Can dating machine
Utilitarian items makes up the bulk of the bottles produced during the 19th century and first half of the 20th century. Bottles intended to be used once to dispense the contained product without much hope of return, though as noted in #4 above, many types of bottles were commonly reused during the 19th and early 20th centuries; or 2.
Heavy duty bottles intended to be recycled and reused by the producer or distributor of the contained product (primarily soda, beer & milk bottles); or 3.
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.
Of course, soda & beer were reused up until quite recently.
The bottle pictured to the right has a Wait's Liver and Kidney Bitters label pasted over the embossing of a Star Kidney and Liver Bitters bottle!
Unfortunately, the complexities of precisely dating bottles is beyond the scope of any simple key.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.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.