Bottle Attributes - Beer Bottle Shapes

The shape of a bottle has a lot to say about a bottle's age and the product that it held. Regional preferences and traditions help to dictate what shapes were popular and for how long. Some forms are noticeably rare or absent from some areas of the country while popular in others. Porter beer bottles, which were used to bottle ales, porters and stouts, exist in less than half a dozen forms in the Western states, but were extremely popular in Eastern Pennsylvania, with thousands of examples; even though these styles of beer were popular in both areas of the country.

Porter Shape Porter shape, circ: 1760-1918
Typical size: 7 x 3" or 6 3/4 x 2 3/4"
Also in quart size and sided
Used to bottle various heavy beers such as porter, ale, and stout.
Glass only. Occurs on over 2,000 bottles.
Early Ale Shape Early ale shape, circ: 1847-1851
Typical size: 7 1/2 x 2 7/8"
Not known in quart size or sided
Used to bottle ale.
Glass & Pottery. Occurs on 20 bottles.
Early Lager Shape Early lager shape, circ: 1847-1851
Typical size: 8 1/2 x 2 7/8"
Not known in quart size or sided
Used to bottle lager beer.
Glass only.  Occurs on 13 bottles.
Late Ale or Lager Shape Late ale or lager shape, circ: 1851-1910
Typical size: 7 x 2 7/8" or 6 3/4 x 2 3/4"
Not known in quart size or sided
A merging of the early lager and ale shapes. Used to bottle lager to about 1878 and ale and porter until 1910.
Glass only.  Occurs on 68 bottles.
Teepee Shape Teepee shape, circ: 1850-1875
Typical size: 7 1/2 x 2 3/4"
Known sided but not in quart size
Used mostly to bottle artificial soda and mineral waters. Was also used to bottle beer.
Glass only. Occurs on 5 bottles.
Champagne Shape Champagne shape, circ: 1845-1910
Typical size: 11 x 3 1/2"
Not known in quart size or sided
Used to bottle cider and beer.
Glass & Pottery.  Occurs on 16 bottles.
Champagne Beer Shape Champagne beer shape, circ: 1875-1920
Typical size: 9 1/4 x 2 3/4"
Also in quart size and sided bottles
Used to bottle lager, champagne, and small beers, such as root beer.
Glass only. Occurs on over 5,000 bottles.
Weiss Beer Shape Weiss beer shape, circ: 1867-1910
Typical size: 7 3/4 x 2 3/4"
Not known in quart size but come sided
Used to bottle weiss or white beer in usually very heavy bottles.
Glass only.  Occurs on 473 bottles.
Zaun Weiss Beer Shape Zaun weiss beer shape, circ: 1880-1910
Typical size: 7 1/2 x 2 5/8"
Not known in quart size or sided
Used to bottle weiss or white beer in usually very heavy bottles.
Glass only.  Occurs on 74 bottles.
Saint Louis Weiss Beer Shape St. Louis weiss beer shape, circ: 1870-1915
Typical size: 2 3/8 x 9 1/2"
Not known in quart size or sided
Used to bottle weiss or white beer in usually very heavy bottles.
Glass only.  Occurs on 87 bottles.
Early Export Beer Shape Early export beer shape, circ: 1855-1880
Typical size: 9 x 2 5/8"
Also in quart size but not sided
Used to bottle various beers typically for export. Form was adopted for domestic use in some areas. There is a bulge in the neck.
Glass only.  Occurs on 137 bottles.
Malt Porter Shape Malt Extract, circ: 1895-1915
Typical size: 6 3/4 x 2 1/4"
Not known in quart sizes or sided
Used to bottle various malt extracts. This form was equally used by bottlers and brewers.  There is a bulge in the neck.
Glass only.  Occurs on 54 bottles.
Late Export Beer Shape Late export beer shape, circ: 1880-1915
Typical size: 9 x 2 5/8"
Also in quart size but not sided
Used to bottle various beers typically for export. Form was adopted for domestic use in some areas.  There is a bulge in the neck.  Curves are gentler and the height of the body is higher with a shorter neck than those on the early export shape.
Glass only. Occurs on over 500 bottles.
Flavored Beer Shape Flavored beer shape, circ: 1850-1865
Typical size: 10 x 3 1/2" or 8 1/2 x 3 1/2"
Also in pint size and sided
Used to bottle various flavored beers such as root beer, champagne beer, and Cronk's beer.
Glass only.  Occurs on 34 bottles.
Mead Shape Mead shape, circ: 1835-1890
Typical size: 9 1/2 x 3 1/2"
Also in pint and half pint sizes but not sided
Used to bottle various small beers such as mead, spruce beer, root beer, sarsaparilla and lemon beer.
Pottery only. Occurs on over 2,500 bottles.
Pottery Weiss Beer Shape Pottery weiss beer shape, circ: 1865-1880
Typical size: 7 1/2 x 3"
Not known in quart size nor sided
Used to bottle various beers typically for export. Form was adopted for domestic use in some areas.
Pottery only.  Occurs on 280 bottles.
Cronk Beer Shape Cronk beer shape, circ: 1848-1875
Typical size: 9 x 3"
Also in pint sizes and usually sided
Used to bottle various small beers like mead, spruce beer, root beer and lemon beer.
Pottery only.  Occurs on 233 bottles.
Champagne Ginger Beer Shape Champagne ginger beer shape, circ: 1880-1925
Typical size: 6 x 2 3/4"
Not known in quart size nor sided
Used to bottle various small beers such as ginger beer and root beer.
Pottery only. Occurs on over 200 bottles.
Ginger Beer Shape Ginger beer shape, circ: 1890-1925
Typical size: 6 x 2 3/4"
Not known in quart size nor sided
Used to bottle various small beers such as ginger beer and root beer.
Pottery & Glass. Occurs on over 300 bottles.
Pottery Seltzer Shape Seltzer shape, circ: 1845-1860
Typical size: 11 1/4 x 3 1/2"
Known in pint sizes but not sided
Used to bottle natural mineral waters, beer and gin.  Usually of Germanic in origin and reused in America.
Pottery only.  Occurs on 2 bottles.
Fifth Shape Fifth shape, circ: 1850-1860
Typical size: 11 x 3"
Not known in pint sizes nor sided
Rarely Used to bottle beer.
Glass only.  Occurs on 3 bottles.
Salesman's Sample Shape Salesman's sample shape, circ: 1895-1920
Typical size: 4 1/2 x 2 1/2"
Not known in pint sizes nor sided
Used to demonstrate how a stopper would operate.
Glass only.  Occurs on 4 bottles.
Cider Shape Pottery cider shape, circ: 1845-1855
Typical size: 10 x 3 3/4"
Not known in pint sizes nor sided
Rarely used to bottle cider.
Pottery only.  Occurs on 13 bottles.
London Porter Shape London porter shape, circ: 1850-1875
Typical size: 7 3/4 x 2 5/8"
Not known in pint sizes nor sided
Rarely used to bottle porter.
Glass only.  Occurs on 8 bottles.
Canteen Shape Canteen shape, circ: 1900-1905
Typical size: 11 x 10"
Not known in pint sizes nor sided
Rarely used to bottle beer.
Pottery only.  Occurs on 1 bottle.
   

Click on the bottle drawing to see a picture.