September 27, 2011

I have done it

Filed under: Dating, Historic — acagle @ 6:57 pm

Dated my first historic artifact, that is. Well, maybe not the first, I’m fairly certain that I’ve done something similar with some odd objects or other in the past, but this one was actually recovered on an archaeological project — monitoring anyway — and, without the date actually being stamped on the thing, I have assigned a secure date for its manufacture. To wit:
Desert Fox

It’s got a makers mark of an overlaid diamond and ‘O’ (see here) with a 20 to the left and a 2 to the right. It’s also got “Duraglas” stamped into the side. I found that this was an Owens-Illinois Glass Co. bottle and their Duraglass product was not produced until 1940. The 20 represents its Oakland CA plant — 20 had been used until 1940 for it Backinridge, PA plant also — and the ‘2′ represents 1942. . . .hmmmm. Something doesn’t make sense. Before 1940, the date digit was supposed to represent the last digit of the year — 0 for 1931, 1 for 1931, etc. — but after 1940 they either added a period to indicate 1940+ or two digits — 4. or 44 = 1944 — but this has no period, but if Duraglas wasn’t used until 1940. . . . .a quandary. Maybe I’m not as certain as I thought. Well, needs more study, I think. Seems to be a beer bottle as well, since I have read that the stipling it has was used in conjunction with the script ‘Duraglas’ for beer bottles. Well, at any rate, I was quite thrilled at at least begin to pin a date on something. Hopefully, I can resolve the discrepancies at some point.

2 Comments

  1. I believe the period wasn’t fully adopted for 1941 or 1942. In the SHA’s bottle glossary entry for “Duraglas” they explain that the example in the photo (with a one but no visible period) is from 1941.

    Another interesting quandary is that the Lockhart article dates the first plant 20 until 1940, but the Oakland plant 20 didn’t start production until 1946. He states that he borrowed the dates from Toulouse, and that they’re approximate. So which plant was the one running in 1942?

    http://www.sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/OwensIll_BLockhart.pdf

    Comment by Stephen — September 28, 2011 @ 6:27 am

  2. Yeah, the factory date perplexed me as well, especially after reading the Lockhart doc as well (had a copy sitting on my drive that I’d forgotten about). I think last night at some point I’d decided on 1942 as the most likely date and just acknowledging the inconsistencies.

    Comment by acagle — September 28, 2011 @ 8:09 am

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