I am here to clarify a bit of the mystery. Usually, the symbols are a logo for a company, and the numbers a code for where and when the particular glass item was produced. Each glass making company has their own method of labeling their products. With this hub, I am going to focus on the methods used by the Owens-Illinois O-I Company, and show you how to date your glass finds using the symbols and numbers indicative of the O-I company. I am by no means an expert on the numbers, nor am I an expert on how to date glass using the numbers, but I have done a lot of research on the subject, and I am relaying the information I have acquired along my internet travels.
Time has taken its toll on records, of course, but much of what happened in the past was simply not documented well or at all as with most endeavors of common people in the past. As noted in Munsey's book, " When it comes to methods of dating bottles As Munsey also notes - " Most of what is used today to date bottles Still all true today. This body of information will be utilized and extrapolated to make dating and typing estimates for the majority of bottles for which there is either no specific company or glass maker information available or such is not possible to determine because the bottles are unmarked i.
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Stell Newman Newman Newman's key made a noble attempt at simplifying bottle dating, but is weakened by the fact that the subject is much too complex to be conducive to such a simple approach by itself.
Also, the format and space constraints of a journal article do not allow for the elaboration and illustrations necessary to make a key function fully Jones b.
Newman wryly recognized all this with his reworking of an old saying: "This bottle dating key is for the guidance of the wise and the obedience of fools. This website is designed to have the informational depth, pictures, and illustrations necessary to solve the problems of the Newman key though his warning still holds, although hopefully less so. This entire website is essentially a key to the dating and typing of bottles.
However, the author of this site still recommends Dr. Before jumping into the key, it must again be emphasized that no single key can get a user to an absolutely precise date for any bottle.
The best the following key can do is get a user to a reliably close dating range estimate. Other information on this website usually must be reviewed to fine tune the information about a specific bottle.
In addition, other references beyond the scope of this website usually must be consulted to get as complete of a dating and typing story as is possible for any given bottle. This include period newspapers, business directories, glass makers catalogs, trade journals and related publications, and other sources too numerous to detail.
That necessary. owens illinois bottle dating never impossible
Keep this all in mind as you progress through the key which follows and on into the other website pages Starting with Question 1follow through the questions as suggested. There is frequent hyper-linking between the diagnostic characteristics and terminology listed on this page and other website pages.
This is done to allow the user to get more information or clarification as they proceed through the key. Pursue these links freely since they will take a user to more details on bottle dating and identification and hopefully add to the users knowledge and understanding about the bottle being "keying out. The three questions found on this page below answer several basic questions about a given bottle. Answers to these questions will then direct a user to one of the two additional dating pages which are extensions of this key for the two major classes of bottles: mouth-blown bottles and machine-made bottles.
Read the questions - and accompanying explanations and exceptions - very carefully as the correct answer is critical to moving properly through the "key.
For examples of how to use this dating key see the Examples of Dating Historic Bottles page. This page guides a user through the key for seven different type and age bottles with several being side-by-side comparisons of very similar bottles of different eras.
This page also shows how other portions of this website can provide information pertinent to the bottle in question. See the About This Site page for more information about the author and contributors. For brevity, most of the specific references are not noted in the key's narratives. They are noted on the other website pages which expand on the information summarized in the key. If you know your bottle is machine-made click Machine-Made Bottles to move directly to that page.
If you know your bottle is mouth-blown aka hand-made click Mouth-blown Bottles to move directly to that page.
If unsure about what embossing or vertical side mold seams picture below are, click on Bottle Morphology to see this sub-page for a illustration and explanation of these and many other key bottle related physical features. Return back to this page by closing the Bottle Morphology page.
Vertical side mold seam on the neck of a beer bottle ending well below the finish, indicating that it was at least partially handmade - ca. YES - The bottle has embossing or visible vertical side mold seams somewhere on the body between the heel and the base of the finish or lip. A bottle may have mold seams but no embossing, but all embossed bottles were molded in some way and have mold seams even if they are not readily apparent.
See note 2 below if there is embossing but it is only within a disk of glass which appears applied to the neck, shoulder or body of the bottle.
For that owens illinois bottle dating much prompt
This bottle is either free-blown"dip" molde or was produced in a "turn-mold" aka "paste-mold" where the side mold seams were erased during manufacture. A "NO" answer is much less likely than "YES" for this question as a very large majority of bottles made during the 19th century and virtually all made during the 20th century were mold blown resulting in mold seams; see the notes below.
