Bottles were probably the first objects to be manufactured from glass more than 2,000 years ago. By the 18th century, American Colonists were using these practical products to store food, beverages, medicine and perfume. Glass became the preferred material over metal and pottery because it was transparent and did not react to liquids and food.
The earliest bottles available to the Colonists were dark green liquor bottles made in England and in Europe. The first American glass factories in New Jersey and New England copied these popular bottles and eventually began to market new forms and colors.
Flasks, colognes, and figural bottles developed with improvements in the technology of metal molds that were carved with decorative designs, political figures and into unusual shapes. Before paper labeling, the bottle’s shape and embossing identified the product inside the vessel. Sizes and shapes of bottles became recognizable, so that a mustard jar was different from a soda bottle, or a flask was different from a medicine bottle.