DETERMINING THE AGE OF BITTERS BOTTLES

DATING YOUR BITTERS BOTTLES

2004 DIGGER ODELL PUBLICATIONS

 

Early Forms 1800-1830

Label only if any  

Characteristics:

Mid-Century Forms

Characteristics: Hinge mold and pontil bases.  Barrel forms common. Many colorful forms.

End of Century Forms 1875-1910

 

Characteristics: Bitters from this period tend to be less crudely made.  Lips will be tooled and mold seam will stop short of the lip but tooling marks can be seem in the form of concentric rings around the collar and neck as in the Old Hickory Bitters above. Color may be clear, aqua or amber.

Modern Machine Forms

1910-1930s

Atwood's 1915-1920

 

Characteristics

Machine made, probably label only rarely embossed.   Several brands like the Atwood's and Hostetter's have bottles which span many decades.  Atwoods and Hostetter can be commonly found in machine made forms at show above left. Most will be clear in color.

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