Bottle Attributes Closures
Since there were bottles, man has been looking for a better closure. A closure held the contents in and protected them. Early closures were leather or anything soft that could be pushed into the lip of a bottle to seal it. Eventually, the cork became the preferred bottle closure. At times tar or pitch was applied to the cork to help seal it.
One of the problems of the cork was shrinkage due to drying out. This is the reason some bottles will not stand up. When a bottle rested on its side the contents would keep the cork moist. Other bottles were stored and shipped upside down to accomplish the same goal. Often a string or wire was fastened around the neck and over the cork to secure it against pressurized contents.
The cork was basically a one time closure. Inventors began
looking for a bottle closures that were reusable and would be cheaper
than corks and towards the end of the nineteenth century, inventors were
looking for a closure that would prevent the refilling or reuse of a
bottle. Some types of beverages had pressurized contents that
poised additional opportunities for inventors.
An invention, which we think may come into general use in this country, has been invented for confining corks, or their substitutes, into the neck of bottles or other vessels.. The invention consists in fastening caps of metal, earthen ware, or wood, furnished with wire clasps, that reach under the rim of the necks. Corks need not, therefore, be so long as they commonly are, nor need they be put in so tightly. The laborious process of corking and uncorking will also be avoided, and new corks may be substituted for old ones, without disturbing the contents. Two wire hooks run through the caps and hook on either side of the rim of the necks. These rims should be made a straight or slightly curvilinear edge at the bottom, so as to retain the hook. Beer, soda water, and other bottlers will see this advantage.
One of the earliest actual patents was for a
soda water bottle closure was in 1855 issued to Jules Jeannotat.
In 1885, there were over 80 patents granted for soda and beer closures
alone. As industries matured and smaller businesses were consolidated into
larger ones, uniformity was achieved in bottle closures. For
example, the crown cork effectively replaced all soda and beer bottle
closures and became the standard by 1920. The crown worked well on the
automated bottling lines and was more sanitary than other closures.
The following bottle closures are documented on this site:
Click on the links above to get more information on an attribute or to identify a bottle that you are researching.