This embossing was required on all liquor bottles sold in the U. To quote an important work on the subject: "For many observers of American Life the Temperance movement is evidence for an excessive moral perfectionism and an overly legalistic bent to American culture." This is a pervasive thread that still exists in current American politics and culture in aspects of human behavior well beyond just alcohol (Gusfield 1970).
"FEDERAL LAW FORBIDS SALE OR RE-USE OF THIS BOTTLE" inscription on the shoulder of a machine-made pint liquor flask manufactured in 1956 by the Owens-Illinois Glass Company. Though not quite on a par with the anti-slavery movement of the 19th century, temperance was a very significant morally based social movement in the U. and had its roots in the still pervasive damage done to some individuals and their families by the improper use of alcohol.In January of 1935,- federal legislation took effect prohibiting the resale or use of used liquor bottles and required that the following statement be embossed on them: FEDERAL LAW FORBIDS SALE OR RE-USE OF THIS BOTTLE (Busch 1987); see the picture to the above right.(It should be noted that implementation of this requirement began in late 1934, so some bottles made that year will have the noted embossing.) This regulation was repealed in 1964 giving an effective dating tool of 1935 to the mid 1960s for this diagnostic feature (Munsey 1970).Whiskey was often labeled as - and sometimes even embossed - "For Medicinal Purposes Only" as early as the mid-19th century - long before National Prohibition took effect in January of 1920 (Wilson & Wilson 1968).To be fair, ethyl alcohol was (and is) one of the better preservatives for products intended for internal consumption or external use.The famous (or infamous depending on perspective) Anti-Saloon League was primary force doggedly pursing the move towards the banning of alcohol and one of the first the successful single-interest pressure groups in the U. National Prohibition, however, was already the law of the land through Congressional passage - over a presidential veto - of the National Prohibition Act (aka the Volstead Act) on October 28th, 1919 which took effect immediately, although existing stocks could be sold through the January 16th, 1920 date.There were, of course, various exceptions allowed under the law for "medicinal" products containing alcohol as well as sacramental wines (Okrent 2010).- was bottled in a wide variety of bottle shapes and sizes ranging from small flasks that held a few ounces to demijohns and carboys that held gallons.As with virtually all of the bottle type categories to follow, liquor bottle diversity is staggeringly complex in depth and variety.By time National Prohibition was fully implemented in the U. in January of 1920, the only area north of Mexico that was not totally "dry" was the Province of Quebec (Unitt 1972).) The push for individual State and eventually National Prohibition came right at the time (1910s) that bottle makers were making the transition from mouth-blown to fully machine-made bottles.It is an almost absolute fact that if an American made liquor bottle is mouth-blown it pre-dates National Prohibition.