View Full Version : Mold Cavity Half-Leaf Repair Marks

RED Matthews
04-24-2009, 12:50 AM
Hello to all of you bottle people. Well it is finally done and included in my homepage as a blog. The subject is: Bottle Mold Cavity Half-Leaf Repair Marks (http://www.bottlemysteries.com/2009/04/bottle-mold-cavity-half-leaf-repair-marks/) Or you can google "Half-Leaf Repair Marks and get to the article in my homepage.

If you click on a picture of most of the mold repaired bottles - it will enlarge the picture. If you do that you will get a little magnifying glass with an x in it. Click again and you will get still another enlargement. Use the upper left < to return to the previous picture and again to the article text.

I have to give Tod von Mechow and Jim Hagenbuch due credit and thanks for their assistance on this project.

Some day I will get the hang of all this computer stuff - if I live long enough. I hope several of you will tell me about the bottles you have with this repair on them.

I look forward to your comments (good or bad) enjoy! RED Matthews

04-24-2009, 01:15 AM
Nice article Red. You are so fluent in the language of metalurgy and glassmaking that I sometimes have to force my brain into comprehending. I do love to find a bottle with crazy crudeness now and then. I hope I get a few this year so that I can send you pics.

04-24-2009, 01:18 AM
Im sorry Red, but your wrong. There is no way that mark could have been made by a filled repair in the mold. You will notice around the edges of the repair the glass comes together and forms a valley or indentation, like a reverse seam... it would not be possible for a repair in the mold to leave such an impression. If it was a mold repair and the new metal did not fill in the cavity properly it would leave an outward ridge, (like any other mold seam) in the glass, from where the glass squeezed between the repair and original mold. The only way for the impression made in the glass to have been created is for the glass to have been tooled after it was out of the mold...

04-24-2009, 01:28 AM
Here's one I got from john "oldihtractor" ..


04-24-2009, 01:33 AM
..whatever it is! [;)]


RED Matthews
04-24-2009, 02:12 AM
Hi cyberdigger, That is a neat one. Is it on a mold seam line? It seams to have welded metal going the other way also. Neat one anyway.
If it is for sale I am interested. RED Matthews

04-24-2009, 03:03 AM
Good info Red.

04-24-2009, 03:09 AM
Hi Red! It's not for sale, but I'll send you some high quality pics, maybe even visit you in NYC for some show and tell (I show, YOU tell!) ..send me a PM... -Charlie

04-24-2009, 01:58 PM
Thos are some great saratoga bottles and good photos. I still think that the marks are from fins of glass folded back on themselves. Part of the glass gather got pinched between the two mold halves creating a fin, the gather was taken out of the mold, put back in slightly differently, and blown into a bottle. The fin was too cold by this time to completely fuse with the rest of the glass.

04-24-2009, 10:16 PM
In the case of this bottle I posted, the mold seam is about one inch to the left of the curved side of the object in question.. the seam on this bottle is barely visible and not of the sort which would typically "spring a leak" either.. furthermore, the flow of the metal clearly went down and around this anomaly, evident from a series of settling ridges along the base, as well as the fact that the glass is thicker on the inside of the bottle exactly in that spot. I have seen "flaps" exuded from mold seams, but this does not fit the bill.. in my completely novice and humble opinion, and with due respect to everyone interested in this topic. [8|]

04-24-2009, 10:40 PM
Kentohio you are exactly right on how this type of defect is formed in the glass. If you ever get the chance to see one in cross section on a broken bottle its clearly two separate layers of glass. And it was not applied over a hole in the bottle either.

As you stated while trying to close the mold the gather got partly caught between the two mold halves and was cooled into a pressed fin shape. This would not have allowed the mold to close properly then the mold would be reopened and the gather turned in the mold pushing this fin flat against the side of the gather then the gather would be blown to create the finished bottle. This fin of glass haveing been too cool to take on the shape of the mold very well. This is why these don't usually have embossing on them. This also explains why these types of defects tend to be vertical in nature running parallel to the mold seams of the bottle. However they do not have to be near the seam its self due to the turning of the gather in the mold before blowing. This lapse in time between the turning and the blowing could also explain why some of these are not always perfectly vertical but may skew slightly to the diagonal

Furthermore if this was a repair to the mold itself then there would be many of the same bottle with a matching defect. I have never seen two of the same bottle with this defect that are identical in size shape and placement.


04-24-2009, 11:49 PM
I can't help but wonder why they all seem to be EXACTLY the same shape? Why wouldn't some of them be a bit less uniform? And to have two bottles, 150+ years old, from the same exact mold anywhere at the same time and place nowadays seems unlikely at best.. just wondering.. and reading everybody else's contributions with a healthy appetite for a civilized debate.. and with respect for everyone's ideas..


04-25-2009, 01:12 AM
Here's a cocalt version same thing..


04-25-2009, 01:21 AM
Heres one in a diffrent direction than most I've seen in and early crown top .


04-25-2009, 01:23 AM
MMM not so good a pic .I'll try agian


04-25-2009, 01:33 AM
Chris makes a very valid argument, but the pinetree seems to be evident that the gather was not re positioned in the mold... I would think that if that little flap cooled enough that quickly then the rest of the gather would also have to have cooled significantly. Remember glass is conductor of heat, although it makes for a good insulator too...!

It is still unknown and very highly debated exactly how these marks were caused...

I personally think they are blown out bubbles that were tooled after coming out of the mold with a special technique, but you have me thinking Chris...

the only similarities I see in every one is that they all exhibit characteristics of having been folded into the bottle, and the never fully take on the mold shape. They also never seem to be pushed in, which I think is the strongest evidence for Chris' case...

RED Matthews
04-25-2009, 02:48 AM
Hello again; cyberdigger and the rest of you. I am still absorbing all of the comments and trying to put together some more information on this subject. I feel that I have seen a lot of mold repair in the more modern mold shop practices. I have worked with problem molds that had to be welded to correct errors, mold seam knock-outs, and accidents. These older marks are really the result of a nick having to be milled out with a milling cutter, and the similar metal welded back in. That is why they seem to take on the half-leaf shape.

The idea of the mark being from a hole repair, just doesn't fit my logic; because a bottle with a hole in it would simply be thrown into the next crucible back in the line up and remelted in the fusion process. These bottle makers were obligated to make several hundred bottles in a shift and no one could justify messing around with patching an individual bottle. The costs of making a mold set is enough to justify welding and benching the cavity back to a usable form. I am sure that an individual bottlemakers shop would have had to have at least ten molds for a specific bottle run. I also know that these early bottlemakers put their individual makers marks on their set of mold bottom plugs - flat, domed or pushed-up. These marks will be illustrated in a blog I am working on right now, showing the makers marks, cone dots, crosses, the number 3 - with the the top curve of the 3 made like a > elongating the height of the letter. There are also + signs, large * marks, X marks, and 1/2" square embossed shapes.

The proof of this half-leaf shape being in the mold, would be finding two of the same bottles with the same marks. I haven't been able to accomplish that in the last three years; but I am sure they are out there. Unfortunately, the practice of using mold numbers, didn't really get started until nearly the end of the 19th century.

Just part of my feelings on the subject right now. Keep up the thought process and realize that a bottle is formed from a parison shape which is placed in, and blown, in the final mold to shape the bottle and produce the detail in the striking of the hot glass to the mold surface. It is possible to create bird swings by having the inside of the parison walls touch each other, but there is not any flap making process and if there was it would just produce tramp glass inside the bottle.

Thanks to all of you for your imput. RED Matthews


04-25-2009, 03:48 AM
I'm sorry but if any of you actually studied glass you would have seen a few of these. there is no way they could have been produced any way but how I have described. I have dug quite a few examples of broken bottles with this type of blowing error and there is no hole that was patched. I honestly wish I had saved the shards simply for this thread. The next one I find I will. I have several bottles in my collection If I could photograph the inside you would plainly see. That there was never any hole that was patched.

Lobeycat, The picture you posted shows the flap tilted to a diagonal this occurred in the time it took to turn the gather to properly close the mold. Think about it for a second you have a mass of molten glass affected by the effects of gravity this caused the gather to elongate and being the consistency of molten glass is highly viscous it slumped unevenly causing the fold to rotate to an angle not parallel to the seam. Take the time to read my first post. It states that all blowing errors of this type are not at exactly the same angle as the seam. Also being near the seam line or far away from it simply has to do with the amount of degrees the gather was rotated by the blower this would likely be different everytime.

