Dating for beginners new era
(The two products were from separate companies which were cross-town [Sacramento, CA.] rivals during the late 19th to early 20th century.The author has also seen Star Bitters labels on Wait's bottles as well as both labels on the immensely period popular Hostetter's Stomach Bitters bottles!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.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.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.
But any technique, once developed, can be used right up to the present - as many collectors know who have been so unfortunate as to rely too heavily on a popular termination date as sure evidence of true antiquity..." (Toulouse 1969b).
Other diagnostic tools must be used to date these items.
Shape is more indicative of function - i.e., what the bottle was used for or contained - but even that has a myriad of exceptions.
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.
As Berge (1980) noted in referring to bottles, the "..of manufacture of glass containers provides observable attributes which seem to be very useful in a classification of these artifacts." Thus, this page.