When we think of a bottle of soda pop, a gently curving, green Coca-Cola hobbleskirt probably comes to mind. But since the beginning of the 20th century, soft drinks have been bottled in all sorts of shapes, from straight-sided cylinders of sarsaparilla to severely segmented bottles of NuGrape, whose bulbous, textured-and-embossed bodies are pinched in the middle and topped with elegant necks that appear to rest on a trio of concentric rings. Many bottles feature vertical embossing to accentuate their silhouettes, while others are ribbed horizontally, as if to give thirsty consumers a more ergonomic grip when grabbing their favorite frosty beverage from a bucket of ice.

The companies that bottled brands such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr Pepper, and Orange Crush are often central to the stories of these companies. For example, Coca-Cola was first bottled not by its inventor, John S. Pemberton, but by a Vicksburg, Mississippi, soda-fountain operator named Joseph A. Biedenharn, who, in 1894, sold the beverage to his customers in a common bottle-and-stopper design of the day known as a Hutchinson. Soon, a couple of Tennessee lawyers named Benjamin Thomas and Joseph Whitehead had obtained rights to bottle Coca-Cola throughout most of the United States (excluding Vicksburg) for the princely sum of one dollar.

Bottling may have been an afterthought to the people who ran Coca-Cola, but it wouldn’t be for the hundreds of other soft-drink entrepreneurs that sprung up after the introduction of the lighter, crown-top bottle in 1891, which made bottled beverages a viable business. In 1905, when Pepsi sold its first franchises to bottlers in North Carolina, the drink was bottled in amber glass, which was thought to extend its shelf life. By the end of 1907, though, with 40 Pepsi franchises bottling the drink, the company shifted to clear glass.

Green was also used, mostly because it was inexpensive to produce. But in 1915, the hue became an industry standard when Coca-Cola patented a new bottle shape that resembled either a cocoa pod and a hobbleskirt, depending on what you’d prefer to imagine. These days, the shape is often generically described as “contour.”

Other companies used embossing to differentiate themselves from competitors. In the 1920s, bottles of Orange Crush were clear with horizontal embossed ridges. These “krinklies,” as they are known, also had embossed diamond-shaped labels rather than paper ones. Amber krinklies with applied color labels (ACLs) were manufactured from the end of World War II until the mid-1970s. In parallel, from the 1950s through most of the 1960s, Orange Crush tried its own version of a hobbleskirt bottle, but the shape of this one was a good deal more full-figured, shall we say, than Coca-Cola’s, which is why this bottle is routinely referred to as the Mae West.

One characteristic that just about all soda-pop bottles from the first half of the 20th century have in common is the bottle’s city of origin, which is embossed right into the glass. This makes collecting bottles from this period, especially Coca-Cola bottles, particularly satisfying. In addition, Coca-Cola bottles produced after 1916 are easy to identify, since four-digit numbers found on the base or bottom of these bottles identify the mold and year of its manufacture.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Historic Glass Bottle Identification

Historic Glass Bottle Identification

Bill Lindsey's fantastic bottle identification and information site. Loaded with detailed descriptions and diagrams… [read review or visit site]

Antique Bottle Collector's Haven

Antique Bottle Collector's Haven

There's a ton of information here, but as with bottles, you have to dig to find the best stuff. Start with the famo… [read review or visit site]

Bottle Cap Index

Bottle Cap Index

Assembled by Gunther Rademacher with the help of several other contributors, this collection of over half a million… [read review or visit site]

Plopsite.de

Plopsite.de

Norbert Lamping's collection of 600+ ceramic bottle stoppers, Hutter stoppers, swingtops, swivel stoppers, and ligh… [read review or visit site]

Old Spice Collectibles

Old Spice Collectibles

Lather up with Creighton Fricek's complete chronology of collectible Old Spice shaving products. Start with the bot… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

