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Prohibition makes a very convenient dating transition point for liquor bottles which is not available for other types of bottles.
However, there were some machine-made liquor bottles and flasks that most definitely pre-date Prohibition.
It is an almost absolute fact that if an American made liquor bottle is mouth-blown it pre-dates National Prohibition.
It is largely true, though not nearly absolute, that if a liquor bottle is machine-made it dates from or after Prohibition.
Additional information and estimates are based on the empirical observations of the author over 50 years of experience; this is often but not always noted.
Various terminology is used in the descriptions that may be unfamiliar if you have not studied other pages on this site.
) during the early 1900s, it's primary intent was medicinal though undoubtedly many people who used this very popular product did not have self-medication in mind (American Medical Assoc. In addition, various straight liquors were thought to be therapeutic for various ills - gin for the kidneys, rum as a cure for bronchitis, and Rock and Rye for the symptoms of the common cold (Powers 1998).
- was bottled in a wide variety of bottle shapes and sizes ranging from small flasks that held a few ounces to demijohns and carboys that held gallons.There were, of course, various exceptions allowed under the law for "medicinal" products containing alcohol as well as sacramental wines (Okrent 2010).Although certain elements of the Volstead Act were loosed up (e.g., 3.2% beer was legal to sell again) beginning in April of 1933, repeal of the 18th Amendment came in December of 1933.(It should be noted that implementation of this requirement began in late 1934, so some bottles made that year will have the noted embossing.) This regulation was repealed in 1964 giving an effective dating tool of 1935 to the mid 1960s for this diagnostic feature (Munsey 1970).Be aware however that for some years after 1964 liquor could still be found in bottles with this embossing since not all liquor producers switched immediately to new bottles due to the expense of new molds or to deplete an existing supply of bottles (Ferraro 1966).
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Additional links to images of similar bottles are also frequently included.