Antique Coke Bottle Information

One of the most popular soda bottles to collect is Coca Cola.

The very first Coke bottles were Hutchinson style bottles - these are extremely rare and date before 1900. Straight-sided (S-S) Coke bottles with crown tops date about 1900-1919; colors were clear, aqua, green, blue, and amber with amber bottles in good condition typically bringing the highest prices. "Coca-Cola" embossed in script letters contained Coke and is more valuable, while the "Coca-Cola" embossed in block letters contained a flavored drink other than Coke so is less valuable.

There are two styles of Hutchinson Coke: one with "Coca-Cola" in script and one without. The Biedenharn hutch is the one without "Coca-Cola" in script. Also be careful of the script hutch reproduction.

By 1917 Coke bottles started being produced in the familiar hobble-skirt shape which is still used today. The first hobbleskirts where patented Nov 16, 1915 and came in a variety of colors: clear, aqua, ice blue, and green.

Later hobble-skirt bottles (i.e. Dec 25 1923 patent and later) all have a green tint color. One exception are those produced during 1942-45; these were blue due to the copper shortage for WWII (copper gives the green color).

Be careful of Coke bottles with a deep purple color. Dark purple is not a natural color for these bottles and is caused by irradiating clear bottles. However, these purple bottles do make a nice color addition to your collection. There are some naturally occurring bottles with a light amethyst/purple tint - leaving them out in prolonged sunlight will darken the tint (but they will never become a dark purple).

The first 5 versions of these hobble-skirt Cokes are identified by their embossing:

  1. "NOV.16 1915" were produced from 1917 to 1928.
  2. "DEC. 25 1923" (called the "Christmas Cokes") were produced from 1928 to 1938. Must be careful since reproductions of the 1923 Cokes were produced in 1989. Easiest way to spot a repro is by looking at the base of the bottle. The City/State letters are smaller on the repro. Repro also has a circular line joining the State and City names.
  3. "PAT. D 105529" (called the "D-Patent Cokes") were produced from 1938 to 1951.
  4. "US PATENT OFFICE / MIN CONTENTS 6 FL OZ" were produced from 1951 to 1958.
  5. "US PATENT OFFICE / MIN CONTENTS 6 1/2 FL OZ" were produced from 1958 to 1965.



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Copyright © March 12,1997

Last updated on November 19, 2000