A green and green amber flask with scroll borders shows that bottle makers considered it more than reasonable to advertise themselves prominently on their products.
This particular flask announces that it was made at the Louisville Glass Works, in Louisville, Kentucky, which operated between 1855 and 1874 in a factory opened in 1850 by the Kentucky Glass Works.
Many other bottles carry factory names, including flasks with scrolls and other designs. The earliest scroll flasks may be those marked B, P & B for Bakewell, Page and Bakewells, a company that had those initials between 1817 and 1832. Made at least 23 years before their counterparts in Louisville, they show that flasks with scroll borders were popular products for several decades.
Blown into simple two part, hinged molds, figural flasks were designed to be made quickly and in great quantities. They were readily packed for shipment to the country for sale in its general stores. Several boxes full of scroll flasks were recovered from the wreck of the Steamboat Arabia, which sank on the Missouri River upstream from Kansas City in 1856.
Like most pressed glass of the period, figural flasks show the creativity and imagination not of a glass blower but of a mold maker. At least as early as 1828, independent mold makers produced molds for many factories. As such, even though the flasks themselves were blown in a great many factories and carry marks including "LOUISVILLE / GLASSWORKS" or "B P & B", "J R & Sons" or "S. McKee" or the enigmatic single letter "A" or "C", the broad variety of scroll flasks may owe their designs to a very small group of mold makers.
American mold makers took the flask form considerably further than their European counterparts in England, Belgium, Scandinavia and Portugal. Consisting of little more than two leaves, a hinge and occasionally a base plate, molds for flasks were technically simple compared to those for pressed tableware (for example, this and this). However, they carry a great variety of decoration and are found in many deliberate and accidental colors. More than any other category of early American glass, their designs reflect the political and patriotic causes of the period. In the case of scroll flasks, those marked "ROUGH & READY" supported presidential candidate and Mexican War hero Zachary Taylor. While some American flasks, notably a few featuring sunbursts, are nearly identical to Portuguese examples, scroll flasks—with or without their makers names—are distinctive not only as American, but as products of the Ohio River valley, made from Pittsburgh to as far downstream as Louisville.