Primitive screw dating
A narrow neck and bore likely limited evaporation through or around the cork also.(Note: Various medicines were made in ointment form for external use so these type bottles had wide mouths for accessing the contents.) Beyond the glass thickness and neck attributes - which are of course not medicinal group unique characteristics - there is little else that physically differentiates the extremely diverse medicinal bottle group from other groups.The small (1 3/8" tall), ceramic, English ointment pot or jar pictured above contained an ointment which claimed to be good for the "..of gout and rheumatism, inveterate ulcers, sore breasts, sore heads, bad legs..." This interesting item was found in a Civil War era context in the Midwest.(effective January 1, 1907): The Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906 imposed regulations on the labeling of products containing alcohol, morphine, opium, cocaine, heroin, alpha or beta eucaine, chloroform, Cannabis indica, chloral hydrate, or acetanilide.If interested, users are directed to consult some of the various publications noted below or check some of the references mentioned throughout this page.However, a few notable early 20th century historical events have some relevance to the dating and typing of medicinal bottles, as follows: Not all medicine products came in glass bottles, of course.
As noted in the opening line of Odell (2000), "Medicine is as old as man, no doubt born of necessity and wrought by trial and error." Self-medication was often all that could be had by most people and the ability of doctors to help a person - if they were even available - was very limited and their training and/or backgrounds often suspect.Medicinal bottles are probably the largest and most diverse group of bottles produced during the era covered by this website - the 19th through mid 20th centuries.To quote Fike (1987) on medicine bottles - "Literally hundreds of thousands of brands and variations of vessels were manufactured..." during the noted era.The added strength inherent in a round (cross section) body was rarely an issue with medicinals so the limitations on overall shape were much reduced and the possible variety multiplied many fold.The history of the patent and proprietary medicine industry is an exceptionally interesting subject though beyond the scope of this website, which covers primarily just the bottles - like the cabin shaped "bitters" bottle to the left which dates from the 1860s or 1870s.