View Full Version : Ecstatic to find this forum! Black Glass Anyone?

08-17-2003, 10:19 PM
I have been looking for a forum like this for ages, and just happened to google it up today while I was looking for information on a couple of my bottles. So I hope you don' t mind if I join your little group occasionally, since of all my assorted collections and " kicks I get on" as my husband says, my bottles are my main interest.
I have a pretty good familiarity with ACL and embossed sodas and such, but I am baffled by two old bottles I found in a " junk-tique" yard a few years ago. I paid a dollar each, so not a major investment, but I can' t find a thing about them. I' ll post small pictures in this and the three follow up posts so I don' t take up too much space. I have determined this much....both are 3pm' s, but I' m not sure how to describe the lips of either. I think the first you' ll see is considered tapered and you can see where the lip was melted into the neck. The color is definitely deep olive green black glass. You will also see that it does seem to be pontilled, with extremely crude (rough) texture to the glass. The second bottle seems to have a more modern (maybe double rounded?) lip, that seems to have been applied separately, but it' s a definite 3 pm by the seams.
The interesting part of this bottom is on the bottom by the pontil. If you can see in the picture, it looks like an " R" or " P" was embossed on the bottom. The letter is very raised.
Any ideas as to age, type, or value of these bottles would be very much appreciated. I am thinking of giving the first one to a friend, and I' d like to have some information on it when I give it to her. As this is my first time posting, I hope I upload the pics properly.
Thanks in advance!


08-17-2003, 10:20 PM
Heres the pontil bottom of the first bottle


08-17-2003, 10:21 PM
Here' s my second mystery bottle and it' s actually a deep dark brown type black glass, unlike the green color in the first bottle.


08-17-2003, 10:22 PM
And here' s the bottom of no.2 with the mystery letter on it...
Thanks for all your help!


08-17-2003, 10:29 PM
This is a close up of the top of bottle 1. I didn' t know how to add this pic on to the first post!


Harry Pristis
08-18-2003, 02:54 AM
Hello, Debbie . . .
You did good -- only one pic per post is allowed, I believe.

These are stout or ale bottles, very abundant with slight variations from different glassworks, and molds. Rex Wilson illustrates one in his BOTTLES ON THE WESTERN FRONTIER that is bottom-embossed " X K" with a raised dot. That bottle was from a controlled dig that was dated to 1880-90. I do not see a pontil scar on this first bottle, nor should there be one if the bottle was made as late as 1880.

The second bottle almost looks like a crown-top, but I assume it just has a groove for a wire wrap to retain the cork.

Hope this helps.
---------Harry Pristis

08-19-2003, 09:45 PM
Thanks for the information Harry. I guess I wouldn' t know a pontil if it hit me on the head! I saw the " divot" in the bottom of the bottles and thought they were pontils. One question though, both these bottles were definitely made in a 3 piece mold, so their lips seem out of place with the rest of the body. They look like they were melted into the neck after the bottle was formed. Were there bottles made in a 3pm in a machine? And how did the glass come out so bumpy?

I' d love for just one minute to know who held one of my bottles 100 years ago when it was originally made, wouldn' t you???

Harry Pristis
08-19-2003, 11:45 PM
After about 1880, it is common to find that the lip is not applied, but is tooled. That is, prior to about 1880, it was common (certainly not universal) for a separate blob of glass to be added to the body of the newly-blown bottle. This blob would then be tooled into a lip. After about 1880, more sophisticated molds left enough glass to skip the step of adding a separate blob of glass. I am not sure that this is what you are describing, but it sounds right.

Three-piece molds were used late into the 1800s, as late as 1910 according to Cecil Munsey. Three-piece mold bottles are hand-blown and hand-finished.

Technically speaking, a three-piece mold is an impressive machine with levers and pulleys. The technological revolution of 1903-10 in the USA was based on a successful machine that blew and finished the bottle.

Yes, Prairiedeb, the romance in collecting bottles is in speculation on the origin, use, and disposal of these bottles. Privy diggers as well as archies speculate endlessly about users with a drinking problem, or a case of gleet, or other chronic problems.
---------Harry Pristis