Owl Drug Bottle Info Help

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dfehring8

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Hello all!
I am looking for any information on this particular Owl Drug Co. bottle. It is roughly 3.5” tall, two winged, owl with trademark on one side, The Owl Drug Co. script on the other.
This bottle was hiding wrapped up inside some nesting baskets I purchased in an online auction, so I have no idea where it came from. This is the first bottle I’ve ever “collected” so I have a lot to learn. If anyone has any insight they would be willing to share, I would really appreciate it!!
 

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willong

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If anyone has any insight they would be willing to share, I would really appreciate it!!
Welcome to the site and the hobby.

You did almost everything right with your description and photos!

There appear to be annular striations on the glass in the lip area--the one additional photo that would help determine era of manufacture would include detail of the mold seam marks, which I presume end about 3/4 inch or so below the lip finish if I am, in fact, seeing marks left by a lip finishing tool. If the mold seams are wipe away as I describe, then your bottle was blow-in-mold (BIM) by a glass blower (human, not machine) with the final finishing of the lip formed with a handheld tool, which was inserted into the hot glass of the bottle opening, after the blowpipe was sheared away, and rotated to "finish" the bottle. Such a handmade bottle would have been produced at the turn of the twentieth century, roughly 1900.

See reference: https://sha.org/bottle/finishes.htm#Molded & Tooled finish
 
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willong

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Mold seams often show up better in photographs of colored-glass bottles.

1677729862255.png


Note the seam mark ascending from shoulder of the bottle where it is visible on the right-hand side of the image, and notice too how it terminates before reaching the lip.

Photo was originally posted by forum member TheArchitect who collects Owl Drug Company bottles.
 

dfehring8

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Mold seams often show up better in photographs of colored-glass bottles.

View attachment 244180

Note the seam mark ascending from shoulder of the bottle where it is visible on the right-hand side of the image, and notice too how it terminates before reaching the lip.

Photo was originally posted by forum member TheArchitect who collects Owl Drug Company bottles.
Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with me! Photographs of clear glass are proving to be quite tricky:) Do these help at all?
 

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hemihampton

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Doesn't look ABM, So it's older. Pre 1910 probably? Seems like alot of people like collecting Owl Bottles so any Owl is desirable. Nice find. Congrats. LEON.

Pic of my only Owl.
owl.JPG
 

willong

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Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with me! Photographs of clear glass are proving to be quite tricky:) Do these help at all?
You're welcome dfehring8! (If you"ll excuse my curiosity, is there an astronomy or jewelry connotation to your user name?)

Nice job! Those two photos definitely help--they confirm what I thought I saw among your first batch of photos.

The first photo more clearly defines the striations that the lip-finishing tool left in the glass.
The second photo makes evident that the body of the mold was split diagonally. The joints of bottle-forming molds leave their trace in the glass whether a bottle is blown in the mold by a human glassblower or formed by a machine. The manner in which that seam mark terminates in an area that appears wiped or rubbed out is the distinguishing feature.

Your Owl Drug bottle was handmade.

Now, compare the termination point of the seam mark on your bottle to that pictured on the blue example from TheArchitect collection. Notice how much farther up the neck of the bottle the mark ends on the blue one? I've seen writers contend that lower termination of the mold mark indicates older production. Personally, I don't think that is necessarily true--the bottle manufacturer might simply have had a variety of lip finishing tools in their shop from different suppliers. An exception is a bottle that which mouth blown--collectors use acronym BIM to designate Blown In Mold--during the waning years of hand production before automatic bottle machines (ABM) were adopted. Some of the late molds formed the lip of the bottle as well as the body and neck. Mold seam marks on such bottles are only wiped away by the finishing tool at the very mouth and down as little as 1/8-inch of the lip itself (none of the neck area).

By introducing the first commercially successful and fully automatic glass-forming machine in 1903, Michael Owens revolutionized glass bottle production. As noted in the article I am linking, the machine "...had become a 30-ton colossus with 10,000 parts..." by 1920, but it "...produced more bottles in an hour than a team of human glassblowers could produce in a day."

Introduction of ABM's does not mean all hand production ceased after 1903, though the machines were quickly adopted by North American producers. Given the variety and volume of product sold under the Owl Drug name, I think it is a fair bet that their manufacturers were early adopters of the technology.

Your bottle was most likely made between 1890 and 1910, and I am persuaded that it was closer to the the former figure.

For the curious, especially those new to this hobby, I highly recommend the brief (six-paragraphs) but informative article at the Corning Museum of Glass:

The Fabulous Monster: Owens Bottle Machine​

 

willong

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Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with me! Photographs of clear glass are proving to be quite tricky:) Do these help at all?
I've added another link to a Corning Museum of Glass website* article. It's another brief but informative piece describing conditions, and explaining innovations, when glass bottle making was on the cusp of revolutionizing methods after 2000 years of blowing air by mouth into a gather of molten glass on the end of an iron pipe.


* I still consider SHA's "Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website" the best single resource for identifying the type and age of an antique bottle. However, it is an epic tome and can be ponderous to navigate, especially for someone newly intrigued by the topic.

 

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