still remaining. This type of flask is still being made today.
The Dandy flask appears to have originated in the s, achieved popularity in the very early s, and produced through Prohibition to the present day. This section may be expanded in the future as time allows Chestnut flasks are typically oval to a flattened oval in cross-section with an overall squatty "teardrop" shape when viewed straight on. These flasks are free-blown typically with glass tipped or blow-pipe pontil scars. Because they are free-blown, the actual shapes are quite variable with some approaching round in cross-section to very compressed and "flask-like" on the other end of the scale.
Typically the body of these flasks are about 1. Finishes are applied and quite crude, varying much in shape and often defying simple categorization.
Colors vary somewhat with a large majority being some shade of olive green or olive amber; aqua to amber to teal blue have also been noted empirical observations. These flasks are usually very crudely formed with bubbles and ripples in the glass, flattened spots and bulges, and an overall lack of symmetry reflecting the free-blown manufacturing and early American heritage. They usually have very light and thin glass for their size, though this is variable.
The chestnut flask pictured above is a typical early American example that was most likely produced by a New England glasshouse between and s - the heyday for this style.
It is free-blown, has a blowpipe type pontil scar within a pushed up base, a crudely applied one-part finish, and is medium olive green in color. Click on the following links to view more pictures of this chestnut flask: All of these free-blown flasks share the same early manufacturing characteristics as the example pictured above and show some of the subtle range of glass colors that these bottles were made in.
Chestnut flasks, as noted, primarily date between about and the s. They would be common finds on some of the older historic sites in the East and parts of the Midwest, but would be largely non-existent in the far West with the possibility of some deposition lag occurrence. Be aware that during the era of popularity for these type flasks that much or most cheap utilitarian ware was free-blown or dip molded and shapes are quite variable.
Thus, the shape or type dividing line between chestnut flasks and similar free-blown bottles and flasks is vague though similar items made using similar processes generally share similar dating ranges. Benedictine bottles are very distinctive in shape with a long sloping neck and flaring shoulder which abruptly ends at the top of the body which then tapers inwards gradually towards the base; see the picture to the left.
The base is usually variably pushed-up and domed, sometimes deeply. Sizes are most commonly the pictured "quart" size and a smaller "pint" size which has the same conformation, just proportionally smaller. Most mouth-blown versions are three-piece mold, though two-piece molds have also been noted empirical observations.
The finish on Benedictine bottles are somewhat unique and could be basically described as a two-part finish with an outwardly tapering top to bottom upper part with a flaring rounded ring lower part.
The collars usually but not always have distinct indentations or grooves on both sides to facilitate the wiring down of the cork closure. The glass is typically very heavy and virtually always in some shade of olive green or - in older versions pres - olive amber.
The majority do have a distinctive crescent embossed on one shoulder, opposite the embossing if the bottle is embossed. The example pictured above is a quart size dating from from around to It is a medium olive green in color with very heavy glass, a kick-up domed base, produced in a three-piece mold with a separate base plate, and has a true applied finish. Click on the following links for more view photos of this bottle: These bottles were often usually?
Click on the following link to view the Benedictine bottles offered by the Illinois Glass Company in Whether the listed bottles were a domestic product made by IGCo. Photos courtesy of Deb Bankes. This bottle is very similar - if not identical - to the bottles the product comes in today; click on the following commercial Benedictine liqueur website link for more information: Benedictine style bottles can date from the s to the present.
Since they were apparently usually made overseas and exported, the manufacturing based diagnostic features do not necessarily follow those noted on this website for U. Most notably, these bottles were made with true applied finishes into the early 20th century and mouth-blown Benedictine bottles appear to have been made up until at least empirical observations.
Mouth-blown bottles seem to date from the s or before, with machine-made items dating from that time or after.
This general shape was and is also used generically for various other liqueurs in the 20th century Lucas Co. The smaller liqueur bottle to the right is a later production - late s to early s - and most likely of European manufacture. It has a small "D" shaped handled and was blown in a two-piece cup-bottom mold. It also has a handmade silver collar that totally covers the finish. This example is still sealed with some of the partially evaporated contents still inside.
This one has an applied glass handle which is also covered by sterling silver. This bottle has an applied champagne finish a transition ridge where the applied finish glass is attached to the cracked-off neck can be felt inside the bore , was blown in a two-piece cup-bottom mold, and has no evidence of mold air venting. Being European in origin, the dating trends noted on this website do not work well with this bottle or its olive green sister above.