Tigue, the gather in the pine tree was repositioned that’s why after being pressed in-between the the seam of the two mold halfs being closed the fin was instantly cooled by likely several hundred degrees enough causing it to solidify to the point of no longer being able to accept a mold impression thats why part of the letters in the phila are missing. The larger gather had enough mass to hold heat to still be in a plastic state to be blown into the shape of the mold. Also the rest of the gather likely still hadn’t touched the inner surface of the mold allowing transference of heat energy to occur. Thus not being cooled rapidly. Until the blower applied air pressure expanding the gather to the inside of the mold allowing heat transference to occur in the rest of the gather. The flap on the other hand had enough contact with the mold to be cooled before the rest of the gather was expanded.

Also don't you think it would have been easier and more technically possible at the time to simply grind out a chip in a mold and rivet in a slugplate as is seen on many a repaired mold.

Further more the study of molds is a specialty of mine I have had many examples of bottles blown in the same mold well after 150 years of being made. If this weren’t possible then would the Mckearin numbering system of historical flasks be possible? Its simple there are a finite number of molds by studding the intact examples and known shards one can from comparison determine the number of molds of a specific bottle.

Also the idea of brazing to replace cast iron in the mid 19th century is crazy the first "Acetylene was discovered in 1836 by Edmund Davy, but its use was not practical in welding until about 1900, when a suitable blowtorch was developed" quote from wikipedia. So to fill in these molds with the same type of metal was imposable with the technology at the time. Being the melting point of cast iron is nearly 2200 degrees Fahrenheit

I apologize for sounding arrogant but if you look at one of these in cross section its plain as day how it was made.

In the end show me two exactly indentical bottles with the same error to the fraction of an inch and I will eat my words and say it was a mold repair. Until then Its a blowing error if you don't want to open your eyes to this that is your problem. And if you want to keep passing along incorrect information so be it.

Also RED this was ment as no offence to you but this may have been the way to fix a mold in 1965 but we are talking about bottles from the 1840s-60s you have to take into account the tools and the technology they had to work with at that time.


04-25-2009, 10:12 AM
Chris, your logic is well thought out. I had to read what you said a couple of times to actually follow what your were saying, but after doing so, I did "get it" and I agree with your train of thought. I think one thing that supports your logic is that all of these flaws tend to run lengthways down the bottle due to the sag in the molten glass. I am really going to start to look at all the broken stuff I dig to find a flaw like that so I can see the layers of glass, that would be the clincher for me. I have several bottles that have come from the same mold. It seems the pinetree cordials are some of the easiest to pick out, the have many little pecularities that make each mold unique.

04-25-2009, 10:29 AM
Lobes, a chunk of metal welded in the mold wouldnt leave a mark like that, I've never seen a weld seam that thin! have you?

yes, I've seen many earlier mold repairs and they were always ground or cut out with a plate being rivet back in. The bottle cyber posted is proof alone that circular wheel was not use to grind out a defect because the half circle faces the mold line in an angle that would of been impossible to cut with a wheel.

I do believe if there was a quick process to repair the bottle out of the mold it would have been done because the blowers were paid per piece, and would not want to toss out a perfectly good bottle if they had a quick fix.

Chris, there would not be evidence of a filled in hole because the flap is the hole, if a bubble blew out it would have been possible (I think) to grab one side of the hole and pull it tight to the other, over lapping the flap and pressing it back into the bottle. My only problem with that is that I would expect the bottle to have been deformed in the process. That is exactly what I was asking in my letter to Jim in the magazine last month, and it is what has left me not 100% convinced that a solution had been found with the repair explanation. In fact I had been thinking that it seemed the bottle was expanded in the mold after the repair.

It could also be possible the the gather blew out before being put in the mold, and the use of a tool to fix the whole cooled the flap?

I'd have to say though that I'm 98% for Chris' explanation, I think it makes the most sense and all the evidence I've seen supports it.

Still a question of the gather itself being pliable though. I have seen glass blowers adding detail to glass with a color rod, holding it with their bare hand at one end and only a foot away on the other end the glass being liquid enough to apply it to a piece... So I guess it it possible, but if the mold was properly pre heated it shouldn't have cooled the glass to such a degree.

One other question is the texture found on a lot of these repairs, as if the had been tooled... The molds were not as thick as a lot of these wings, so it rules out the texture being from the mold wall, and if it was turned in the mold wouldn't there striations in the flap from this turn?

04-25-2009, 10:30 AM
I find it difficult to accept it is a mold repair.
There weren't a huge number of molds made for early bottles. If it was a repair I would expect two matching examples wouldnt be too hard to find.
Just taking Townsends sarsaparillas as an example, the mold modifications there are fairly well known and multiple examples show up.

04-25-2009, 05:31 PM

The walls of a cast iron mold were quite thick. The early brass molds were much thinner. Take a look at the thickness of this simple 3 part cylinder mold http://www.bottlemysteries.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/keylock2.jpg
I would say some parts are 3/4 inch thick. That’s plenty of width to cause one of the glass pinches we are discussing.

Also like you say if by pulling a flap from the bottle to fill a hole you would distort the bottle. Then the inside of the bottle should also have a similar error as the out side. However they don't the inside is completely smooth yet pushed in slightly farther because of the cold fin of glass being pressed into the still hot glass while the gather is being expanded in the mold by the gaffer.

As to the texture I would say that is picked up from the walls of the mold these lines are likely the remains of saw or file marks from cutting the original block of cast iron to size to align the edges perfectly for a tight fit of the parts of the mold. The reason there are no horizontal lines from the turning of the gather in the mold is simply because the fin had already been cooled to a point where it was solid and no longer able to accept any impression.

I'm adding two pictures one is of a blowing error of this type that was cold enough to not except any mold impression and actually broke into two due likely to the stress of the temperature difference and the force of the air being used to expand the gather into the mold. The second which is in the next post is through the lip of a soda that has this type of error down into the bottle you can see that the back of the error is smooth and intended further then the normal thickness of the glass due to the cold fin adding an extra layer of glass to that area. This is a hard picture to see I really need a way to take a picture from inside. Chris


04-25-2009, 05:32 PM
The other picture.



RED Matthews
04-25-2009, 06:56 PM
Hello baltbottles; I went back again to review your note. Is that second picture you posted on the inside or outside of the bottom.glass. I have another bottlemystery subject that I am working on. This might be more relative to that situation.
I sure stirred up some flack over this subject but somehow I have to keep working on these mysteries. Thanks, RED Matthews

04-25-2009, 07:04 PM
Im sold. I think you have nailed it on the head Chris. I could never really go with the tooling theory 100% becuase it didnt really add up in the end, but it was the best explaination I had heard before this. I remember someone talking about the gather being pinched in the mold before, but the conversation was vague...

It could still be possible for a blow out to have been tooled and reinserted in the mold I think, but not in debate of how the wingy was made.

04-25-2009, 07:19 PM
I think I get it too, now.. the gather, spherical in shape.. it is positioned inside the mold, which is then closed.. oops! it doesn't close all the way.. the mold is reopened a bit and they realized the gather was pinched a bit.. oh well no reason to start again, just give her a quick twist and shut the mold and start blowing.. it's almost time for lunch!

04-25-2009, 08:02 PM
I sure stirred up some flack over this subject

yes, but good flack... no knock down drag out fights[;)]

04-25-2009, 08:25 PM
I'm being serious here. I love that there are people who care about this hobby enough that they are arguing about the theoretical foundations of mis-formed bottles. This is so cool! My wife, on the other hand, would fall asleep in three seconds if I read her this post. Great stuff people!

Here is my example. I posted this picture a few weeks ago. It has the alleged half leaf. The picture shows some folds in the glass above the anomaly.


04-25-2009, 09:34 PM

04-25-2009, 10:48 PM
Cyberdigger, you have said it quite well yet simply in your post of how these were made."I think I get it too, now.. the gather, spherical in shape.. it is positioned inside the mold, which is then closed.. oops! it doesn't close all the way.. the mold is reopened a bit and they realized the gather was pinched a bit.. oh well no reason to start again, just give her a quick twist and shut the mold and start blowing.. it's almost time for lunch!"

