Antique Mineral and Soda Water Bottles

Bottles for mineral and soda water first appeared in the late 1600s. As a group, these bottles tended to be thick in order to withstand repeated fillings. After the introduction of artificially carbonated water in 1832, the bottles were also required to withstand the pressure of carbonation. While the earliest of these bottles were similar to beer and ale bottles of the day, by the mid-1800s bottles made exclusively for soda and mineral water began to appear.

Mid-19th-century soda and mineral water bottles were usually short and squat. The shoulders of these bottles were abrupt and the straight necks were long compared to the body of the bottle itself. Most bottles were embossed but there are plenty of examples that were left plain.

One early type of antique soda and mineral water bottle was produced in what’s known as the Saratoga style, named for the hundreds of companies that bottled water in Saratoga Springs, New York. These bottles were produced in pint and quart sizes. Since they contained mineral water, their collars are described as having a “mineral” finish. Saratoga bottles were capped by corks, which were wired to the bottle’s collar.

Another early type of soda and mineral water container was the round bottom or torpedo style bottle. These vessels were sealed tight with wired-down corks—they had to be, because the shapes of their bottoms meant the bottles were usually stored on their sides. A rare variation of the round bottom bottle was the club or tenpin bottle, which had a flat spot on its base.

Round and torpedo bottles had what are known as blob tops. The blob at the top of the bottle was applied separately to the bottle and enabled the bottler to seal the bottle’s contents with a swing-type enclosure, which was secured tightly below the blob.

Beginning in around 1860, mineral water and soda bottles with internal stoppers appeared. These bottles were longer and narrower than the squat bottles that had come before, and they virtually lacked necks.

There were several types of internal stoppers. The simplest was a gravitating stopper, which consisted of a glass stopper that plugged the bottle’s top with the help of a rubber ...

A second type of internal stopper was the Hutchinson spring stopper, which was far more common than gravitating models. In a Hutchinson, the stopper inside the bottle was attached to a thick wire loop or spring that could be accessed from the top of the bottle. When the loop was pushed down, the bottle’s contents poured out. But the stoppers were difficult to clean, so by the beginning of the 20th century, they were no longer in use.

Use of Codd style bottles was also widespread for mineral and soda water in the latter part of the 19th century. The contents of Codd style bottles were sealed from the elements by a hardened glass ball or marble, which was inserted into the bottle and then trapped inside during the manufacturing process. The ball sealed the bottle by being forced against the inside of the bottle’s neck due to pressure from the bottle’s contents. A special tool known as a Codd opener was needed to get at the liquid inside.

The invention that eventually pushed other stoppers aside and changed the look of antique mineral and soda water bottles was the crown cap closure, which is similar to the bottle closures we are familiar with today. Patented in 1892, crown caps were not popular at first with bottlers, who were required to invest in new bottles and machinery. As for customers, they distrusted crown caps as a newfangled invention whose promise was probably too good to be true.

By 1905, fewer than 25 percent of all U.S. bottlers were using crown-cap technology, but that was the year the Owens Automatic Bottle Machine debuted—by 1912, the conversion to crown caps for soda was pretty much complete. For collectors, most surviving soda bottles from the early crown-cap era were produced for Coca-Cola or Pepsi, though bottles for many smaller soda brands can still be found.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Historic Glass Bottle Identification

Historic Glass Bottle Identification

Bill Lindsey's fantastic bottle identification and information site. Loaded with detailed descriptions and diagrams… [read review or visit site]

Antique Bottle Collector's Haven

Antique Bottle Collector's Haven

There's a ton of information here, but as with bottles, you have to dig to find the best stuff. Start with the famo… [read review or visit site]

Bottle Cap Index

Bottle Cap Index

Assembled by Gunther Rademacher with the help of several other contributors, this collection of over half a million… [read review or visit site]

Plopsite.de

Plopsite.de

Norbert Lamping's collection of 600+ ceramic bottle stoppers, Hutter stoppers, swingtops, swivel stoppers, and ligh… [read review or visit site]