The general shape and design of these latter two bottles was a relatively common late 19th century s to early s type. The large majority of these type bottles found in the U. These bottles also pretty much mark the end of handled mouth-blown liquor bottles. During the 20th century a wide array of machine-made bottles were made with molded - not applied - handles, the handle being incorporated into the bottle mold as an inherent part of the design.
This includes wine, bleach, and other types of bottles including spirits. Click machine-made handled jug to view a close-up picture of a handled wine jug that was manufactured in based on the Owens Illinois Company makers mark on the base. These type machine-made handled bottles have molded handles with mold seams running the entire length of the handle on the inside and outside edges pointed out in the picture.
Click HERE to view a picture of the entire bottle. Handles on machine-made spirits bottles are relatively common on bottles made throughout the 20th century and are still observed today on large capacity wine bottles i. It does, however, cover the primary styles that were most commonly used and encountered within an archaeological context. This page has also somewhat emphasized mouth-blown bottles since that subject is of more familiarity to the author of this website than later 20th century, machine-made items.
However, though the automated bottle production era also had incredible variety, it was not as diverse as the mouth-blown era since shape standardization and simplification was typical of machine manufacturing. Also, bottle body embossing became much less frequent on machine-made bottles and a significant amount of the diversity of the mouth-blown production era was the different proprietary embossing on essentially the same shapes of bottles.
Figured Flasks Figured flasks is a generic name for the large class of liquor flasks primarily produced between and Decorative flasks The decorative group of flasks is a category of "pictorial" flasks made up of four primary types: Masonic flasks The flask pictured to the right is one of a relatively large and varied group of figured flasks that feature the somewhat variable Masonic motifs of the Freemasons, a potent political and social force during the first half of the 19th century.
The earliest liquor bottles manufactured during the time span covered by this webpage tended to be shaped like the bottles pictured here with a wide, moderate height body, and a moderate length neck.
Compared to the next few cylinder liquor bottle types, these would be called "squatty" in conformation. These bottles tended towards olive green, olive amber, and black glass in color. To view an example of an earlier - early to midth century - liquor bottle click on Belgian type liquor bottle. The linked bottle likely dates between and and is Dutch or Belgian in origin; this is a shape that was likely never actually manufactured in the U.
These earlier round but non-cylindrical shaped bottles were displaced beginning about for various reasons including the cylinder shape being more conducive to storing and stacking and the increasing use of the "dip mold" for forming bottles; a mold type which could not be used for the earlier shapes Jones Transitional from the earlier squattier type bottles above to the taller narrower cylinder "fifth" shapes shown below are bottles generally shaped like that pictured to the left.
These types show the stylistic trend towards taller more graceful less "squatty" forms in the mid s. Although similar shaped American made spirits bottles can date occasionally from the late 18th century, they really began to dominate by the s and s.
These shapes gave way to variations of the standard "fifth" bottle in popularity in the U. Earlier bottles from the s or before, like the pictured black glass version, have applied mineral finishes, were made in three-piece or dip molds, and may be pontil scarred. Bottles produced after about to usually have tooled finishes and in colors other than black glass i. Bottles produced after about are machine-made with those made from the s on increasingly with external screw cap finishes, though cork finishes are still seen occasionally to the present empirical observations.
Machine-made bottles with the embossing " Federal Law Forbids Sale or Re-use of this Bottle " were made between and the late s. Tall, moderately slender bodied, straight neck early "Patent" style spirits cylinders midth century: During the s the bulged neck, cylinder bottle noted above "evolved" closer to a general shape that continues in popularity to this day though with different finishes and manufacturing methods of course.
This style is represented by the bottle pictured to the left which has a neck of similar moderate length as the previous style, but which is straight sided instead of bulging. The straight sided neck usually has a bit of a taper inwards from the base of the neck to the base of the finish.
The body length is typical of the bulged neck cylinder above in that it is relatively tall and moderately slender. By the early s the "Patent" style tall cylinder had generally evolved a slightly longer neck at many glass works, including the new glass companies on the West Coast. The finishes on these type bottles were dominated by the brandy and straight brandy types with the mineral finish being rarely seen on cylinder liquor bottles after about The base of these bottles do not usually have the Rickett's type base characteristics, though can be somewhat similar at times.
The typical shape and size of these was slightly more graceful in appearance due to the bottle being about the same diameter around 3" but a bit taller overall than the earlier "Patent" style, primarily because of the neck length. These differences are, however, subtle and variable. Bottles dating from the s through the s will usually have an applied brandy finish and have been blown in a post-bottom molds. Dominant colors during this period are shades of amber and olive amber, with the occasional colorless bottle and rarely pure olive green or aqua.