Lobey, The fin was caused just after the gather was first inserted into the mold before it was expanded. how it got partly caught between the mold halves, who knows a number of factors could come into play. Perhaps the parson was misshapen, perhaps it wasn't inserted correctly and was skewed at an angle. Perhaps they were working at such a fast pace the mold boy in the pit closed the mold too quickly before the blower had the gather completely in the mold. This would happen while the gather was still small and before it ever touched any part of the mold except where it had been pinched. Once this occurred the quickest way to fix it would be to open the mold slightly and with a quick turn of a few degrees to pull the fin inside of the mold then reclose the mold and blow the bottle the now cooled fin being pressed into the hot surface of the now expanded bottle.

Red, the second picture is showing the inside of the bottle, as it would be seen by looking down through the lip inside of it. You can see that the backside of the flap in the bottle has no tooled shut hole and is completely smooth and is pushed into the bottle slightly due to the extra thickness of the glass in the area of the flap.

Here is another picture showing the flap on the outside of the bottle to show it’s the same kind of flap we have been discussing. Also I am posting another picture taken of the base of this bottle showing that where the flap is on the outside of the bottle it can be seen that the wall of the bottle is much thicker due to this flap being pushed into the bottle during blowing.

Also if this was a repair to the mold the wall in the area of the repair should not be any thicker then the rest of the wall of the bottle.



04-25-2009, 10:49 PM
The picture as take from viewing the bottle base.


04-26-2009, 02:17 AM
Hey all
I by no mean have any great knowledge into glass making .I believe that most of these vertical flaws were in fact pinched flap that were opened turned a then continued to be blown as evidence seems to point to that .I also believe that some are due to mold repairs or even tooled repairs .As in the flaw I posted a pic of . I was having lighting problems due to batters last night .So heres another pic as you can see this repair, flaw is horizontal not vertical as most.It bulges out on the outside and inside too. So I believe this could have been from a mold repair or a tooled repair . What yall think .I love this fourm and the info that people share here .Thanks and as allway good luck to you all.


04-26-2009, 11:07 AM
Great Theories again Chris. One thing I noticed from most of the pics is that the flaw is mostly located toward the bottom of the bottle. I think that helps support your idea of the angle being skewed when inserted. We may never know for sure, but again, I like your reasoning.

04-26-2009, 11:45 AM
Wow!, just noticed this amber pinetree on ebay, has exactly what is being talked about, pretty cool!
http://cgi.ebay.com/1859-Wisharts-Pine-Tree-Tar-Cordial-Bottle-Amber_W0QQitemZ300307519467QQihZ020QQcategoryZ895Q QssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
And an awesome color for a pinetree also.

RED Matthews
04-26-2009, 05:34 PM
Hi and Fantastic justanolddigger; I went to look at it and it is exactly what we have been kicking around. The Half-Leaf has the mottled cloth texture look that comes from the hot glass eroding the broken down graphite in the welded metal surface.
I thank you for your alert finding. How did you find it???? Thanks, for sure.
RED Matthews.

04-26-2009, 09:33 PM
Pure Luck mostly. I actually have you to thank for seeing it Red, I wouldn't have even known what I was looking at if it hadn't been for you bringing up this excellent topic. I just happened to read the "questions asked" and they were discussing an "open bubble", so I looked at the pic and saw it. Talk about ironic! I look forward to more of your insight on early glass blowing, extremely fascinating and enlighteniing.

04-26-2009, 11:18 PM

The error on your bottle is something totally different then the type of blowing error we have been discussing. These types of errors seem to only be found on earlier bottles. Not ones as late as yours. I'd have to see the bottle in person to get a better idea how your error was created.

Also I think I have come up with an experiment to try and produce the same effect that is seen in these blowing errors. The materials involved are different but the process will be similar. I don’t have access to a kiln and cast iron hinged molds to blow my own glass. But have an idea for something.


04-27-2009, 12:33 AM
Hey Chris
Yea I figure it was different because its horizontal and between the mold lines in the lower center of bottle. And I understand the type of flaw you were explaining .Just thought I would throw this one out there as its still kinda got that D or half leaf shape ya know and thought it may represent an actual mold repair.Thanks for your response and I look forward to hear how your experiment turns out .

RED Matthews
04-27-2009, 01:53 AM
Hello all you thread weavers you, I am going to the dentist Tuesday and I plan on taking one of my bottles to see if he can take a picture inside the bottle behind the inside of the bottle in back of the welded half-leaf. Just for the heck of it.
I am sure that the cavity is flat inside, I have put a wire in there and couldn't feel any inside surface material. I am still very confident in my analysis, but we just don't have anyone to ask about how they repaired nicks in mold cavities back then. That type of information just wasn't important enough to write it down.

04-27-2009, 06:19 AM
Reasons 7, 12 & 23

Just Dig it
04-28-2009, 03:48 AM
You did that saratoga justice in those pics red ..well taken.. when i first posted it on here before red and i made a trade i had mentioned it looked as if the inside of the repair had denim pressed in it..if it was a patch of glass..why would the letters still be there?

04-28-2009, 03:08 PM
Seems what they are saying is the gather touched the side of the mold and made a cooled spot on it which blew in a deformed way.
This seems to reinforce the idea that these marks are not a function of damaged molds or something which was done to the bottle after being blown.
I'm not sure it rules out the idea of the gather being pinched in the mold. These art glass people are not working at the fast pace of 19th century piece-work glass blowers so they are not likely to experience that type of error.

04-28-2009, 04:19 PM
by bubble is he reffering to the slightly expanded gather? Or a bubble in the glass. i find what he is saying a little confusing...

At the same time his second explaination sounds exactly like what we are talking about...

04-28-2009, 06:37 PM
The reply from Corning looks like good evidence to support the idea of the errors being caused by the blowing process rather then a repair to the mold.

Matt brings up a good point about the speed at which the art glass blowers work compared to the industrial blowers of the mid 19th century. I would think this is good evidence to support the idea of the fin being produce while closing the mold around the gather.

Also if one of the Admin gets a chance how about moving this thread to the bottle side of chat?


RED Matthews
04-28-2009, 07:19 PM
Hello to all of you, I really appreciate all of your imput - each and every one will be studied and re-evaluated, for any clue or help explaining this type of mark. I am confident that it is some type of repair procedure and it just hasn't been addressed with any explanation in all the books I have read.
I know that the gather of glass is bubbled enough to start the neck of a bottle and I know the accumulated gathers of glass are placed on top of that first puffed glass until they have enough gathered glass to make the bottle they are in the process of making. That partially formed mass of glass, has to be expanded and shaped into the required parison shape to give the end bottle correct distribution of glass thickness in the action of the final blow.
In the case of the EXCELLSIOR half-leaf the bottle when the final blow to put the glass to wall of the final blow mold the glass formed with a very thick zone vertical with its center of the half-leaf form. This tells me that the thermal conductivity of the welded form in the mold, was reduced enough to form a thicher zone inside the bottle.
I took it with me to the Dentist today to have them take a picture inside the bottle - it was washed out by all the light in the end of their wand lens. My next try will be with a fiber optic camera devise.
In the cavity of the half-leaf in the black glass SARATOGA "/ A " SPRING bottle there is a thicher amount of glass inside the bottle form when it was blown against the contact surface of the mold.. This again tells me that the existance of the weld has a much different temperature thermal conductivity than the rest of the mold and this condition caused the thicker glass inside the bottle.

If any of you men (or women) find a shard of this condition - please let me know. Some of you who have shown pictures of this condition. Take a piece of coat hanger wire and feel insid the bottle. I am sure you will feel the thickness of the glass wall.

I have to admit that I have NO real idea of how they welded in the repair metal or what kind of welding rod they used. There just has not been any recorded explantion of their method of repair. I am sure they used rods of the same mold iron to do it. How they did it is not known.

