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Others, like the Lightning closure, was invented in the 1870s and is still in use today.
Closures can also often assist in determining what type of bottle one has, i.e., what the bottle was most likely used for if (e.g., liquor, soda) it is not otherwise obvious.
During the early 19th century there was only limited demand for glass bottles & jars since most goods were sold in bulk by general stores out of barrels, pottery jugs, wooden boxes, burlap sacks, and the like.
Most people also lived off the land and had limited need for glass bottles; they also lacked the resources to pay for such luxuries.
Neither was this hermetic sealing to preserve sterility - the products involved did not need such protection, nor had the principle of heat sterilization itself been discovered.
The use of bottles - and the need for varied closures to seal them - arose with an expanding city based market and even then for just a few types of bottled goods - primarily liquor, wine, and patent medicines in the early 19th century.
Though thousands of closure designs were patented, and many hundreds used, just a handful achieved widespread popularity based on inherent simplicity and effectiveness.
The major closure types are what is covered on this page.
Closures are covered as a part of the "Bottle Finishes & Closures" group of pages since closures are very closely related to the subject of bottle finishes as the finish is where the closure was almost always located.
The closures on this page are not listed in any particular order, though the first covered closure (cork) is the oldest closure type covered.: One of the better general references on closures is a small booklet entitled "A Close-Up of Closures: History and Progress" by Alfred Lief (1965), which was published by the Glass Container Manufacturers Institute, New York.
Roman and Grecian containers used straw, rags, leather, and the like, luted (sealed) with clay, resins, natural waxes , and other binders.