Sample 1-Way WWII Dates Amber Glass Beer Bottle -- Rare?

[Editor's note: Originally posted July 2009 -- latest info update added 11/6/09]

I rec'd this email today, and thought I'd share it, and my response, and ask for any info you knowledgable bottle collectors can add -- please!

Carol asks:

"I have an old World War II beer bottle. It is a small brown bottle. I am told that it was made for soldiers overseas after the war. It is a no deposit-no return bottle. The interesting thing about this beer bottle is that it lists all important events of the war beginning with Pearl Harbor 12/7/41 through end of hostilities 12/31/46. At the bottom edge it has ships and planes bombing each other and it has the atom bomb explosion going up the middle of the bottle.

Owens Illinois Glass Mfg. in Toledo OH made the bottle. On the bottom it is dated 6/09/47 Duraglas 1 Way.

I tried to give the bottle to the Smithsonian Institute and had several emails from them and then heard nothing further. I also contacted the Historical Bottlers Collectors in New Jersey but never heard from them.

I would like to know if the bottle has any money value and I would also like to find a home for it - someone who would really appreciate its historical value.

Can you help me? I await your response."

And here's what I wrote back to her:

Hi Carole -- Thanks for writing.

I am sorry to disappoint, but I do not think that you have a scarce bottle. I did a google search, and an eBay search, and while I could not find any definitive info, I can surmise that they do not bring a strong price.

I found 2 entries on google search, that linked to ebay listings - however the listings are so old they do not display on ebay - ebay only keeps closed items on for a few weeks. Thankfully google caches info for longer, and through them I saw that 2 bottles like yours had sold on ebay:

1947 Duraglas 1-WAY Amber Beer Bottle WWII Dates US $4.99

Duraglas 1-Way Brown Beer Bottle World War II Dates, 1 Bid, $5.50

This shows you the low prices they brought. It also shows you some terminology they used -- no-deposit bottles are also called "1-way" (I've also heard "throw-aways" used).

I would suggest watching ebay to see when some more come up -- summer is the slowest time on ebay, fyi.

You can always bring your bottle to our club's show in October, and we can likely find a dealer who knows more -- check out our new blog for all the show info --

Thanks for sharing -- wish I had better news!"

If any readers out there have some definitive info about Carol's bottle, please leave a comment here!


Here are some pix of the bottle, and my Update:

Well, I was right that there would be a dealer at our club's October bottle show who would have something to say about Carol's interesting bottle.

There was one of these 1-Way War Dates bottles on a dealer's table. The dealer didn't know anything about the bottle, other than it was interesting to him, and since he doesn't do eBay, it was not common to him, so he had it priced at $40 (it did not sell that day).

I was looking at the bottle, when another dealer at the show came up to me. Bob Davidson, who is a long-time bottle dealer (he goes by bottlbob on eBay -- check out his listings for quality bottles from someone you can trust), reported that he had sold one of these same bottles before, and didn't think they were common, either. He said he had sold his for $50, a while ago.

Bob was of the thought that they were samples, made to present the then-new concept of 1-way disposable bottles, and that they had never been ordered to be used/filled with beer. That would explain why the ones that are around were saved -- they were a novelty to the receiver, and they were not used, so they remain in excellent condition.

So, while these 2 gents were of the opinion that they were worth more than my estimate, they didn't price them too terribly high because they are still modern bottles.

I stand by my first report, that they are "available", listed very often on eBay, but not seen at every bottle show, so you might be able to find a buyer that will pay a better price in person.

As I write this, there is currently one available on ebay - languishing with a Buy-It-Now price of $34.99 (here's the link: WW2 IMPORTANT DATES 1-WAY BEER BOTTLE .

You can see by the pix that it is an interesting bottle, and maybe this discussion will raise awareness of it, and drive the value up.

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