Dating Maywood bottle (and contents if possible)

Hey all, I'm gonna start off by saying I know nothing about glass but dug up some bottles in my back yard and really want to know more about them. The following is just repeating what I found after maybe two hours of digging on the internet. Take it with a pound of salt.

As a quick summary of what I'm looking for:

  • Identify the rectifier, and if possible what was in the bottle. Rectifier permit is 666.
  • I'm tentatively dating them to 1937 but I'm not sure. This area was officially unsettled until the early 1950s and was just sand dunes before then. Unofficially it's known that people used to live out here in (sometimes elaborate) makeshift houses, and the city just pretended it didn't exist.


I dug these up in California at a depth of about 13 inches. They both appear to be the same type of bottle, but one is pretty broken so I can't be 100% sure.

On the bottom of the bottle, in raised text:

  • Top: 85 MG 7
  • Bottom: R-666
  • On the right side each has a single digit rotated 90 degrees to the right; one is 3 and the other is 5.

The body of the bottle is curved in an arc, kinda like a banana shape if you look at it from one end.

At the top of the bottle near the neck, we have "HALF PINT" written horizontally on what I'll refer to as the "front". The text is raised, inside a rectangle sunken into the glass. On the top and bottom there are four squares of raised glass, aligned to each other so that it looks like these are stripes interrupted by the text. The front is otherwise smooth.

On the back there's the "Federal law forbids..." warning. The text is in an arc, also stamped into a sunken rectangle, with raised squares above it. Below the text, however, unlike the front, the raised glass stripes extend about halfway down the bottle. There's a blank space, and at the very bottom an equal number of short raised rectangles and aligned such that the overall effect appears to be long stripes running down the bottle that were interrupted.


Here's what I've figured out so far:

  • The 85 is a liquor bottle permit number for Maywood Glass, further confirmed by the MG logo. (Source)
  • The bottom R-666 is the rectifier number. I have no idea what company this is for, so if anyone knows I'd greatly appreciate it.

As for the date:

  • Our definite upper bound is 1959, because that's when Maywood was acquired. I found the text of the law requiring the "federal law forbids" warning published in 1949, and it explicitly says that the year must be two digits. We know that the 7 and the 3 can't mean 1973 because Maywood didn't exist, so that means there's a one-digit year. This paper says in or before 1940 Maywood started using two-digit years for liquor, so I'm guessing 1940 is our upper bound.
  • The "federal law forbids" warning requirement went into effect in 1935, so that's our lower bound.

Overall, this means our time range is 1935 to 1940. The rotated numbers on the right (3 and 5) are unlikely to be the year because federal law went into effect in 1935. My guess is that 7 is the year (1937) and the rotated numbers indicate the mold. My only hesitancy with this is my house was built in 1952 and this area was mostly sand dunes before that.

Again, I'm just barfing up what I've read over the last two hours.


Thanks to anyone that can help!


  • Maywood Glass Co of California is the manufacturer of the bottle. The 85 and the 6 are proprietary manufacture numbers for the bottle and I don't believe they have anything to do with the distiller or rectifier. The D and R numbers relate to the company that filled the bottles and sold the product(s).

    To my eye the rectifier number is 668. I have no info on this particular #

    If you can find a reliable source that definitively says that federal legislation required BOTH a distiller AND rectifier number, I want to know about it!

    I have been able to associate D- and R- numbers with product brands by searching for labeled examples. It is a laborious process and am not aware of any other way to make that connection. Do let me know if you find out anything further

  • Judging from the text of the law here (§175.8 at the bottom, continuing onto the next page) "symbol and number" sounds like it means just one but is ultimately up to the Commissioner's discretion. My guess is it's just one.

    As for dating the bottle, if you look at the side of the bottle it definitely looks like a tax label, specifically this one on eBay. The description says it's from 1937-8. Further reading elsewhere (I lost the link) says the label design typically changed at least once every four years or so, so this year fits in with my earlier guess that the bottle is from 1937.

    The blueish-green and red colors remaining on the bottle, combined with what appears to be a fragment of "tonic wine" on the front make me think it might be Dubonnet (example) but I can't find a photo of a bottle that matches.

    Do you know if rectifier numbers were assigned at the federal or state level? If it's at the federal level I can file a FOIA request and see if I can get anything that way.

  • Thanks very much for the link to the Federal Register!

    It is my understanding that since this is Federal law, the numbers were assigned at the Federal level, not state. The states were only in it for the money - thus the tax stamps..

  • Obtaining a list of Distillers and Rectifiers from any year would be a great item of interest - of course that list may have changed year to year... I encourage you to track this down, I would have no idea how to use FOIA to get such documents.

  • I'm gonna be on vacation for the next few days so I'll file the FOIA request when I get back. Given the age of the records I assume it's going to take a long time to find, if they ever do find it. I'm guardedly optimistic, but it'll probably be on the order of weeks if not a few months before we hear back.

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