Old Spice Collectibles

Old Spice Collectibles

Lather up with Creighton Fricek's complete chronology of collectible Old Spice shaving products. Start with the bot… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Iron Pontil Western Soda Eagle Sac CityBlue "p. Conway" Squat Soda - Iron Pontil - Dug ConditionAntique 1888 Cobalt Blue Quinan Studer Soda Bottle Embossed Savannah GeorgiaAntique 1880 Amber Sheehan Soda Bottle Embossed Augusta GeorgiaOld J C Parker & Son Blue 1850-60's Blob Top Bottle New YorkXx Rare Town Crier Acl Soda BottleAntique Aerated Soda Water Bottle Marked Ekb On Back Blue Iridescent Late 1800'sBluish-green "r. Tyler" Union Glass Works Iron Pontil Squat Beer Bottle - DugD. A. Knowlton Springs Saratoga Ny Mineral Water Bottle AmberF. Seitz Brown "s" Stout Pa Green Squat Iron Pontil Damaged Blob Soda Bottle Spring Garden Glass Works Flask With Open Pontil ( Great Shape )Old Very Rare Vintage Antique Civil War Relic Stoneware Mineral Water Bottle “john Ryan S. 1852. T Columbus, Ga. 1883" Last Dated Ryan.Rare Antique Embossed Doepp & Jones Raleigh North Carolina Soda Bottle With ChipUnlisted Pictorial Hutch C J Siegfried Newport News Va Virginia Aqua Anchor Vintage Rare 10 Oz. Diet Pepsi-cola Soda Bottle Acl No Deposit No ReturnApplied Lip Whittled Iron Pontil F. Brown Boston French Mineral Water Bottle Pontiled Thos Mayar Soda BottleRare Pontil Blob Top Soda Mineral Water Mueller & Stein Bloomington Illinois IllAntique Aqua Embossed Summers Allen Alexandria Virginia Soda Bottle Round BottomBlob Top Wilmington Nc Beer Bottle L KlauderRare Cobalt Blue True Blob J.g. Bolton Lemont, Ill.Antique Blob Top Soda Bottle ~ Honesdale Glass Works Pa Mineral WaterE. Duffy & Son 44 Filbert St. Pontil Squat SodaLucky Sam 7 Oz. Painted Label Soda Bottle Syracuse N.y. 1940's Fortune TellerRare - Amethyst Moses Figural - Poland Springs Ca. 1876Vintage 1940s Gibson's Painted Label Acl Soda Pop Bottle Lot Wisconsin Rapids WiAntique Fh Finley & Son Bottlers Washington Dc Blob Top Aqua Beer Soda BottleHtf Malamphy's Beverages Acl Soda BottleSpring Garden Glassworks Aqua Glass Pint Flask Anchor Log Cabin Applied LipLt. Aqua Tombstone Slug Plate Hutch Wesley Cunningham Hampton Va Virginia Nice Vintage Blue Seltzer Soda Bottle - Newark, New JerseyHtf 1940's Acl Soda Bottle Benson Quality Beverages Benson Mn Pheasant GraphicsChicago Illinois Picture Hutch Soda Bottle With Uncle Sam A Mottlowitz No Resrv As Is Sm Crack Pontil Olive Green G W Weston / Saratoga, Ny Mineral Water BottlePioneer Soda Works San Francisco, California Blob Top Soda Water Bottle. Antique Augusta Brewing Co Geogia Blob Top Aqua Beer Soda BottleNew York, Ny. - Deep Teal Green Round Bottom Soda - Bolen & ByrneRare "soda Water - Uncle Sam" Embossed Bottle "root" Hot Springs Nat. Park, ArkJos. Henson Hutchinson Soda Bottle Chicago, Illinois With Embossed Bull HeadHtf Vintage 1920's Unique Embossed " Kola Mist" Art Deco Soda Pop Bottle York PaJ. M. Wilson Newport News Bottling Works Virginia Va Monogram Hutch Soda StopperStraight Side Soda Bottle Coca Cola Marshall Tex Texas TxCalifornia Soda Works - Antique Soda Bottle - Dug Up In San FranciscoAntique 1840's Dark Glass Soda Bottle Applied Lip Big PontilAntique Jas Mccuen Alexandria Virginia Blob Top Aqua Beer Soda BottleAntique Blob Top Hutch Soda ~ Empire Soda Works Vallejo, Cal.1880's Applied Top J. Dascombe / Denver, Colorado Co Hutchinson Soda BottleMiddlesboro Bottling Co, Slug Plate Soda Bottle, Middlesboro Ky, Htf Ky Soda!Hawaiian! Lahaina Ice Co Ltd Hutchinson Soda/mineral Water Bottle Maui HawaiiRare C. 1895 Simon Furstenburg, What Cheer, Iowa Hutchinson Embossed BottleAntique Older Hutch Soda Bottle ~ W. Tormey Vallejo ~ Bubbley !Antique Western Soda. Eureka California Soda Works San Francisco Towanda, Pa - Uncommon Squat Soda, Original Hardware - G. S. SmithAntique Guilford Vermont Vt Mineral Spring Water Green Glass BottleRare Green Exmore Virginia Big Nickel Soda Bottle,pyro,12 Ounce,niceKeystone Bottling Works Hutchinson Beer Bottle Harrisburg Pa2 Fine Pomroy & Hall Bottles From Springfield, Mass.Rare Norcal Hutch Soda AntiochSomerville, Nj The W.h. Cawley Co. Beer W/ Fox/dog - Bail & Stopper