Bromo-Seltzer~Cobalt Blue Bottles~Brief History

Bromo-Seltzer / Emerson Drug  Co. / Baltimore, MD.  

Bromo-Seltzer was an extremely popular drug, in the form of a powder, introduced circa 1891.  This concoction was heavily promoted as a remedy for “sick headache”, upset stomach,  headache, hangover, and other maladies. The exact formula varied somewhat in the earlier years, with the main ingredient (originally) being sodium bromide.  The bottles are usually found in cobalt blue glass (they are also rarely seen in aqua glass), in a variety of sizes. The earlier bottles are hand-blown with a tooled lip, and the later examples are machine-made. The last machine-made types have a screw-threaded lip.

WARNING: (this paragraph first posted February 23, 2014, updated July 19, 2015).   It has come to my attention that unscrupulous ebay auction sellers have recently listed old Bromo-Seltzer bottles in a peculiar dull greenish color…… I would give the color a term such as swampy moss green, olive green amber,  burnt olive green or dirty mustard green! 

Some bottles are also showing up in peculiar shades of dark teal blue, “midnight blue”, “dark ink blue”, very dark teal green or “Prussian Green”.  (See note below about the teal green color).   Some of these colors may or many not be “nuked”.  

 Although these bottles could theoretically show up virtually anywhere, some of them appear to be originating from sources in Florida.  THESE BOTTLES WERE EVIDENTLY ORDINARY COBALT BLUE BOTTLES WHICH HAVE UNDERGONE “NUKING” (irradiation)  to change their color to a “rare” color shade, increasing the “perceived” value to bottle collectors.  Be aware that the color is not believed to be “original” or “authentic”.  Also, please see my webpage on this site about Artificially purpled bottles.   Artificial irradiation can change glass from an original aqua or blue color to other shades including purple, depending on the exact content of the glass batch “recipe”. 

(Note: Someone has written to me recently [3/2016] who states he has personally dug a few Bromo-Seltzer bottles  in a dark teal green from an old dumpsite and they are definitely authentic, not nuked, so I am adding this paragraph 4/12/2016.)   I will reserve judgment on these color variants to others…….. diggers/collectors who are more knowledgeable on dug Bromos and the colors that have been found .

(Note: Hand-blown (mouthblown) bottles will have two vertical mold seams along the sides of the bottle that gradually “fade out” or appear to be “erased” as the seam reaches closer to the top rim.  In contrast, machine-made bottles have mold seams that are usually visible clear up to the top of the bottle, often extending up onto the very top rim).

The product is still being sold, as an antacid, and comes in small individual packets as opposed to bottles.

The largest size bottles are somewhat scarcer, and harder to find than the typical small size (most common) which measures, in general, about 2 and 5/8″ in height.

Cobalt blue glass Bromo-Seltzer bottles in three sizes

Cobalt blue glass Bromo-Seltzer bottles in three sizes

Many, many millions of these bottles were made, and the embossed lettering varies somewhat with slight variations in the exact placement, size and shape of the letters.  Some bottles exhibit the results of mold-cutting errors, for instance sometimes the “Z” in “Seltzer” is embossed backwards (as in the case of the small bottle on the right in the accompanying photo). Incidentally, that particular bottle is an older version, with a “squared band” lip, believed to date from the early years of Bromo production, circa 1890s. In contrast, the great majority of the small Bromos have a “rounded band” lip.

It is likely that hundreds of different molds were utilized in the long stretch of time that these bottles were made. An examination of bottles shows many that carry only mold numbers on the base. These mold numbers (one or two-digit numbers) do not convey any precise information as to when the bottle was made.  (However, because of the high quantities of machine-made Bromo-Seltzer bottles seen with these mold numbers, it is very likely, but so far not proven, that they are products of Maryland Glass Corporation).

The first bottles were believed to have been produced by Cumberland Glass Manufacturing Company, Bridgeton, New Jersey in the early 1890s.     Maryland Glass Corporation, starting production in 1907,  was a glass manufacturer originally owned by Emerson Drug Company and built to be operated as a vehicle for producing the vast quantities of Bromo-Seltzer bottles necessary.  As time went on, Maryland concentrated most heavily on the manufacture of many types of cobalt blue bottles and jars and other blue glassware.   Maryland Glass, no doubt, produced more of the B-S bottles than any other manufacturer.   The most common mark used by Maryland Glass Corporation is the “M inside a circle“. See more info on the mark on this page.

All of the earlier Bromo-Seltzer bottles were handmade, presumably including all of the Cumberland Glass production, and the first few years of Maryland Glass production.  It is not possible to pin down a specific year that Bromo-Seltzer bottles were first made by automatic bottle machine methods, but by 1915 Maryland Glass Corporation had automatic machinery in operation, and presumably most, if not all, of the Bromo-Seltzers made after that year were machine-made.


Illinois Glass Company, of Alton, Illinois, evidently made quantities of this bottle, some marked with a “dot inside a diamond”. Those examples would date from the late 1910s and 1920s.   (NOTE (added 7/19/2015): this statement is now open to debate……….author/researcher Bill Lockhart believes the “dot inside a diamond” mark, along with some other very similar “geometric” marks found on some Bromo-Seltzer bottles, is a mold identifier (serving the purpose of a mold number) but does NOT serve as a glass manufacturers’ mark.  If anyone has found a Bromo-Seltzer bottle with a definite  “diamond with an I inside” on the base,  please contact me, as I want to find out if Illinois Glass Company should be crossed off our list of makers of the Bromo bottles. (Contact me through the email address at the lower right hand corner of any page on this site.)

