Modern glass bottles

Stamford 048

The images are from Ilkley and Stamford Museums
Hamilton (torpedo or ovate ended) bottles must be later than 1809. The inventor of soda water, Joseph Schweppe, initially put his product into stoneware torpedoes. These are now very rare indeed. The transition to glass occurred in early nineteenth century. The shape was produced by blowing the glass into a mould, and it allowed for horizontal stacking. The corks were kept wet by the contents, and expanded keeping in the 'fizz'. There were a number of 'internal stoppers' all invented between 1860 and 1890 from big plugs of wood to rubber balls, glass stoppers and porcelain bullets. Most Hamilton bottles are natural glass. In 1872, Hiram Codd who worked as a salesman for a cork company, patented the very first bottle to enclose a glass marble in its neck. The idea was that the marble would act as an internal stopper and keep the contents and gas in the bottle until released; this replaced the cork. This invention was a great success and was adopted by nearly all the companies manufacturing mineral waters at the time. The patent gave Hiram Codd some protection from people stealing his idea, yet many more marble-in-the-neck bottles appeared as glassworks realised they simply had to manufacture this type of bottle. I don't believe that they were used in the USA. In the UK small boys broke the bottles to obtain the marbles. The first patents for an automated bottle-making machine were issued in 1888. The first initial processes were semi-automatic with the neck being finished off by hand. Probably the most outstanding advance was achieved around 1907 when the Owens Automatic Bottle machine was invented in America. the European rights to the Owens machine were purchased by glassmakers Bagley's of Knottingley. It was considered to be one of the most amazing inventions of the age, being entirely automatic and it resulted in the ultimate decline of mouth blowing of bottles. The internal porcelain screw top was to replace all the other mineral water bottles from the turn of the century onwards. These were still in use in the 1950s before being replaced by the crown cap and then the external thread with an aluminium cap.



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