The Iron Pontil

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jwpevahouse

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When was this introduced into the manufacturing process?
Early US bottle collectors developed their own terminology and theories about Victorian bottle making techniques. After 50 years they haven't changed much and were mostly guesses. The "punky" mark became the pontil, a word not found in any English dictionary. It was definitely created when the iron punty rod was attached to the base of bottle with a glob of molten glass. Anything beyond that is pure speculation as to what made the surface of the mark left when the rod was removed. My theory, just a theory, is all "pontil" marks before 1860-70 started as rough broken glass adhering to the bottom subsequently removed by grinding and polishing to produce what we now see and call "an iron pontil", mostly just some residue form a stone grinding wheel which contained iron oxide. The punty rod method is still used in producing hand made glass but the rough glass residue is either left of polished off.
 

saratogadriver

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Odcdly enough i'm not aware of any material nailing down a definite date range for the iron pontil. I don't think I've ever seen one that could be confirmed as older than 1840s and any after 1870 are going to be pretty rare. Stoddard made pretty heavy use of the iron pontil and the first glass house there appears to have opened in 1842.

Jim G
 

Vinewood

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Click the link below for a massive amount of information on pontil types.
======== ========
Note that "ground" pontils do exist, but are almost always ground, then POLISHED completely smooth and shiny. You can see evidence of them on cut glass decanters, back bar bottles, a very few perfume bottles etc.
These are nothing like iron pontiled bottles that have lost the iron residue from being buried in the ground.
Here are examples of ground and polished pontiled bottles from ebay:
 
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Sodasandbeers

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Improved pontil base (IP), circ: 1844-1860

This base type is distinguished by a gray metallic residue on the base of the bottle. This is also known as an iron pontil or graphite pontil due to the coloration of the residue. The amount of residue can very greatly and is many times worn off. However, scarring will usually remain on the base, which can be felt as a sharp indentation into the base.

SodasAndBeers.com
 

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INK

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For an in depth info on pontils check the "HISTORIC BOTTLE" website
 

falls

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Always wanted one of those yellow Dyottville whiskeys.
 

jwpevahouse

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Dyott was an interesting guy:

Looks like he kind of 'fell' into the bottle glass business.
I've wanted one of those whiskeys too, falls. :)
The Dyottville Glass works was prolific, Many of my pre 1860 sodas were made there. They are often marked with the glass works.
However, I think Dr Dyott only operated the works during it's earliest period.
 

jwpevahouse

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Improved pontil base (IP), circ: 1844-1860

This base type is distinguished by a gray metallic residue on the base of the bottle. This is also known as an iron pontil or graphite pontil due to the coloration of the residue. The amount of residue can very greatly and is many times worn off. However, scarring will usually remain on the base, which can be felt as a sharp indentation into the base.

SodasAndBeers.com
A close look at that type of pontil shows a circular pattern which could have been formed by a grinding motion. I've argued this point many times. Untortunately that kind of manufacutring detail was not recorded so we have no detailed descriptions by glass workers of how or why. Apparently, it was not as important to glass blowers as to bottle collectors. And I still wonder why it maintains such significant to bottle collectors. I don't have one bottle on my shelf placed to display the bottom. How about color and shape guys?
 

jwpevahouse

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Always wanted one of those yellow Dyottville whiskeys.
At a local flea market a lady had a box of bottles which look to have been found at a construction site. Included was a pontil black glass whiskey embossed on the bottom "Dyottville Glass Works Phila." I paid 5.00 for the box which included about 8 or 10 bottles. The whiskey is a real beauty, all the bells and whistles.
 

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