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The closure must conform to the finish in order to function, and vice versa.The invention of some closures correspond to certain finishes and a closure may be adapted to old finishes; or both the finish and closure are invented together (Berge 1980).That page also provides some information on what a user can do to pursue more information once they arrive at the end of the dating (and typing) tools available on this website.For illustrative purposes, two bottle dating examples are are also included on this page to help explain the specific processes and limitations inherent in finish related dating.

This discussion is relevant here because these transition dating estimates can often provide for excellent dating "breaks" for many classes of historic bottles.

If a two-part finish, the lip is also frequently referred to simply as the upper part and the collar as the lower part.

If a three-part finish, the middle part is referred to as that - the middle part.

Bottle finishes or "lips" are almost as varied as the bottle shapes themselves.

The term "finish" originates with the mouth-blown bottle production process where the last step in completing a finished bottle was to "finish the lip." Other alternative names for the finish besides lip was "top," "mouth," or "corkage" (Howard 1950; White 1978). Conversely, with semi-automatic and fully automatic bottle machines, the lip or finish was (and still is) the first forming step in the bottle making process.

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although the implementation of the blank mold - which forms the "finish" of the bottle - was not realized until the 1890s (Howard 1950).