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    

Very Rare H Nash Root Beer Cincinnati Sapphire Blue 12-sided 1800'sPepsi-cola Double-dot Indian Rock Gingerale "bowling Pin" Bottle Richmond Va.Very Rare Nehi 1927 Top Of The World Sample Bottle Mint ConditionExtremely Rare Applachia Va Pepsi Cola Bottle, Small Coal Town Bottle!! Vhtf!Dr. Henley's Wild Grape Root Ixl Bitters Very Nice - No Issues - Close To MintEarly Variant Dr Kilmer's Swamp Root Kidney Liver & Bladder Cure Ring Neck EarlyDr Henleys Wild Grape Root 1xl Bitters Aqua Antique BottleMoore Bros Of Swanscombe Kent 1908 Diploma Ginger BeerRare Antique Bottle Coca Cola Amber Straight Side Coke Rockland Me 1905-16Very Htf 1950's Chief Washakie Acl Soda Bottle Worland Wyoming Indian GraphicsAtlanta, Georgia Early Aqua Druggist Jacob's Pharmacy W/eagle Coca Cola 1st ServJones Soda Wiz's Energizing Elixir Final Fantasy Xv 15 Target Lot Case Of 12 NewAntique Denhalter Salt Lake City Utah Territory Hutch Soda BottleAntique Glass Coca-cola Bottle, Texarkana Ark-texas, Early 1900'sRare Color 1870's Dr. Langley's Root & Herb Bitters Bottle Blue Green BostonVery Rare Acl Soda Bottle Crystal Beverage From Logan, Ut Fre-zee Soda Bottle - Brenham Bottling Works - Brenham,texas - 1956 - NiceXxx Rare Soda Bottle Indian Club Cola Root Beer Fresno, California St. Andrew’s Wine Of Life Root Bristol Tennessee Tn Bottle Cure Female RegulatorSigned D W Defreest Antique Salt Glaze Stoneware Root Beer Quart Bottle New York~exceptional~root Straight Side Coca-cola Miami,fla.2 Colonial Beverages Acl Soda Bottles Williamsport Pa Log Cabin Boyle LycomingLight Ice Blue Coca Cola Bottle Fayetteville NcVintage Acl Soda Pop Bottle Lot Ski Club Snowy Peak Great GraphicsRare Early 1900's Hagerstown Brewing Co Beer Tray With Woman Md MarylandLily Beverages Bottle - Lily Bottling Works - East Bernard,texas - 1946 Scarce ~unique~straight Sided Coke Bottle Richmond,va 6 1/2 Oz Great ShapeVintage 1940's Acl Soda Pop Bottle Lot Dillon Aspinock Cowboy Indian Graphics8 Vintage Tropic Surf Soda Pop 16 Ounce Bottles And Carrier Pepsi ColaPunchi Nello Goldsboro N.c. Soda Bottle 1909Vintage John Milne Stone Ginger Beer Bottle Est 1846 Stonehaven Portobella NrMusick's Beverage Bottle - 7 Up Bottling Co - San Angelo,texas - 1948 - NiceGranite State Acl Soda Bottle. Montgomery, Ala, Ssb Script Straight Side Coca-cola Bottle 2-09Great Lot Of 7 Vintage Mobile , Alabama Bottles -blob Top Clark- Holberg -more!Gilbertown Ala Crown Top Soda Bottle Circa 1915"dr Langley's Root & Herb Bitters" - Full Of Bubbles! - Excellent Condition!Rare "bull's Eye Sparkling Beverages" Acl Soda Bottle - Coca-cola Loredo, TxLot Vintage Chill Soda Pop Bottle Mohawk Valley Orange Crush 8 Fl.oz.Vintage Pepsi : Cola Double Dot Bottle Aqua 6 1/2 Flu. Ozs.Bengal Beverage Bottle - Orange,texas - 1956 - RareVintage Stoneware Ginger Beer Bottle Bradley Londonderry Derry StoutRare Coeburn, Va Chero Cola Soda Water Bottle, Small Coal Town Bottle!! Art DecoQuality Beverages Pepsi Cola Art Deco Bottle Opelika AlabamaExtremely Rare!!!! Coca Cola Straight Side Brighton Ont. Canada Emil Resch Ginger Beer Broken Hill N.s.w. Part Stoneware Bottle Acl Big Chief Soda Bottle Seguin,txSquat Brown Amber 7up Soda Water Bottle 7-up Swimmer 8 Bubble Houston TexasVintage Soda Pop Bottle Mountain Dew Pick-up Flower City Wilshire Club Jr. 4pcsEdmonton Alta Canada Capital Beverages Soda Bottle 6 1/2 Oz AclQuart Multi Town F.w. Lane Soda Or Beer Bittle From Sioux City And Colfax, IowaVintage Dr Pepper 10 - 2 - 4 Soda Bottles With Cardboard Carrying Case.Birmingham, Ala. Heel Script Straight Side Coca-cola Bottle 2-01Large Vintage Aircraft Sparkling Beverage Soda Bottle Stratford Ct AirplanePepsi-cola Norfolk, Va. Virginia 1912-1915 BottleVintage Rock Hill, Sc Chocolate Soldier 10oz Soda Bottle By Carroll BeveragesOrbitz Soda - Blueberry Melon Strawberry - Unopened!Xxx Big Chief Acl Soda Bottle Grenada,miss Low Reserve! Pepsi Cola Bottle Fayetteville NcRare Applachia Va Gay Ola Bottle Virginia Wholesale Coal Mine Owned Soda Bottler