Thursday, December 30, 2010

Evolution of the Soda Bottle

Webbs Double Soda Waters, London c. 1830 (Murali's Collections)

As the New Year eve approaches, corks are popped up all over. Kerala is a state in which the hard liquor is sold like an essential food item and has more consumers than for the traditional hot cakes of Xmas and New Year. Soda water is an essential ingredient for hot drinks for many.
Though soda water in pet bottles is popular and readily available, many people use the soda makers at home for making their drinks. I too had once bought the Butlers soda maker, a brand quite popular here.
Talking about soda bottles, it is very interesting to trace the evolution of these in India. Though the concept drinking soda water was introduced by the English, the elite Indians soon developed a taste for it and buying soda water became quite fashionable in the nineteenth century.
The earlier soda bottles date back to 1778. Probably, these bottles were introduced in India only during the middle of the 19th century. These egg shaped bottles had a pointed base and could be placed only on its side. This was to keep the cork moist and thus tight-fitting and to prevent the gas from escaping.

The Hutchinson's Device c 1920-Murali's Collections -

The lightening stopper was used from 1880 to 1920. These bottles worked on a wire-clip principle. These bottles were also called Hutchinson’s bottles because Charles G. Hutchinson of Chicago invented this bottle-closure and called it the "Hutchinson Stopper".

The cod bottle c 1960 -Murali's Collections-

Later, the "cod bottles" came into use around 1930s. These bottles with aerated water had a marble inside the bottle's neck that created a seal when the bottle was turned upside down. The marble then pressed against a rubber ring. During my boyhood days, these soda bottles were the standard everywhere. Interestingly, many soda makers in Kerala villages still use these bottles. A curious westerner will certainly find this amusing.

Crown cork bottle seal c 1970s

In the late nineteenth century, William Painter introduced the crown-cork bottle seal, which quickly became a standard and replaced other types of bottle sealing devices. These were introduced to Indian markets only decades later.

Soda bottle for the household soda maker c 1990

The pet bottles came into market during the early 21st century by which time the glass bottles were taking a retreat. Aluminium cans for soda waters also are popular and the little old glass bottles are now of interest to only good old collectors like me.

Hearty Cheers for a happy 2011!

Fort In, Tripunithura, South India

30th December 2010.


Suma said...

It is very interesting &gives knowledge the origin of soda.

Murali RamaVarma said...

Thank you, Suma.

Lenin said...

This is the coolest note.. I just loved it.. Dad got some of those, alle Muralimmava??!!

Lenin said...

I just loved this Note... Totally cool... Dad got some of those, alle Muralimmava..??

Murali RamaVarma said...

Thanks,Lenin (M).These are part of my old collections.