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    

Citron 1870's Geo. Ware Cincinnati Ohio Hutch Hutchinson Blobtop Soda Pop BottleRare Large 28 Oz Hillbilly Mountain Dew Green Bottle Great Shape!!*very Rare Original* Yellow/amber~strait Side~slugplate~pepsi-cola~memphis,tenn.1930's Dr. Pepper Love Bottling Co. Embossed Soda Bottle Pawhuska Oklahoma Property Of Salt Lake Coca Cola Straight Sided Coke Bottle Utah Light Green Extremely Rare 7 Oz. Mountain Dew Bottle By Barney And Ally Knoxville,tenn100 Yr Old, Amber Pepsi Cola, Birmingham, AlabamaVintage Pepsi Cola Sun Colored Richmond Va Tall Soda Bottle ScriptRare Figural Sample Bitters Bottle - Label And Contents - 5 Of 5Scarce Vintage One Quart Crush Soda Bottle Minty Condition Pyro Paint Scarce Sanford Fla Double Script Violet Coca Cola Coke Bottle Nice!Pelham, Ga. Scarce Rose Straight Side Coca-cola Bottle 3-07Vintage Embossed Baseball Beverages Soda Bottle Palmetto Bottling Charleston ScOld Smile Soda Pop Bottle ,kingsport Tenn1932 Dr Pepper No Drip Bottle Protector 5 Cent Paper Soda Wrapper Sleeve CokeStraight Side Coca-cola Bottle Greenville, South Carolina: 1900 - 1910Rare Figural Sample Bitters Bottle - 3 Of 5Rare C.p. Certified Products Root Beer Soda Stoneware Rootbeer Bottle Cp NiceRare Sample Bitters Bottle - 1 Of 5Unlisted Variant B&b Bottling Works Hutchinson Hawkinsville, Ga Aqua Scarce One Quart Labeled Pepsi Cola Bottle Twist Cap 1970's Vintage Nice!!Rare/ Old- Blue Glass Coca-cola- Norfolk, Va- Rare 110+ Year Old**rare Blue Slugplate Coca-cola Bottling Works - New Bern Nc - 110+ Yrs. OldNice Old Paper Label Embossed Knapp's Root Beer Extract Advertising Soda BottleDr Langley's Root & Herb BittersRare Figural Sample Bitters Bottle - 4 Of 5Rare Raffs Root Beer Soda Pop Bottle Painted Label Acl Rootbeer 10oz NiceHobbleskirt Nov 16 1915 Coca Cola Bottle Ice Blue Color No Town On16Straight Side Coke Coca Cola Bottle Valdosta GaRare Sample Bitters Bottle - 2 Of 5Antique Art Deco Embossed Orange Crush Soda Water Greenwood Mississippi BottleMachine Made Straight Sided Salt Lake City Coca Cola Coke Bottle UtahVintage Double Dot Pepsi Cola Soda Bottle Tompkinsville, Ky. 1947Vintage Acl Soda Bottle New Orleans Vintage Antique Louisiana Big Shot LotVery Old Vintage Dr. Pepper Soda Bottle Wichita Ks Kansas Used Bottled EmbossedRr Straight Side Coca Cola From Havana Cuba Cuban Pre 1959 Not Embargoed ItemMeincke & Ebberwein Amber Ginger Ale 1882 Savannah Geo Blob RareRare Nice Vintage Acl Big Chief Coca Cola Philadelphia Mississippi Soda Bottle Unknown Palestine, Texas 1915 Coca-cola BottleVintage Ashville Nc Coca-cola Bottling Co. Orange Cork Bottom Soda Bottle CapVintage 1960's Embossed One Pint Pepsi Cola Soda Bottle No Deposit, Return NdnrVintage 1960's Pepsi Cola 6 Pack 12 Fl Oz Glass Bottles And Cardboard Carrier2 Old Western Beverages W/ Cowgirl Acl Soda Bottles Glendive Montana Coca Cola ,acl, Painted Label Soda Bottle, Airplane Picture.Owensboro, Ky. Side Script Straight Side Coca-cola Bottle 3-014 Antique Pharmacy Bottles - Raser's Drug Store Root Beer Extract Reading, Pa. Kalamazoo, Mich. Side Script Straight Side Coca-cola Bottle 3-02 My Coca Lexington Ky Soda Pop Old Bottle Coca-cola Bottles Kentucky Antique Rare Clipper Root Beer Soda Pop Bottle Painted Label Acl Rootbeer 10oz 1954 NiceSt. Louis Aqua Heel Script Straight Side Coca-cola Bottle 2-04Script Straight Side Coca Cola Coke Bottle Rome, Ga Georgia Ss 6.0 Oz Old NiceRare Nice Vintage Acl Big Chief Coca Cola Newton Mississippi Soda Bottle 9 Oz Early Stoneware Ginger Beer Bottle - Douglas's Kirkcaldy & LadybankRare Kraus Big Chief Acl Soda Bottle! Bottled In Fredricksburgh By Kraus Paris, Tenn. "s+" Amber Coca-cola Bottle 2-16Vintage- 1940's Amber Soda - Bob's Soda Calhoun Falls,s.c.Florence Sc Straight Side Coca Cola Shoulder Script Rare ColorOld Coke Bottle SetStraight Sided Eagle Bottling Works Payson Utah Machine Made Soda BottleGeorge Washington Bust Whiskey Bottle Open Pontil 7up Green