Suction mark visible from Owens machineryDAMN YOU, GLASS DATING!

I clearly saw an Owens scar. This was not from 1895.

What is an Owens scar, you ask?

Until about 1900, glass bottles were handmade, whole or in part. Then in 1903, the Owens Automatic Bottle Machine was patented, fully automating production. The machines left a suction mark known as an "Owens scar."

That meant this bottle couldn't predate 1903 -- really, more like 1905, as it took a while for the Owens technology to reach wide circulation.

But that wasn't the only secret the glass revealed. A number of Pre-Pro glass manufacturers used a little diamond as a makers mark, like the one on the bottom of this bottle. The biggest manufacturer with a diamond was the Illinois Glass Company -- and IGC didn't use Owens machines until 1911. So, that meant this couldn't have been bottled before then -- but only if this was an IGC bottle. How could I confirm that?

Inside the diamond was "25." That could be a mould number. I searched the excellent Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website, and amazingly found an IGC catalog from 1920. Flipping to the whiskey section, I found Mould No. 25, and --


Bingo! That had to be a match. Now I knew for certain that the bottle wasn't made before 1911. And, I also had a reliable not-bottled-after date: 1929, the year IGC stopped using that mark.

So even though this wasn't bottled in 1895, it was still seeming like some pretty cool stuff!


Continue to page 3: And now for some things that make no sense.



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