"gray's - Campbell's Creek" Victorian Antique Stone Ginger Beer Bottle Straight Sided Coca Cola Bottle Super Rare Amber! New Albany, Mississippi.Xxx Extremely Rare Acl "chief Beverages Lime Cola" - Gallup, New Mexico"stevens - Warracknabeal" Victorian Antique Stone Ginger Beer Bottle Rare Pheasant Beverages Acl Soda Pop Bottle S. DakotaCd 106 Hemingray 7-up Green Pony Antique Glass Telegraph Insulator, Vnm!!Rare Acl Kidd's Kid's Cola Soda Pop Bottle Tulsa Oklahoma The Treasure DrinkVery Rare Lime Green Gurd's Ginger Beer Stoneware BottleHutchinson Bottle Gastonia Elect. Gastonia Nc / Crown Bottling Works New Bern NcRare Bulls Eye Root Beer Acl Bottle Grand Island NeRare Wheeler Minreal Springs Youngstown Oh. Ginger Beer Stoneware BottleNice Rare Detailed Cottage Pict'l 'thatcher & Co, London' Ginger Beer BottlePepsi Cola Bottle From The Pepsi Cola Bottling Co.,. Dayton, Oh. Prohibition EraVintage 50's Display Heavy Glass Coke Bottle 20" Tall Oregon Trail Acl Soda Bottle Dr Pepper Sidney Nebraska Picture Of Covered WagonRoot Beer Amber Armstrong Near Mint Cd 167 Antique Glass InsulatorStar Soda Acl Painted Label Soda Pop Bottle - Hawaiian Girl Pepsi Cola Straight Side Greenwood South Carolina RareJackson, Tenn. Amber Side/side/base Script Coca-cola Bottle 1-16Straight Side Coca Cola Bottle Scarce Laurel, Mississippi. Miss. Ms.7up Green Hemingray # 9 Antique Glass InsulatorMountain Dew Bottle Rare 8oz Small Size1910 Dent's Herb&root Hair Tonic Mich. Michigan Patent Medicine Barber Bottle MiSalt Lake City Straight Sided Coca Cola 7 1/4" Tall Bottle Nice!!F. Brown's Ess Of Jamaica Ginger Philadelphia Clear Antique BottleIndian Head Sparkling Beverages One Quart Bottle Malec Bottling Works Shelton Ct21 Playing Cards Soda Bottle Bantam Picture Acl Black Jack Washington Dc RareMississippi Bottle Scarce Walton Bros. & Co. Newton, Miss. Hutch MsBradentown, Fla. "r" Coca-cola Bottle 1-05Big Hit Beverages Babe Ruth 8 Oz. Clear Soda Bottle Brunswick Ga.Acl Soda Bottle Lazy-b Cowboy On Horse Texas Longhorn TxCaruthersville, Mo. Shoulder Script Coca-cola Bottle 1-06Vintage Primitive Crock Stoneware Pottery Bottle Scott's English Ginger Beer NyArthur Christin 1875 Patent Closure Belfast Ginger Ale Chicago Il Bottle1880's Versailles Ohio Oh. Hutch Hutchinson Blobtop Soda Pop BottleMy Coke Reward Caps ~unused~Rare Devil Shake Soda Bottle L@@kCheerwine Bottle Rocky Mount North Carolina Art Deco RareBig Chief Clay Center Ks Acl Soda Bottle VintageMulberry, Fla. Blue Shoulder Script "s+" Coca-cola Bottle 1-08Apple Nick Acl Painted Label Soda Pop Bottle - Outrageous GraphicsExtremely Rare Acl "big Chief" - Columbia, MississippiEarly Dr. Pepper Item Circa 1900 Artesia Bottling Company Ft Worth Texas Bottle Mountain Dew Bottle Rare Connie Menges Error Bottle Supposed To Say MingesRare Clown Bottle Littleton N.c. Mcpherson Bro Bev North Carolina Nc PictorialVintage 24 Ounce Green Cold Wave Soda Pop Bottle Bottled In Ironton OhioTru Root Acl Root Beer Soda Bottle Baltimore, MdJay Kola Embossed Deco Soda Bottle - Oklahoma City Ok ,acl, Painted Label Soda Bottle,frank's BeveragesCharleston, Ill. "s+" Coca-cola Bottle 3-19Anniston, Ala. Side Script Coca-cola Bottle 2-22Rare Vintage Hillbilly Mountain Dew And Pepsi Bottle Lot ,acl, Painted Label Soda,bottle, Plymouth, Wis.Lemo-nizer Acl Painted Label Soda Pop Bottle - Wise Old Owl ,acl, Painted Label Soda,bottle,louisville,lexington,k.y.Flathead Beverages Coca Cola Kalispell, Montana SodaLebanon, Ills F. Auer BottleEmporia, Va. Heel Script Coca-cola Bottle 1-10Old Bottle, A Beautifully Embossed 12 Oz. Barq's Root Beer From Kokomo , IndianaVintage Spraul's Beverages Troy, Ohio -david K.galbreath Spraul's 10 Fl.ozs.