Milk bottles are generally glass receptacles that are bottles, with rubber or porcelain lids, specifically used for the containment of milk. They were delivered daily, used only once, and left out for the milkman. Their history goes by back to the late 19th century, at a time when the only way to transport them was with a horse-drawn cart and needed to be delivered multiple times during the day, until pasteurization process was developed.
One of the first patents for the glass milk bottles was awarded to the Lester Milk Jar, even though there were many other bottles that had a similar body shape and design. Around the 1930’s, the rounded Lester Milk Jar was replaced in popularity by a short square bottle. About this time, the bottles began to be embossed with names—a slug plate was inserted into the mold used to make the bottle.
Since the 1960’s, glass bottles have mostly been replaced by either a wax mixture coated paper cartons or plastic containers that are lighter, safer, cheaper, and recyclable.
This depletion of glass bottles in regular manufacturing circulation has made the glass milk bottle a collector’s item. One pint glass mil bottle can fetch as much as thirty US Dollars on ebay. Most of those bottles do not have the stoppers, so glass milk bottles with the lids still connected are fabulously valuable. There is such a large market for collectible glass milk bottles that there is a book available on identifying and pricing the items, Milk Bottle Manual: A Collector’s Pictoral Primer and Pricing Guide by Gordon A. Taylor. A paperback version of the manual is available on Amazon. Another manual, Antique Trader Bottles Identification and Price Guide by Michael Polak is in its 6th Edition and is sold through the Antique Trader website. http://sweetteapartysupplies.com.au