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We can always have some indication of a starting date for a technique if we can find who first put the idea into practice.

But any technique, once developed, can be used right up to the present - as many collectors know who have been so unfortunate as to rely too heavily on a popular termination date as sure evidence of true antiquity..." (Toulouse 1969b).

The shift to the fully automated bottle machine from mouth-blown and some semi-automatic methods in the early 20th century is the classic example (Toulouse 1967, 1969a). The same bottle could have been recycled and reused many times for many years before finally being discarded - entire or broken (Busch 1987).

This was almost universal with many beverage bottle types (e.g., soda, beer, milk) but was variably common with just about any type bottle - especially prior to 1920.

Other diagnostic tools must be used to date these items.

Shape is more indicative of function - i.e., what the bottle was used for or contained - but even that has a myriad of exceptions.

Some technological changes were expensive and not adopted by glass makers until it became an "adapt or perish" issue and many glass factories just perished.

(The two products were from separate companies which were cross-town [Sacramento, CA.] rivals during the late 19th to early 20th century.

The author has also seen Star Bitters labels on Wait's bottles as well as both labels on the immensely period popular Hostetter's Stomach Bitters bottles!

See the Bottle Typing/Diagnostic Shapes page for more information on the subject..

And last, but definitely not least, is the fact that the art and science of glassmaking had a lot of glassmaker/glassblower induced uniqueness in the form of variations, errors, experimentations, and retrogressions.

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