View Full Version : Best Bottle Book

08-05-2009, 01:53 AM
What is the best bottle book out there? The one I have is just kinda general and just shows the most rare bottles or most common and not much in between and it doesnt go past bottles made after 1900 for the most part. So is there a book that has like every bottle ever made in it and will show you when they were made. I know there isnt one that will show every bottle but is there one that comes close to that?

08-05-2009, 02:39 PM
In my humble opinion, it's better to pick up books that focus on one category.

For bitters, the best book hands down is "Bitters Bottles" by Carolyn Ring and Bill Hamm, http://www.bittersbottles.net/

For food, sauces, etc., Betty Zumwalts, "Ketchup Pickles Sauces 19th Century Food in Glass"

There are many others, check out this web page:

08-05-2009, 07:24 PM
The fabulous world of bottle books is amazing. The bottle hobby is so diverse one book can not do the job. Books that cover a specific bottle type are much more useful then most of the all and one books. Many local specialty books are invaluable.

In my opinion 99% of all bottle price guides have high prices when they are printed. To get a good idea of value you must have a basic understanding of the item and multiple sources of reported value.

The closest thing to the type book you are looking of is the Kovel’s bottle book. You will be able to look up more bottles then any other source. I recommend the last 5 edition. There prices are generally high but it is a reference point. New collectors often find the book frustrating. Don’t give up on it, it’s the best chance you have to find a reference.

Hugh Cleveland Bottle Pricing Guide is a good book for common bottles. They seem to have most of the common stuff so if your bottle in not in there book there might be a chance to some rarity.

The rest of the all in one books seem to have less listings and more pictures. There bottles are generally on the rare pricey side. Great for making a wish list but not very helpful in looking up most bottles you will see.

The are some great specialty books. "Bitters Bottles" by Carolyn Ring and Bill Hamm is on my wish list but the $200 keeps it on the wish list.[/b]

Jim Holst Liniment Bottles
His pontil medicine bottle book is great too.

Red book 10 Fruit jars. This is probably the best specialty book every made for any bottle type. It lists every known example and the prices are more accurate then any other price guide.

Helen McKearin American Bottle & Flasks
Not a price guide but a must have if you want to know more about old Flask.

Julian H. Toulouse Bottle Makers and Their Marks [/b]
Not a price guide but the information is amazing. The history is top notch.

Glass Milk Bottles Their Makers and Marks Jeffrey L. Giarde
Not a price guide but great source for Milk bottle Makers.

Bottle Identification H. E. Putnam
Not a price guide but good general identification. This is an old catalog reprint.

Coke Bottle Check List Bill Porter. No prices but a rarity scale for hobble skirt cokes.

The Toadstool Millionaires James Young
No prices but great history on medicine sold in the US in the 1800’s.

There are many other books to be had. I think all bottle books are worth owning, if you have space to store them and the cash to buy them. The internet is a valuable tool not to be underestimated.

RED Matthews
08-05-2009, 07:30 PM
photolitherland Hello and I appreciate your question. There just isn't one book that covers everything. In fact I have about 50 books in my library and there are still things I can not find out about. I have a book list in my homepage and when I get back to Florida I plan on developing it some more. I do have some of my favorites listed though, and I expect to add some more and include more information about them.
My problem with books written is that there is little help to explain the details of manufacturing methods and tricks. They were kept secret to assure job security and they were kept in the bottle makers shop members group. There some books with a lot of good information though: Reah Mansfield Knittle's book "EARLY AMERICAN GLASS" answered a question it took me 55 years to find the answer of a question I presented at a meeting.

#1 ANTIQUE GLASS BOTTLES Their History and Evolution (1500-1850)
By Willy Van den Bossche - My favorite because it is the most complete and informative book on old glass production that there is available to us. #2 EARLY AMERICAN GLASS
By Rhea Mansfield Knittle 1927 - My second favorite book because it answered a 50+ year old question I had. #3 The Illustrated Guide to COLLECTING BOTTLES
By Cecil Munsey 1970 - My third favorite book because it is just fantastic in providing information on old glass production. #4 THE MOUTH BLOWN BOTTLE
By Grace Kendrick - This lady’s books are great because she got to know bottle making and really got into learning how-to-do-it. #5 THE ANTIQUE BOTTLE COLLECTOR
By Grace Kendrick
These are the books that I give a lot of credit to for answering some of the details of making bottles. #1 thru 4 are a must read group for anyone that wants to collect and understand early bottle making.
RED Matthews

08-05-2009, 09:27 PM
Alot of good books are mentioned and the others are correct, no one book is even close to covering all bottles. There are tens of thousands of different bottles before 1900 let alone after that..

I didn't see Matt's Knapp's book mentioned, it is a great resource on medicine bottles even commons.

Any of Odell's books are good especially the pontil medicine encyclopedia.

As far as pricing The auction price report by Jim Mitchell is second to none.