When I worked in mold engineering and development we studied the different thermal conductivity of different metals. This was all done to evaluate the difference in the created smoothness of the glass product. We had molds made for a plain wine bottle that were made of Kelly Mold Iron #4, Binney DV bronze, Binney 51C iron, Nodular iron and unchilled type A graphite gray iron. The operaiional comparrison of the galss surfaces were obviously affected by the mold temperatures, in the operation. These molds were put on an Emhart IS Automatic Bottle Machine; There was two molds of each metal. The Binney DV bronze made the smoothest bottle. The unchilled type A graphite mold iron - created a good example of the COLD MOLD RIPPLE in the glass. The Kelly #4 mold iron made good bottles. The Binney 51C was not a good metal to use, it ran too hot; when this test was run we also sat bottles out on the hot end floor for cord stress test. The bottle from the Binney 51C mold broke first from the cords in the glass. This test also evaluated the skin condition of the bottle and the Binney DV metal prorved to be the best there also.

Years later when I was into selling the application of Dameron's HR metal for other parts of the mold equpment, The Ball Glass Corporation ran a machine of baby food mold equipment, where we supplied our metals for all of the metal parts that touched the hot glass. It was a great success and I heard that Ball was recognized by Gerber for the success of their glass. This metal gave all of the baby food jar the best of bottle surface evaluations.

Now this summer I have made arrangements to go to Corinings Museum, Wheatons Museum and maybe the National Bottle Museum in Balston Spa, NY. In each case these mold repair samples will be discussed.

I guess when we know enough, we will be able to put this phenomenon to bed; hopefully knowing, some of the answers regarding to how it was done and why.

I siscerely thatnk all of you for your opinions and interest. RED Matthews

04-28-2009, 10:35 PM

I will be very interested to hear the results of your inquiry of this subject by them. On another subject, since your going to be speaking to these folks. I have always wanted to know how the lettering was done in these iron moulds. My wife who is a calligrapher and has taught this for some time, does not think it possible that the embossing in the iron moulds was "carved out or chiseled out" by hand. There are many examples where there is one letter that is either backwards or upside down. My thinking is that each letter was made [sort of like a scrabble piece] and then set into a machined slot in the mould. I'm talking before the invention of the detachable slug plate invention I think. However when you look at the Wheaton Cultural Centers booklet that they put out, called Into the Mould in 1993 I think, there is an original Old Sachems Bitters and Wigwam Tonic bottle mould, and you can see the embossed lettering, which looks way to neatly made to have been done by a chisel and and by hand. Any thoughts on this subject would be welcomed.

04-28-2009, 11:07 PM
If anyone reading this has an unembossed bottle with this type of error I would be interested in buying it so I can cut it in half and post pictures of the error in cross section.


04-28-2009, 11:25 PM
My thinking is that each letter was made [sort of like a scrabble piece] and then set into a machined slot in the mould.

I dont know exactly how they added embossing. I always assumed they did it with hard chissels. The idea of fixed sized letters being "type set" doesnt seem to match many of the early bottles. There are several I can think of where the text starts evenly spaced but ends up all smashed together as the engraver realized they were running out of room. It was very easy to add backwards letters. Remember they were adding the letters as a mirror image. Just try to write backwards sometimes[;)]

RED Matthews
04-29-2009, 12:05 AM
Hi to Guntherjhess and baltbottles: I just had another man from the west coast ask me about letter cutting - so I sent him a PM. I will have to see if I can go back to in - copy it and paste it off to you both. I have a started blog for my homepage but it isn't done yet. Back later! RED Matthews

I just realized that it was westernbittersnut in the post before yours, that I sent the PM to.
Oh well, I am still learning about how to get around in this forum. RED

04-29-2009, 12:55 AM

We can debate this until the cows come home. But it’s starting to get old. I have seen this type of error in cross section and it clearly shows two separate layers of glass. Until you have seen a cross section of this you can not say you know everything about this error because you haven't see it from all possible angles.

If these were created by a mold repair it would not cause there to be two separate layers of glass. That’s plain simple common sense. Because the defect in the glass would be limited to only the surface of the bottle. Two layers indicate that the defect was created by two pieces of glass overlapping something that would not happen if this were caused by a mold repair.

As far as I'm concerned I believe you need to open your mind to the idea that you could be wrong. I am one to admit I can be mistaken however this is one time I’m sure I am not.

The only way this could be proven either way is to make some molds and have some bottles blown. You with you repair and mine using the simple pinch that is folded over. Besides I’m sure it would have been far easier to fix other mold mistakes and damages if it was possible to weld patch metal into molds. But on all early bottles I have seen patches are riveted in not welded.


04-29-2009, 01:03 AM
No offense, but I am waiting to see the cross section with my own eyes.. until then, this thread is not over for me. [&:]

04-29-2009, 01:15 AM

Then all I can say is go buy a bottle with this defect and break it. Or if someone on the forum will sell me one cheap I will break it. Or everyone will just have to wait until someone on here digs a fragment with this defect.


04-29-2009, 01:20 AM
I admit, I can't bring myself to destroy my specimen.. and I am in no way challenging your argument.. I am actually very curious to see a cross-section of this phenomenon... I hope we get a chance, but it ain't gonna be my only IP! [;)]

Just Dig it
04-29-2009, 03:23 AM
if th eglass was pinched or folded how is it the letters are still embossed inside the leaf? just curious

RED Matthews
04-29-2009, 10:37 AM
HI Just Dig It, I'm with you on that one. That SARATOGA SPRING bottle is a shining example. I probed inside and the blown glass is bulged over the repaired shape. Obvious to me that the glass set up when it was blown against the different metal in the repair due to the difference in the heat retained in the mold body metal.

I don't recommend anyone destroy a bottle - we will get this resolved some other way.
I still have to stick to my analysis.
Thanks RED Matthews

04-29-2009, 12:09 PM
I don't want to offend the mold repair theory people but there isn't enough evidence to prove this. The number one reason is there arent duplicates. Gunther posted picture of a mercant bottle that was from a repaired mold, there a number of those around. That un-em philly soda in this post would be a prime candidate for duplicates= as many of those there are- as would the barrel photo Lobey posted. It is folded over the barrel rings to the left it looks like it pushed it down some to me.

I have a friend who's tumbled alot of early glass. He he says he's cut through thinner layers of glass with-in an individual bottle, and the free space between the two layers was invaded with cleaning abrasive. I'm not talking about a bubble break- think german half post. Small gather of glass - expanded than a re-dipped into the glass pot to increase the thicknes of the bottle. Sometimes air would get trapped between the two layers and do funny things. It was common practice to expand the bottle in the mold take it out and re-submerge it into more glass put it back in and then blow it until it's fully expanded in the mold.

It seems wierd the the embossing is'nt picked up. I understand the blower constantly turned the glass in the bottle mold which would explain a perpendicular bubble folding over a spot creating a half circle. I guess the bottle glass was at it's hottest and this has something to do with it. Perhaps the trapped air in the elastic glass was expanded in this spot, so it didn't pick up the embossing???

04-29-2009, 12:54 PM
Here is a fairly well known example of what appears to be a mold repair.
This is on a pontil marked Mrs Kidders bottle. The repair is a circular area in front of the D and C in the start of the embossing. Maybe there was a pit in the iron and they ground and filled it. Maybe they improperly started the spacing on one of the lines of text. Not sure what the reason was for the modification. The area is raised slightly from the bottle surface.
There are numerous examples of these bottles so its easy to show this was a mold modification.


RED Matthews
04-29-2009, 01:33 PM
Hello Matt (Guntherhess) I thank you for the picture and you could be right, when you say they might have started cutting letters that had to be bussed out and welded. The weld would be benched smoth to the bottle surface, but at lest something was done to the mold. RED Matthews

04-29-2009, 04:09 PM
Chris is def. correct on this one. I have an example of an IP NY soda sitting here you can easily see the two layers of glass and even pushs inside the bottle about 3/8th of an inch. With this bottle and the dug up frags I have seen there is no way it can be a mold repair

Digger Ry

04-29-2009, 11:34 PM
The only way this unique half leaf anomaly could occur after looking at that example that has the lettering underneath this [flap] layer of glass, is if the side of the gather did get pinched in the moulds edge when closed and the glassblower blew the bottle completely and when the mould was opened, a tool of some style was used to fold that thin wing over onto the glass surface.