Some Bromo Seltzer bottles were also believed to have been produced by Hazel Atlas Glass Company (or it’s predecessor, Hazel Glass Company).  However, that information is now in doubt as well, as discussed on Bill Lockhart’s exhaustive webpage on Bromo-Seltzer bottles here.

Another confirmed maker of Bromo-Seltzer bottles would be George Jonas Glass Company, Minotola, New Jersey (1896-1908), as this is specifically mentioned on page 271, The Glass Gaffers of New Jersey, by Adeline Pepper (1971).

Exactly when the last glass Bromo-Seltzer bottles were made is uncertain, but probably in the 1950s or 1960s. (If you have evidence to assign a specific date for the last Bromo-Seltzers made in cobalt blue glass, please contact me!!).  UPDATE: Please see a letter sent to me by Ron, inserted farther down in this page. He states that the glass bottles might have been discontinued not too long after 1956.

Bromo-Seltzer bottles are so plentiful that they do not have a high intrinsic value, but because of their highly attractive cobalt blue color, they are very popular with glass and bottle collectors and non-collectors alike, and can even add color and interest to interior room design.  Many of them are sold on internet auction sites such as ebay, and other antique and collectible sites.

For a little more background information on Bromo-Seltzer, check .

Click here to return to Page One of the “Bottle Marks Pages“.

Click here to go to my Home Page.

114 Responses to Bromo-Seltzer~Cobalt Blue Bottles~Brief History

  1. This is interesting….here is an OLD post from guys doing digs in MD and this guy found 75 Bromo Caffeine bottles in one day! That would tell me they were made around there….maybe not. But wow, this is a heck of a dump to dig in obviously:

    • David says:

      Hi Anthony,
      Thanks for the link to that article. I believe that Maryland Glass Corporation of Baltimore DID manufacture the Bromo Caffeine bottles, or at least some of them, as they specialized in cobalt blue glass and made gobs of blue glass bottles and jars for many different companies.


  2. I heard about the Bromo Caffeine bottle and finally found one in an antique store in OshKosh, WI I have about 14 bromo bottles…and only collect those with a seamless, hand-formed top. The bottle is Bromo Caffeine with words sidewise and Caffeine slightly larger font. Handformed top and the number “2” on the bottom. I don’t know if they are rare or worth anything but I looked for a long time to find a non-chipped one that had “BROMO CAFFEINE” on it.I do wonder if this is from the Bromo Seltzer company or not? Beautiful blue.

    • David says:

      Hi Anthony,
      I was under the vague impression that BROMO CAFFEINE was a product produced and distributed by a competing firm. However, I cannot remember where or when I got that information. If any readers have better in-depth information on the Bromo Caffeine bottles, the product or it’s maker, please chime in!!
      Best regards, David

  3. Leian says:

    Hi I recently found a blue bottle on the front it says Bromo Caffeine embossed in a circular way. Under that it says For All Headaches. That’s all it say on the front of the bottle. On the bottom is stamped 10-K-777. There is a seam that runs from bottom to the top on both sides of the bottle. Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

  4. James Callahan says:

    Could I please get a time line on the three vintage bromo bottle types . #1 The lip has no seam 1890-1915, The lip has the seam 1915- ? early screw cap type ?

    • David says:

      James, I’m sorry but I can’t give you a detailed time line. If you haven’t already, please check out the extensive article by Bill Lockhart, which I have linked to within my article. He goes into great detail with the various types and variants of these bottles recorded so far. Maybe you can glean a better timeline with the information he has put together in his article.
      Best regards,

  5. Stephen says:

    Hi, I have dug a Toronto Ont Bromo bottle in Sydney Australia, along with various local bottles of
    which all date to the late 1800’s.
    Is the Toronto bottle a rare thing, can’t seem to find much on this one, and none on Ebay history which I thought to use to find out more.
    It’s a very dark colbalt blue, much darker than the U.S. versions.

    • David says:

      Hi Stephen,
      I hear occasional reports of Bromo-Seltzer bottles embossed with the city of Toronto, but I have no idea how common or rare they really are. Because of the fact that I live in the United States, and the majority of bottles seen in this country were intended for distribution and use here, it is hard to know how many of the “Toronto” marked bottles there are around the world. I would imagine most of them were used in Canada. Evidently, from your experience, at least some of them were exported to Australia. Perhaps others were shipped to other British countries / colonies??

  6. John says:

    I just found a bottle today. It is stamped M2 on the bottom of the bottle.

  7. Grant Michael Block says:

    I just found one of these bottle in the mud after river flood waters washed it into the park.

  8. Matt B says:

    Hi! I have a small cobalt blue Bromo Seltzer bottle with either the letter “L” or the number 7 on the bottom. Does anyone know what this indicates?

