A bottle is a container of liquid or semiliquid. It may also be a plastic container. There are various types of bottles, ranging from a narrow-necked one, to a Champagne bottle, to a calabash, to a wide-necked one. They are commonly used for wine, beer, spirits, and other beverage products.
Bottles may also be made of glass. Some bottles are made by glass-blowing. Others are formed by a wooden block, and still others are made by a dip mold. These containers are usually round in cross-section. For a detailed discussion of these bottles, read the Bottle Bases page.
A ball neck is a narrow horizontal ring on the bottle neck. These are most often seen on pickle and sauce bottles, but can be found on a variety of other style bottles. This type of neck appears decorative, but it’s actually functional. Usually, a close-fitting cap is attached to the neck to prevent evaporation of the contents.
Ball necks were primarily made by the Illinois Glass Company, and are often encountered on sauce, flavoring extract, and medicine bottles. Other bottles have a similar neck shape but are more ornamental, such as the 1875 to 1885 hair dye bottle shown on the left.
Blob seals are a type of glass disk that is shaped to form a design on a bottle. Typical uses for these containers were for the forming of lettering, and to create an embossed design on the bottle. In other instances, blob seals were used for the sealing of documents.
The base of a bottle is the part of the bottle that is the most wide and deep. A base is also referred to as a mouth. An entire finish on a bottle is called a lip. On some machine-made bottles, the baffle plate interface results in a circular baffle mark on the base.
A toggle closure device is a metal bail that passes over the lid of a bottle, and a lever wire that is connected to it. The bail holds the stopper in place. Toggle closures are often referred to as yoke or bail. Blowpipes, on the other hand, are long, hollow iron or steel tubes. Typical blowpipes are about four to seven feet in length, but they can be as large as ten feet.
An applied color label is a method of applying glass through a metal screen. This type of label is also known as silk screening or pyroglazing. When this method is used, the finished bottles appear to be painted.
“Bottle” is a Middle English word. Originally it meant an arse. From that, it evolved to mean a vessel for storing liquids. Today, “bottle” is more commonly used to refer to a container. Depending on the author, it can be a synonym for a number of other terms.
Although some of the terminology for bottles is derived from technical glassmaking jargon, other terms are derived from a broader perspective, such as collector jargon. Collector jargon is a collection of descriptive words that are based on the interests of a particular collector.