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    

Cobalt Blue "e.smith Elmira, N.y." Blob Top SodaColeman 202 "the Professional" Nickel Green Single Mantle Lantern 10/61John Ryan Cobalt Soda BottleCirca 1850s Cobalt Blue Soda Beer Bottle Richmond, Va Mccormack Western Blob Top Soda Crystal Soda Water Co. Patented Nov. 12- 1872 U.s.p.t Early C.v. Demott Soda, Philadelphia, PaHutchinson Soda Arizona Bottling Works Phoenix, Arizona 4 Piece MoldAmber Colored Seltzer Bottle From Rocky Mountain Beverage Co.E. L. Kern Short Blob Top Soda BottleQuart Sized Saratoga Vichy Spouting SpringAntique Gorham Silverplate Hamilton Torpedo Soda Holder StandOregon Hutchinson Soda Mt. Hood Soda Water Portland, Ore. Embossed Bear Head1850's-pontil-age Soda / Ale Bottle~"j. W. Harvey / Providence R.i." Green~nice!Taylor's Antique Crystal Soda Water Co Bottle Patented 1872 Beautiful Blue ColorMichael Mcgrann Green Squat Mineral Water 1800s Lancaster Pa Soda Brewery BottleHotchkiss & Sons, New York, Saratoga, N Y Congress Water Bottle Kiehl & Wacker Green Squat Mineral Water 1800s Lancaster Pa Soda Brewery BottleHlf Green Squat Mineral Water 1800s Lancaster Pa Soda Brewery Bottle" Pavilion & United States Spring Co / Saratoga N.y." Olive Green Color Antique Cobalt Blue~1866 John Ryan Excelsior Soda Works Blob Top~savannah, Geo.Allentown, Pa - Deep Sapphire Blue Civil War Blob Soda - Jame WiseClarke & White Spring Water, NyT.s. Waterman 11 St Paul St New Orleans Iron Pontil Soda BottleVirginia Mineral Water Bottle - Fonticello Mineral Spring Co - Bright Blue AquaCrown Top Ogden Bottling Works Ogden Utah Crown Tool Top Soda BottleJohn Clarke New_york Spring Water Bottle Stoddard Made Olive Old Vtg AntiqueVintage Red Glass Seltzer BottleThe Owl Drug Co. Vintage Phosphate Of Soda Blue Cobalt Bottle W / Partial LabelAllentown, Pa - Electric Cobalt Blue Civil War Squat Soda - Jame WiseHutchinson Bottle Metcalf And Sons Salt Lake City Utah Rare Old Meyer Bottling Company San Francisco Seltzer Bottle- Beautiful Golden AmberVintage Canadian Old Colony Quality Cola Soda Pop Cone Top Can Orange Crush LtdExtremely Rare! Antique Coca-cola Bottling Co. Seltzer Bottle - Joplin, MissouriEmmett & Sons Ogden Utah Hutch Soda Bottle 1890's Aqua DugVintage Soda Bottles Lot Of 7Lazy B Soda Bottle Fremont Ohio Acl Red & White Lettering Rare VersionBarq's Root Beer; Paper Label Soda Pop Bottle; Cincinnati; No Deposit No ReturnRare Western Soda Water Bottle Ice Blue Empire Soda Works San FranciscoUnusual Reid Of Helensburgh "pure As A Lily" Pictorial Mineral Water C1910Ice Blue Tapered,panelled Seltzer Bottle From Detroit12 Sided Amber Corset Waisted Seltzer Bottle#26 Antique F.w. Jessen Charleston Sc Advertising Soda Bottle Blob Top HutchisonJas Demond, New Bern, N C Beer Ot Soda Bottle Antique Green Soda Bottle C Mcateer, Elkton, Md, MarylandOld Orange Crush Beverage Ribbed Soda Bottle Pottstown Pa Montgomery County 1920American Codd Type Bottle, John Franz, Croton Falls, New York. Patented 1883York Pa. Bottle Blob Top A. Hoerner Prop't Scarce Version York City Bottling WorGrone & Durhold Quincy Ill 1850s Iron Pontil Soda <<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>Vintage R Fry & Co Aerated Waters Water Dispenser Crockery Stoneware FlagonRare Antique Crown Top Put In Bay Bottling Works Glass Soda Bottle Rare Weissport Bottle Works Hutchinson Bottle ~ Weissport, PaJ. M. Keck & Sons Kecksburg Pa. Clear Glass Bimal Crown Top SodaHutchinson Blob Top Deer Lodge Soda Factory Montana Antique Soda Bottle#15 Antique Pair Of King Cola Royal Drink Bottling Co Weyers Cave Va Edinburg VaAntique Ice Blue~g Ebberwein Ginger Ale Hutch Soda Bottle ~savannah, Geo. Rare!!Rare No Deposit / No Return 6 Oz Pepsi : Cola Double Dot Soda BottleBig Rapids Michigan Mich Mi Druggist Brown Bottle Mineral Water Co Clark's RedClaussen Bottling Works Charleston S.c. Slug Plate Soda BottleAntique Thibodaux, La. "polmer Brothers" Soda Bottle 1890Antique Soda/beer Bottle "stirling Bottling Works J.j. Burns Greenport N.y."