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    

Amazing,very Crude~opn Pontil New England/stoddard,nh Utility/min.water~v.n.mintRare Antique Lynde & Putnam Mineral Water Sf California Union Glass Co TealUnion Bottle Works Heiss Anitique Bottle.blob Top.old Bottle. Philadelphia1847 Light To Medium Emerald Green Iron- Pontiled Mineral Water Bottle RousselVery Rare California Soda Works / H Ficken Sf, Eagle, San FranciscoAntique Bay City Soda Water Sf Bottle Blob Top Antique Babb & Co San Francisco Bottle Applied Blob Top - SfDyottville Glassworks,philada,squat Soda,iron Pontil,apl.blob Top,teal ColorE.c.ware,philada,squat Soda,iron Pontil,apl.tapered Lip,teal Color1850's Iron-pontil Soda-bottle~"j. Bodine + Sons" Phila. Pa. Glass-works! Nice!!Western Haas Bros Mineral Water Napa Soda Blob Top Boyd & Beard Mineral Water, Boston, MaH. L. & J.w. Brown Hartford Ct Pontiled Soda Water Bottle Willington New London?Western Green Owen Casey SodaMcewin San Francisco 10 Sided Soda BottleVintage Blob Top Soda Bottle, Bozeman, MontanaJ A Lomax Chicago Cobalt Blue Hutchinson BottleDazzling Owen Casey Sacramento City Rich Crude Blue Blob Top Western Soda BottleEmbossed Turkey Soda Water - Coca-cola Bot Co - Cuero, Texas - 1927 - RareVintage C1880s R White Camberwell London Rylands Patent Black Marble Codd Bottle1860's D Gallagher Hazleton Pa Green Slug Plate Squat Soda Beer BottleAdam Hartwig Double Collar Soda Porter (tamaqua, Pa)Antique Western "azule" Seltzer Springs Blob Top Dyottville Glassworks,philada,squat Soda,iron Pontil,apl.lip,teal ColorBlob Top Bottle C.l. Kornahrens Charleston Sc1860's Mcnally & Co Camden Nj Green Squat Soda Beer BottleWhipper's Soda Bottle Toronto, Ontario CanadaHarris Springs Sc Half Gallon Water Bottle South Carolina S C Lithia Water Delta Pa. Hutch Bottle Johnson & Bro. York County SodaC Clark Charleston South Carolina Pontil SodaAcme Club Acl 7 Oz Soda Bottle Flyria, Ohio. Horse And Jockey PictureGreen Joplin Mo Bottling Co Coke Coca Cola Seltzer Bottle! Property Of Coca ColaWaterloo Il Illinois Schroeder Tops Root Beer Acl Soda BottleSoda Bottle Red Acl Green Mill Chicago Il IllinoisExcelsior Sparkling Water Acl Soda Bottle Arrowhead Beverage Co. Indian 10oz #2J H Kornahrens Blob Top Bottle - Charleston, Sc Lee Beverage Soda Bottle Cola Drink Petersburg Va Virginia ColaVintage Tremont Bottling Co. Ny Good Health Seltzer Bottle BlueRare Myopia Club Beverages Indian Acl Soda Bottle 7 Oz Islington Mass MaRare Ca.1900's San Francisco Hutchinson Soda Works Soda Bottle Monterey Soda Works Cal Hutchinson Soda Bottle 1800's Farm House FindE.l. Jones Shamokin, Pa. Northumberland Mug Base Picture Hutch Bottle UnlistedWashington Dc 1898 S.c. Palmer Amber Hutchinson Soda BottleSolo Soda BottleTiffin Ohio,oh.,o. Wagner Bros. Clear Blob Top Hutch Soda Bottle C. 1896 RareM.cronin Sacramento Hutchinson Soda Bottle 1800's Farm House FindAntique Smith & Co. Superior Mineral Water Bottle. Charleston ScAntique Denver Colorado Boulder Springs Bottling Co. Blob Top Water Bottle3 Random Clear Vintage Seltzer Bottles, Philadelphia And New York Etched GlassVtg Old Miami Florida Clear Health Seltzer Soda Bottle EmptyAntique Waconda Springs Kansas Waconda Mineral Water Embossed BottleMontana Bottling Co. Butte City, Mon Territory Era. Rare Hutch Super Nice!!!!A Rhapsody In Three Blue Tray Carrier Seltzer BottlesRepaired Cobalt Blue Joses Mineral Water Geraldton Torpedo ShelfieAnother Rhapsody In Three Blue Seltzer BottlesCobalt W H H Chicago Civil War Era Hinge Mold Soda 1860s <<<<<>>>>>Sweetie Red Label Clear Acl Soda Bottle Sweetie Beverages Philadelphia, PaNice Toronto Ontario Soda Water Bottle - Charles Wilson Baltimore Loop QuartJ.n. Boise Idaho Hutchinson Soda Bottle Antique Epperson's Soda Bottle Kansas City, Mo