Notes : 1. A low probability though possible "NO" alternative is that the user has an unembossed, molded bottle with no visible vertical side mold seams. This can be due to one or a combination of factors including post-molding hot glass "flow" masking the mold seams, fire polishing of the bottle body, or atypically good mold part s fitting precision.
Owens-Illinois date codes were always positioned to the right of the logo. When I wrote the article, however, I was unduly influenced by soda bottles, so I addressed the date codes on those containers as if they applied to all Owens-Illinois bottles. Reality is much more complex. Based on analysis of over 80 bottles with digit-dot codes, the Owens digit-dot code bottle dating system was in effect from at least as early as July until April , when the Square-O trademark was adopted by Owens. To our knowledge, Owens was the only bottle manufacturer that used this type of dating system at that time. The Sheaffers ink was made on the blow-and-blow Owens Automatic Bottle Machine as indicated by the a base makers marking for the Owens-Illinois Glass Co., along with a distinct suction scar, and a date code for which is well after the end of mouth-blown production of utilitarian bottles. There is also no neck ring mold seam immediately below the finish like found on most Owens machine produced .
If necessary, look very closely at the bottle shoulder - the best location to see vertical side seams on mouth-blown and most machine-made bottles - in good light with a hand lens to see if there is at least some faint evidence of where the mold part edges came together. Often the vertical side mold seams are evidenced by very faint changes in glass density in lines where one would expect mold seams to be. If the embossing on a bottle is only within a separately applied blob seal similar to that shown to the right click to enlargeand found nowhere else on the bottle, the bottle is almost certainly mouth-blown.
This is another low probability choice but certainly possible. One of the longest running "myths" in the world of bottle dating is that the side mold seam can be read like a thermometer to determine the age of a bottle. The concept is that the higher the side mold seam on the bottle the later it was made - at least in the era from the early to mid 19th century until the first few decades of the 20th century.
Kendrick's explains in the text pages that It is true that the mold seams can be used like a thermometer to determine the approximate age of a bottle. The closer to the top of the bottle the seams extend, the more recent was the production of the bottle. The chart accompanying this statement notes that bottles made before have a side mold seam ending on the shoulder or low on the neck, between and the seam ends just below the finish, between and the seam ends within the finish just below the finish rim top lip surfaceand those made after have mold seams ending right at the top surface of the finish, i.
Although there are examples of bottles having mold seams that fit these date ranges properly, the issue of dating bottles is much more complicated than the simple reading of side mold seams.
If it were that simple much of this website would be unnecessary! For example, the process that produces a tooled finish frequently erases traces of the side mold seam up to an inch below the base of the finish whereas the typical applied finish has the seam ending higher - right at the base of the finish Lockhart et.
The reason this is noted here is that the concept keeps popping up in the literature of bottle dating and identification ranging from Sellari's books Sellari published shortly after Kendrick's book to as recent as Fike and Heetderk's For a broader discussion of this subject see Lockhart, et al.
If unsure about what the liprimor finish of a bottle is, check the Bottle Morphology sub-page. Toledo, OH. This is a "machine-made" bottle or jar and will also usually have a highly diagnostic horizontal mold seam just below the finish base that circles the neck.
I am unsure of whether or not this particular example follows the general trend of date code to the right of the symbol. That 7 placed there could literally mean anything.
If we assume that the 7 is indicative of a year, it could mean anything from to The plant code is of no use either to help narrow down the date. The number 17 is for a plant in Clarion, Pennsylvania which has been in operation since and is still presently producing bottles. However, the A to the right of the 7 tells me that this piece of glass has a high probability of either once being a Coca-Cola bottle or a Pepsi-Cola bottle. If that is the case, this piece of glass may be our exception to the rule and the 7 to the right of the symbol may not be a year code at all.
If you see the trademark with the diamond, your bottle was produced in the s, s, or s. If the bottle says "Duraglass" in raised letters, you can rule out the s because that didn't come along until If the diamond isn't there and you just see the oval and the . Mar 03, Based on the current research (at least that I've seen), it is INCREDIBLY difficult to come up with a precise date for an Owens-Illinois bottle, at least those without the two-digit date codes. I've come across bottles with an undotted 1 to the right of the logo. It is not precisely certain when this feature first was used on bottles although it likely first appeared in on bottles produced by the Owens-Illinois Glass Co. when they began using their proprietary "Duraglas" bottle making process (Toulouse
Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola didn't always adhere to the Owens-Illinois policies, and often had their dates on the heel, and not the bottom, of the glass. Society for Historical Archaeology However, what we do know is that Pepsi and Coke now come in plastic bottles or aluminum cans.
