Brown / black bottle marked '6 TO THE GALLON' on base

We found a glass bottle under our house very old house while fixing the wooden floors. The earliest records we have of the house is 1858, but we are not sure how old it really is.

The bottle is brown (can be black as well) and it is marked with the words ' 6 TO THE GALLON ' on the base of the bottle. See two photos of the bottle attached

Can anyone help us figure out the age of this bottle, maybe even the origin / what it was used for?

Our house is in South Africa.

It would be so interesting to try and figure out where this bottle fits into the story of our house and help uncover some of the history.




  • I did some searching on "6 to the gallon" - it seems that a British Imperial standard for whiskey was 1/6 gallon bottles. It's about as odd as the US tradition of fifths for liquor.

    Your later 19th century bottle would be called "black glass" - referring to the dark olive green glass which often appears to be black or near black to the eye. I cannot quite tell from your photos but it may be made in a three piece mold (is there a horizontal mold line at the shoulder?) and may have an applied lip.

  • Hi there Chis i just wanted to show you my bottle. My bottle is a more brown colour and yes it i a 3 part bottle i have shown the picture above. If you have anymore information about this bottle it would be much appreciated.

  • I am 18 and still looking for more dig sights in Cape Town, so if you know any and are happy to tell me where they are that would be so cool thanks.

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