You see countless bottle designs on grocery aisles, home goods store shelves, and restaurant tables. But only a select few are so famous that you recognize them just by looking at their profile.
Here are 10 of the most iconic glass bottles in history:
Chanel No.5 Bottle
When Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel worked on the bottle design for her perfume in the early 1920s, she wanted “an invisible bottle.”
The bottle’s simplicity separated it from the other perfume bottles of the day, which were more elaborate.
According to an early Chanel No. 5 advertisement, “The perfection of the product forbids dressing it in the customary artifices. Why rely on the art of the glassmaker … Mademoiselle is proud to present simple bottles adorned only by … precious teardrops of perfume of incomparable quality, unique in composition, revealing the artistic personality of their creator.”
Chanel No. 5 was first sold in 1921, but the design of the bottle that we know today was released in 1924.
The bottle design is so loved, in fact, that Chanel turned it into a clutch purse in 2013.
The erlenmeyer flask was designed to be purely functional, rather than commercial or beautiful. But its simple design is now an icon of science and chemistry.
The tapered design allows liquids to be swirled with little risk of it splashing.
It was created in 1860 by German chemist Emil Erlenmeyer.
Heinz Ketchup Bottle
The octagonal Heniz ketchup design was patented on June 17th, 1890.
The smaller mouth prevented air from turning the ketchup brown.
The curved neck was designed to flow out smoothly.
Though Heniz no longer sells the famous glass bottle in grocery stores, you can still spot them in restaurants. In fact, Heinz is fiercely protective of its bottle design.
In 2014, the company sued Figueroa Brothers, because their Melinda’s Habanero Ketchup bottle design was allegedly too similar. The case was settled, and Figueroa Brothers were required to change their bottle design.
Coca-Cola Bottle – Glass Bottle Soda
In 1915, Asa Griggs Candler, the majority shareholder of the Coca-Cola company, wanted to increase the market share of his soft drink.
So he launched a bottle design contest to find a design that would separate Coca-Cola from the competition.
The Root Glass Company decided to enter the contest. They got inspiration from the unique bulbous, ribbed shape of the cocoa pod. The company went to work, and won the contest the following year.
Through the last century Coca-Cola Company has released several different variations of the “Contour bottle.” It became not only one of the most famous glass soda bottles, but one of the most famous commercial objects of the 20th century.
Kikkoman Soy Sauce Bottle
If you’re a sushi fan, you’re already familiar with the Kikkoman Soy Sauce bottle design. It’s found in every restaurant that uses the ancient condiment.
It was designed by Japanese designer Kenji Ekuan. He wanted to design an object that would serve as an ambassador for Japan all over the world. He and his team took three years and more than 100 prototypes before arriving at the final iconic teardrop design.
You might think that it has a long, traditional history, but these bottles only went into production in 1961.
So far, more than 300 million of this dispensers have been sold in more than 70 countries.
The standard 750ml wine bottle is so simple. But wine containers went through a long history before they were stored in the bottles we recognize today.
Though people have been drinking wine for thousands of years, the glass bottle with cork stopper wasn’t invented until the 17th century.
In the early days, wine bottles were round and fat.
Since glass had to be blown by hand, they weren’t consistent in shape and size.
However, in 1821 an English company called Ricketts of Bristol received a patent for a method of making cylindrical wine bottles.
Since the shape was consistent, wine buyers could be confident that they were getting their money’s worth.
Before this time, the wine market was plagued by shady wine sellers who overcharged on small amounts of wine.
20 years later, Americans patented similar methods of bottle making. It eventually became a standard.
Steinie Beer Bottle
The Steinie bottle was one of two major beer bottle designs to emerge after the end of prohibition.
Developing the manufacturing process required six months of painstaking work to assemble the machine parts that might influence the shape.
The bottle was a triumph for efficiency and logistics – five hundred cases of “stenies” could fit in the same space as three hundred cases of the old model.
One of the most famous brands to use the steinie beer bottle is Miller Lite.
It was phrased out in the 80s, but was brought back in 2015 due to popular demand.
Stubby Beer Bottles History
The “Stubby” Beer bottle is the other beer bottle design that emerged after prohibition.
For decades, it was extremely familiar to Canadian beer drinkers.
In 1961, the Dominion Brewers Association (now the Brewers Association of Canada) decided that breweries should use the stubby bottle in place of older, bulkier beer bottles.
But Americans mostly recognize it as the original design of the Coors Banquet Beer bottle.
Longneck Beer Bottle
Both the steinie and stubby beer bottles have been replaced by the “longneck” as the standard beer bottle.
The popularity of the longneck first started in Texas. It’s image was enhanced by John Travolta’s performance in the movie Urban Cowboy, which featured him holding a longneck beer bottle in a scene.
In 1982, longneck bottles accounted for about 10% of the Texan beer market.
Since then, it has exploded in popularity, and is used by both microbrews and massive multi-billion dollar brands.
Milk in a Glass Bottle
For generations, people instantly recognized the wide-mouth design of the milk bottle.
Lewis P. Whiteman holds the first patent for a glass milk bottle with a small glass lid and a tin clip, filed in 1880.
Milk delivery was a common feature of households in the 1950s and early 1960s.
Homes in the United States and Canada even had a cabinet called a “milk door” installed on outside walls. Milkmen placed their milk delivery in it and homeowners could simply open a door from the inside to retrieve it.
But as milk started to be stored in plastic containers, glass bottles lost popularity.
In the UK in 1975, 94% of milk was put into glass bottle. By 2012, that number has dropped to just 4%.
Do you agree with our list? What is the most iconic glass bottles in history for you? Leave it in the comments below.