    • David says:

      Hi Matt, I would imagine it is meant to be the number “7”. I have seen several different numbers on the bases of Bromo-Seltzer bottles, and they are assumed to be mold identifying numbers. Also, please check out my webpage concerning numbers seen on the bases of glass bottles.
      Best regards,

  9. Jessica King says:

    Hi I have Cobalt Blue Bromo-Seltzer bottle. It is in great condition. It has Baltimore MD on it. The bottom has 3 dots inside a circle. I have enclosed a picture of it. I wiuld love to know the history of this bottle.

  10. Linda Carol Moore says:

    For the past 25 years I have had several bottles in my possession. And as I had more time on my hands I am looking further into the bottles I have. Two of my aunts worked at Maryland Glass company, I’m thinking around 1930-1940. I have a Bromo-seltzer bottle with screw-on white lid with blueprint; the base has a number 5. I also have a piggy bank rough texture cobalt- its ears are laying flat and it has a number one on the base. Can you tell me anything about these. I also have several other bottles. I’m just studying a few at a time- any information would be appreciated. Thank you.

  11. Beau says:

    Found a Bromo-seltzer bottle in ny where the area used to be a landfill. No indicators from any glass company are visible though it does say Baltimore md right on the front.

    • David says:

      Beau, many Bromo-Seltzer bottles don’t have a glass company identification mark on them, although most are believed to have been made by Maryland Glass Corporation, which may be the case with your bottle. When there is a mark, it tends to be the “M in a circle” logo used by Maryland. However, many of the earlier bottles made by Maryland evidently didn’t care a mark, just a mold number, if that.

  12. diverdon says:

    Hello David,

    I found a Bromo Seltzer bottle in Lake Superior recently while Scuba diving under the some docks that have been repaired recently. A powerful storm had come through and did much damage and so repairs were necessary. The docks are over 100 years old and occasionally old bottles are found there. I suspect the storm had moved the silt around and exposed this bottle which had been buried for some time.
    I was recording all this and posted it to my YouTube channel. I am including a link so you can see how I found this bottle. The bottle find is at the 5:51 mark. It measures just over 7.5″ tall and had the circle M and a 5 on the bottom.
    I can send photos too if you would like.
    Thank you,


    • David says:

      Hello DiverDon, and thanks for your post! You have an interesting video there! Thanks for the link, and best of luck with more “treasure hunting” on Lake Superior.

      • diverdon says:

        Thanks David, I’m glad you found it interesting. If I find any more that are similar I will merely post photos. I’m not sure if you can tell by the video but this one has the screw on top so I suspect its new and fairly common.
        But the story behind my finding it makes it that much more valuable to me.
        I guess I have nothing else to do now but check out the rest of your site.


  13. I have found several small blue Bromo Seltzer Bottles with the original product inside.
    The full label reads starting from the top:
    “Net Weight Granular Effervescent 3/8 OZ
    Trade Mark Reg. U. S PAT. OFF
    Active Ingredients
    Each heaping teaspoonful contains 2 1/2 grains Acetanilid.
    5 grains Sodium Bromide, also Caffeine; Sodium Bicarbonate and Citric Acid, Which when dissolved form sodium citrate.
    A relief for simple Headaches and Neuralgia
    Dose: A heaping teaspoon in half glass of water; if not relieved, repeat after interval of three hours. Do Not exceed two doses in twenty four hours. In persistent or frequent headache or neuralgia, consult your physician. Not for use by children.
    CAUTION: If rash, drowsiness in daytime, or any unusual symptoms occur, discontinue use at once. Not for use by those having Kidney or other organic diseases, unless advised by physician. Do not exceed recommended dosage. Frequent and continuous use may result in serious effects.
    The Emerson Drug Company of Baltimore City, Maryland.
    on the side, it reads CONTROL NO 0473”
    I have several of these unopened bottles.
    There is a metal cap and in Blue it reads, BROMO-SELTZER keep tightly closed.
    the blue bottle on the bottom it also has raised Bromo lettering in the glass and on the bottom of the bottle there is an M with a circle around it and a number 23
    Will I die if I drink some?
    Why did they take this product off the market?

    • David says:

      Hi Brian,
      As far as I know, the product is still on the market (but now in tablet form, and sold in a package similar to Alka-Seltzer) but the ingredients have been changed since the years when Bromo-Seltzer was sold in glass bottles. I cannot honestly say exactly what differences there are in the present formulation as compared to the recipe they used to use, but I believe they removed the sodium bromide, and perhaps some other minor ingredients? I certainly wouldn’t recommend your taking a dose from an old bottle, although I doubt that it would be dangerous to do so. After all, the product was consumed in large quantities for decades 🙂
      Here are some product reviews from the Amazon site:
      Hope this helps,

  14. Linda Eaton says:

    David ,Linda here again that Bromo Seltzer Bottle with OBC is a 1904 or 1905 do you know which one was it I am getting conflicting dates as when Ohio Bottle Company made them the article says 1905 was the year they handed the manufacturing to Ohio Bottle Company then the graft says 1904. anyway I have the OBC one.

    • David says:

      Linda, can you email me a picture of this bottle with the OBC on the bottom? I’ve tried to contact you several times with no answer. Perhaps my emails are being sent to your spam/trash folders???
      Best regards,

      • Gail says:

        My blue glass bottle was found with the label the same as others with the exception of Toronto, Ont. not Baltimore Md. was the company once located in Canada, would you know?