They started the switch to plastic in the 60's and 70's. That narrows down the date from to if the 7 is indeed a year code.
By comparing it to the glass, Exhibit E is more weathered. It is frostier and more scratched and appears to have been in the water longer than Exhibit D.
This leads me to believe that the 7 stands for However, that is simply my best guess and not a certainty. I know this was a long post, but I hoped you have all learned as much as I have. My sources are listed below, feel free to check them out yourself for more information on the subject. Society of Historical Archaeology, Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Oct.
Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. I have learned, thanks to other websites, that it is a Heinz bottle.
For instance, I have one that says H with 12 i inside of an o 2 with an A like the one above. It has the number 57 around the upper body of the bottle embossed 8 times. I found out that was ONLY produced in The next year they were reduced to only 4.
This is the biggest break through I have had trying to figure out what the bottle dates are!! I have a 4 inch tall brown jar with a 2 inch diameter and A 1.
A single dot 6 just to the right. I think it is made in and it was a glue jar or an ink jar.
Am I close? I have an amber colored flask shaped glass bottle. On the bottom it has 72, an N with an oval around it, D, and ends with the number 53 at bottom center. I can't find which number is the year of manufacture. It's certainly much too old to be from So, it must be or What do you think? I found a glass jar with an "I" in an oval, factory code 10 and year code That doesn't make sense.
A factory code 10 indicates that it was made in the 30s, but a 71 date code says it was made in What am I missing? If the glass is from then the I may have faded away over time, especially if you found it in the ocean.
In Exhibit C, you can just barely make out the I in the photo, so it might be the first part of the symbol to fade. Also, Pepsi and Cola were known for not exactly following the Owens-Illinois companies rules and standards when it came to dating and stamping their glass bottles.
For example, instead of a date code on the bottom of the bottle, Pepsi and Cola often printed their date on the side of the bottle, so they could have left the I out of the symbol.
Understood owens illinois bottle dating excellent
Are you sure the glass is from ? From what I have researched, the company didn't start embossing glasses with the word 'Duraglas' until the s? I found your article very helpful.
Made at plant 3 in Not sure if there is a dot after the 4 as there are many dots in that area. However, the Duraglas inscription is quite clear but the diamond trade mark only appears to have a circle within and not an I. If you go back to Bill Lockhart's site you will see a similar list Wheelah23 Well-Known Member.
Aug 9, 4, 36 Glen Ridge, New Jersey. I've come across a lot of bottles, and unfortunately most of them have been newer bottles. Most of these were made by Owens-Illinois. I've come across bottles with an undotted 1 to the right of the logo. This would at first indicate that the bottle was from However, they also have the "Duraglas" logo on the side, indicating them being from after So, when did Owens-Illinois realize their date code system was flawed?
It certainly took place after I believe it was even later, as the same situation occurred with a bottle from It answers your question s to some extent. But I hear ya and agree there is some confusion regarding all of this stuff.
Company Profile: Owens-Illinois (NYSE:OI)
But if they can put a man on the moon I'm sure we will have it all figured out one of these days. Oh, wait! Did they actually put a man on the moon or was it Lol [ ] Thanks for stopping by.
Just for the record, I have an original Second Printing of Julian Toulouse's book, "Bottle Makers And Their Marks," and show it here to illustrate where most researchers came up with the Owens-Illinois plant numbers and dates that are so often quoted. And even though it is almost identical to the one I posted earlier, this one is the real deal, but with a few subtle differences.
It has an amazing amount of information that I would be happy to share with anyone who has a specific question they cannot find elsewhere.
Owens illinois bottle dating
I'll do you one better: I took the book out through the local library, then I used my printer's scanner feature to scan every page of the book. Took a few hours, but it was worth it. Now I have a picture of each page of the book stored on my computer. This book is a lifesaver.
It's pretty convenient too, AND I got the digital copy for free! Just don't tell the book police They probably wouldn't like to hear about this.
Also, Pepsi and Cola were known for not exactly following the Owens-Illinois companies rules and standards when it came to dating and stamping their glass bottles. For example, instead of a date code on the bottom of the bottle, Pepsi and Cola often printed their date on the side of the bottle, so they could have left the I out of the symbol. O-I mark (most recent mark used by Owens-Illinois) Owens-Illinois Glass Company was the result of the merger between two glass-making giants of the industry: Owens Bottle Company (Toledo, OH; predecessor Toledo Glass Company began operation in ) and Illinois Glass Company (based in Alton, Illinois, with glass production dating from ).
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