How old is that piece of sea glass?

I was reading more on sea glass last night when I came upon dating bottle fragments by markings. Thinking about that large green piece of the base of a bottle that I found, I was curious to learn more about it. The edges were quite frosted but there were a few chips, which probably happened more recently. I thought it might be a beer bottle, and since I don’t drink beer, I would have no idea what was usually at the base of beer bottles.

It was obvious that the word ended in “glas” but I wasn’t sure what the beginning read, or how many letters had been lost. While I first thought a letter looked like a ‘w’ followed by an ‘a’, last night I thought maybe it was a ‘u’ and then guessed, from the ‘r’ and ‘a’ that the whole word could be “duraglas”, since it sounded like a possible name.

When I Googled “duraglas” the first result was from the Society for Historical Archaeology page. It explained that the script Duraglas notation on bottles produced by the Owens-Illinois Glass Company was used starting in 1940 and continued until the mid-1950s. That meant that this bottle fragment could be from the 1950s at the latest!

According to this site, which has several pictures of antique Owens-Illinois bottles, “Typically, the number on the LEFT of the diamond logo is the plant code number, the number on the RIGHT is a year date code, and the number below the logo indicates the mold number.”

The bottle that I found had the old O-I trademark, with the diamond, oval, and I in the center, which was gradually phased out over a period of four or five years, beginning in 1954.

If the number to the right of the logo is indeed the date, well tough luck, since part of it is missing. However, it looks as though there is a 4. I’m not sure if there is anything to the right of the 4, such as another digit that has broken off, or a period.

An article on the SHA page discusses the dates on the bottles. “Owens-Illinois continued the singledigit numeral/period system until 1946, although the company began integrating a two-digit system as early as 1943, but the 43 date code is rare…. Bottles made in 1943-1946 may contain either single-digit numerals followed by periods or doubledigit markings, such as a 4. or 44 for 1944.”

Could this bottle fragment be from 1944? Either way, it seems like it could be from any time between 1944 to 1954, inclusive.

Although I have been unable to find an image of a bottle that has “Duraglas” below the numbers, given the green color, I now think that this most likely was a 7 Up bottle.

Edit: I actually wrote this post yesterday. This morning I found a picture of a bottle from 1952, in which “Duraglas” is below the numbers, but it’s still not quite the same.

If anyone has any more information on this, I’d appreciate it if you’d share it!


Original post from 5/23/13 9:39 PM

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