        • David says:

          Hi Gail, from my understanding I think Bromo-Seltzer marketed their product in a number of other countries besides the US, including Canada, Australia, and countries in Europe, and so they did have several bottle variants with other city names embossed on them. Although, I don’t know if those other bottles were made in the United States and exported to the country where they were to be sold, OR if they were actually made in those countries by another glass company FOR Bromo-Seltzer.
          I am sure there was a “branch business office” located at some time in Toronto. Perhaps those bottles marked with the city name “TORONTO” were made by some unidentified glass manufacturer in Canada?? I simply don’t know. That information might already be available somewhere on the web, for all I know!
          Best regards,

      • Linda Eaton says:

        In regards to the Bromo Seltzer OBC bottle. I just now got this message – it is now Feb 2019. David, what is your email?

        • David says:

          Linda, my email address is listed on the lower right-hand corner of any page on this site. (I’m not sure if it displays the same on smartphones, as opposed to desktop computers). I have now emailed you 4 times, with no response whatsoever. I’ve also checked my spam folders.

  15. David Boucher says:

    I was digging in my yard to build a fence and about 6-7″ in the ground I found in perfect condition an emerson seltzer bottle it’s about 2 1/2″ tall with a 5 stamped on the bottom. Could you tell me more about this.

    • Anthony Dallmann-Jones PhD says:

      I have three of those 2.5″ and they are all different, which is why I keep them. One has a handformed top (no seam above shoulder) with nothing on the bottom. It is a dark blue.
      I have one with a seam mark running all the way to shoulder then about 1/32 of an inch to the right another seam going up the neck. It has a diamond with two dots inside it on the bottom. The third has a constant seam from bottom to top and has the number 9 on the bottom (with line beneath it so as not to confuse it with a 6). They are beauties, aren’t they?

  16. Anthony Dallmann-Jones PhD says:

    Looking for an older Bromo bottle with squared ring top … seamless neck.

  17. Laura Sandvik says:

    Very interesting article, thank you. I found one under the snow in our driveway in Shelburne MA. Was surprised it does not say MD after Baltimore. It’s about 4″ tall.

    • David says:

      Hi Laura,
      Yes, there were many different molds made over the years, and the exact wording (and arrangement of the markings) on the Bromo-Seltzer bottles may vary a little. Thanks, David

  18. Eric Meyers says:

    Doing construction of new home on the beach in Margate City NJ. While Driving pile for the new house I Found a small EMERSEN bottle with the number 26 on the bottom. It definitely appears to be hand made. Very interesting to read about the other finds. Thanks for all of the info.

  19. John luft says:

    I work on an orchard in Johnstown,Ny. Today I was picking pumpkins and seen some blue glass and uncovered a bottle of Emerson Bromo seltzer. Great condition other than a small chip in the rim. Has the diamond with a dot symbol on bottom. I found your article very informative!

  20. Jaren says:

    Just found a bromo seltzer bottle working at the old Thomas Edison building in west orange NJ.

  21. Lois Vander Horn says:

    I just found a Bromo Seltzer bottle on the beach in Sandy Hook, NJ. yesterday. It has the fully embossed front Bromo Seltzer – Emerson Drug Co. – Baltimore, MD and a number 23 on the bottom. So I think its from the early 1900’s according to what I have been reading. I figured I would google this and see what I found. Wow, didn’t realize I would find so much. This small bottle is fully intact, but on the same beach, I found a much larger curved piece of Cobalt Blue, and the only distinguishing marks was the letters MD. When I compared the two bottles, it absolutely looks like the same MD on both bottles. Was there a much larger bottle made also? I can’t believe I found this on a public beach. Two pieces no less. That is just crazy to me.

    • David says:

      Hi Lois,
      There are a number of different sizes, and many slightly different embossing variations of BROMO bottles that were made over the years.
      I might also mention that, especially after strong storms and tides, it is not that uncommon to find pieces of beach glass, including whole bottles, that have been uncovered by shifting sands and currents. It could be a bottle that has been buried nearby for many years, and was recently uncovered. Or possibly a bottle that had been underwater (farther away from the shore) lying on the bottom for a long time, but was washed farther up onto the beach just recently. If you haven’t already, check out my article on Beach Glass, and the page on Maryland Glass Corporation.
      Thanks for writing!

  22. Keith says:

    Just found a Bromo-Seltzer bottle whilst digging in my back yard which just happens to be in South Baltimore 1 mile from Fort McHenry. It’s the one pictured on the left here, only ID marks are a 24 on the bottom.

  23. Donald Allen says:

    About 20 years ago while replacing a sidewalk I found a Bromo-Seltzer bottle. Cobalt Blue, and the 2.5 X 1 inch size. The embossing does include BALTIMORE, MD. The top is like the picture of the large bottle in the middle above. The rim is a single rounded ring. Looking at Table 3 in the SHA guide that you reference, I am assuming that this is the single ring, rather than the 3 or 4 lug. The seam is pretty strong until about half-way or two-thirds up on the neck. There is a 12 embossed on the bottom. The glass in the base is not level (thicker on one side than the other).There does not seem to be a horizontal seam just below the single ring. The base is countersunk.

    My best guess would be: Mouth-Blown, Full Front Embossing, 1- or 2-Digit Numbers on Base.

    Thank you for posting this information, and the link to the information from the Society for Historical Archeology.

