Old Bottles

“FEDERAL LAW FORBIDS SALE OR RE-USE OF THIS BOTTLE”

 

I’ve come across a lot of bottles lately. All sorts of bottles but mostly liquor type bottle. Old beer Rainier beer bottles like this:

Old bottles. So many facts to learn about . . .

Old bottles. So many facts to learn about . . .

 

And then I found a very pretty sort of log cabinny bottle at a old person rummage sale. I say ‘old person’ because a local retirement home operation runs the sale. Come to think of it my kids call me an old person but I digress. Look at this bottle. Sorry for the lame ass picture. This is a way cool bottle with a cool shape, cap and I love the hunting scene pictured around the bottle. It’s just very different from the sorts of bottles that I usually see.  Read below from the website glassbottlemarks.com

Prohibition era bottle.

Prohibition era bottle.

This marking was required on all liquor bottles sold within the United States that were made between 1935 and 1964.  However, I believe some bottles that date up to the early 1970s have also been seen with this warning embossed on them.  Since hundreds or thousands of bottle molds would have been in active use circa 1964 when the phrase requirement was phased out, it would have been highly expensive, time-consuming and basically pointless to re-tool all the molds to “erase” the warning, thus it is certain that some bottles continued to carry the phrase for some time after 1964.

Nevertheless,  it is still a fairly safe bet that most bottles with this marking do indeed date from that 29-year period. Huge numbers of all types and shapes of “spirits” flasks & cylinder-shaped (fifth) bottles (bourbon & scotch whiskey, gin, vermouth, vodka, etc, etc) were marked with this phrase.

This was done in an effort to discourage the re-use of empty bottles for bottling and selling homemade (that is, unregulated)  distilled liquor (“moonshine”),  the sale of which had became very common and widespread during the Prohibition era.

Many of these are ordinary “generic” glass bottles with nothing particularly unusual about them.   However, many of the bottles of this period are beautifully designed, with unusual and artistic shapes, designs, and raised graphics employed.  (Especially during the early part of the period) some of the bottles exhibit, to some degree, an “Art Deco” influence.   Many of them were especially designed to be saved and re-used as decanters or rather elaborately designed decorative bottles or vases. This was often done as a marketing campaign to promote the sale of alcoholic beverages.

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