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In January of 1935,- federal legislation took effect prohibiting the resale or use of used liquor bottles and required that the following statement be embossed on them: FEDERAL LAW FORBIDS SALE OR RE-USE OF THIS BOTTLE (Busch 1987); see the picture to the above right.(It should be noted that implementation of this requirement began in late 1934, so some bottles made that year will have the noted embossing.) This regulation was repealed in 1964 giving an effective dating tool of 1935 to the mid 1960s for this diagnostic feature (Munsey 1970).

The pictures on this page show just a small bit of this variety.

However, there are definitive trends in shapes that mark a bottle as very likely to have been used primarily or originally as a container for high alcohol spirits intended for internal consumption, "medicinal" or otherwise.

Whiskey was often labeled as - and sometimes even embossed - "For Medicinal Purposes Only" as early as the mid-19th century - long before National Prohibition took effect in January of 1920 (Wilson & Wilson 1968).

To be fair, ethyl alcohol was (and is) one of the better preservatives for products intended for internal consumption or external use.

Although certain elements of the Volstead Act were loosed up (e.g., 3.2% beer was legal to sell again) beginning in April of 1933, repeal of the 18th Amendment came in December of 1933.

With repeal, liquor was required to be sold only in bottles; bulk sales in casks was prohibited in an attempt to exert tighter controls and prevent a resurgence of anything resembling the old time saloon.

The famous (or infamous depending on perspective) Anti-Saloon League was primary force doggedly pursing the move towards the banning of alcohol and one of the first the successful single-interest pressure groups in the U. National Prohibition, however, was already the law of the land through Congressional passage - over a presidential veto - of the National Prohibition Act (aka the Volstead Act) on October 28th, 1919 which took effect immediately, although existing stocks could be sold through the January 16th, 1920 date.

There were, of course, various exceptions allowed under the law for "medicinal" products containing alcohol as well as sacramental wines (Okrent 2010).

By time National Prohibition was fully implemented in the U. in January of 1920, the only area north of Mexico that was not totally "dry" was the Province of Quebec (Unitt 1972).) The push for individual State and eventually National Prohibition came right at the time (1910s) that bottle makers were making the transition from mouth-blown to fully machine-made bottles.

It is an almost absolute fact that if an American made liquor bottle is mouth-blown it pre-dates National Prohibition.

However, there were some machine-made liquor bottles and flasks that most definitely pre-date Prohibition.

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