  24. Pamela says:

    My blue embossed bottle says Bromo-seltzer, Emerson Drug Co. Toronto, Ont. It would take a press on cap, I think. Not a screw cap. How old do you think it is?

    • David says:

      I don’t know, but would guess it dates from sometime in the 1907-1930s period. I assume that style of bottle would have had a cork closure.

  25. Gordon Carpenter says:

    Issac Emerson who started Emerson Drug Co. and invented BROMO SELTZER in Chapel Hill, N.C. was my great uncle (my grandmother’s brother). EmersonDrug Co. was sold to Warner-Lambert and W-L was later on sold to Pfizer Pharm Co. My great uncle (Mr. Emerson) gave stock to his sisters (one being my grandmother) my mother and her sisters inherited the stock (being Pfizer stock later on). My mother died many years ago and I inherited the stock. I am now a proud owner of many shares of Pfizer stocks and they also pay a good dividend. I suggest that you check it out.

    • Betsy Stone says:

      We are very interested in finding any information regarding Mr. Emerson especially from descendants to be included in not only our history tours but also The Maryland Glass Corporation Museum and extension of the Emerson Museum which is open to the public in the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower in Baltimore. We would be pleased if you contact us with any info you may have. Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the Maryland glass Room Sat June 10, 2017

  26. Sharon Clark says:

    My husband found a small BromoSeltzer bottle on our farm. It has the mold seams all the way up and the rounded lip. I’m guessing this had a cork as it does not have the “screw” marks. Roughly what year did they stop making the cork topped bottles. I’m just trying to get a sense of when it might have been made. Thank you

    • David says:

      Hi Sharon,
      I don’t think anyone is sure exactly when the ‘cork type’ lip was discontinued, but from this webpage article, the screw-type finish (“continuous thread”) may have been instituted sometime in the 1954-1956 time period. So any bottles with the cork-type lip would date previous to that time. Here is the article I am referencing. It has a lot more detailed information than I have on my site……….. Please check out the info under the “TABLE 3 – EMBOSSING AND FINISHING STYLES” heading. .
      Best regards,

  27. Lander says:

    Recently just found an old cobalt blue bottle from an old house site and there is nothing under the bottom of it except a 8 in the far corner. I assume it is an old medicine or Bromo Seltzer bottle, but not sure. Any help on this?

    • David says:

      Hi Lander,
      There were gobs and gobs of cobalt blue bottles made, of various sizes and shapes, over many years. Some have markings, but many do not. Without a glass manufacturers’ mark on the base, it is hard to pin down an age range (much less a particular year). A simple number (one or two digits) on the bottom of a bottle is usually a mold identifying number and gives us no info on age or maker. Please check out my webpage on numbers on the base of glass bottles.

      A lot of these bottles could be called “generic’ medicine bottles (many poison bottles were purposely made in cobalt blue glass) and there were many brands of medicines, ointments, cosmetics and other products packaged in blue bottles. Just a search on ebay with the terms cobalt blue bottle will bring up examples of lots of these bottles. Bromo-Seltzer was just one brand name, but there were other competing products, many of which probably carried a paper label but did not have markings embossed into the glass itself.

      If you can tell the difference between handblown bottles and machine-made bottles, that can help narrow down a date range somewhat. IN GENERAL, handmade (mouth-blown) bottles have vertical side seams that do not go all the way to the top…….the tend to “fade out” or appear to be “wiped” or “erased” at some point below the lip area. The lip was added in a second step during production.
      In contrast, machine-made bottles typically have mold seams that go all the way to the very top of the bottle.
      There was a gradual changeover from handmade bottles to machine-made bottles, depending on the glassmaker (some more prosperous companies changed over earlier to machine), the type of bottle, etc, but in general we can say that most handmade bottles were made before about 1915, and most machine-made bottles date after approx. 1905-1910.
      Again, there is an OVERLAP of several years where it is difficult to pin down dates on any particular example. Hope this helps a bit.

      • Peter Dodd says:

        Hi David, I have just found a Bromo Seltzer bottle in my garden in Sydney Australia. It’s 4 1/4 inches tall, machine made type with an ‘interrupted’ screw top, fragments of what seems to be a bakelite (?) screw top, has a diamond with a C (or maybe a badly formed O) and a dot (Cumberland?) inside the diamond,and a 2 below it, on the bottom.

      • Diana Mize says:

        I have the one ounce bottle with a double ring finish. From the article you quote this seems rare. Any thoughts?
        Diana Mize

        • David says:

          Hi Diana,
          That comprehensive article by Bill Lockhart (with input from others) does not mention the ounce capacity of the scarce “double ring” variant, so your information is new to me. I really have no idea just how rare that type of bottle is, but judging from the fact that Lockhart (and others in the “Bottle Research Group” who contributed to the article) had not seen any other examples besides the ebay auction noted, we can assume it is hard to find. Unfortunately I have no other info on it’s rarity or value. Best regards,

  28. Lori says:

    This was so fascinating! I just bought one for my fiancé as he grew up in Baltimore and we drive by the Tower often! This one only has a circle on the bottom, and a lipped top. Any idea (since there isn’t an “M” in the middle of the circle, does that mean it wasn’t made by the Maryland company?