If a glassblower got the gather caught in the edge of the mould when closed and had the mold opened to unstick it, and then closed again and blew the bottle, any embossing would be on the surface of that glass area. I have never seen that. The embossing on that example shown with the embossing underneath the glass makes more sense to me that a separate tool was used to flatten that anomaly to the glass surface.

04-30-2009, 12:33 AM
Joined based on Reds emial discussing the debate and based on my discussions with him and response (5/2009) to a ABGC magazine article (2/2009). There are four theories:
The marks are a result of a mold repair (Reds theory)
The marks are the result a hole in the bottle being repaired with a patch (Hagenbuch theory)
The marks are the result of a either the bubble (parison) hitting the side of the mold or being too hot (Corning theory)
The marks are the result of a cooled fin of glass from a pinched parison is blown into the bottle (Pinched theory)
I will do seperate posts to address my thoughts on each.

04-30-2009, 12:40 AM
This is a very infomative thread. I agree these defects are certainly not mold repairs,I have seen distinct layers in the "flaps" also. I was hesitant to buy into the flap, squeezed into the mold theory,as well.. The explanation from the Corning museum makes the most sense and don't require any crazy explanation.

04-30-2009, 12:41 AM

As someone who has extensively studied soda mold variations for years I'm sure you can attest that this is not a mold repair. I look forward to your replys on this subject.


04-30-2009, 12:51 AM
Uh oh this is fixen to get serious. Reason #1b.

04-30-2009, 12:53 AM

These flaps clearly have two distinct layers and both sides of the top layer have had to come into contact with something much cooler then the temperature of the parison. To have created a flap that can be folded over by the blowing process. If the parison simply bumped the side of the mold or was torn the fold would be one sided. And also could be at any angle. These flaps are usually close to the same angle of a mold seam on the bottle. I have yet to see one running totally perpendicular to a mold seam.


The Saratoga shown with the partial embossing over the flap is simply explained that the flap on that bottle was still slightly plastic when the parison was finally expanded and the flap still hot enough to take a slight mold impression of the embossing.


04-30-2009, 02:13 AM

It wouldn't have taken nearly 30 seconds to slightly open the mold reposition the gather and close the mold. The whole process probably only took 5 or 10 seconds at the most. These guys were pumping bottles out in huge numbers they worked at an incredibly fast pace. And there would not be any evidence on the base because the parison had not been inflated yet so had never touched any of the mold cavity before being expanded.

We are not talking about totally opening the mold and totally removing the parison. I am talking about opening the mold enough to free the pinch and pull it into the mold cavity. The flap would then fold at the point where it is connected to the parsion because it is still in a fluid state at that point.

As for the flap being hot enough to fuse to the glass the flap by its self wouldn’t that’s why they usually take on no or very little mold impression. But the rest of the parsion would still have plenty of heat to allow the pinched piece to fuse to it. Once the expansion of the parison began the much hotter parsion would be able to take on the mold impression and the flap would simply be pushed flat against the wall of the mold cavity and imbedded it in the surface of the finished bottle.


04-30-2009, 02:14 AM
Quick reminder that the blowpipe was dipped into the pot of molten glass and the glass glob of glass is called a gather. The gather was of a size that was needed to produce the bottle. The gather was rolled on a marver creating a “parison,” which was blown in mold to create the bottle.

The marks are a result of a mold repair (Reds theory)[/ol]

I agree with Reds in the statement that repairs to molds caused different cooling in glass. Any collector who has looked a hundreds of bottles will observe at least one that has a repair. The telltale giveaway is glass which appears to have a different texture. Attached is a photo of a beer bottle with a repair to the plate. (Look familiar Chris?) The glass has a different texture. Repairs are evident on “every” example of the bottle that was produced in the repaired mold.

The biggest hole in this theory is that all bottles produced after the repair do not all show the repair. I cannot say that I have ever seen these marks on the same bottle or in exactly the same place. Reds states that this is because there were sets of molds and only one, rarely used, had the repair.

I do disagree with Reds assertion that there were sets of molds used in a glass blowers shop for a single bottle and that only one, rarely used, was repaired causing the infrequent occurrence of the half moon. There is ample evidence to the contrary. I have been studying early soda and beer bottles for too many years. Philadelphia is a good case study of early soda and beer bottles (1840-1860). One thing that is evident is that molds were valuable and expensive. There is ample evidence that single molds were used for many years and were altered over their lifetime. There is a Wm Rex porter that originally had a 211 Green St address and based on its “fat” and high-shoulder form dates to the late 1840s. This mold was altered in 1858 to change the address to “525” based on renumbering of properties on the streets. This same mold was used into the mid-1870s and possibly as late as 1880s based on the number of example that exist and the changes in lip finish and colors that occur. I have another set of bottles from a mold that was made no earlier than 1825 and no later than 1835 and was retooled in 1860. As for altering, an E. Roussel mold was altered three times over the three years that it was used with the adding of additional embossing. I believe the Wm Coughlan porters with the high shoulder embossing from Baltimore span 15 or so years of use with early tapered top examples and later smooth based ones. The mere fact that there are plate-molds attests to the expense of having a mold made.

One thing is evident, at least of the pre-1860 molds, duplicate examples are very rare. I can only come up with a handful of molds, from Philadelphia (550+ molds), that are similar and these were from very high production users or were clearly made by different glass houses. I do agree that multiple molds were used by some glass houses, but these usually have different mold numbers on the base and this practice seem to be more prevalent in the 1890s and onward for high volume users.

Supporting this assertion is a collection of letters from Charles Yocum, a Philadelphia mold maker, that were reproduced in a book. If you read these letters, the glass works were almost always ordering a single mold or having a single mold altered. If the practice of having four or six molds in a shop for a single bottle was prevalent, I would expect at least one manufacturer would have ordered a set of molds.

Another issue I see with this theory is that these marks are “three dimensional.” Mold repairs could only create “two-dimensional” impressions. If you doubt that these are three dimensional, then you do not own one!


04-30-2009, 02:31 AM
2. The marks are the result a hole in the bottle being repaired with a patch (Hagenbuch theory)

The prime issue with this theory is that the bottles don’t support the theory. If a bottle tool was used to “pinch” or “patch” the hole, there would be a thinning of the glass in the area where the repair was made. The glass in this are would also distorted due to the manipulation. I have not observed this to be the case. The glass in the area of the half-moon is of the same thickness as the area surrounding it and there does not appear to be any stress or distortion behind the half-moon mark. This type of repair would have been too time consuming and would have rendered an unusable product for soda water bottles, which needed to withstand high pressure. Many of these bottles were for soda water.

An additional issue is that if this piching took place, one would expect that ay least some half-moons would be horizonal. As far as I have observed that are exclusively vertical or close to it.

04-30-2009, 02:50 AM
I think the question has been answered folks, the object in question was created when the parison hit the mold or was closed in the mold before the bottle was blown. The resulting action by the gaffer created the the fold when the bottle was twisted in the mold to smooth it over. It took only seconds to do, it would of been second nature to a glass worker, the pieces all fall into place easily and conclusively. You just cant press the issue anymore.

One of the biggest problems in the bottle world is myth. There are more crackpot theories out there then you can count, and it is stifling many collectors. I admit I was wrong on this one too, but I'm not publishing my ideas and misleading people... I dislike like seeing new and young collectors being mislead by "experts" who way to often are steering them in the completely wrong direction. we are all wrong sometimes, but come on. We have to keep the rumors in check. For gods sake this is the number one place on the internet for bottle information and half the crap on here is wrong!

04-30-2009, 03:13 AM
3. The marks are the result of a either the bubble (parison) hitting the side of the mold or being too hot (Corning theory)

This one is a little tougher, but I cannot visualize how it would occur. If the parison bumped against the side of the mold, something that must have happened frequently in the old factories, then the glass parison would have been flattened at that spot and may have cooled slightly. But this would result in a rounded spot and not the half-moon shape one. I would expect to see some sort of circular imperfection on the surface of the bottle; something that I have never observed.

If the glass were too hot, I would expect the result to be a bottle with very thin shoulders and a very thick base due to the glass settling to the bottom of the mold. I have seen bottles demonstrating this effect, but I don’t see how this is related to the half moon.

