Estimating the Age of a Bottle

Estimating the age of a bottle can seem confusing. First understand that the manufacturing process changed over time and often overlapped. Different tops, seam marks and characteristics can all be used to guide the collector to correctly aging the bottle. For example if a bottle has a mold seam mark and applied blob top its from the late 1800ís if it has a machine made crown top it could only date back to early 1900ís. The mold seam on the side of the bottle is a key factor to estimate the age. Think of it as a thermometer. If the seem stops before reaching the lip, then the bottle is (Blown In Mold) BIM, and has an applied top, and can date to the late 1800ís. If the seam runs through the top of the lip, then the bottle was manufactured in a full height mold in an Automatic Bottle Machine (ABM) and dates to after 1903. Do not worry about remembering all of the details. I have listed and illustrated many of the most common characteristics with a corresponding time line for easy reference. You should however familiarize yourself with the most common types of bottles and bottle characteristics. For example, when Iím underwater exploring a submerged dumping ground or harbor I often encounter hundreds of bottles on a single dive. Most of these are modern but mixed amongst them are some real treasures. To add insult to injury many times itís difficult to see the seam marks due to marine growth or poor visibility. What I do first is look at the bottles top. If its a blob top I know immediately it was blown in a mold and the top applied after. These are keepers and usually date to the late 1800ís. If is a crown top I know its most likely a machine made bottle no older than 1903. I also look for applied cork tops although without being able to see the seem mark its harder to accurately age these while still underwater. Bottom line just by knowing the basics I can fill my bag with 1800 vintage bottles rather than younger counterparts.

Hunting Antique Bottles in the Marine Environment.
By Capt. Dan Berg


Softcover, 5.5x8.5", 98 pages
printed in full color. $19.95 +P&H

Hunting Antique Bottles in the Marine Environment is the complete field guide for finding and identifying antique bottles. Capt. Berg has been searching for antique bottles in local lakes, rivers and on shipwrecks for over thirty years. Learn not only how to find submerged antique bottles but also how to clean them and how to determine how old they are. This text is packed with historical information that shows how bottles were produced and how each manufacturing process left distinct marks which can be used to accurately estimate any bottles age. Capt. Dan has heavily illustrated this text with over 200 color images depicting the types of bottles that can be recovered by searching local waters. He also uses over 10 unique 3D diagrams designed to give a better understanding as to the time line of glass blowing and bottle manufacturing. These 3D mold images are combined with drawings of the bottles they produced and highlight the distinct mold seam marks each created. This informative text tells all the tricks of the trade that until now have only been learned through years of experience. Bottle collectors, scuba divers and anyone interested in exploring the marine environment for these historic treasurers will reference this text often as they search for and collect antique bottles.


 Antique Bottle Identification Guide  Sample Pages


Sample Pages



This title is also available as a downloadable ebook
click here for details on all of Capt. Dan's downloadable products.


Hunting Antique Bottles in the Marine Environment.
By Capt. Dan Berg

Softcover, 5.5x8.5", 98 pages
printed in full color. $19.95 +P&H


This book is also available as a downloadable ebook

only $9.95
5.7 MB instant download, printable  PDF file





Hunting Antique Bottles
in the Marine Environment

Bottle Collecting
Bottle Characteristics
How bottles were made
Bottle Value
Bottle Types
  Screw Top
  Crown Top
  Blob Top
  Bromo seltza

  Black Glass

  Coca Cola
  Round and Torpedo
Water Hunting
  Scuba Diving
  Ferry Piers
  Dump Sites

Scuba Diving
Cleaning Bottles

Estimating Age
  Mold Marks
  Mold Mark Chart
Patent Numbers
Makers Marks
Just how old
Age Estimating Chart
Glossary of Terms

Scuba Equipment 
 Training Agencies
Equip Manufacturers






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