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    

7 3/4" Tall Olive Green Three Piece Mold Iron Pontiled Squat Soda / Ale BottleEarly Western Blob Top Soda- Eureka, NevadaExtremely Rare Colored Western SodaCrude Colored Western Soda- Empire, San FranciscoRare Chas. A. H. Umbach & Co.eagle Crest Savannah, Ga Soda BottleRare 1866 John Ryan Cobalt Blue Savannah, Ga Soda BottleCivil War Era Backus & Pratt Binghampton N.y. Iron Pontil Green Blob Top Soda John Ryan 1866 Excelsior Sodaworks Blue Bottle Savannah Georgia Ga S. Pablo Sheild, New Orleans Ex. Rare With Wedge Top.Rare John Ryan 1852 Cobalt Blue Savannah, Ga Soda Bottle1890 Geo A Winkler Bottling Works Winston - Salem N.c. Hutchinson Soda Bottle Albemarle Bottling House H W Bissing Elizabeth City N.c. Hutchinson Bottle Rare Soda Bottle Galveston Texas H.n. Hansen Txs Hutch No Tx0294 Error In EmbossTeal Green Guilford Mineral Spring Water Bottle Vermont Vt Rare ColorXxx Rare Golden Honey Amber Glass Dr Pepper Ss Straight Side Bottle 10 2 4Rare Antique Applied Top P.&b. Soda Bottle Colusa CalElliot Bottling Works Paris, Texas Hutchinson Soda BottleMartinelli's Soda Works Watsonville California Western Bottle Rare 1930's L. R. Leroux Dorion Quebec "radio" Beverages Soda Pop Glass BottleReiners San Francisco, California Antique Soda / Mineral Water Bottle. Minty!Ca.1890's California Pioneer Soda Works Blob Top Bottle Sf Or Oakland? 7" TallCoca Cola Rare Hornell Acl Red Logo Ny Coke Usa Seltzer Siphon Soda Water Very Rare Cheerwine Ales Clear 8 ½ Oz Soda Bottle - Charlotte,nc-north CarolinaRare Antique Applied Top Thompsons Mineral Water Bottle San Francisco CalDiamond Bottling Co Amber Paneled Seltzer Bottle Brooklyn Ny Rare East Bay Gazzosa Codd Bottle Westerm S.f. Oakland Calif.Vintage "drink Bluebird" Soda Bottle Bluebird Beverage Company Boston.massKissingen Water Hanbury SmithEx Rare Vintage Vegas Vics Soda Bottle !!!Pottsville Pa Nice Ice Blue Keystone Bottling Co. Hutch BottleThe Port Arthur " Coca Cola ' Bottling Works , Port Arthur , Ontario , CanadaVtg. Mother Goose Punch Cola Soda Bottle Concord N.c. / Nc Bottle Ex. ConditionRare Acl Wards Beverages Soda Bottle Orlando Florida Fla Fl Outstanding Lot Of 5 Different Vintage Painted Label Acl Soda Pop Bottles Pair Of Vintage, Antique Poland Spring "moses" Water BottlesHostess Size 2 Pack Of Pepsi Cola Acl Soda Pop Bottles & Cardboard CarrierDr. Pepper Dark Green Seltzer Bottle " Good For Life " Estate Find Antique Blue West Side Bottling Brooklyn Glass Seltzer Bottle~ Art Deco Independence, Mo. Polly's Soda Pop Bottle Scarce Blue & White Acl 12 Oz. ParrotMagnificent~c-19:b Pint~congress & Empire Spring Co.congress Water~saratoga.n.y.Cleburne Bottling Works Cleburne, Texas Hutchinson Soda BottleL2073- Antique Lebanon, Pa Bottles - Beer, Soda, Blob Top, Etc. Eight Seven Ounce Applied Color Label Soda Bottles - Kitchen Decor- VintageAntique Blob Top O.f. Goodfellow Denver Colorado Scroll Design Hutch Soda BottleRare Acl Sunbow Beverages Soda Bottle Talladega Alabama Ala Nice Sterilized Bottling Works Humboldt, Tenn. Aqua Soda BottleAntique Blue F. G. S. Hamers & Zv German Seltzer Bottle NrSparkle Up Seltzer Bottle Portland, OregonCoca Cola Bottle Old, Salt Lake City, Utah1910 Camilla Ice & Cold Storage Co. Soda Bottle Camilla Georgia~round Slug PlateRare Find - Embossed Cheer Up Soda Bottle , Kingsport TennOld Oregon Trail Beverages 11 Oz Soda / Pop Bottle - Dr Pepper Bottling - L@@kAntique Alhambra Mineral Water Bottle Martinez California - Lots Of Big BubblesEmbossed Soda Bottle - Nu Icy - Nu Grape Bottling Co - Edinburg,texas - 1930 Johnston & Co Philadelphia Andrews Pontil Soda.Currier’s Root Beer Hutch Soda Stoneham Massachusetts Ma 1890’sAntique Stoneware Mineral Water / Ginger Beer Jug Pentiman's #2Vintage Blue Plymouth Spring Bottling Co., Wis Seltzer BottleWestern Bottling Works Hutchinson Soda Bottle From Moorhead, Minnesota1890s Slug Plate Blob Top Beer / Soda Bottle- Menz & Co. Brooklyn Ny