View Full Version : tinted bottles

03-27-2013, 07:31 PM
Hello all, I just joined up and love the fourm, I have been around old bottles for some 45 years, having dug with my dad, and caught the bug in the 1970's, I like the sun tinted bottles, and have many in my collection, many people say its wrong to tint a bottle, that it distracts from it being true. My Dad had a tree he would put clear bottles on and in a few years they would turn, he also placed tin foil on roof and placed bottles there. My question to the fourm is my Dad built this box out of cardboard and lined it with tin foil, he had a light inside that I dont remember what kind it was? not sure what he used for a bulb?, it tinted clear bottles very fast. My Dad has passed away and I would like to try this again, to honor his memory, I would place a few at his grave site, Do any of you know anything of this method? I have searched the net with no luck. I also always wondered just how old the bottle has to be to tint, it seems that I have some as late as the 1930's that have tinted?. sorry for the long winded ramble, and many thanks for letting me join fourm.

03-27-2013, 07:59 PM
Hi Tom, with the cost of power now it's not worth it and a UV light really doesn't shorten the time that much if at all. Personally I think that was a myth. The years or months in the tree or on a hot tin roof is better. It depends where you live though for the time it takes. At one time it was called dessert glass and that would take years of exposure.
Most glass will reach a threshold from normal UV, the ugly dark comes from the artificial methods.

03-28-2013, 02:01 PM
Hi Tom. I could write a long post on this subject, as is my usual style, but I will try to keep it short. The following is meant to be my opinion, not fact.

I used to have a "Coloring Box" and I assure you it works. I have colored 100s of bottles. I've also colored many bottles on the roof and elsewhere as you described. The lamps inside the box are Ultra-Violet (UV) or Germicidal. These UV rays are natural sunlight in a made form. That ray will react with the Manganese, used as a de-colorizer, in glass to give it an Amethyst (some call it purple) color from a "Tint" to rather dark or dense. You'll also hear it termed SCA for Sun Colored Amethyst. The Germicidal lights / lamps come it either fluorescent or incandescent forms of different wattage and configuration (shape). Myself and many others consider this light source as "Natural" and acceptable in coloring glass. I have picked naturally colored bottles from the desert sand. I've picked bottles that were partially buried and were 1/2 light SCA and 1/2 darker SCA. The only thing UV light sources do is bombarding the glass with stronger rays than natural sunlight produces thus speeding the process some.

The "Fake" purples come from exposure to Gamma radiation or other forms of "unnatural" light. These rays are used as powerful decontamination or sterilization purposes. They work similar to UV but much faster, shorter exposure. This to me and most true collectors is artificial and therefor "Fake".

One must decide for themselves whether or not UV colored glass is acceptable or not. I personally have no problem with it but WILL NOT have glass that has been altered by unnatural sources, i.e. Gamma radiation, staining, heating, etc.

Believe it or not, this is short for me. Jim

RED Matthews
03-28-2013, 03:52 PM
Hello all, This is a nice descriptive thread on an old subject. I first learned of this back in the late 50's when I made a trip to California and saw a lot of bottles on shed roofs back on homes along the roads. I asked at a fruit stand that had some out on their roof and got my first description of what was happening to the glass.

The WW2 stopped the shipments of the manganese from Germany and made the glass industry use other corrective chemicals in their glass batch mix.

It is another of those choices collectors have to play with. I don't appreciate some of the newer changes though, They aren't natures choice.
RED Matthews

03-28-2013, 08:07 PM
thank you all, and Jim you hit my question a special thanks, I remember my Dad pulling the bottles out of his box all pretty pink, not that very dark fake purple, I have bottles that have been in window sills some 40 years, they have turned but no wheres near that shade of purple, I will have to build a box and give it a try, I will also be building a bottle tree, I recall back in the day when bottles could be found every where, and we dug so many of the common ones, many got left as we were looking for those special ones, well maybe its time to revist those dumps and retrive those common ones, they would look great on my tree.