I contacted Bill Lockhart (of the Bottle Research Group / B.R.G.) regarding the 1894 "F.H. Finley & Son" bottle and exchanged several emails with him. Among other things, Bill said more research will likely have to be done before a full confirmation can be established on the date. However, in his last reply to me, Bill wrote ...
I am pretty sure that 1894 IS a date of manufacture.
As you mentioned, it certainly fits with the time period for that address.
I also can't think of another reason to use that date.
This applied crown soda bottle is embossed on the bottom " Z C " am wondering if it stands for Zanesville City Glass Works?
The c.u. of the neck shows the gripping tool scars - bottom right corner
Thanks for the pic. Actually, I'm thinking the bottle is of European origin because of the applied finish (lip) and especially because of the "slop over" glass below the base of the lip. I'll look around and see if I can find anything to explain the Z C
Wow! Quite a story, I am fairly new to the forum and this is the first I have seen of this thread. I read all 20 pages and it was very interesting. Now I will look at my early crowns in a new fashion, that is looking for suction rings, vent or breather holes, variations in lip design etc. I have that same Ackerman bottle that sodabob has plus another variation. I think I'll do my next write up or thread for the Ackerman Soda Water Co.
Wow! Has it really been ten years - how time flies - this was one of my very first post. I see it currently has approximately 13,000 views. As far as I know, the 1894 F.H. Finley & Son is still the earliest known Crown. Maybe a newbie or someone will come up with an earlier example. I'm still a little confused about the Oscar Fluker bottles mentioned earlier - perhaps something has developed to clarify them. Its been a long time since I looked for anything to add to this discussion, but if I do find something I will be back and share it.
This article that Bill Lockhart and I published Online about a year ago might also be of interest to some newbies ...