The majority of early Australian glassware and a high percentage of later glassware is undecorated and unembossed. Often, in order to date and identify a plain glass item it is necessary to establish its method of manufacture and historical context. For this reason an illustrated outline is given of manufacturing techniques and equipment, including where possible, dates of manufacturing changes in Australia and overseas, and changes in appearances that results from technical innovations.
Particularly from 1830-40 onwards, the use of moulded designs and embossed lettering on glass became popular. Fortunately, the identification of designs and letters on bottles such as medical cures, food and carbonated drink containers, may provide evidence for the date of manufacture and function of glassware.