This mark is distinctive to the suction process which feeds glass into the bottom of an Owens machine's parison mold.
(Note: A movie clip showing this process in action is linked at the bottom of this box.) Suction scars can not be produced by feed and flow automatic machines (i.e.
(Note: the term "parison mold" and "blank mold" are synonymous for the first mold in the two mold machine process.): (see the Note box below point #3 for an exception) run up to the highest point of the finish and often onto the extreme top finish surface (i.e., onto the rim or lip).
On many early (very early 1900s into the 1920s) and occasional later (1930s and later) machine-made bottles the vertical body/neck and finish mold seams are discontinuous and offset from each other; click offset seams for a picture of this attribute.
: There are a few machine-made bottle types (milk, shoe polish and small ink bottles) or post-production processes (fire polishing) which exhibit mold seams in the finish/upper neck that deviate from the descriptions in points #1 and/or #3 above; these bottles may appear to be of mouth-blown manufacture.
These are faint, somewhat wandering, hairline seams which if present (usually) are sporadically visible on the sides of machine-made bottles.
Feature #2 (mold seam diameter) is not as strongly diagnostic as the primary indicators as mouth-blown bottles sometimes can have very fine mold seams.
Feature #7 describes a couple glass related features that are quite consistent in machine-made bottles, but not diagnostic, i.e., mouth-blown bottles may sometimes have few/no bubbles in the glass and even thickness.
The machine is operated much as all pressing machines are..." (National Glass Budget 1910; Lockhart pers. This little bottle has a moderately narrow neck and a distinct valve or ejection mark on the base indicating press-and-blow machine manufacture. The 1908 photo below is from the Lewis Hine collection (Library of Congress) and shows an early, probably O'Neill (Barrett 2011) semi-automatic press-and-blow 4 mold milk bottle (which have relatively wide mouths) machine which came with the following caption: "Machine that blows 4 milk bottles at a time. Blowing air would have been supplied by the hose visible at the top of the set of blow molds to the left, where the final "blow" part of the cycle took place.
Added evidence to this theory is that an identical shape and size (2 oz.) "Round Shoe Polish" bottle is shown in the "Machine Made Ware" section of Cumberland's 1911 catalog (Cumberland Glass 1911). Very few narrow neck bottles made on the Owens machines will pre-date that time also. 2007d].) It is thought that probably all pre-1905 semi-automatic bottle machine production in the U. was relegated to wide-mouth bottles/jars due to limitations of the press-and-blow machines at that time (Toulouse 1967; Miller & Sullivan 1981; Jones & Sullivan 1989; Cable 1999; Miller & Mc Nichol 2002; Lockhart pers. This image (click to enlarge) also shows that on many early press-and-blow machines the parison mold was one-piece (note absence of mold hinges) as the narrow non-inflated parison could be removed from either the base or finish mold end (depending on the type machine) whereas the blow mold had to be two-piece (hinges obvious) to remove the expanded and finished bottle if there was any narrowing from the body to the neck/finish (like a typical milk bottle would have).
In any event, the suction scar is found on mouth-blown bottles though suction scars are sometimes referred to as a pontil scar by the unfamiliar.