A brown glass bottle that looks vintage or antique from afar may not be as old as you think.
Bottles made by a combination of mold and hand-blowing replaced much of the purely hand-blown bottle crafting in the early 19th century.
Some small glass-blowing shops still blow bottles by hand as novelty or decorative products, but the glass is most likely much thinner than old glass and shows no discoloration.
Cobalt blue is a color often used in these types of bottles, dating from the 1870s through the 1930s.
Many poison bottles from the late 1800s through the early 1900s feature a quilted or spiked pattern and, sometimes, included the word "poison." Study bottles with embossing; for example, beer bottles made before 1900 usually have the words "porter" or "ale" on them, while bitters bottles were embossed with more elaborate designs and the word "bitters." Most bottles made prior to the 1950s feature embossed lettering.
Glass bottles produced in early America date back to the 1700s.
Antique bottles come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.
The value of historic bottles is escalating, sometimes garnering hundreds, even thousands of dollars each.
The key is knowing how to identify whether or not a bottle is old or a modern reproduction.
Embossed brand names, letters, logos or shapes offer major clues as to the bottle's original purpose, maker and age.
Bottles made before the Civil War typically did not have embossed details, as the technology to create embossing was uncommon.
Before molds were used to create a more uniform bottle, glass bottles were made entirely by hand by a skilled tradesman blowing air into a blob of hot glass attached to the end of a long pipe.