In my thrift store quest for funky picture frames I came across this super sweet decanter. I fell in love with it — and its $2.95 price sticker — immediately. While consulting with the interwebs about how to wash it, I learned that some of these old decanters are made with lead crystal, which can leak lead into your beverage. I freaked out. I took a closer look at the bottle and found that on the bottom there is a marking that says “Federal law forbids sale or reuse of this bottle.” I freaked out some more. Clearly, this meant that the bottle was going to give me lead poisoning and the government was giving me a heads up. WRONG.
According to glassbottlemarks.com, this marking was placed on bottles made between 1935 and 1964. My bottle was made in 1961 and likely held whiskey (perfect!). Why does it have this marking? The website says:
“This was done in an effort to discourage the re-use of empty bottles for bottling and selling homemade (that is, unregulated) distilled liquor (“moonshine”), the sale of which had became very common and widespread during the Prohibition era.”
WHEW!! So no lead poisoning. Perfect. Other cat and I were able to spend a restful Saturday night in peace with my new fancy decanter and (not enough) Knob Creek.