I think that there was some sort of miscommunication or misunderstanding in the relaying of the information to and from the glass blower relating to the query, but think it worth getting more information on this one.

04-30-2009, 04:03 AM
4. The marks are the result of a cooled fin of glass from a pinched parison is blown into the bottle (Pinched theory)

This is the only one that makes any sense to me. I think that anyone who thinks about the process of blowing a bottle and looking at bottles with this mark would come to the same conclusion as to how this happened.

Supporting this are several points. First these marks are three-dimensional. Therefore they cannot be the result of a mold issue. If you have one of these you can get your fingernail under it.

Second, these marks only occur on molded bottles. They do not occur on free blown bottles or dip-molded bottled. So there must be some process in using molds with leafs that close are responsible for these marks. This also seems to rule out the Corning theory. (Sorry I just thought of this.)

Third the half-moon clearly cooled faster than the rest of the parison. Due to the rigidly of the cooled glass it either picked up none or very little or faint embossing when the bottle was fully expanded in the mold. This also explains the apparent indentation on the barrel bitters that was pictured in the ABGC article. The cooled half-moon prevented the glass from flowing freely into the barrel’s rings.

Fourth, these marks are always horizontal or nearly horizontal (Chris gets credit on this one) indicating some relationship to the mold’s edges.

Fifth, the shape is always some variation of a half-moon, which is the shape that occurs when something with elasticity is pinched. As an illustration, pinch the skin on your arm and look at the shape the skin takes. Look familiar?

Finally, there does not appear to be any deviation in glass behind these marks. This indicates that there was no manipulation of the bottle after it left the mold.

The pinched theory is the only one is supported by the evidence, but we may need to have a blow-off at some glass works that has experienced blowers that use operating molds to prove which theory is right.

I'm done!

04-30-2009, 04:13 AM

I am in the process of writing a book on Early Western Glassworks of California, I researched the San Francisco Glass Works, Pacific Glass Works and others pretty extensively and have uncovered information garnered by writers who were there at the glassworks while in operation during the early years. The glassblowers who were brought from Pittsburg, Pa were able to produce 85 dozen soda water bottles a day. There work day began at 7 AM and ended at 4 PM with three quarters of an hour for a meal.

What I find extremely interesting is that I have not seen this particular anomaly on western blown glass. I have been doing research on several western bitters bottles and one particular brand, Rosenbaums Bitters. This bitters product comes in two bottle variants, the smaller variant size is a western made/blown bottle. The larger size has had controversy surrounding its origin. Awhile back I found one example of this size, that has this exact same half leaf mark, it is extremely similar to the barrel bitters and Wishart's Pine Tree Tar Cordial examples shown in this thread. Since every example with this unique mark seems to be on a bottle of eastern origin, I think this Rosenbaums example probably gives the strongest evidence that the mould and bottles were originally made on the east coast. An ad I have shows that this bitters product was originally manufactured by Dr. Rosenbaum on South Front St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The product was being marketed in the west before our glassworks were in operation, however another ad states due to counterfeiting problems that the product would now be put up in square bottles embossed with...... this date was late 1864, and PGW was in operation by that time and possibly could have made the mould. Whether we solve this mystery mark or not, it has sure been helpful to me that this subject and discussion came up.

04-30-2009, 04:35 AM

Thanks for adding your input to this thread. I think this problem is clearly solved.


04-30-2009, 04:40 AM
I can only state for sure that many of the marks that I have seen were on bottles manufactured in the Philadelphia area. Examples from Dyottville and Union glass works abound. Maybe Chris has some better insight to the Baltimore market. I recall that the Wisharts and some barrel bitters were made at the Lancaster Glass Works. I cannot recall seeing these marks on bottles made after 1870. Perhaps it was a quality issue and those with the mark were destroyed.

The numbers you quote match up with Red's email to me of about 2 bottles blown a minute. Does't leave much time for missteps.

I did some research on Rosenbaum in Philadelphia for Bill Hamm based on an email and found none that were near South Front or were in any related business. So far there is no evidence the bitters were made or marketed there.

04-30-2009, 04:47 AM
Great stuff sodasandbeers. Nice contributions everyone. I have a question. (Sorry if its dumb.) The half leaf marks frequently have vertical lines or grooves in them. I'm wondering if anyone knows if the mold had a similar jagged edge where the sides came together. Is it possible that the lined print is from the mold?

RED Matthews
04-30-2009, 11:09 AM
Hi blobbottlebob, I am sure those lines on the half-leaf are from the mold makers riffle file that he would have used to bring the repaired weld closer to the diameter of the bottle surface. On that black glass SARATOGA Mineral Water, those lines are pronounced on the neck welded area. Riffling in that tight an area would not have been easy.
Thank you for your interest and involvement in this thread. I have just made a new post and embeded a picture of that neck weld. RED Matthews

04-30-2009, 11:31 AM
no, the marks are not...

04-30-2009, 12:01 PM
Tod, great write up, thanks for taking the time to do it.
Hope you see more posts from you on the forum.
Nice web site also.

04-30-2009, 01:10 PM
Kudos to Tod, Matt, Matt, Chris and Ry for setting things straight (my apologies to anyone I missed). Matt (tigue) is correct - there's far too much misinformation spouted as gospel here and it's refreshing to see the number of folks who care enough about the hobby of collecting antique bottles and glass to willingly contribute thoughtful, well-founded comments. Thanks to you all, especially Chris, who freely shares his hard-earned "in the trenches" knowledge with us all. Here's hoping we can lump this myth together with that of "refired pontils" (in 19th century bottles and glass) and give 'em an (im)proper burial.

04-30-2009, 03:08 PM
I tried re-firing some of my pontils and they just broke[:o]

RED Matthews
04-30-2009, 04:56 PM
Hi drdjayne and Matt; First of all drdjayne,. can you post a picture or two of your bottle?

And Matt, When the bottles were re-fired to reduce the roughness or graininess of the empontilling the glass would have still been quite hot. It is thought that they did this by putting a small punty or tool rod into the neck of the bottle and holding the bottom of the bottle in the glory hole for a few seconds. Applying heat to a cold bottle is a tricky thing to do. I never did figure out how the carnival people stretched the Pepsi bottles to extreme heights and then filled them with marbles to sucker someone into buying them. Some one gave one, that I still have - but I wouldn't buy one.

Did you notice that I put a reply on the half-leaf subject on the Forum category, General Chat About Bottles. It was to answer one of the mens inquiries about the harsh lines on some of the half-leaf welds.

RED Matthews

04-30-2009, 07:47 PM
Hey where did Dr Dread go?

Just Dig it
05-01-2009, 06:20 AM
So is this whats going down?


05-01-2009, 09:50 AM
A picture is worth a thousand words

05-01-2009, 01:16 PM
This Balt soda was recently sold on ebay, It obviously had trapped air inside the glass


05-01-2009, 01:43 PM
this is the same side, there were other problems in this bottle caused by trapped air. This time they protruded on the inside of the bottle. I'll try to post more.


05-01-2009, 01:57 PM
I know we just got a lesson in glass manuf. terminology but I can't remember them. I think this was caused by air trapped between gathers of glass. There must have been differences in glass temperatures. Hot over less hot. Perhaps the blower paused longer than usual between gathers.


05-01-2009, 02:13 PM
These pimple-like bubbles didn't require to be pushed down with a repair tool as in the pevious examples. However this last pic shows the result or another exta repair-like step taken in this Baltimore Glasshouse.


05-01-2009, 02:23 PM
It may be the other one I previously posted one of these looked as if some of the very thin glass was removed.


05-01-2009, 05:00 PM

This same soda sold on ebay a few times the first time it sold it was uncleaned and the large bubble in the back had glass over it but it had a small hole in it. I know that during the tumbling this bubble broke completely open and was smoothed out with a dremel tool then put back in for another tumble to clean the stain from the inside of the bubble. The reason I know this is because i know who bought it the first time on ebay and who cleaned and altered it.


05-01-2009, 05:21 PM
So is this whats going down?

Just Dig It,
Your picture is close but there was no small hand tool used in the process.