For an example of one of the earliest ca. Cutter Old Bourbon of this style click on the following links: Bottles made after about have almost exclusively tooled brandy and straight brandy finishes with mouth-blown ones being made up until National Prohibition which began after These bottles were also almost always blown in a cup-bottom mold. Mouth blown quart size cylinders in this shape tend to primarily date no earlier than the late s with most being post to National Prohibition.
The quart size was popular with consumers and was most likely driven by the proliferation of mail-order liquor dealers that usually used quart sized bottles. Mail order liquor became very popular as the number of states passing statewide alcohol prohibition laws making them "dry" states increased in the early s making the mail the only way to acquire "legal" liquor. This law is still in effect to various degrees. Turn-mold examples of this style appear to date from the late s or early s to s with the earlier examples having applied finishes up until the mids and are usually some shade of amber or red amber empirical observations.
Liquor bottles with inside screw thread finishes date primarily between and about or so and are always mouth-blown we are just waiting for someone to point out an exception to this "always". Colors are dominated by colorless and shades of amber. See the Bottle Closures page for earlier "Eastern" exceptions to this dating for inside thread bottles.
From the s on, external screw threads increasingly dominated though cork closures are still seen on occasion. Bottles with the embossing " Federal Law Forbids Sale or Re-use of this Bottle " were made between and the s.
Decorative shoulder spirits cylinders: Some variations have additional decoration on the lower body near the base; others have the decorative molding just on the neck itself. Squat cylinder spirits bottles later: Another fairly popular shape for spirits bottles was like that pictured to the left which was called a "squat brandy" in some glassmakers catalogs, though it was likely used for an array of different liquor types including brandy, bourbon, and rye whiskey Illinois Glass Co.
Some earlier examples have been noted with a mineral finish Tibbetts This shape seems to have evolved from the early 19th century squat bottles discussed first in this section, possibly appearing in the s and surely by the s, though its popularity was mostly in the early 20th century.
This distinctive shaped liquor bottle style was strongly associated with malt whiskey, i. Malt whiskey was widely claimed by the purveyors to be of high medicinal value, i. The body of this bottle style is proportionally quite tall with a diameter of approximately 3" the diameter of the pictured example and a very short to almost non-existent neck with the height of the finish typically being as tall or taller than the neck; see the image to the left.
Most of these bottles also have a molded ring or bead "annular collar" or opposing lugs like the pictured example at the base of the neck which was apparently purely for styling reasons.
Tall, straight neck spirits cylinders early 20th century: This shape is very similar to the tall, cylinder liquor bottles covered above but have a slightly shorter neck and a less abrupt shoulder i. It is a shape that was common during the first three decades of the 20th century and is most common in the "fifth" and quart sizes.
Tall Modern Cylinder liquor midth century: The bottle pictured here represents a large time leap from the bottles pictured above. It is typical of the look of liquor bottles produced during the mid to late 20th century, though there was extensive variety to the general shapes and embossing of which this example is a representative sample.
This shape is similar to the ones covered above except for a somewhat shorter neck and of course the modern type external screw thread finish. Some of the earliest liquor bottles were like the one pictured to the left which is square in cross section and generally designed to contain gin though undoubtedly contained various types of liquor and possibly wine.
Commonly called "case gin" or "taper gin" bottles since they would pack more efficiently to a case 6 to 24 bottles than round bottles Illinois Glass Company Case gin bottles are square with a more or less distinct taper inwards from the shoulder to the base or a flaring from the base to the shoulder if you prefer.
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Some are occasionally embossed on the body e.
This includes wine, bleach, and other types of bottles including spirits.
Be aware however that for some years after liquor could still be found in bottles with this embossing since not all liquor producers switched immediately diffreence new bottles due to the expense of new molds or to deplete an existing supply of bottles Ferraro Also xge the section near the bottom of this page on chestnut flaskswhich though not cylindrical, are one of the earliest styles for U. Earlier bottles from the s or before, signs hes lost interest dating the pictured black glass version, have applied mineral finishes, were made in legal age difference for dating in illinois or dip molds, and may be pontil scarred. This rare bottle almost certainly dates from that period, i. The glass is typically very heavy and virtually always in some shade of olive green or - in older versions pres - olive amber. Click on the following links for more pictures of this calabash bottle: On occasion, Dandy flasks were produced with a finish that accepts an inside thread stopper.
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