The Coke Bottle Page

Coca-Cola Bottle Colors

Hobbleskirt Coke Bottles

Around 1917 Coke bottles were being produced in the familiar hobbleskirt (contour) shape which is still in use today. The first hobbleskirts were patented Nov 16, 1915 and came in a variety of colors: clear, aqua, ice blue, light green and green(no amber, purple, or amethyst).  However, due to many decades of exposure to sunlight some clear bottles turned a rosey color and some turned a very light purple.  There are no TRUE dark purple Coke bottles.

The first five versions of these hobbleskirt Cokes are identified by their embossing(no amber, purple, or amethyst):

   1. "NOV.16 1915" were produced from 1917 to 1928.
   2. "DEC. 25 1923" ... 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" ... 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.

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

Fake Colors
There are also some amber colored hobbleskirt bottles around, but the amber color in these bottles is artificially produced by irradiating the bottle.There are also fake amber SS Coke bottles.  But, in states other than Georgia, there were genuine amber straight sided bottles.  There is only one town in Georgia that had 3 versions of an amber SS bottle.  Dalton, Georgia had amber SS bottles, nowhere else in Georgia, and NO hobbleskirts were ever amber.

Be careful of Coke bottles with a deep purple color. Here are purple examples of a SS and 1915 Hobbleskirt. Dark purple is not a natural color for these bottles and is caused by irradiating clear bottles. The older Coke bottles had manganese that will turn the bottle dark purple when irradiated. There are some naturally occuring 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). Buyer beware!
Other Coke Stuff
More Details with Pictures

Reference 2010