Very Vintage Illinois Glass Co. Glass Hip - Breast - Pocket Flask - Diamond I Mark - Ca. 1915-1929
If you wear it on your hip, just be careful you don't fall on your flask.
Offering for your shopping pleasure is this very vintage glass hip or breast flask. It is marked on the bottom (I have tried to picture it, see last pic) with the Illinois Glass Company's mark used between 1915 and 1929. The mark is called the Diamond I. It is a sideways slightly elongated diamond embossed with a single upper case "i" in the middle and sometimes accompanied by a number or letter, but not always. On small items like this piece, the letter "i" is depicted only as a dot due to space constraints. There is also either a letter O or a zero about 1/2" from the Diamond mark. I have noticed many UNIVERSAL Glass Company flasks being offered online that resembles this flask I am listing but, I believe this flask pre-dates the Universal flask by eight or nine years.
The flask is in excellent condition without any flaws, nicks, chips, dings, repairs, or scratches. The glass is ribbed on a slant, both sides slanting to the right and the resulting design appears as a criss-cross pattern when viewed through either the front or the back. The lid appears to be solid brass and is much darker than my pictures depict. The lid was plated at one time. It fits well and screws on and off easily. There is one small shallow dent in the lid. I believe, the lining inside is cork. The curve in the container helps to conceal it within clothing and the shape should accommodate either the breast or hip.
The measurements are 5-1/2" Tall X 3-1/2" Wide X 1-1/8" Thick. It will hold approximately 5 ounces.
Flasks were very popular during the 1920s. in spite of prohibition (1920 - 1933) and are highly collectible today.
A short Illinois Glass Company history. (Owens-Illinois) William Elliot Smith and Edward Levis together, in March of 1873, purchased a business that had failed three times before. Together they incorporated the Illinois Glass Company, on August 28, 1873 in Alton, Illinois. They were very successful and were turning a profit within five years. They also needed space to grow and were looking across the river to St. Louis, Missouri, to build. The town's people of Alton, didn't want the successful local business moving away, so they raised enough money to purchase 67 acres of land and gave it to Smith and Levis. The company stayed in Alton, Illinois. Again they were very successful and by 1882 they employed 600 men and boys. Success followed success and by 1900 the Illinois Glass Co., began to expand nationally, acquiring many other businesses along the way. On April 17, 1929 they merged with the Owens Bottle Company creating Owens-Illinois. The height of production for the Alton plant #7 was in 1973, with nearly 3,000 workers. Rumors of the Alton plant #7 closing circulated in the 1980s following several layoffs, leaving the plant running at 10% of its former capacity. On July 27, 1983, news that the Alton plant would close due to a lack of business, leaving 17 other plants open, nationwide. The Alton plant closed on October 19, 1983, after 110 years of operation, leaving the remaining 312 employees without their jobs. The shutdown came from the growing popularity of plastic and aluminum bottles, slowing the demand for glass bottles. Owens-Illinois is still a successful glass producer in other areas around the country. The original Alton, Illinois plant has been torn down, and is no more.
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Antique Illinois Glass Co. Glass Hip - Breast Flask - Diamond I Mark - Ca. 1915-1929