    • David says:

      Lori, it is uncertain what glass company made the examples with the geometric shapes on the bottom (triangle, rectangle, circle, diamond with dots, etc). And it’s not easy to pin down the years when they were made. I will guess your bottle dates from sometime in the 1910s-1930s, but I know that wide date range doesn’t help us very much! Thanks for writing,

  29. Courtney says:

    I have a bottle that has “BALTICMORE MD” written on it. Would that be of any type of significance?

    • David says:

      Hi Courtney,
      Many types of older bottles and glass insulators are found that bear mold-engraver errors, such as missing letters, upside down or backward numbers or letters, extra characters, errors of spacing etc. Yours is an error I was not aware of, although I am sure among the many molds manufactured over the years for the Bromo-Seltzer bottles, there will be errors found once in a while (such as the ‘backward Z”). I don’t have any info on how common that error piece is, or if it has much value to collectors above and beyond the “normal” ones. Perhaps someone who specializes in collecting Bromo bottle variants will read your query and comment on the subject. Thanks for your post~

  30. Valeri says:

    I have found a small blue bottle with “Bromo Seltzer Emerson Drug CO. Balitmore MD on it and a triangle on the bottom. It was found in the Arkansas river in Wichita,ks.

  31. David knight says:

    Just dug up a small one in Chertsey, England. Just washing it out now. Always of to hear some history about it cheers

  32. Just acquired some land in sw Arkansas which part of it is a early 1900’s dumpsite. I have found many of these bottles. I plan to begin excavations at the site shortly I would like someone with knowledge of these artifacts to contact me.

    • Mark says:

      Congrats! Wish I was there to dig with you, that’s a good deal. Should be lots of fun. Take your time… I’d bring a soft brush for fine work around the bottles. Would make sure to wait till there’s a full thaw if you ground gets frozen. Enjoy.

  33. Tim says:

    I found a 2 1/2 inch blue bottle in a field in Fayetteville TN right near a Civil War site and was very excited that I’d found some living history! No visible side seam, 12 on the bottom.

  34. mike johnson says:

    Per Ron’s comments about when glass Bromo bottles were phased out…he is about twenty five years too early. Warner Lambert discontinued glass Bromo bottles circa 1981, not 1956 (the first commercial plastic bottles were produced in 1959 for Procter and Gamble’s Ivory Liquid). I have a complete Bromo package (bottle,box,etc.) which has the zip code for Warner Lambert (zip codes post date 1965) and no UPC code (post dates 1975). So, it is my contention that glass bottles of Bromo-Seltzer were made well after the 1950’s.

    • David says:

      Hi Mike, and thanks for your comments. Can you post some info on your exact sources of information that indicate the Bromo-Seltzer bottles were made up until circa 1981? Did the last cobalt blue bottles containing Bromo-Seltzer actually have the brand name or company EMBOSSED on the glass? If not, once a label is gone it may be difficult to know that any particular bottle actually contained a certain product. Also, not to split hairs (and it doesn’t change anything in your assessment of dates) but zip codes were introduced in the US in July of 1963. Although they were not made “mandatory” on certain classes of packages until 1967.

  35. Joel Jackson says:

    Anyone have a Cobalt Blue 2 1/2inch tall with slick sides and P & W on the bottom. Also H-24 and a 7 in the center. Looks like a cork stopper must have been in it originally..

  36. william says:

    Have found a bottom of a cobalt blue glass with a circle and the number 6 over the circle. Do you have any idea what this bottom came off of.

  37. Chris DeLong says:

    Wow, thank YOU, David, for all the information you’ve provided and hosted here. It’s like I’m in a support group or something! 🙂 Living in an historic 1870’s home, I too have a story of the bottle popping up out of the ground last year while planting a tree… which is the larger bottle pictured above, 5 on the base. I posted a pic of my bottle on FB and within minutes someones google search pointed me right here. I notice now, though, and wonder… I see a dot/period on the upper curvature, centered, back.

    Thanks again!

  38. Loraine says:

    Hi, I live in a historic home built in 1851 with a granary that was built in 1865. My son-in-law happened to see a piece of blue glass under the floor that sparkled. He dug it up and it was a Bromo Seltzer bottle. A fun find. It has the original cork stopper in the top. Do you know how to remove this without damaging it so I can wash the inside of the bottle? It was so fun to read all the comments. Loraine from Utah

    • David says:

      Hi Loraine, Sounds neat! Usually a very old cork will be dried out and easily prone to damage when attempts are made to remove from a bottle. Personally, I would leave it as is. (Since it is an authentic artifact from your house’s history, it might be of more interest or sentimental value if left as it was found). I don’t know this for a fact, but perhaps there are smaller sizes of corkscrews out there that could be used to remove the cork if you really want it gone? Sorry– I just don’t know.

  39. Coffeegirlct says:

    My parents house sits on an old ‘clean’ landfill and we constantly find cobalt bromo seltzer bottles in the ground. I think we’re up to about 20 now in various sizes.

    • David says:

      HI, and thanks for your comment! The Bromo-seltzers are out there in abundance, and many, many different molds with differences in exact markings can be found! Great “window bottles”!! David

  40. Noreen says:

    Thanks David. I just picked up a 2 boxes of bottles from an estate sale. It was in a MD family. Using your article i was able to identify it from the MD factory, hand blown, no marking on the bottom. The bottle is in amazing condition as it sat on a shelf in the basement of the old farm house.

