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)Reuse, of course, does not change the manufacturing date of the bottle itself, but care must be exercised when using the known date of one or a few bottles to date other items found from the same context.
When a likely or known "older" item is found in a known "newer" site it is referred to as deposition lag.
This page and associated sub-pages allows a user to run an American produced utilitarian bottle or a significantly sized bottle fragment through a series of questions based primarily on diagnostic physical, manufacturing related characteristics or features to determine the approximate manufacturing age range of the item.
To misquote an old saying as rephrased by the BLM supervisor that facilitated the initiation of this website project: "The universe (of bottles) isn't just more complicated than you think, it's more complicated than you CAN think." True to a large degree, though much information can be teased out of most bottles with a systematic approach to the matter. This Bottle Dating page (and website in general) is designed to address what the website author refers to as "utilitarian" bottles & jars (click for more information).
Acceptance often occurred over a period of many years or decades in some cases.
This technology lag makes some diagnostic characteristics better than others for dating. As a corollary to #1, consider the following quote: "Treat terminal dates with care.
(The two products were from separate companies which were cross-town [Sacramento, CA.] rivals during the late 19th to early 20th century.
The author has also seen Star Bitters labels on Wait's bottles as well as both labels on the immensely period popular Hostetter's Stomach Bitters bottles!
The shift to the fully automated bottle machine from mouth-blown and some semi-automatic methods in the early 20th century is the classic example (Toulouse 1967, 1969a). The same bottle could have been recycled and reused many times for many years before finally being discarded - entire or broken (Busch 1987).