The technique to apply lettering to a bottle may or may not provide
information on how to narrow the date on beer bottles.
Below are the different types of lettering that are found on Beer
|Embossed, glass circ:
1835-1920+, pottery: circ: 1890-1900
This technique used to get the glass embossed is to cut a
reverse image of the lettering into the mold that the glass will
be blown in to shape the bottle. When the glass is blown
into the mold, the glass being pressed into the molds lettering,
it will create an inverse image on the bottle.
same holds true for pottery bottles, but slip is poured into
plaster molds, which will have the inverted lettering cut into
them. The green-ware copy of the bottle will then present
this lettering when removed from the mold and will later be
fired and glazed to complete the manufacturing process.
|Impressed, glass circ:
1855-1860, pottery circ: 1825-1910
Getting the lettering on a glass bottle to be impressed can be
accomplished with two different techniques. The first
would be to alter the mold in a way the lettering is not cut
into the mold, but raised. It would then push into the
face of the bottle being blown into it. The second would
be to use a stamp with raised lettering that would be pushed
into the face of an already blown bottle. The former
technique would have the impressed lettering always in the same
place on the bottle and the later technique would result in
different placement of the lettering.
The same technique
of stamping was used on pottery bottles.
|Glazed, pottery circ:
Lettering that is glazed can be of two types, but in both cases
this lettering is applied to the pottery container before the
final firing. The first type is a fee form hand
decoration, usually initials of some sort that are applied as a
slip. These are sometimes added to pottery bottles that
have impressed lettering. The second type is more uniform
and is the result of a rubber or similar materialed stamp that is pressed
into liquid glaze and stamped on the bottle. In another
technique, a paper label with the glaze printed on it is
attached to the bottle before firing. During the firing
the paper burns away and glaze is left affixed to the bottle.
||Engraved, glass, circ: 1855-1865
The appearance in the lettering of an engraved bottle is similar
to a etched one, but is usually not as exacting. To
engrave lettering on a bottle involves using a copper or some
other metal or stone wheel and using the wheels edge to cut the
lettering into the glass. This was often done when a
bottler or brewer acquired bottles from another firm and wanted
to mark them with their name or mark. The same technique
is occasionally used to grind lettering off an embossed bottle.
||Scratched, pottery, circ:
technique used to apply lettering in this way is to scratch the
lettering on a glazed but unfired bottle. This would
expose the clay and provide the necessary contrast to make the
||Applied Color Label, glass circ: 1934-Today
Also known as a "Painted Label"
or "Pyro." This type of lettering is
a glass based slip that is silkscreened onto an annealed bottle,
which is then refried to fuse the design to the glass. A small
indentation near the base of the bottle was used by the
machinery to properly align the bottle as the design was
applied. This technique was introduced in 1934 and in in
use thru today.