Bottle Attributes - Beer Bottle Lips

The form of a bottle's lip can say something about a bottle's age.  Regional preferences and traditions help to dictate what lips were popular and for how long. Some lips are noticeably rare or absent from some areas of the country. In New York City, early porter bottles were produced with a tapered or rounded collar lip type. In Philadelphia, a mere ninety miles away, the double taper lip was used almost exclusively on these same bottles. Considering that both these city's bottles were manufactured at the Dyottville and Union Glass Works, one can see the influence of regional preferences, which can be used to identify a bottles place of origin. A pontiled porter bottle with a rounded collar is not likely from Philadelphia or its surrounding region.

The lip styles shown below are general representations only. The exact shape of lip may very greatly.

Rounded Taper Lip Rounded taper lip, circ: 1850-1920, Occurs on over 3,500 bottles.
This type of lip is often called a "blob" top by collectors. It was first used on porter shaped bottles and later on various shapes of soda and mineral water bottles. Its rounded shape prevented chipping and provided the strength needed to mount various closures. It was used almost exclusively on champagne shaped bottles. It was by far the most common type of lip used on pre-crown beer bottles.
Double Tapered Lip Double tapered lip, circ: 1815-1885, Occurs on over 1,300 bottles.
The type of lip first made its appearance on black glass wine and beer bottles. The shape second taper was a refinement of the earlier lips used on these bottles. The second taper was used to hold wire that was wrapped around the bottle and over the cork to hold it in place. This type of lip was the mainstay on early beer bottles. Its popularity started to fade during the 1880s when it was replaced with the rounded taper lip.
Rounded Lip Rounded lip, circ: 1885-1905, Occurs on over 200 bottles.
This type of lip is sometimes referred to as a doughnut by collectors. It was used on some beer bottles: mainly in the Midwest and Baltimore areas.  It is also used on other internally stopped bottles such as those that used the Baltimore loop seal, which used champagne shaped bottles. This patent has a ring inside the lip that is part of the sealing mechanism.
Tapered Lip Tapered lip, circ: 1846-1910, Occurs on 523 bottles.
This type of lip was used on early porter shaped bottles.  It was commonly used in the New York and Baltimore areas during this period. Its use was replaced by the rounded taper lip, but its use resurfaced later and was used on various beer bottles.
Taper Lip with Ring Tapered lip with ring, circ: 1848-1870, Occurs on 43 bottles.
This type of lip is often called a Twitchell top by collectors. George Twitchell of Philadelphia was the first to use this top in the late 1840s and used it almost exclusively on his bottles. This lip style was later used by other bottlers in New York, Georgia, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, but was never really that popular. It is known on porter, early lager, soda, pony and drug store shaped soda and mineral water bottles.
Applied Square Ring Applied square ring lip, circ: 1865-1915, Occurs on 19 bottles.
This type of lip was used on champagne shaped bottles that were used to bottle lager beers, cider and occasionally ale bottles.  I was never popular on beer bottles in the United States.
Applied Ring Lip Applied ring, circ: 1845-1890, Occurs on 13 bottles.
This type of lip was never really popular and was occasionally used on some beer bottles. This style of lip was often used on pottery cider bottles and very rarely glass bottles.
Heavy Flared Lip Heavy flared lip, circ: 1855-1875, Occurs on 1 bottle.
This type of lip was used primarily on pottery beer bottles from the second quarter of the nineteenth century.  They are often very crude and uneven in appearance.
Rounded with Tapered Ring Lip Rounded with tapered ring lip, circ: 1850-1875, Occurs on 107 bottles.
This type of lip was never really popular and was only used on some beer bottles. This style of lip was popular in England and without a doubt, American bottles tried to identify their wares with the English products. This lip style was used on porter and early export beer shaped bottles.
Rounded Taper with Insert Lip Rounded taper with insert lip, circ: 1900-1920, Occurs on 13 bottles.
This type of lip was never popular in the United States, but examples do exist. It was much more popular in Germany. The insert in the side of the lip allowed the eccentric part of a wire closure to be mounted and eliminated the need for a wire band under the lip to secure it. This lip was used almost exclusively on champagne beer shaped bottles.
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Taper with Insert Lip Taper with insert lip, circ: 1890-1920, Occurs on 10 bottles.
This type of lip was mainly used on transfer print ginger beer bottles from Canada and the United States.  The insert in the side of the lip allowed the eccentric part of a wire closure to be mounted and eliminated the need for a wire band under the lip to secure it.
Long Taper with Insert Lip Long Taper with insert lip, circ: 1890-1920, Occurs on 9 bottles.
This type of lip was mainly used on transfer print ginger beer bottles from Canada and the United States.  The insert in the side of the lip allowed the eccentric part of a wire closure to be mounted and eliminated the need for a wire band under the lip to secure it.
Inverted Taper Lip Inverted tapered lip, circ: 1848-1855, Occurs on 41 bottles.
This type of lip was used on some porter shaped bottles manufactured in the Pittsburgh and West Virginia region during the era that pontiled bottles were being manufactured.
Double Rounded Lip Double rounded lip, circ: 1860-1905, Occurs on 51 bottles.
This type of lip was not extensively used, but does occur on a few beer bottles. The height of both the rounded collars on these lips varies greatly. These bottles range from a porter shaped bottle from Louisiana to a Zaun shaped weiss beer bottle from New York and a champagne shaped beer from Philadelphia.
Square Collared Lip Square collared lip, circ: 1860-1910, Occurs on 63 bottles.
This type of lip was not extensively used, but does occur on a few beer bottles. The height of the square band on these lips varies greatly. This lip occurs on some mead bottles and some champagne shaped beer bottles.
Crown Lip Crown lip, circ: 1892-2000
This type of lip was extensively used on beer bottles after 1900 and were standard after 1920.  They were mostly used on champagne shaped beer bottles, but do occur on porter shaped beer bottles.