  41. Jamie says:

    Thank you David for posting this information!! I live in Kansas and have found a multitude of htese bottles, of all sizes, buried in my backyard. Some of them still have the cork and powder inside. I will have to go home now and find out where they were made thanks to your information on the “M” or “I”. I have also found a few, no bigger than 2 inches that have no information on them at all. Most are cobalt blue in color. Thanks again for the information!!

    • David says:

      Hi Jamie, and thanks for your post. I would imagine there might have been an unofficial trash dumping area along the back perimeter of your property, and the area has settled over the years, and/or been covered over with soil, and you are now finding some of the “non-degradable” items such as bottles that were disposed of there?
      Take care, David

  42. Christina says:

    I have a blue bottle but it has a .4 on the bottom? What does that mean?

    • David says:

      It’s a mold number, and just identified the mold. It means almost nothing to us collectors now, but had importance to the factory workers at the time the bottle was made.


      • We recently acquired some property which is apparently the site of an old trash dump used in the early 1900’s. We found numerous blue bottles and other artifacts lying exposed on the ground. We plan on digging for more soon as the weather warms up. Any info or tips would be helpful as we are brand new to this.

        • David says:

          Steven, my only advice would be to dig very carefully, and try not to break any bottles in the process! Depending on the particular dumpsite, there may be only a small amount of debris in a thin layer, or there could be multiple layers of trash from extended periods of time when an area was used for trash disposal. Some dumps are very old, and bottles from lower levels might date from the very early 1900s or even back into the 1800s. Just depends on the individual site. You might search the internet for articles on dumpsite bottle collecting, ‘dump digging’, “privy digging” etc. Also, you might try posting some queries on the website, where discussions on all aspects of bottle and jar collecting (including digging for bottles) are posted.
          Take care, David

  43. Mark says:

    My Dad and I dug many of these bottles when he was around. They have a very special attachment for me. I’d like to make a collection of them again. Thank you very much for your article.

    Mark in Boston.

    • David says:

      Thanks alot Mark!! They are beautiful bottles…… that Cobalt color! Good collecting, and thanks for your comments!

    • Hello my name is Kathy, I recently came across two cobalt bromo seltzer bottles. One of them is the big bottle with the lettering on It and the other is a sm bottle with no lettering but however it still contains some of the bromo seltzer powder in it with original cork. Are these bottles worth anything

      • David says:

        Hi Kathy, Sorry, this is not really an appraisal site. However, most Bromo-Seltzer bottles in the more common small sizes are worth around 50 cents to a couple dollars apiece. They may be priced much higher on online auction sites, in antique stores, flea markets, etc. Larger, more unusual sizes will be worth more.

  44. cowseatmaize says:

    I’m glad you posted that Dave. I met a seller at a bottle show several years ago that had two Bromo’s for $10 each. I wish I bought them as examples. One was that fugly moss color and the other was more a teal green. I mentioned the “nuking he was upfront that they had both been irradiated.The tealish was probably “under cooked”. Some Teals have been dug though so that further clouds the issue.

  45. Betsy Stone says:

    The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower is Open for Tours. Check out our website We have 15 floor s of artists and do tours into our historic clock

  46. D N says:

    Great info — I was able to validate my 6.5 ” bottle, hand blown version. Bubble over Emerson , seam disappears on the top. Would this date bottle to pre 1907 ?

    • David says:

      Unfortunately, there is no way to be sure just when any particular Bromo-Seltzer bottle was manufactured, only a very general date range. Methods of bottle manufacture changed over GRADUALLY (from hand-blown to machine-made), over a period of quite a few years, generally between 1904 and circa 1920. Some glass manufacturers changed over rather early, some later. Some made both handblown AND machine-made bottles concurrently for a period of time. Some factories produced hand-blown bottles even much later than 1920.

      According to Julian Toulouse in Bottle Makers and their Marks (1971), on page 339, he writes that Maryland Glass Corporation did not start fully automatic bottle production until 1915. Of course, this is 8 years after Maryland had been in business, churning out tremendous numbers of cobalt blue bottles and jars of many types including the Bromo-Seltzers which was their principal product. So, there is no way to state positively that your bottle dates either before, or after, 1907. It could be a product of Cumberland Glass Manufacturing Company, Bridgeton, New Jersey (maker of Bromo-Seltzer bottles before Maryland started production of them c. 1907) but there is no way to be absolutely certain. Cumberland is believed to have been the first maker of these bottles, and might have blown the first Bromo-Seltzer bottles (presumably as early as circa 1891-1892), but there is conflicting information on exactly when the first of these bottles were produced. It is possible that some of the very earliest bottles containing Bromo-Seltzer were unembossed. Best regards,

    • Betsy Stone says:

      We try to share as much history that we have on the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower which was the home of the Emerson Drug Company was built by Isaac Emerson a mover and shaker in Baltimores history. Our history room is modest and we are always hoping to find people interested in donating to make it more interesting. We have a counter dispenser and we are looking for the large bottle that fits into it. I can be contacted through the website. Keep on collecting!

