Dating old glass bottles

Even rectifiers such as Brown-Forman and Paul Jones purchased distilleries in the 1890s and started to bottle straight whiskey brands along with their blends.

The twentieth century will see further changes in label and bottles before prohibition shut things down for over a decade.

They might get a bit more specific with labels for ‘Monongahela Rye’ or ‘Kentucky Bourbon’, but the point of their business was to have labels printed that any grocer could use to put on their bottle. Pepper gets the Kentucky laws changed to allow distillers to bottle their own product.

Before the changes in the law, distillers could only sell their whiskey by the barrel, and if their product was bottled it was because whoever purchased the barrel from the distillery did the bottling.

By Michael Veach Photos by Justin Thompson There is a lot of interest in collecting old ‘dusty’ bottles of whiskey.

There were no government regulations as to what could or could not be placed on the label.

One of the most common emails I receive comes with a description of a jar—e.g., Blue pint Perfect Mason with the number 5 on the bottom—and the question, “How old is my jar?

” Use The Logo To Find An Approximate Age It would have been much easier if Ball had placed a date on each and every jar, but that didn’t happen.

The most common seal in the 19th century was the cork and when looking at the cork it should have some detrition in the bottle. Protect yourself by knowing what to look for when you are making a purchase of a “Dusty” whiskey bottle.

There will be some evaporation through the cork with a lower fill level in the bottle.

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