Most attempts at establishing American glass factories during the colonial period were short-lived, generally because they could not compete with the imports from England, Ireland, and central Europe that made up the vast majority of the glassware used in the colonies. This flask, which is mold-blown in a distinctive diamond daisy pattern, represents one of the few forms that can be confidently attributed to the glassworks of Henry William Stiegel (1729–1785), based on samples excavated from the site of his Manheim, Pennsylvania, factory.
Stiegel immigrated to Philadelphia from his native Cologne, Germany, in 1750 and soon settled in Lancaster County, where he began his career first as an iron master, then as a glass manufacturer. The designs for many of his products, including this flask, derive from glassmaking traditions in southern Germany and Bohemia. Such bottles originally held alcohol, which enjoyed wide consumption in eighteenth-century America.