      • Betsy Stone says:

        The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower now houses an extensive collection of Bromo Seltzer Bottles made by a variety of glass manufacturers prior to MD Glass Company as well as what I beleive is the largest collection of the green bottles.and Maryland Glass Company emphemera. This collection is on loan from the curator Ernie Dimler.
        Mr Dimler is intersted in holding a forum at the tower with one of the discussions on the green bottles. Interested parties should go to the website contact him or myself at the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower in BAltimore
        . No date set as of yet so indicate your interest and suggestion of dates I beleive ther is a large bottle collectiors event in March in Baltimore?

  47. Cathy Kelly says:

    Great information! I am a seaglasser and found a piece of a Bromo Seltzer bottle on the beach near Baltimore yesterday. I was able to identify the piece as from a 5″ bottle. There is a lot of great info here and I have shared this link on my facebook page – Sea Glass Visions. Thanks! Cathy

  48. keith says:

    Does anyone know if the embossed bottles also had paper labels? I have the earlier dispenser and have a nice large almost 8 inch bottle that is embossed Bromo-Seltzer Emerson Drug Co. Baltimore MD. Wondering if it had a paper label also. I can’t find any examples online that have the paper label and have the embossing as well. Say when you went to the drugstore in 1925 what did the actual product look like?

    • David says:

      Hello Keith,
      I’ve always assumed that all of these bottles originally carried paper labels. I can’t vouch for that 100 percent. However, perhaps a close watch on ebay auctions will bring up an example, sooner or later, showing the label on this size Bromo-Seltzer bottle from that time period.
      Best regards,

      • Ray says:

        Hi guy’s
        If I am not mistaken – the embosssed side of the bottles was often the back side of thje bottle and the front did in fact have a printed paper

        • David says:

          Hi Ray,
          I think that you are right about this—- at least concerning alot of typical kinds of bottles, not just Bromo-Seltzer. I might add that in earlier times (say, as early as the mid-1800s), most bottles of any type or product usually had a paper label glued or taped on it, and that was in *additional to* whatever embossing may have been on the bottle (although there has always been a high percentage of un-embossed bottles). However by the 1920s more and more bottles went to “label only”… eliminating the extra cost of having embossed lettering. Just my guess, but the high point (the “heyday”) of lots and lots of raised embossing on bottles seems to be the period of around 1870-1910.

  49. Catherine Moskovis, Salem, MA says:

    Recently, the house next door was torn down, and the workers gave me some old bottles. We have several, but I noticed the bottle I have on this page. It is cobalt blue, about 2 1/2 inches tall, and has “Bromoseltzer Emerson, Drug. Co. , Baltimore. Is it fair to say the bottle itself is circa 1891? It is in flawless condition, but tiny. Have never seen one before, and was just inquistitive. Thanks so much for any info you may have to share with me.

    • David says:

      Hi Catherine,
      Your bottle could theoretically date from the early 1890s up into the early 20th century. These bottles were made over a period of MANY years. The chances are high that any particular example is NOT from 1891.
      Can you email me a photo of the bottle? (to (The style of lip changed somewhat over the years). Earlier versions were hand-blown (with the vertical mold seams “fading out” before reaching the top) and later versions are machine-made. Typically, the mold seams on a machine-made example will extend all the way up to the very top of the bottle. Hope this helps~

  50. bren says:

    I have a bromo-seltzer bottle less than an inch tall with the cap and the bottom markings are a triangle inside a triangle can you give me any information on that?

    • David says:

      Sorry, I have no specific info on it. The cobalt blue jars I have seen with 2 triangles on the base are Vicks-Vaporub jars, but I don’t know about any bottles marked Bromo-Seltzer with that marking on the bottom.

  51. Connie says:

    I have a 4 inch Alka-Seltzer glass bottle what year were they last made?

  52. Ron says:

    In 1956, Emerson’s Bromo Seltzer was sold to Warner Lambert. I don’t know the exact date this
    transpired. I have two bottles from this year. Both are 4 inch with the screw top. One paper label
    reads “The Emerson Drug Co.” while the other reads “Warner Lambert Company”. It was the Warner Lambert Co. that switched the cobalt glass bottle to blue PLASTIC bottles.I believe they made that transformation with one or two years keeping the cobalt blue glass bottle in the 1950’s.

  53. Joyce says:

    Thank you for your helpful article. Just got one of the 4″ ones at the local flea market. It is a later one, with visible seams the whole length. Can you tell me the significance of the number 3 stamped on the bottom?

    • David says:

      Hello Joyce,
      It really has no significance to the modern-day bottle collector. It is just a mold number, which merely identified the specific mold that bottle was made from. At the time your bottle was made, there may have been a number of identical molds being used to produce that particular size of bottle, with all under production simultaneously, thousands of bottles being churn out by Maryland every day. Each mold was engraved with a number (for instance, from 1 to 12), or even extending to higher numbers. For more info, check out my page on numbers on the base of glass bottles here..
      Thanks for writing!

  54. Christine Ward says:

    I have your article very interesting as I have just found a bottle under our patio Our cottage was built in 1878 and was originally used for the workman. I will clean up and use as a pretty small vase. many thanks

    Christine Ward

All comments are moderated, so will not appear on this site immediately. Please, no posts asking about value of an item. I simply don't have the time, energy or knowledge to answer many of the questions submitted here. Some may be answered directly by email, others posted on the site. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.