MORE ABOUT SODAS & MINERAL WATER

Digger Odell Publications 2007

The infusion of water with carbonic acid gas to produce carbonated water was first developed by Joseph Priestly, an English scientist. Patent records indicate manufacturers selling carbonated water as early as 1809. It wasn't until the 1830's that large scale production began in New York City when John Matthews began bottling soda for extensive distribution. His method involved the use of marble chips broken down in acid to produce the gas. During the late 1830's flavored soda water became the rage. Soon cities across the country were producing an incredible variety of sodas and mineral waters. The Biggest producers of course were in the largest cities: New York, Philadelphia, Charleston, Pittsburgh, and New Orleans had dozens of companies and today collectors prize soda and mineral water bottles from this period..

Soda was contained in strong vessels of glass or pottery. As competition increased, the decorative nature of the bottles and crockery as increased as well. Colored bottles and those with designs, logos and pictures were popular. The earliest sodas and mineral waters had corks secured with a wire wrapped under the blob top of the container. Early glass soda bottles have pontil marked bases. The form of the early soda was a typically a sloped shouldered shape like those pontil era sodas shown below. "Squat sodas," as they are called by collectors, were primarily produced in aqua glass those in green, teal or cobalt as shown below are much rarer and more highly desired by collectors. Over the course of nineteenth century, the shape of soda bottle changed. Although still made of heavy glass with thick walls, the shoulder became more pronounced and then with the invention of newer closures the style of soda bottles changed to the "Hutchinson" style shown below at the left. These, too, were produced primarily in aqua glass and colored examples like the cobalt "hutch" shown command exceptional prices. Around 1892 a new closure was invented, the crown top, which took the familiar bottle cap we know today. The Hutchinson sodas disappeared almost as quickly as they had appeared as bottlers choose the crown top with the crimped cap for their products. By 1910, with the advent of new bottle machines which could mass produce containers, the old style bottles with their hand-made tops faded from view.

DIGGERS ODELL'S

2008 SODAS, MINERAL WATERS, PORTERS & ALES

NOW AVAILABLE JANUARY 2009

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08/01/10