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Object Record

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Catalog Number 2017.012.002
Description Black Glass Beer Bottle, c. 1850-1869. Black cylindrical glass bottle has rounded shoulder and a bulbous neck with an embossed ring near top just below the tapered lip. Some air bubbles are present around the middle of the bottle.
Object Name Bottle, Beer
Collection 3D - Food Service Tools & Equipment
Title Black Glass Beer Bottle, c. 1850-1869
Date c. 1850-1869
Creator Unknown
Role Manufacturer
Inscription Text none
Provenance Part of donation that included 6 cases of beer and whiskey bottles dating from 1850 through the 1890s. These are the type of bottles that would have been present in San Mateo County during that time period.
Notes "As with wine and champagne bottles, beer and ale were bottled in a relatively limited array of bottle shapes. Essentially all beer/ale bottles are round (cylindrical) in cross section; square, rectangular, or other body shapes are almost unknown. Beer and ale, being carbonated (known as "pressure ware" in the bottle making industry), pretty much had to be contained in cylindrical heavy glass bottles since such a shape is inherently stronger than other shapes - all other things being equal, e.g., bottle size, glass thickness and quality (Tooley 1953; Glass Industry 1959).

Beer bottles were of thick glass also since they had to be able to survive extensive post-bottling handling and use since these bottles were typically re-used many times, as evidenced by extensive base and side wear to many examples….Another limiting factor to beer/ale bottle variety was that a large majority of the bottles produced during the period covered by this website were in some shade of amber, aqua, or colorless glass, with earlier (pre-1870) bottles tending towards some shade of green, olive green, black glass, and aqua. Other colors - including cobalt blue - are unusual but occasionally seen.

Beer and ale - and the related stout, porter, and weiss - are the yeast fermented products of various grains, most commonly malted barley and/or wheat. Beer brewing began in the U.S. during early colonial days when beer was consumed in large quantities on all sorts of occasions and during almost all meals. However, using bottles to contain beer was uncommon during that time as beer was dispensed from kegs in taverns and inns and bottles were relatively rare and expensive. The types of bottles used for bottling beer in the earliest days would have been the common heavy glass black glass utilitarian bottles of the era which were used for various liquid products. By the late 18th century, beer was being bottled in the northern Atlantic seaboard states in various black glass bottles in enough quantity that some was being exported (Munsey 1970; McKearin & Wilson 1978)." [ 5/22/2017]
Dimensions H-7.5 W-3.25 D-0.125 inches
Search Terms Alcohol
Subjects Alcoholic beverages