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The author has also seen Star Bitters labels on Wait's bottles as well as both labels on the immensely period popular Hostetter's Stomach Bitters bottles!

Reuse, of course, does not change the manufacturing date of the bottle itself, but care must be exercised when using the known date of one or a few bottles to date other items found from the same context. When a likely or known "older" item is found in a known "newer" site it is referred to as deposition lag. An example of this is the finding of a few pontil scarred utilitarian bottles among otherwise late 19th or early 20th century refuse.

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It is unlikely that this bottle was made during the same era, but instead was reused for a lengthy period or otherwise retained until broken or discarded. Pontiled base fragments could also be from later produced "specialty" bottles which are described below. Other diagnostic tools must be used to date these items. Shape is more indicative of function - i. All this adds to the fascination with bottle making, but makes systematic dating similar to solving Rubik's cube - ostensibly simple on the surface but complex in practice.

That is the point of this website. A yet a couple additional factors to keep in mind in the dating of bottles Utilitarian items makes up the bulk of the bottles produced during the 19th century and first half of the 20th century. Produced during the era where all bottles were an relatively rare and cherished commodity to be discarded only when broken i.

Click canning jar to view the typology page section devoted to that category.

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The beer bottle pictured to the above left is a classic example of a utilitarian bottle from the late 19th century that was typically reused. The dating guidelines found on these Dating Pages and the entire website do not always work well with what the author calls "specialty" bottles click for more information. For example, some bottle types which were intended to be kept indefinitely like the early 20th century barber bottle pictured to the right were produced with the use of pontil rods leaving telltale pontil scars on bottles into at least the early 20th century.

The base image below is of an late 19th to early 20th century barber bottle base with a very distinct blowpipe pontil scar with a little residual iron from the pontil rod. Another exception example is that the bottles for expensive, low production liquors e. Many specialty bottles were imported from Europe, though that fact may be at times hard to impossible to ascertain.

Specialty bottles can be, of course, occasionally found on historic sites usually fragments, but occasionally intact but can rarely be used to help date the site because of the diagnostic problems and deposition lag issues noted above. Having stated the above, there are still many diagnostic features or characteristics that provide a high probability of both dating and typing a bottle with some precision.

A key concept in historic bottle dating is the high probability i. The general probability estimates noted on this website are based on a merging of reliable references with empirical observations made by this site's affiliated consulting experts see the About This Site page and the author who have been students of historic bottle dating and identification for many years. N otes on embossing, labeling, and existing research. Raised embossing and when present, paper labeling on a bottle can frequently provide important details to refine the probable manufacturing date range if information exists for the company that either manufactured the bottle i.

For example, the early mineral water bottle pictured here is known to date between based on the information provided by the embossing company name embossed on the pictured side and the glass maker - Union Glass Works - embossed on the reverse and complimentary research done by collectors Markota Researched historical information of variable depth and quality exists for thousands of different - typically embossed - bottles. Published works generally cover either a particular city, region, or category of bottles. See the References page for more information.

For a large majority of embossed and unembossed bottles, however, there is little or nothing formally published on the details of their origins. Only a relative few geographic areas or areas of collecting interest have received more than cursory historical treatment and the majority of this is due to the efforts of collectors. Time has taken its toll on records, of course, but much of what happened in the past was simply not documented well or at all as with most endeavors of common people in the past.

As noted in Munsey's book, " When it comes to methods of dating bottles As Munsey also notes - " Most of what is used today to date bottles Still all true today. This body of information will be utilized and extrapolated to make dating and typing estimates for the majority of bottles for which there is either no specific company or glass maker information available or such is not possible to determine because the bottles are unmarked i. To the authors knowledge, the first and only serious attempt at using a key to date American bottles was done in a Historical Archaeology journal article entitled A Dating Key For Post-Eighteenth Century Bottles by T.

Stell Newman Newman Newman's key made a noble attempt at simplifying bottle dating, but is weakened by the fact that the subject is much too complex to be conducive to such a simple approach by itself.

Art:Showing The Fly The Way Out Of The Bottle.

Also, the format and space constraints of a journal article do not allow for the elaboration and illustrations necessary to make a key function fully Jones b. Newman wryly recognized all this with his reworking of an old saying: "This bottle dating key is for the guidance of the wise and the obedience of fools. This website is designed to have the informational depth, pictures, and illustrations necessary to solve the problems of the Newman key though his warning still holds though hopefully less so.

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This entire website is essentially a key to the dating and typing of bottles. Before jumping into the key, it must again be emphasized that no single key can get a user to an absolutely precise date for any bottle. The best the following key can do is get a user to a reliably close dating range estimate.

Other information on this website usually must be reviewed to fine tune the information about a specific bottle. In addition, other references beyond the scope of this website usually must be consulted to get as complete of a dating and typing story as is possible for any given bottle. Keep this all in mind as you progress through the key which follows and on into the other website pages Starting with Question 1 , follow through the questions as suggested.

Wittgenstein’s Fly bottle

There is frequent hyper-linking between the diagnostic characteristics and terminology listed on this page and other website pages. This is done to allow the user to get more information or clarification as they proceed through the key. Pursue these links freely since they will take a user to more details on bottle dating and identification and hopefully add to the users knowledge and understanding about the bottle being "keying out".

