Dating antique medicine bottles
Many of the bottles in the collection contained Patent Medicines.
These can date back as far as pre-Revolutionary times, when over-the-counter remedies imported from Great Britain and Europe were sold by many merchants, including postmasters, goldsmiths, grocers and tailors.
1850s-1920s) Post mold Bottle made in a three-piece mold with separate base plate Side seam continues onto base, then is interrupted by the circular (sometimes oval) post Dominant mold type used between about 18 1840s–early 1900s (sometimes later) Ricketts mold No mold seams on body; horizontal seam around circumference where body joins shoulder, and vertical seam part-way up each shoulder Often used for liquor and pharmaceutical bottles 1820s–1920s Turn mold Bottle turned while in mold, obliterating seams Often used for wine/champagne and brandy bottles (usually dark green) No embossed lettering; glass highly polished from turning in mold Ca.1870–World War I Automatic bottle machine Bottles made by machine, rather than blown Seams run all the way up the bottle and over the finish Made in large numbers beginning after World War I (though the first machine was invented in the 1890s) Sheared lip Bottle neck stretched and cut, end ground or re-fired to make smooth Bubbles in glass also will be stretched and elongated; vertical stretch marks visible on neck Pre-1860s Hand-applied finish Bottle re-heated and ring of glass applied to neck by hand Ring very asymmetrical, sometimes “globby” Ca.
The Archives of New York University School of Medicine mounted an Exhibit of Antique Medical Bottles for the 1999-2000 school years. Both collections consist of glass medical bottles from the Victorian and Modern Era (19th and 20th Century). These early bottles were free form and therefore were often irregular, misshapen or asymmetrical, as are some of the bottles in the collection.
Clear glass was not perfected until the late nineteenth century.
Shortly thereafter it became popular for use in medical bottles, providing an easy mark for collectors attempting to date glass bottles.
These are liquor bottles that date from 1935-1960s. 1810-1880 "Cup" mold Mold seam on each side that extends from just below the finish down to the edge ("heel") of the base Most-common technology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (ca.
DATING MY OLD BOTTLE Bottles Without Mold Seams Check bottle for mold seams.
The earliest bottles were made by a glassblower using a blowpipe, and free-blown bottles will lack seams. A free-blown bottle will often exhibit a scar on its base from when the bottle was detached from the blowpipe (pontil). If the bottle lacks mold seams but exhibits a high degree of symmetry, it may be dip- or turn-molded and probably dates before 1850.
The majority of these products were quack remedies composed in the main of vegetable extracts, alcohol, and narcotic derivatives such as cocaine, morphine, and opium.
The main effect of these nostrums was relief from pain.
Doctors began to speak out against patent medicines as early as 1827.