View Full Version : Question Regarding Slug Plate Imprints

01-14-2012, 10:39 PM
Just picked up a nice pontiled soda from the 1850s and noticed something weird. Since I am new to collection, any help would be appreciated.

We all expect that embossed letters from a slug plate are raised (we run our fingers across the bottle--we can feel the letters). The slug plate, on the other hand, is often depressed (an imprint) into the glass. I have come to count on this as being somewhat normal in my limited experience.
Well, the new bottle not only has the raised embossed letters, but the slug plate imprint is also sticking out (rather than being an imprint). Is this normal?

Is this a normal variation?

01-14-2012, 10:57 PM
Hey MF,
I don't know how often you see slug plates on those early bottles. I found a bottle just like the one you mentioned a year or two ago. It wasn't a slug plate but rather a decorative ring around the embossing. How about posting a picture?

01-14-2012, 11:01 PM
Yes that happens once in a while, when the slug plate is not fitted properly there can be changes in latitudes.. [:)]

..I meant altitudes.. [&:]

01-14-2012, 11:04 PM
Thanks for the response.
I'll def take a picture tomorrow when I got off work (10am pacific time). Have to get some ZZZzzzzzzs.

The bottle is a Chase & Co. San Francisco (1850-60 range, if I remember correctly).
I have two. One has the normal imprinted slug plate area, which surrounds the embossed lettering. Weird.
My Lynde and Putnam has a slug plate, I think, too. Both imprinted not sticking out. Strange, I say. BUT I'm new to this hobby.
Will post pics tomorrow morning. ;)

RED Matthews
01-14-2012, 11:55 PM
Hello mf 150 and others, Through my years of collecting and then ending up working in the Central Mold Shop at Thatcher Glass, I have seen a lot of different shapes and sizes. Most are round, oval, square and rectangular. There are a lot of special shapes but they get expensive to make. Embossing around the slug plate isn't too difficult. A mold shop develops a collection of tooling for a lathe that will take the shape and turn the body diameters to match the mold diameter it is to fit into. They have to machine the mold out to take the shape. The back of the mold has to be machined to take a bolts of the right size to hold them in. There has to be punch holes or screw holes with screws to push the slug plate out for changing them.

They were used for many years. I think it would scan a good hundred and thirty years. Mainly for round milks and sodas of standard used sizes. They even used plain empty ones when the order was for a specific shape without the need for embossing.

After around 1860 when the mold cavities were chilled to the dendritic graphite, the plate thickness was about a half-inch to provide the right mold cavity temperature balance, so the bottle surface would have a similar glass surface appearance, both side of the slug border seam.. On older bottles I have seen the surfaces in the slug plate very different. I even have one here on my desk where the surface of the slug plate (plain area) seems to have a mildly stippled surface.

I just thought some discussion might be of interest. RED Matthews

01-15-2012, 06:33 PM
SOme long awaited pictures.

A pic of an "innie" slug plate


01-15-2012, 06:34 PM
Another "innie"


01-15-2012, 06:35 PM
yet another "innie"


01-15-2012, 06:37 PM
Okay, the following pictures are of my bottle with the "outie"


01-15-2012, 06:38 PM
another shot


01-15-2012, 06:39 PM
another clearer shot


01-15-2012, 06:40 PM
This one shows how the slug plate section is actually elevated.


01-15-2012, 06:41 PM
more of the same bottle


01-15-2012, 06:46 PM
looks like a pretty typical early slugplate. It just set a bit low in the mold wall. The blank stock might have been too thin.

01-15-2012, 08:18 PM
yup, what Matt said... a slug plate was after all that, a plate that fit into the mold. It didnt always fit perfectly or smoothly with the inner wall of the mold. The reason they made slug plates was so that the same mold could be used for many different customers, making it cheaper and more efficient to offer embossed bottles to customers...