Antique Soda & Beer Bottles

Your Information Source For Pre-crown Sodas & Beers

Bottle Shapes:

The shape of a bottle has a lot to say about a bottle's age.  Regional preferences and traditions help to dictate what shapes were popular and for how long.  Some forms are noticeably rare or absent from some areas of the country.  Porter bottles exist in the less than half a dozen forms in the western states, but were extremely popular in eastern Pennsylvania, with thousands of examples.  

Special patents also dictated a bottle's shapes.  Some patents were more poplar than others.  The 1879 Hutchinson patent, from Chicago, was used by over 4,000 different firms for their bottles, while the 1875 Arthur Christian patent, of the same city, was only used in a few dozen.  

Bottles from different countries also vary greatly.  Codd patent bottles from the United States are uncommon, but are the norm in Great Britain.  The Hutchinson patent is directly the reverse.

The information below is based on my research and dates are based on hard facts or reasonable estimates.

Beer Bottle Shapes: Soda Bottle Shapes:
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Porter shape, circ: 1760-1918

Typical size: 7 x 3" or 6 3/4 x 2 3/4"

Also in quart size and fluted

Used to bottle various heavy beers such as porter, ale, and stout.

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Early pontil shape, circ: 1838-1845

Typical size: 6 1/2 x 2 7/16"

Also in pint size but not fluted.

Used to bottle artificial soda and mineral waters.

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Early ale shape, circ: 1847-1851

Typical size: 7 1/2 x 2 7/8"

Not known in quart size or fluted

Used to bottle ale.

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Late pontil shape, circ: 1844-1846

Typical size: 6 7/8 x 2 1/2"

Not known in quart size or fluted

Used to bottle artificial soda and mineral waters.

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Early lager shape, circ: 1847-1851

Typical size: 8 1/2 x 2 7/8"

Not known in quart size or fluted

Used to bottle lager beer.

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Soda shape, circ: 1845-1865

Typical size: 7 1/4 x 2 9/16"

Not known in quart size but come fluted

Used to bottle artificial soda and mineral waters.

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Late ale or lager shape, circ: 1851-1910

Typical size: 7 x 2 7/8" or 6 3/4 x 2 3/4"

Not known in quart size or fluted

A merging of the early lager and ale shapes.  Used to bottle lager to about 1878 and ale and porter until 1910.

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Pony shape, circ: 1852-1905

Typical size: 7 x 2 1/2"

Not known in quart size but come fluted

Used mostly to bottle artificial soda and mineral waters and in some applications beers of various sorts.

Champagne beer shape, circ: 1875-1920

Typical size: 9 1/4 x 2 3/4

Also in quart size and fluted bottles

Used to bottle lager, champagne, and small beers, such as root beer.

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Drug store shape, circ: 1855-1865

Typical size: 7 1/2 x 2 3/4"

Not known in quart size or fluted

Used mostly by pharmacists to bottle artificial soda and mineral waters.  Was for a more upscale trade.

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Weiss beer shape, circ: 1867-1910

Typical size: 7 3/4 x 2 3/4"

Not known in quart size but come fluted

Used to bottle weiss or white beer in usually very heavy bottles.

Ten Pin shape, circ: 1844-1910

Typical size: 7 x 2" or 8 x 2"

Not known in quart size but come fluted

Used to bottle artificial soda and mineral waters.  The degree curving on the sides varies greatly.

Zaun weiss beer shape, circ: 1880-1910

Typical size: 7 1/2 x 2 5/8"

Not known in quart size or fluted

Used to bottle weiss or white beer in usually very heavy bottles.

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Gravitating shape, circ: 1865-1885

Typical size: 7 1/4 x 2 3/8"

Not known in quart size or fluted

Used to bottle artificial soda and mineral waters using the Mathew's patent of 1864.  Shape was also used for Hutchinson's patent of 1879.

St. Louis weiss beer shape, circ: 1885-1915

Typical size: 2 3/8 x 9 1/2"

Not known in quart size or fluted

Used to bottle weiss or white beer in usually very heavy bottles.

Arthur Christian shape, circ 1875-1880

Typical size: 7 1/2 x 2 3/8"

Not known in quart size or fluted

Used to bottle artificial soda and mineral waters.

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Early export beer shape, circ: 1860-1880

Typical size: 9 x 2 5/8"

Also in quart size but not fluted

Used to bottle various beers typically for export.  Form was adopted for domestic use in some areas.

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Hutchinson shape, circ: 1880-1915

Typical size: 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 x 2 3/8"

Also in pint and quart sizes and fluted

Used to bottle artificial soda and mineral waters using the Hutchinson or similar patents.

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Late export beer shape, circ: 1880-1915

Typical size: 9 x 2 5/8"

Also in quart size but not fluted

Used to bottle various beers typically for export.  Form was adopted for domestic use in some areas.

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Codd shape, circ: 1873-1915

Typical size: 8 1/4 x 2 1/2"

Not known in quart sizes or fluted

Used to bottle artificial soda and mineral waters under Codd's patent.  More common in other countries than the US.

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Flavored beer shape, circ: 1850-1865

Typical size: 10 x 3 1/2" or 8 1/2 x 3 1/2"

Also in pint size and fluted

Used to bottle various flavored beers such as root beer, champagne beer, and Cronk's beer.

Torpedo shape, circ: 1800-1900

Typical size: 8 3/4 x 2 5/8

Not known in quart sizes or fluted

Used to bottle artificial soda and mineral waters.

Malt porter shape, circ: 1895-1915

Typical size: 6 3/4 x 2 1/4

Not known in quart sizes or fluted

Used to bottle various malt extracts.  This form was equally used by bottlers and brewers.

Round bottom shape, circ: 1875-1920

Typical size: 9 x 2 3/8"

Not known in quart size but come fluted

Used to bottle artificial soda and mineral water.

 

 

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Ginger Ale shape, circ: 1870-1895

Typical size: 7 1/2 x 2 5/8 or 8 1/2 x 2 3/8"

Not known in quart size or fluted

Used to bottle ginger ale.