Cylindrical bottle and dish

Screwtop

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I found this bottle in the ruins of my 4th great uncles house in Pennsylvania. There were a bunch of bottle shards and pieces, and this was the only whole one. It is tall and thin, and blown in mold. I think it dates to the 1880s which is about the time my 4th Great uncle was murdered. I was wondering if this was a Worm Syrup bottle, an Opium bottle, or something else? It's about 4.5 inches tall.




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I'm not sure what to make of this dish. I found it on the banks of the Ohio river, and usually I'm able to narrow stuff down to a specific time period, but not this one. There are no markings anywhere. I think it might be a pudding dish, because its quite small. I found it along a stretch that was producing shards of early 1910s milks, and modern ACL sodas, so it could be from any of those time periods. What's confusing me is the purpling. I thought that by 1910 or so, the ingredient that made glass purple in the sun was obsolete? It's not strong enough of a purple to make me think that the color was intentional.
 

Csa

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The purple jar I think is the same style as other little reusable jars from 1910-1930 range. Was a recent post on them I will find. I’ve found a couple with similar color and lip.
 

Csa

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this is the post I was referring too. There were some jars called Giles jars that were similar to what many of us have found. I do recall seeing online one that looked like yours with the facets, but who knows.
 

CanadianBottles

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The first one could have been all sorts of different things, although it was almost certainly a med of one type or another. As Leon says it could absolutely have held some product which was laced with opiates, but it's definitely not an "opium bottle" in the sense of containing pure opium, because no such bottle has ever existed - opium is a thick tarry substance which you would never be able to get out of a bottle like that. The idea that thin cylindrical bottles had opium in them is just an old myth among bottle collectors. It would be hard to design any container more unsuitable for holding opium than a thin bottle like that. In reality opium came in cans.
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As for manganese glass, it was still in wide use at the outbreak of WWI, but it became difficult to source in North America due to the disruption of shipping routes during the war. I think its use probably continued in limited capacity for longer than collectors typically assume (there are few if any hard cut-offs in terms of bottle manufacturing dates) but for the most part it was replaced by selenium in the mid-1910s. That still gives you a half decade of widespread manganese use in your date range though, and probably some use here and there for a while after - there are purple deco soda bottles out there, for example, which I highly doubt predate WWI.
 

Screwtop

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The first one could have been all sorts of different things, although it was almost certainly a med of one type or another. As Leon says it could absolutely have held some product which was laced with opiates, but it's definitely not an "opium bottle" in the sense of containing pure opium, because no such bottle has ever existed - opium is a thick tarry substance which you would never be able to get out of a bottle like that. The idea that thin cylindrical bottles had opium in them is just an old myth among bottle collectors. It would be hard to design any container more unsuitable for holding opium than a thin bottle like that. In reality opium came in cans.
View attachment 229833


As for manganese glass, it was still in wide use at the outbreak of WWI, but it became difficult to source in North America due to the disruption of shipping routes during the war. I think its use probably continued in limited capacity for longer than collectors typically assume (there are few if any hard cut-offs in terms of bottle manufacturing dates) but for the most part it was replaced by selenium in the mid-1910s. That still gives you a half decade of widespread manganese use in your date range though, and probably some use here and there for a while after - there are purple deco soda bottles out there, for example, which I highly doubt predate WWI.




Well thank you! I never knew about the so called "opium" bottles. So sticky and tar-like, as heroin is? I always thought it was a powder.
 

CanadianBottles

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Well thank you! I never knew about the so called "opium" bottles. So sticky and tar-like, as heroin is? I always thought it was a powder.
I believe opium is a lot stickier and more tar-like than heroin (keep in mind I have no personal experience with either, so not 100% sure on that). Heroin is sometimes a powder, but opium is more along the lines of something like tree sap, since it's the sap from opium poppies before it goes through the processing that results in heroin or other opiates. As far as I know, it's almost impossible to find actual unprocessed opium anymore outside of somewhere like Afghanistan, so anything sold as opium today probably won't be comparable to the opium that was used in the 19th century before it became illegal and needed to be processed into forms which were easier to smuggle.
 

CanadianBottles

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Laudanum is an alcoholic tincture of opium which COULD be bottled in vials. However, I think the little Whitall & Tatum vial is a generic medicament bottle.

Here are some vials that I THINK were laudanum containers -- laudanum was dispensed drop-by-drop.

View attachment 229851
Those are beautiful bottles! I think laudanum is a lot more plausible than the pure opium which is typically referenced in regard to those little Chinese bottles. In your case it's hard to know for sure without finding a labeled one, but the colour suggests something dangerous and the contents would actually make sense for the bottle.
 

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