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The information on this website will, however, usually produce a reliable manufacturing date range for a majority of American utilitarian bottles manufactured from the early 1800s to the mid-20th century.

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Produced during the era where all bottles were an relatively rare and cherished commodity to be discarded only when broken (i.e., the first third of the 19th century back many centuries prior) and does not otherwise fit the above two categories.

Utilitarian bottles include the majority of the bottles in the following bottle categories or types: soda, mineral water, beer, milk, proprietary medicine, druggist (excluding shop furniture), chemical, foods & sauces, household (including ink, shoe polish, cleaners, personal hygiene related items), common wine containers (excluding decanters), champagne, and most non-decanter spirits/liquor bottles.

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!

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.

We can always have some indication of a starting date for a technique if we can find who first put the idea into practice.

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).

Utilitarian items include canning/fruit jars and figured flasks since they were intended to be reused by the purchaser and have been observed to follow well the dating guidelines, though there are some manufacturing timeframe differences with canning jars.

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