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How old is this bottle please

Mailmama

Member
Aug 5, 2020
5
3
Nashville TN
One of many finds on our farm since it's a Revolutionary Land Grant property. I found it in the cellar of our log house which was built about 1807. Any ideas at all? It is a light greenish color I think under the brown crud inside! I'm not sure how to clean it as I don't want to damage glass. Any suggestions? You can see the pontil mark, and a side seam. The glass has air bubbles and what looks to be pitting texture. The top is slightly lopped sided and glass has twist marks below it. Thanks for any ideas of dates!
 

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sandchip

Well-Known Member
Sep 1, 2008
5,092
113
Georgia
I can't add much to Leon's comment, but that's a great find. That's just the kind of stuff you want to be finding. Also check the attic, crawlspace, every nook and cranny that you can think of. As far as cleaning, I'd probably start with a Q-tip dipped in different solvents until I figured out what would cut whatever is inside. Start with soapy water, alcohol, lighter fluid or mineral spirits, lacquer thinner, acetone (nail polish remover), etc., and even muriatic acid. No dishwasher! Once you find what cuts the crud, fill it with that solvent and let it soak for a few days. Pour out all but about an inch and a half, add about an inch of coarse sand, thumb over the top and shake ever which way until it's clean. Be patient and be careful! Hopefully, the milder solvents will do the trick, but who knows what the stuff is? I've seen old bottles filled with varnish. If you've never worked with some of the solvents I mentioned, I'd just leave it as is. Clean or not, it's a great oldie.

Beautiful view from the porch!
 

Mailmama

Member
Aug 5, 2020
5
3
Nashville TN
Thank you everyone for all the info/suggestions! When we remodeled many years ago, lots of medicinal (?!) bottles were found stashed in the walls! I love that I found a group that has answers to our questions of dates/uses! Looking forward to more!
 

Mailmama

Member
Aug 5, 2020
5
3
Nashville TN
I'd guess 1840's-1850's. If your house is that old I'd be looking for all the Privy's where all the good old Bottles are Buried. Good Luck. LEON.

P.S. Welcome to the site.
Thanks for the welcome! Looks to us like they loved to use bottles to stuff in the log chinking! We know where the main privy was due to the rich dirt in this area! Plus lots of broken pottery/china pieces. Will be posting more photos of the old bottles later. Thanks!
 

embe

Well-Known Member
Jul 14, 2019
416
43
I can't add much to Leon's comment, but that's a great find. That's just the kind of stuff you want to be finding. Also check the attic, crawlspace, every nook and cranny that you can think of. As far as cleaning, I'd probably start with a Q-tip dipped in different solvents until I figured out what would cut whatever is inside. Start with soapy water, alcohol, lighter fluid or mineral spirits, lacquer thinner, acetone (nail polish remover), etc., and even muriatic acid. No dishwasher! Once you find what cuts the crud, fill it with that solvent and let it soak for a few days. Pour out all but about an inch and a half, add about an inch of coarse sand, thumb over the top and shake ever which way until it's clean. Be patient and be careful! Hopefully, the milder solvents will do the trick, but who knows what the stuff is? I've seen old bottles filled with varnish. If you've never worked with some of the solvents I mentioned, I'd just leave it as is. Clean or not, it's a great oldie.

Beautiful view from the porch!
If I can add a word of caution, just be careful that any chemical you try cleaning doesn't get mixed with residue it shouldn't be mixed with (bleach with ammonia, comes to mind).

Muriatic acid is no picnic either so I agree with sandchip, just be careful and within your comfort level if you do decide to clean.

Nice bottle, sorry if I sound like an assumptive "negative nancy". :)
 

GLASSHOPPER55

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2015
562
28
LaPorte County, Indiana
I can't add much to Leon's comment, but that's a great find. That's just the kind of stuff you want to be finding. Also check the attic, crawlspace, every nook and cranny that you can think of. As far as cleaning, I'd probably start with a Q-tip dipped in different solvents until I figured out what would cut whatever is inside. Start with soapy water, alcohol, lighter fluid or mineral spirits, lacquer thinner, acetone (nail polish remover), etc., and even muriatic acid. No dishwasher! Once you find what cuts the crud, fill it with that solvent and let it soak for a few days. Pour out all but about an inch and a half, add about an inch of coarse sand, thumb over the top and shake ever which way until it's clean. Be patient and be careful! Hopefully, the milder solvents will do the trick, but who knows what the stuff is? I've seen old bottles filled with varnish. If you've never worked with some of the solvents I mentioned, I'd just leave it as is. Clean or not, it's a great oldie.

Beautiful view from the porch!
Muriatic is nasty and not very effective. Pour a mix of draino/lye/water inside for a day and it'll rinse out clean. Then save the mix because, though it'll look dirty, it can be used over and over.
 

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