Dating of multi use containers
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.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.To be fair, ethyl alcohol was (and is) one of the better preservatives for products intended for internal consumption or external use.These examples help point out the vague line that existed between liquor/spirits and medicinal products during the 19th and early 20th centuries."FEDERAL LAW FORBIDS SALE OR RE-USE OF THIS BOTTLE" inscription on the shoulder of a machine-made pint liquor flask manufactured in 1956 by the Owens-Illinois Glass Company. Though not quite on a par with the anti-slavery movement of the 19th century, temperance was a very significant morally based social movement in the U. and had its roots in the still pervasive damage done to some individuals and their families by the improper use of alcohol.This embossing was required on all liquor bottles sold in the U. To quote an important work on the subject: "For many observers of American Life the Temperance movement is evidence for an excessive moral perfectionism and an overly legalistic bent to American culture." This is a pervasive thread that still exists in current American politics and culture in aspects of human behavior well beyond just alcohol (Gusfield 1970).
As an alternative, one can do a search of this website.
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.