Pictures for Identifying Old Bottles

Blue Medicine Bottles

Identifying old bottles isn’t as difficult as you might think. Bottle shapes in the late 1800s to early 1900s were very individual when it came to what they contained. Some bottles from this time period were embossed with the company name and even the contents. Manufacturers wanted to have a product that was easily identifiable to their customers.

Bottles with the labels still on them are, of course, easy to identify. Old bottles are usually worth more if the labels, stoppers, and other details are intact and in good condition. These Victorian medicine bottles are complete with stoppers and labels.

Clay or Earthenware Bottles

Some of the beer manufacturers in the Midwest used clay or stoneware bottles from about 1870 to about 1890. The bottles fell out of favor rather quickly as glass became readily available. The bottles may be described as stoneware, earthenware, or clay and are an unusual find

Clay bottles were almost always used for beer or soda.

Vaseline Glass Cosmetic Bottle

Vaseline, or Uranium glass, was used for cosmetic bottles and housewares. It was made from about the 1880s to the 1920s and contained small amounts of uranium. This causes this greenish yellow glass to glow under a black light.

Amber Medicine Bottle

This style is easy to categorize when identifying old bottles. Although the small bottle may be found in many different colors it is almost always embossed. These were over the counter medicine and liniment bottles that people bought from pharmacies and traveling salesmen.

Liquor Bottle

The crown type top on this liquor bottle shows that it was made after 1892. This shape bottle is often called a case gin bottle regardless of whether or not it held gin. The shape allowed it to fit in shipping cases much more snugly.

Amethyst Bottle

Some old bottles started out clear but turn purple after having been in the sun for decades. Other bottle manufacturers used chemicals in the processing of the bottles to make them an amethyst color. Be aware that bottles can be exposed to various modern treatments to replicate the look of an aged, colored bottle.

Identifying Old Bottles by Lip

After the 1880s colorless glass became more popular. The slightly bulged neck style on this liquor bottle, and the sloping collar lip suggest that it was manufactured between 1879 and 1890.

While you can sometimes identify an old bottle by the lip style, determining the type of mold by checking the seams is much more accurate.

Art Deco Perfume Bottle

There are many types of bottles that people like to collect. Perfume bottles are among the most decorative and collectible of all. They can be identified by the intricate designs and stoppers that are on the bottles.

A good price guide is essential in identifying old bottles and getting an idea of their value.

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Pictures for Identifying Old Bottles