Question: I found a box of these bottles in an attic. I didn’t count them, but I would say there are about a dozen of them. I’ve looked all over the Internet and haven’t seen anything that looks like them. When wet, they are brown, but when they dry, they become very colorful. They stand 11 ½ inches tall, 3 inches in diameter at the bottom and slightly bigger at the shoulder. The seam runs from the bottom to about 1 1/2” from the top.
Can you help with identifying what they are, how old they might be and what value they might have?
Answer: You have bottles from Massillon Bottle & Glass Co., Massillon, Ohio. We can tell that by the maker’s mark on the bottom of the bottle: M.B. & G.CO. We turned to bottle expert, Michael Polak, author of Antique Trader Bottles Identification and Price Guide, for more information.
“While Massillon was only in business from 1900-1904, they produced thousands of bottles for a lot of different companies,” Polak said. “The bottles in the photographs that you sent were used for both beer and whiskey, probably mostly beer, circa 1900-1904, with a value of approximately $50-$75 each. Also, the bottles revealing the colors you mentioned must have been dug or buried bottles. The colors, or iridescent look, are due to minerals from the soil being baked into the glass over time. It won’t go away. When the bottle is wet, it temporarily hides the color until the bottle is dry again. On clear bottles that iridescent color really stands out when the sun hits it.”