When a dating sequence dead ends, it will be noted and other website pages suggested and hyperlinked for the user to consult. The three questions found on this page below answer several basic questions about a given bottle. Answers to these questions will then direct a user to one of the two additional dating pages which are extensions of this key for the two major classes of bottles - mouth-blown bottles and machine-made bottles. Read the questions - and accompanying explanations and exceptions - very carefully as the correct answer is critical to moving properly through the "key.

This page guides a user through the key for seven different type and age bottles with several being side-by-side comparisons of very similar bottles of different eras. This page also shows how other portions of this website can provide information pertinent to the bottle in question. See the About This Site page for more information about the author and contributors. For brevity, most of the specific references are not noted in the key's narratives. They are noted on the other website pages which expand on the information summarized in the key.

If you know your bottle is machine-made click Machine-Made Bottles to move directly to that page. If you know your bottle is mouth-blown aka hand-made click Mouth-blown Bottles to move directly to that page. If unsure about what embossing or vertical side mold seams picture below are, click on Bottle Morphology to see this sub-page for a illustration and explanation of these and many other key bottle related physical features. Return back to this page by closing the Bottle Morphology page. Vertical side mold seam on the neck of a beer bottle ending well below the finish, indicating that it was at least partially handmade - ca.

YES - The bottle has embossing or visible vertical side mold seams somewhere on the body between the heel and the base of the finish or lip. A bottle may have mold seams but no embossing, but all embossed bottles were molded and have mold seams even if they are not readily apparent. This bottle is either free-blown , "dip" molded , or was produced in a "turn-mold" aka "paste-mold" where the side mold seam is erased during manufacturing. A "NO" answer is much less likely than "YES" for this question as a very large majority of bottles made during the 19th century and virtually all made during the first half of the 20th century were mold blown resulting in mold seams; see the note below.

Note : A low probability though possible "NO" alternative is that the user has an unembossed, molded bottle with no visible vertical side mold seams. This can be due to one or a combination of factors including post-molding hot glass "flow" masking the mold seams, fire polishing of the bottle body, or atypically good mold fitting precision.

If necessary, look very closely at the bottle shoulder - the best location to see vertical side seams on mouth-blown and most machine-made bottles - in good light with a hand lens to see if there is at least some faint evidence of where the mold edges came together. Often the vertical side mold seams are evidenced by very faint changes in glass density in lines where one would expect mold seams to be.

One of the longest running "myths" in the world of bottle dating is that the side mold seam can be read like a thermometer to determine the age of a bottle.

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The concept is that the higher the side mold seam on the bottle the later it was made - at least in the era from the early to mid 19th century until the first few decades of the 20th century. Kendrick's explains in the text pages that It is true that the mold seams can be used like a thermometer to determine the approximate age of a bottle. The closer to the top of the bottle the seams extend, the more recent was the production of the bottle.

The chart accompanying this statement notes that bottles made before have a side mold seam ending on the shoulder or low on the neck, between and the seam ends just below the finish, between and the seam ends within the finish just below the finish rim top lip surface , and those made after have mold seams ending right at the top surface of the finish, i. Although there are examples of bottles having mold seams that fit these date ranges properly, the issue of dating bottles is vastly more complicated than the simple reading of side mold seams.

If it were that simple much of this website would be unnecessary! For example, the process that produces a tooled finish frequently erases traces of the side mold seam an inch or more below the base of the finish whereas the typical applied finish has the seam ending higher - right at the base of the finish Lockhart et. The reason this is noted here is that the concept keeps popping up in the literature of bottle dating and identification ranging from Sellari's books Sellari published shortly after Kendrick's book to as recent as Fike and Heetderk's Snow, I could have made in my chap- ter.

But for some time it has been losing ground; tech- nology and science have been taking its place. There Greats still remains at the apex of the disciplines, and within Greats the bright- est young men are often selected to become philosophers.


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But is there any intellectual justification for this self- appointed aristocracy? Is there any widespread theory that anybody can subscribe to as to why the Greats form of philosophy is the highest sort of activity? I say no. The literary culture would have perished a long time ago if it weren't for the social snobbery of Oxford and her self -perpetuating philosophers.

Linguistic phi- losophy is nothing more than a defense mechanism of gentleman intellectuals, which they use in order to con- ceal the fact that they have nothing left to do. It really sums up my position, and in a sense you could say it is the essence of 'Words and Things. The linguistic philosophers have their job cut out for them — to rationalize the loss of English power. This is the sociological background which is absolutely crucial to the understanding of lin- guistic philosophers. Full stop. I attacked the philosophical Establishment, and as long as the present philosophers remain in power, I will never have a position at an Oxford college.

Whether I will be accepted again in philosophical cir- cles remains to be seen. For transportation he had a small truck, which he used for getting to the London School of Economics when he missed his commuter train. We bounced noisily along the road, Gellner making himself heard intermittently over the engine clatter.

He had more or less given up formal philosophy until the philosophers should once again address themselves to "great issues.


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He visited them now and again and ob- served their social habits. He was not a softheaded visionary, and his education at Balliol, tradi- tionally the most rebellious Oxford college, had prepared him to battle with the philosophical Establishment for his unpopular views. He thought that with "Words and Things" he had galvanized men of good sense into tak- ing his side. Gellner left me reflective. I was sorry that my first philosopher should dislike his colleagues so much.