Pressed Stoneware Bottles

Many bottle collectors are aware of Edwin H. and C.J. Merrill and their 1847 U.S. Patent number 5,206 for a process for making pressed, molded stoneware bottles by machine. Less well known is the 1868 Merrill patent for improvements to the machine (Figure 1). The redesigned equipment improved quality and efficiency. It also enables today’s collectors to determine if a molded bottle was made before or after 1868 from markings on the bottoms, much like glass bottles can be dated based on the presence of a pontil mark. In the case of pressed clay bottles, however, the older ones have smooth bases while those with rough bottoms date from after 1868. Read More