Collectible Milk Bottles (1900-Now)

Collectible Milk Bottles (1900-Now)

A few decades ago, milk bottles were a common sight. The milkman brought milk to your home in glass bottles. Today, the glass bottles are replaced by plastic jugs with plastic lids, and you have to buy the beverage at a convenience or grocery store. When you visit a flea market, estate sale, or even a garage sale with vintage memorabilia, youll likely find at least one; but if youre looking for a collectible milk bottle, you have to know how to spot extraordinary bottles from ordinary glass bottles.

How do you recognize rare milk bottles?

Rare milk bottles are prone to reproductions, but a couple of tips can help you distinguish vintage bottles from the rest. You may have found a rare, glass milk bottle if the container has:

  • A domed glass lid with a metal bail
  • War slogans printed on the milk bottle
  • Green or white milk glass rather than clear
  • An embossed cow and farmer on the bottle (Thatchers Dairy)
  • Popular Disney characters, such as Hopalong Cassidy
How do chips or cracks affect antique milk bottles?

If a milk bottle has been around for generations, its bound to have a few scratches, cracks, and even chips. While its perfectly acceptable for some bottles to show signs of age or wear, chips, cracks, and scratches that cant be repaired are going to bring down the milk bottle’s overall standing as an antique. Likewise, if you find a milk bottle in pristine condition, it is bound to be of more interest to collectors than if it was damaged in any way. In addition to the overall condition of the milk bottle, keep an eye out for add-ons that may be important. Any of the matching accessories may make an old milk bottle more important:

  • Lids
  • Crates
  • Cap
  • Milk jugs
  • Butter, cheese, cream, or bakery supplies from the same dairy farm
How do you tell the milk glass container’s age?

In general, you can tell the age of a milk glass bottle by looking for distinguishing marks. The majority of glass milk bottles were created in the late 1800s. Older milk bottles will have one or many of the following telltale signs of being a vintage milk bottle:

  • Molded seams
  • The scar from a glassblowers rod
  • A round scar on the bottom of the bottle
  • The name of a specific dairy
  • An amber color; these are thought to be the oldest bottles