Digger Odell Publications©2007

Codd Bottles in America?

In 1844, Charles Goodyear invented a process by which India  rubber was “vulcanized.” Unfortunately Goodyear never lived to see how his invention impacted much of the manufacturing industry including soda bottling. Nor did he realize any significant financial gain from his invention due to his slowness to patent the process and the dozens of patent infringement cases in which he found himself embroiled.

The story of the Codd bottle may have had its beginnings here in America with Edward Hamilton and Henry Goodyear. Henry B. Goodyear was in business with Charles, the inventor and owner of the patent on vulcanized rubber. The Goodyears were active promoting new uses for Charles’ invention. Charles however wasn’t much of businessman. His interest was in bringing rubber to the world. He envisioned everything from money to clothes to instrument, to flags and even ships being made of rubber. He himself wore rubber hats vests and ties. In the correspondence, legal and business papers of Nicholas Williamson (1845-1902) and his family in New Brunswick NJ and his company, the Novelty Rubber Company, in New York City, there are many contracts and patent agreements with Charles and Henry B. Goodyear for rubber manufacturing and business correspondence and related papers from 1851 until 1887. Despite moderate success in licensing his invention, when Charles died in 1860 he was deep in debt. His family suffered much of the from the deprivation. It was years before the royalties from the licenses began to relieve their plight. Four years after Charles’ death, Henry, still promoting the various uses of rubber, entered into a partnership with Edward Hamilton of Chicago, Illinois.

In April of 1864 Edward Hamilton and Henry B. Goodyear introduced a patent for stopping bottles. yes">  They proposed using an elastic and impervious rubber ball, specifically lighter than the liquid but of a diameter larger than that of the neck of the bottle. The ball was to be held in place by the pressure exerted upon it by the gases in the liquid. They proposed the same method could be used for liquids not so charged by the use of suction. The bottle was to have a short, recessed and contracted neck as near to the rim as practical. He specified that the necks of the bottles were to be shorter than those that were to be stopped by corks. He wanted to reduce the space above the ball so as not to be a place to trap or accumulate dirt or dust. (fig1)

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Edward Hamilton and Henry B. GoodYear Patent Fig. 1

For bottled ales, syrups or other liquids which were not charged with gas Hamilton proposed using a vulcanized rubber ball made specifically heavier than the liquid to be bottled. yes">  The bottle with the ball in bottom was first to be filled with the desired liquid. Then using a temporary stopper or one’s thumb, the bottle was to be inverted and the weight of liquid with the aid of a jerk would seat the ball into the mouth of the bottle. For lighter liquids he invented a cap which fit tightly about the neck and mouth of the bottle. By use of the suction device the ball was drawn up into position.


align="left">In December of 1864 Josiah Beard and Moses Fairbanks, both of Boston patented a “new and useful method of bottling still liquids or stopping bottles containing still liquids, those not charged with gases.” They proposed that a bottle filled with liquid was to use a ball as an internal valve. The ball was to float upon the surface of the liquid. The ball was to be made of vulcanized India-rubber, lighter than the liquid to be bottled. The ball, to be made in a two piece mold, was to be hollow and elastic enough to squeeze into the bottle neck. Sealing the bottle was to be accomplished by inserting an instrument which would grab the ball and upon withdrawing the instrument from the bottle, the ball would be tightly wedged in the neck of the bottle, staying without the aid of internal pressure. The ball would be forced in between the wires of the bottling instrument with a force proportionate to the buoyancy of the ball. They described in their application the type of bottle (fig2.) 

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Beard and Fairbanks Bottle Stopper Patented Dec. 6, 1864 Fig. 2

which they thought would produce the best results. They also indicated their stopper would be particularly recommended for bottling beer or other fermentable substances. They claimed that with a little practice bottles could be filled and stopped with great certainty. Later in their statement they indicate they do not claim their invention as an internal stopper for carbonated liquids since that distinction already belonged to Edward Hamilton of Chicago, Illinois whose invention clearly inspired their own. However, it was Goodyear’s vulcanized rubber that made both possible.


Eight years later, across the Atlantic Ocean, on November 24, 1870 Hiram Codd registered his own idea with the British Patent Office for a bottle with a marble stopper. There is of course no way to tell if Codd was inspired by U.S. Patents although clearly he was familiar with the U.S. Patent Office records and procedures. His own invention cleverly used methods similar to those described above except his ball was made of glass and seated against a rubber gasket in the mouth of the bottle. Furthermore, the neck of the bottle was construction in such a way as to prevent the ball from falling back into position when emptying it. His bottle, the “Codd”, eventually became a standard in much of Europe and throughout the British Empire.