Ed & Lucy Faulkner recently published an ink book. I haven't purchased a copy yet but have borrowed a friends and it is one of the best books in the hobby.

Kovel's guides are a waste of time, prices are all over the place and details are mixed up or ommitted. Save your money!

08-05-2009, 11:54 PM
Thanks for all the info, the only book I have right now is Antique Trader, Bottles Identification and Price Guide, 6th edition. Its good for just overall knowledge I think but not too god for finding out any info on specific bottles you find. Most of the bottles around where I live dont date much past 1880 and most I find are from 1900-1930 so I really need a book that covers those year ranges. I think Ill check out that book, 1500-1850, that seems like it would be an interesting guide though.

08-06-2009, 12:02 AM
What is the best bottle book out there? The one I have is just kinda general and just shows the most rare bottles or most common and not much in between and it doesnt go past bottles made after 1900 for the most part. So is there a book that has like every bottle ever made in it and will show you when they were made. I know there isnt one that will show every bottle but is there one that comes close to that?

Tough request.
What you are describing is a bottle reference library, not one book.
You can spend decades accumulating references and still not have all bottles covered.
Some books are fairly rare and expensive.
There were simply too many different bottles made. I specialize in medicines and I have documented over 7300 different ones. I wouldnt be surprised if this is only 1/2 of (or less) what is out there. New unlisted bottles show up all the time.

My recommedation is stay away from bottles that try to cover multiple bottle catagories in a single volume. If there is a certain catagory you like, your task is easier of you specialize.
I would agree with Doug that Odells books are some of the best wide spectrum books out there with nice photos but they mostly cover high end bottles.
You wont like my Medicine CDROM if you want photos.
Books for 20th century bottles are going to cover catagories like coke,miliks, avon,Jim Beam, etc...

08-06-2009, 12:10 AM
I say if you want info on a bottle, post it here.. we are the culmination of all the bottle knowledge available.. if we don't know, nobody does.. IMHO

08-10-2009, 04:45 PM
Here are some online bottle links.

http://www.beerhistory.com/links/ beer history links
http://www.blm.gov/historic_bottles/index.htm blm
http://www.antiquebottles.com/ bots
http://www.antiquebottles.com/classify.html bottle class. L*
http://www.gono.com/museum2003/museum.htm bottle museum L*
http://carnivalglass101.carnivalheaven.com/index.htm carrnival glass
http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/coboltmoon_W0QQ_nkwZQQ_armrsZ1QQ_fromZQQ_ipgZ25 Bottles for sale all types of antique bottles[/b]
http://www.fohbc.com/ collecting
http://myinsulators.com/glass-factories/bottlemarks2.html company trade mar L*
http://www.bottlebooks.com/Default.htm digger odell
http://alamo.nmsu.edu/~lockhart/EPSodas/index.html el paso bottles
http://www.fohbc.com/FOHBC_FAQ.html federation of bottle col
http://www.antiquebottles.com/rl/ for sale
http://www.gotmilkbottles.com/page14.html for sale
http://webpages.charter.net/blindsey8952/index.htm high desert bottles
http://www.antiquebottles.com/poch/index.html illinois bott L*
http://www.myinsulators.com/acw/index.html insulators
http://www.insulatoremporium.com/Books/cpm.cfm insulators
http://www.insulators.com/ insulators
http://jardoctor.com/links.htm jar doctors links
http://www.dayala.co.uk/bottles/links.htm links
http://www.bottlemagazine.com/ magazine
http://myinsulators.com/glass-factories/bottlemarks.html markings
http://www.angelfire.com/pop2/collectorscorner/USA_bottle_marks.html marks
http://www.angelfire.com/tn/traderz/marks.html marks
http://www.mattsoldhouse.com/MC/bottles/bottles.htm matts collectables
http://www.cr.nps.gov/mwac/bottle_glass/index.html (http://www.cr.nps.gov/mwac/bottle_glass/index.html) midwest nps
http://www.bottlebooks.com/privyinf.htm (http://www.bottlebooks.com/privyinf.htm) privy digging
http://www.ipass.net/rlynch/bottles/medicine.html reggies
http://www.glswrk-auction.com/index.htm (http://www.glswrk-auction.com/index.htm) antique bot magazine
http://sdjones.net/FolkArt/santafe.html folk art
http://members.cox.net/chosi/bottles/arlbot/arlbot.htm (http://members.cox.net/chosi/bottles/arlbot/arlbot.htm) collector page http://www.users.bigpond.com/oz-riley/forsale.HTML#fruitjars AUSSI bot diggers
http://www.bottlebooks.com/hires.htm bottle books
http://www.americanglassexchange.com/main/ItemDetails.aspx?ItemId=886 bottle exchange

08-11-2009, 12:13 PM
Joseph Baldwin's book "Patent and Proprietary Medicine Bottles" has always been one of the most informative books on medicines I've ever had. It's old (1970's) and has drawings instead of photos and is not a price guide; however, it's the book to check before calling a medicine bottle "unlisted".