The stage at when this pinch occured the bottle was nothing more then a small rounded gather of glass much smaller then the inside of the mold with a small puff of air in its center to get it started. Think of it as looking like a small bubble on the end of the blow pipe.

This was improperly incerted into the mold the mold would be closed causing the pinch on this bubble. The mold then would have been slightly opened to release the pinch from inbetween the two mold halves. The parison would then be slightly rotated pulling the pinch into the cavity of the mold away from the seam.

Next the mold would be reclosed correctly and then the gaffer would blow air into the blowpipe expanding the parison into the mold. As the parison expanded taking on the shape of the mold the already cooled fin of glass from the pinch would be pressed flat aginst the mold cavity and pushed into the more fluid glass of the parison.

Once the parison was completely inflated this pinch would now be flush with the rest of the surface of the bottle. Causing the tell tail sings of the flap being pushed into the surface of the bottle.


05-01-2009, 05:39 PM
That mold drawing was pretty cool but I had no clue what that tool thingy was.
I was guessing a branding iron for cats or something similar[;)]

Just Dig it
05-01-2009, 05:57 PM
Yeah i got a little crazy in ms paint..I thought maybe they used something like it to press afte rthey folded the flap thats why i amde the end of the tool the same as the texture on the repair on the saratoga that red gave me a great trade for..Thanks again Red

05-02-2009, 09:05 PM
Just saw this thread for the first time......I'm not going to add to the discussion, but I am glad to see knowledgeable collectors challenging misinformation on the forum.......Thought I'd throw up a picture of the edge of one of my Dr. Soule's bottles.....is this the result of a different process than what Chris is describing?


05-02-2009, 09:29 PM

Yours looks like it's an actual mold repair.


05-02-2009, 09:30 PM
I assume thats on a non-seam corner?

05-02-2009, 09:43 PM
Hi Cindy! I've had several Soules with this same anomaly and it's my strong belief that it is evidence of a mold repair.

05-02-2009, 09:45 PM
Oh, and yes Matt, as I recall the anomaly is found on a non-seam corner as one would suspect.

05-03-2009, 12:42 AM
I thought it was a mold repair, and I'm pretty sure that you all confirmed that for me in an earlier thread I couldn't locate quickly earlier today........just thought it was worth throwing up here for comparison purposes....

05-03-2009, 03:43 AM
Isn't that funny? I figured the extra work was done 140 years ago not 2 weeks ago.

Another model ebay seller to look out for! The description doesnt mention anything about repairs....

Just Dig it
05-03-2009, 04:43 AM
Yeah There should be a notice board on here with their account names so no one buys from them again

05-03-2009, 08:53 AM
Here is one from my collection - this is on a half pint Kissengen Water, Hanbury Smith. The crescent partially obscures the H in Smith.........



RED Matthews
05-03-2009, 09:58 AM
Hello again Annie, Well I am really glad you found this one in your collection. It just supports my explanation of how these marks were created. What I am anxious to find is two bottles with the same mark in the same place. Back when these bottles were made they didn't use mold numbers. About the only marks they did use were makers marks on the bottom to help them measure their shifts production and nail a problem bottle to the shop crew that made them.

Thanks a million, for this one. I hope others can nail down some more examples.
RED Matthews

05-03-2009, 10:25 AM
Annie, your picture again supports the fact that these are not mold repairs.. What customer in their right mind would be pleased with thousands of bottles with a big, ugly flaw, front and center? Not to mention this, would have to have been done intentionally on the the part of the glasshouse..

05-03-2009, 02:08 PM
I have been watching this thread with considerable interest. Although for me, the jury is out on how this half leaf was made, I have to agree with appliedlips. What customer would pay good money for bottles that had an ugly flaw that obscured the name or address of their business?
Has anyone supplied a picture of two bottles with the same half leaf mark in the same place?

05-03-2009, 02:09 PM
http://cgi.ebay.com/Pontiled-Baltimore-P-BABB-Nice_W0QQitemZ220399063663QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_De faultDomain_0?hash=item3350ced26f&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2%7C65%3A3%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318%7C 301%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50

If anyone cares to check out the listing for the P Babb here it is. Not sure this guy knows the history of the bottle????

So what's the consensus on the pushed down fin? Here's what I understand the small fin was pinched in the mold when it was closed while the glass was still a gather. The mold was re-opened gather repositioned in mold, then it was expanded into the bottle but the resulting fin had cooled and was somehow pushed down flat against the body of the bottle upon completion. If it happened in an area where embossing was it would alter it because it remained cooler than the rest of the glass.

05-03-2009, 05:39 PM
A couple years sounds about right when it last sold. Its hard to not forget about that big ugly open bubble in the back. I don't know if the guy he bought it from described what was done to it or not.


Your description of how the error occurs sounds right to me.


06-27-2009, 01:32 AM
Okay everyone,....I just had to ressurect this post. What I always thought was a "birdswing", or a slump in the glass of this ink turned out to be...you guessed it!...I took a close look at this flaw today while photographing some inks and while I've noticed it dozens of times, I never put two and two together. The post here on the forum had been out since the last time I scrutinized this umbrella ink, I guess. Well, here's a pic. Joe


06-27-2009, 01:45 AM
Holy carp!! That's the finest example yet of...... ... that!! [:)] I mean WOW!!

06-27-2009, 03:32 AM
Mighty cool. Is the glass thicker behind the anomaly? I think that helps prove the 'pinch' theory.

06-27-2009, 04:21 AM
Well I had to go and look...It looks like a fold of molten glass above the tip of the crecent...It protrudes into the bottle about a quarter of an inch...I can't see clearly below that to tell if the crescent area is thicker too....


06-27-2009, 04:24 AM
* The symetry of the 'umbrella' is all thrown off by the leaf thing.


RED Matthews
06-27-2009, 07:16 PM
Hello everyone. I am glad to see another thread on this pet subject. I am getting ready for a meeting at Corning Glass to discuss this subject with people that know their bottles. Hopefully we can get the subject resolved.

I have acquired another bottle with the Half-Leaf print of the same form setting vertical on the front panel of a half pint mineral water bottle with embossed lettering in the form of "/ KISSINGEN WATER " arched over "/ HANDBURY SMITH " horizontal below it. On this bottle the repair sets vertical with the straight side on the left - the top point is in between the lower legs of the H in SMITH, and the tip comes up to the crossbar in the H. The curved side is actually on the parting line or even a 1/16" to the right of the parting line of the mold halves. I have checked the inside glass with a wire for feeling and the glass inside surface just hills or humps over the Half-Leaf form. Which I feel was the effect of the difference in heat conductivity in the welded metal. There is also some sign of cavity weld left of the straight side of the Half-Leaf.

As soon as I get my picture set-up together I will get a picture posted here. I just got the missing box yesterday from UPS.

Thanks to you JOETHECROW for the pictures of you ink bottle. Fantastic example.
Does the inside glass just hump over the area if youi feel it with a wire. You may be able to see it with the near clear glass.

Thanks and best regards, RED Matthews - still working at it..

06-19-2013, 01:34 PM
Bump and pin, I think its worth it.

06-19-2013, 01:49 PM
ORIGINAL: cowseatmaize

Bump and pin, I think its worth it.

At least fix the title :)

06-22-2013, 08:02 AM
ORIGINAL: GuntherHess
At least fix the title :)

Amen that!

RED Matthews
06-22-2013, 11:01 AM
WOW!!!! I just went back and read through the whole line of post and comments. I have gotten a few more bottles with this mark on them, but I haven't found two out of the same mold which is no doubt the only way I will resolve this questionable bottle mystery.

I am still confident on the concept of the repair principle. RED Marrhews

06-22-2013, 12:46 PM
One thing I have wondered about with the mold pinch marks is what happens when the glass gets pinched at the corner of the bottle mold? It seems like the flap would be a bit more triangular shaped? Maybe not since the plastic glass will have a tendency to maintain a spherical form. Has anyone ever seen one of these? The odds are the glass would be pinched at one of the straight sections of the mold so the probability would be much lower.

As for mold repairs , it seems I have noticed more mold repairs on Mason jars than any other bottles. They must have often used those molds until they fell apart.

