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For example the labeled, colorless, flask (with contents) pictured to the left is actually dated on the tax seal as having been bottled during the fall of 1919 which is just weeks before National Prohibition fully took effect in January 1920.
It is machine-made and a commonly encountered style of liquor flask that can date from before, during, and possibly, just after Prohibition (see the "Dandy Flasks" section later on this page).: Attached to the "Bottle Types/Diagnostic Shapes" grouping of pages is a complete copy of a never re-printed, 280 page, 1906 Illinois Glass Company bottle catalog scanned at two pages per JPEG file.
Bottles known to date as late as 1974 still had that inscription on them; click 1970s liquor bottle to see an example which is also covered later on this page.: Canada followed a similar trend as the U. in the gradual implementation of alcohol prohibition with the various Province's going "dry" between 19, though there was never a "national prohibition" passed in Canada.
By time National Prohibition was fully implemented in the U. in January of 1920, the only area north of Mexico that was not totally "dry" was the Province of Quebec (Unitt 1972).) The push for individual State and eventually National Prohibition came right at the time (1910s) that bottle makers were making the transition from mouth-blown to fully machine-made bottles.
It is an almost absolute fact that if an American made liquor bottle is mouth-blown it pre-dates National Prohibition.
It is largely true, though not nearly absolute, that if a liquor bottle is machine-made it dates from or after Prohibition.
Additional links to images of similar bottles are also frequently included.
The array of references used to support the conclusions and estimates found here - including the listed dating ranges - are noted.
The famous (or infamous depending on perspective) Anti-Saloon League was primary force doggedly pursing the move towards the banning of alcohol and one of the first the successful single-interest pressure groups in the U. National Prohibition, however, was already the law of the land through Congressional passage - over a presidential veto - of the National Prohibition Act (aka the Volstead Act) on October 28th, 1919 which took effect immediately, although existing stocks could be sold through the January 16th, 1920 date.However, there are definitive trends in shapes that mark a bottle as very likely to have been used primarily or originally as a container for high alcohol spirits intended for internal consumption, "medicinal" or otherwise.Alcohol was of course an important ingredient in many other products also, ranging from wine, champagne, beer, and porter to most patent and proprietary medicines, bitters, and tonics to even preserved fruits.To do a word/phrase search one must use the "Search SHA" boxes found on many of the main SHA web pages, including the Research Resources page (upper right side of that page) which links to this site.
The Historic Bottle Website (HBW) has no internal search mechanism so be aware that when running a search one will also get non-HBW response links to other portions of the SHA site.This section of the "Bottle Typing/Diagnostic Shapes" page just covers liquor bottles where the contained product was high in alcohol (20% ) and the intended use was not primarily medicinal - or at least the acknowledged medicinal utility was of secondary importance.For example, even though Hostetter's Stomach Bitters contained as much as 43% alcohol (86 proof!With repeal, liquor was required to be sold only in bottles; bulk sales in casks was prohibited in an attempt to exert tighter controls and prevent a resurgence of anything resembling the old time saloon.