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Feature #2 (mold seam diameter) is not as strongly diagnostic as the primary indicators as mouth-blown bottles sometimes can have very fine mold seams.

(Note: the term "parison mold" and "blank mold" are synonymous for the first mold in the two mold machine process.): (see the Note box below point #3 for an exception) run up to the highest point of the finish and often onto the extreme top finish surface (i.e., onto the rim or lip).

On many early (very early 1900s into the 1920s) and occasional later (1930s and later) machine-made bottles the vertical body/neck and finish mold seams are discontinuous and offset from each other; click offset seams for a picture of this attribute.

The machine is operated much as all pressing machines are..." (National Glass Budget 1910; Lockhart pers. This little bottle has a moderately narrow neck and a distinct valve or ejection mark on the base indicating press-and-blow machine manufacture. The 1908 photo below is from the Lewis Hine collection (Library of Congress) and shows an early, probably O'Neill (Barrett 2011) semi-automatic press-and-blow 4 mold milk bottle (which have relatively wide mouths) machine which came with the following caption: "Machine that blows 4 milk bottles at a time. Blowing air would have been supplied by the hose visible at the top of the set of blow molds to the left, where the final "blow" part of the cycle took place.

Added evidence to this theory is that an identical shape and size (2 oz.) "Round Shoe Polish" bottle is shown in the "Machine Made Ware" section of Cumberland's 1911 catalog (Cumberland Glass 1911). Very few narrow neck bottles made on the Owens machines will pre-date that time also. 2007d].) It is thought that probably all pre-1905 semi-automatic bottle machine production in the U. was relegated to wide-mouth bottles/jars due to limitations of the press-and-blow machines at that time (Toulouse 1967; Miller & Sullivan 1981; Jones & Sullivan 1989; Cable 1999; Miller & Mc Nichol 2002; Lockhart pers. This image (click to enlarge) also shows that on many early press-and-blow machines the parison mold was one-piece (note absence of mold hinges) as the narrow non-inflated parison could be removed from either the base or finish mold end (depending on the type machine) whereas the blow mold had to be two-piece (hinges obvious) to remove the expanded and finished bottle if there was any narrowing from the body to the neck/finish (like a typical milk bottle would have).

It was noted in 1910 that the Cumberland Glass Company (Bridgeton, NJ) had "...succeeded in perfecting a machine that will satisfactorily produce narrow neck bottles, such as catsups, beer bottles, etc., at a big saving over the hand method." The method used was unusual and may have been unique in bottle-making history: "The machine differs from all others, and in getting the neck upon the bottle, the vessel is made in two sections, the neck being put upon the bowl with a second operation. Manager says machines are fast coming into play in bottle industry, plans eventually to have machines in place of "carrying in boys." Location: Clarksburg, West Virginia" (Library of Congress).

This is accomplished so that there is no perceptible mark upon the bottle showing the joint, and the bottle stands every possible test as to strength. Although products of this machine are not conclusively known a bottle such as the one at this link - offset seams shoe polish bottle - may well be a product of the described machine as there is a distinct and abrupt interface edge at the shoulder where the mold seams for both the body and neck end and are offset. This two table semi-automatic machine would have been hand fed with glass (furnace likely to the right) and does have the two different mold sets with the parison molds (where the first "press" part of the cycle took place) the set on the right.

The ghost seams are caused by the parison mold parts and if visible enough will be "attached" to the vertical seams in the finish.

Click on ghost seam to view a close-up explanatory picture of this attribute.

Most machine-made bottles have mold seams about the thickness of a hair while most visible mouth-blown mold seams tend to be several times as thick, higher, but more rounded.

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