RED Matthews
06-22-2013, 02:28 PM
Well Matt, the source of a punch is usually formed in the neck of the parison, and if the neck is short it can't make a straight side as long as the pinches usually are.
When I worked in the Central Mold Shop at Thatcher's we often had to mill a damaged area in the cavity, and this would usually be done on a vertical milling machine with the head tilted so the end of the cutter would mill a straight line with the escaloped side would be curved. The iron would be filled in using sticks of mold iron rods, the foundry made by using straws for a pattern.
Welding in with an acetylene torch would puddle the iron in the milled cavity. I never saw the half leaf from our work, but one could see the carbon wash out of the surface on the glass. I have no idea of what they had to weld with back in the earlier days of mold making.
In reviewing the pictures in this old string on the subject, there was one with half round horizontal bars that had a half leaf the bars. A pinch of glass wouldn't look like that, if it was in the mold cavity for the final blow.
This next winter I hope to show several pictures of these forms in mu other bottles.
RED Matthews

06-22-2013, 06:23 PM
... but I haven't found two out of the same mold...

The chances of that will make hitting the PowerBall seem like a sure thing.

07-03-2013, 09:10 PM
At least fix the title :)
Amen that! Any consensus on what that should be?Is this good?

07-03-2013, 11:28 PM
works for me.

07-04-2013, 12:22 AM

09-20-2013, 12:31 PM
ive been meaning to post pictures of this example to this thread. this shows , at least to me exactly why we see these crescent imperfections in these bottles. it is clearly a mold pinch. this one just didn't get turned before the final blow.


09-20-2013, 12:39 PM
I seem to forgot how to post images from photobucket, sorryhttps://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z357/twowheelfan/misc/IMAG1402_zpsdcc555c3.jpg (https://s1185.photobucket.com/user/twowheelfan/media/misc/IMAG1402_zpsdcc555c3.jpg.html)https://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z357/twowheelfan/misc/IMAG1401_zps1f88f277.jpg (https://s1185.photobucket.com/user/twowheelfan/media/misc/IMAG1401_zps1f88f277.jpg.html)


09-20-2013, 01:12 PM
Exactly! Some of us have been trying to get this point across for awhile now. This shape will always naturally occur because the parison becomes globular in shape when expanded by air. The outer edge is curved while the inner side is straight from the mold's edge.

09-20-2013, 01:26 PM
dang they repaired that one right off the bottle :)

Where were you 2 years ago when we needed you.

09-20-2013, 01:32 PM
I tried to change this to something like "half leaf pinch mark" but a wise ass reverted it back, I don't feel like changing 8 pages of titles but if anyone want's to start a new thread, I'm good with that.

RED Matthews
09-20-2013, 02:41 PM
Well everyone, I have now got two bottles that show the mark and both of then have convinced me that the marks came from a pinch. The direction of this one posted by twowheelfan, is similar to one I have to feel was a laid down pinch.

It doesn't explain the clothe like texture inside the half leafs - but I don't feel there is a good explanation for that. So all I cans say is, the straight side looked like what we would get from the end of a vertical milling cutter or the edge of a round milling cutter.

I was am always studying the marks made on early hand made bottles. So it caused a lot of participation - good or bad. I am sorry about that. So it won't hurt to eliminate the thread. RED Matthews

09-20-2013, 02:42 PM
I forgot I had this bottle! I have had this bottle for a long time and never understood why there was confusion to why these crescents exist. I dug this bottle four or five years ago and since it has always been clear to me why, never even considered other options. im sorry I forgot I had it. should have posted it years ago. its not one I have on display so it was lost.

09-20-2013, 02:54 PM
It doesn't explain the clothe like texture inside the half leafs -Red, I'm not sure but I think it may have to do with the more rapid cooling there than the rest of the bottle. [8|][8|] I know in auto painting a good even temperature means a lot less sanding.

09-20-2013, 03:00 PM
My thought is the pattern you see on some of the pinched leaves is from thermal stress. The pinch has cooled very fast because the large iron mold mass has sucked the heat out of the low mass of the glass flap. In addition there may be some impression from the edge of the mold since that didn't need to be polished as much as the inside.

09-20-2013, 03:16 PM
I like this thread. a lot of interesting information here! and great images of bottle irregularities. a must read! don't delete!

09-20-2013, 04:57 PM
I have a few odd theories about bottle making that I don't think are widely accepted.
I will continue to research and argue them.
So don't give up Red , discussion is good.

RED Matthews
11-04-2013, 09:06 AM
Well all of you bottle people. I now have proven to myself that the half leaf mark is from a glass parison pinch that was created in the initial mold closing and then dropped into the mold on the second closing. The thing that gave me the initial feeling was the cloth like surface of the glass inside the half leaf form. This is common on the surfaces of casting weld repairs, where the carbon particles washed out by the hot glass. I am sorry and stand corrected. I will try to get the write up removed from the postijgs. RED Matthews

RED Matthews
11-06-2013, 07:48 PM
Well all of you; I am now convinced of the fact that these marks are from a pinch of glass from the parison being closed in the mold and dropped into the final blow mold, with the final blow picking up the product of a pinch. I really thought the cloth looking characteristic of the surface was from the washed out carbon from the weld made by the use of sticks of mold iron made by the mold iron foundries. We used to get these sticks from Kelley Foundry in Elkins,West VA.. They made them for us - using drinking straws for a patten and casting their #4 mold iron for the welding rods. This was changed to a welding rod I bought from the Universal Teifpunkt Company in Germany for welding in the mold cavities. We did that a few years and then went to the spray-welding of powder alloys to make the repairs. I had seen a lot of texture changes in the welding areas - that had me convinced the half leaf was the result of milling our a nick and welding it in. Now I have two samples that I am convinced are from picked up pinches. I have trouble with the samples I have seen where the pinch was deep in some mold cavity ribs - but I have to concede that the pinch kept the glass out of the ribs. So I plan on removing that section in my homepage and it would be nearly impossible to remove all of this flack from the years of kicking it around in the Forum. Sorry I took the stand when I did; but what was done is in the past now. RED Matthews

11-07-2013, 06:25 AM
Mr. Red, there's not a one of us in this bunch that hasn't made a mistake before. The real sign of true character is when an individual is man enough to admit his error. Precisely why pride is considered a sin, and humility a virtue.

RED Matthews
11-22-2013, 11:27 AM
Hello again. "Wow" is the only word for the complexity and extent of this thread. I sure rattled a lot of people - and all I can do is to be humbled by my concept exertion reasoning. It is a long spread of reaction showing how everyone's common sense can carry a mistake on in discussion. It is humbling - but it really was the correct reaction that everyone took. I am sorry for all the space the trip caused - but at least we have seen some good illustrations of bottles with the pinch still on the glass. I would love to have one of those example bottles, but at my old age of 84 - I need it like I need a hold in my head. My latest twist is to learn more about the glass bottles that were blown in thin steel jackets where the glass was puffed out on the bottle side walls - protruding out of triangular vertical triangular holes in the metal. When I get some pictures taken of the six or seven examples I have - maybe some one can tell me how it was done without having cracks in the glass.It still is the best hobby I could of had ( for over 76 years now!!! RED Matthews

RED Matthews
12-11-2013, 04:21 PM
Well I haven't studied the dates of these post - but I already ate crow and told everyone that I realized now that they are from a pinch off the parison caught in the initial mold closing. I even got to evaluate a good example. RED Matthews

12-12-2013, 05:01 AM
You still the man, Mr. Red! You're like the patriarch of this forum, and we all love you. Merry Christmas!

12-12-2013, 05:54 AM
I didn't grasp the concept for a long time, then I had a dream. I wish I could post the pictures that were in my head. In the meantime this is what I figured and was agreed with to some extant. "Ok, I had a dream last night and figured the possibility. The gather gets pinched in the mold, OK. Before the bower fills the mold it is unclamped and removed. OK, then it is spun with the small pinch that gets embedded in the glass. OK, Then, regardless of where or in what orientation it is blown as a bottle this occurs." FROM (https://www.antique-bottles.net/forum/Half-moon-repair-on-bottom-m355900.aspx) Half moon discussion. Maybe you know the post I made about the double eagle also? It took me forever to see the happening with that. I won't apologize for it and you shouldn't either for a minor nothing. I'll see if I can find the picture of the flask on this computer.