Glossary of Antique Bottle Terms
Following are some terms used to identify antique bottles.
Also see terms used to describe the
Condition of a bottle.
Glossary of Apothecary Terminology
- 3PM - 3 piece mold.
- A&DHC - A & DH Chambers glasshouse in Pittsburgh.
- A.B.Co - American Bottle Co 1905..1916 in Chicago, IL was later
bought out by Owens.
- ABM - Automatic Bottle Machines started 1903. Bottle made
by ABM can be identified by seam that goes all the way to the top of the mouth.
By 1913 most bottles were made by ABMs.
- ACL - Applied Colored Label, also called painted label.
- A.G. Co - Agnew Glassworks Company in the Midwest USA.
- A.G.W. - American Glass Works Ltd in Pittsburgh, PA.
- Ague - chills, as in "Chills and Fever".
- Applied Top - blobish style; also called Blob Top.
- Biliousness - also called "bilious complaints" is sickness
caused by disturbance in the flow of bile from the liver.
- BIM - Blown In Mold, hand made. Can tell a bottle is BIM or BIMAL
by side seams which stop before they reach the lip.
- BIMAL - Blown In Mold, Applied Lip.
Also called two-piece mold.
- Bird Swing - strand of glass on inside of bottle that goes
between two sides - a manufacturing defect (not considered damage).
Here's an example on a
- Black Glass
- BT - Blob Top - see Applied Top above.
- catarhh - inflammation of a mucous membrane, increasing the output
of mucus: common usage, catarrh of the mouth and throat.
- CHATT - Chattanooga Glass in Tenn.
- CLGCo - Carr-Lowrey Glass Company of Baltimore and New York
was founded in 1889. See February 2001 newsletter of the
Baltimore Bottle Club.
- consumption - cough with tightness of throat and chest.
- CT - Crown Top
- (cu) - Curved Embossing.
- D.O.C. - D.O. Cunningham Glass Co. in Pittsburgh 1882-1937.
- dropsy - short for "dropsical swellings", which
are collections of water in the body.
- Dug - a bottle is denoted as "dug" to indicate it will have a film
of water stain on the glass. Such stains can be removed with a
- dyspepsia - digestive type problems such as indigestion or
- Embossed - Raised lettering.
- FB - Free Blown means glass was blown by a glassmaker,
using a blowpipe; it was not poured into a mold.
- Hand Finished - Bottle and lip blown in mold, then hand-finished.
- HS - Hutchinson Stopper
- King's Evil - form of scrofula which attacks the glands in the
neck, behind the ears, and under the chin. Starts as hard indolent
tumours which soon rupture and become ulcers that discharge pus.
- Lbg - Lynchburg Glass in Lynchburg, Virginia.
- L.G.W. - Laurens Glass Works in Laurens, SC.
- LS - Lightning Stopper
- MB - Mold Blown means it was blown into a mold as part of the
- P.C.G.W. - Pacific Coast Glass Works
- Pontil Mark - scar on the bottom of the bottle,
usually a rough circular glass mark.
It was made by the punty rod that held the glass for the glassblower.
If the scar was rough, it is called an open pontil; if it is smoothed
out, it is called a ground pontil or refired pontil depending
on which was the smoothing was done.
Date pre 1850s.
After the 1850's, a new type of punty rod was developed that left a mark
known as a iron pontil. This mark is round and smooth and left an
iron reside on the base which turned red if it rusted.
See examples of the different types of
- piles - debility of the bowels due to ascarides (small white thread worms).
- potstone - a piece of sand/rock inside the glass that is a result
of the original manufacturing process.
- ROOT - Root Glass Works in Terre Haute, Indiana. Was later
bought out by Owens Illinois in 1930. A bottle with ROOT on it dates
- scrofula - swellings of the neck glands (dim. of scrofa, a sow:
problem from the swollen condition of the glands). Tuberculosis of the
lymphatic glands, esp. of the neck.
- Sheared Lip - top of bottle was cut from blowpipe with shears.
- slug plate - metal plate inserted into bottle mold to
provide product specific info to an otherwise generic mold.
Also refers to the mark left on a bottle by such a plate.
See example of strap-sided whiskey
flask with embossing inside a circular slug plate.
See example of bottle with embossing
inside an oval slug plate.
Here's a picture of the metal plate used to create the slug plate on a
BROEMMEL'S PHARMACY / SAN FRANCISCO bottle.
- torpedo - According to page 239 of McKearin's "American Bottles & Flasks ...",
the torpedo or "egg" bottle was patented in 1809 by William Hamilton of Dublin.
The bottles curved bottom shaped had several advantages:
- forcing the bottle to lie on its side keep the liquid in constant contact
with the cork and thereby prevented the leakage of air.
- shape allowed it to be much stronger than conventional flat bottom bottles
of equal weight so it was less likely to crack/break under pressure of the
- easier to pack in crates.
- hard to set down an opened bottle till you finished the contents,
so customers drank faster.
- WCF - Wire Cork Fastener
- Whittled - curved line (or stretch) marks that run vertically along the
neck of the bottle,
caused by hand finishing of glass when lip is twisted onto the neck.
- Wiped Top - mold lines ends before top since neck was wiped
smooth after top was tooled on. Dated pre-1915.
- W.T. Co - Whitehall Tatum glass Co originally of San Francisco