Historical Archaeology: American Bottling Company

Bottle typology is really interesting, I had no idea how accurately you could date a bottle, and how much information is embedded in it’s manufacturing. The bottle I studied was made by the American Bottling Company. It is an aqua colored beer bottle, made in the export style, which was popular during the late 19th and early 20th century for alcoholic beverages. Export style dates back to the 1870s, and is characterized by a bulge in the neck, a body length that is equal or just a little taller than the height of shoulder, neck and finish all combined, and the shoulder is also short and sharp angled.

This beer bottle is also a 2-piece post mold, and the base has a pontil mark, and is embossed with, “A.B. Co C 6.” Originally, based on it’s shape, color, finish and style, I dated the bottle from 1870s-1890s. However, after doing a little more digging, I found out the C 6 is supposed to have to do with a more specific timeframe in which it was manufactured, but I could not find any more information as to what timeframe that would be for the specific label. I did find however that American Bottling Company changed their labels pretty often, either how they presented their name, including or not including the location where it was manufactured, the location of the label itself on the bottle, having an ‘X’ symbol, and even combining the ‘A’ and ‘B’ into a single symbol. American Bottling Company was represented on this bottle as “A. B. Co C6”. “A. B. Co” as a base mark means that this bottle was manufactured between the dates of 1905-1914.

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