Antique glass “LYRIC” medicine bottles
Illinois Glass Company, Alton, Illinois
The glass bottles marked “LYRIC” on the base were produced by the Illinois Glass Company, of Alton, Illinois. Other plants owned or controlled (at least for some time) by Illinois Glass included their Gas City, Indiana location as well as Bridgeton, New Jersey, and Chicago Heights, Illinois.
“LYRIC” was IGCo’s brand name assigned to a particular line of prescription/druggist bottles. These bottles were made in a range of sizes, and were generally intended to serve as “generic” medicine bottles, often containing a liquid pharmaceutical product such as cough syrup. They were heavily used by many apothecaries, druggists, doctors, medical laboratories and other such entities.
These bottles are believed to date from approximately 1915, and probably were made up to circa 1929 at which time Illinois Glass Company merged with the Owens Bottle Company (based in Toledo, Ohio) to form Owens-Illinois Glass Company. It is likely some LYRIC bottles post-date 1929 since it would have taken some time for all bottle molds then in use to be re-engraved with the new mark used by Owens-Illinois.
Typically, they are found in ordinary clear glass (often the glass is stained with a dull surface “sickness” from long burial, as are
the two bottles shown here).
Sometimes the color of the glass may also be turning toward a very faint purple/amethyst color. Virtually all of the LYRIC bottles are machine-made, and were made in very large numbers, being found frequently in trash dumps of the period.
Note: Any of these bottles that are found in a very strong, dark purple color HAVE BEEN IRRADIATED, meaning the color has been altered in recent years. Please check out this page on “Artificially purpled glass”.
Also, see my page on the “Diamond I” mark, which was also used heavily by Illinois Glass Company. (Most of the LYRIC bottles are also marked with the “I inside a diamond” mark on the base).
For an informative, in-depth discussion on the Illinois Glass Company and the various identification marks they used on their glass containers, please see this web article by Bill Lockhart and others. (It is a .pdf file, requiring Adobe). http://www.sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/IGCo_BLockhart.pdf
Please click here to go to the Glass Bottle Marks pages (page one).
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