Glass Bottle: No, but you can try and guess.
Me: Alright, let me see. Hmm... Judging from the slenderness of your neck I’d say you last partied with Major Davis. Am I right?
GB: Ha ha. Trying to flatter me, are you? Try again.
Me: Hmmm. On second thought that base looks more like it belongs in John Wood’s company.
GB: You’re getting closer...
I’m sure your mother told you never to judge a book by its cover because first impressions can be misleading but speed dating is all about snap judgements.
Certain shapes were popular during certain eras making it fairly simple to date the bottle if you have the right pieces. Obviously dating complete bottles is the easiest but you can still get some good information from bits and pieces. That is, if you have the right pieces. Rims, bases and necks are usually pretty distinct and can be dated.
Here at the Roman Baths we use these simple charts to do a preliminary sort for our bottles. Once we’ve got it narrowed down we bring out the books to refine our identification.
Why don’t you try your hand at dating some glass bottles. Post your guess in the comments.
By the way... John Wood and Major Davis were architects in the Georgian and Victorian periods respectively.