In August of 1871, he registered improvements to his design in the British Patent Office. It was probably Codd’s vigilance in looking out for his interests in the US market that lead him to register a number of his patents with the United States Patent Office beginning in 1872. By doing so he effectively prevented bottlers in this country from using his invention without first paying him a royalty, something which the American soda manufacturers and bottlers were apparently loath to do. Perhaps it was a matter of economics or perhaps it was a matter of pride and belief in American know-how which kept manufacturers from using the Codd method. Constructing a better method of corking bottles for carbonated beverages was almost a national obsession on both sides of the Atlantic.


July of 1872 Hiram Codd was living at No. 17 Queen Row, Grove Lake, Camberwell in the county of Surrey, England. He, together with Richard Barrett of London, to whom he granted half of his rights, filed a patent for an “improvements in bottles for containing Aerated or Effervescing Liquid”. He constructed the bottles in such a manner that a bottle when filled was closed by “a glass ball held by the pressure within the bottle against a ring of elastic material placed around the interior of the mouth. (fig3) 

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Hiram Codd's 1872 U.S. Patent Fig. 3

This ring of vulcanized India rubber, cork or other elastic material is placed in a groove around the interior of the mouth. The lower part of the neck is contracted so that when the bottle is opened by pressing back the ball from its seal the ball shall not drop to the bottom of the bottle, but shall be arrested at the lower part of the neck, and also in order than when pouring out the contents of the bottle the ball stopper shall not roll back to its seat and so again close the bottle.”

Hiram Codd's Lipping Tool Fig. 4
Codd’s patent claim describes how the groove for the rubber ring is to be formed by the tool he has invented. (fig 4) This lipping tool he describes as being similar to the ordinary tongs used to form the mouths of bottles except that when inserted into the mouth of the still molten bottle, the projections on the tongs form a groove around the interior of the mouth.

Now the bottle was to be formed in the following manner: :”A bubble of glass is first blown and is roughly reduced to the desired form by rolling and pressing it upon a stone. The roughly shaped bubble is then inclosed [sic] in a mold of the form desired, and the bottle is blown therein in the ordinary manner. When the bottle has been removed from the mold a glass marble previously heated is dropped into the bottle through the neck; the ring or head then formed at the top of the neck in the ordinary manner by means of the tool above described. After the bottle has been allowed to cool a ring of cork or other elastic material as for example, of vulcanized India rubber – is inserted into the groove from around the interior of the head, and the bottle is ready for filling with an effervescing or aerated liquid.”

Codd’s bottle literally reshaped the British bottling industry which up until this point had used the “Hamilton” bottle (a different Hamilton) which was “egg-shaped”. The problem with the pointy ended Hamilton was its tendency to roll off counters or shelves. The shape itself was intended to keep the bottle on its side thereby keeping the cork moist and the bottle well sealed. An elongated version called a “cucumber” bottle was a modest improvement over the Hamilton but it shared many of the same problems. Hiram Codd’ patent spawned wide-spread imitation across England and elsewhere as inventors and bottlers scrambled compete with Codd’s brilliant solution. Inventors made minor modifications of the Codd design using the same basic simple idea of the marble and rubber gasket stopper. Many look-alikes were registered both here and in Britain. (fig E1)



mcvay83.gif (33371 bytes)
McVay 1881

  Example of English inventor who registered Codd style bottles 
with the U.S. Patent Office. Fig. E1

edwardfig.gif (28249 bytes)  Edwards Fig. 5

One such competitor was John Edwards of York, England who registered his idea with the US Patent Office in 1875. His idea was not to change the basic form of the bottle itself but to provide a brass retaining piece or cap which would fit over the mouth and hold an India rubber ring in place. (fig. 5) In his design the bottle would fall to the bottom of the bottle and be caught by a groove in the base of the bottle.

Meanwhile back in the United States William Hicks of Brooklyn, New York was working on his own variation. His wire bail and ball type stopper was a hybrid type typical of what was being used by American bottlers. (fig 6) The bottle shown in the patent drawing clearly is an English-style ginger ale.

align="center">  hick77fig6.gif (41433 bytes)

Did Mr. Hick intentionally choose an English style bottle for his patent drawing? Fig. 6

Hiram Codd,  still busy,  made further refinement in his invention and was granted a reissue by the United States Patent Office in 1878. The improvement was mainly to “guard against injury to the bottles by sudden or violent movement of the stoppers…” Breakage must have been a problem. Codd in his statement of claim takes aim at American bottle stopper manufacturers who had been experimenting with an internal spring type stoppers like the one shown below.  (Fig E2) 

   Spring Type American Stopper  Fig E2

He states. The “internal elastic packing at its mouth, and an internal gravitating stopper which practically incompressible and does not perceptibly wear or change its shape, whereby the necessity of changing the stoppers after long use is avoided and I am enable to permanently secure the stoppers with the bottles…and provided with an obstruction at the lower part of its neck to prevent the stoppers dropping into the body of the bottle when forced inward from without, where by the bottle may freely be emptied by the flow of the liquid past or beyond the stopper in the neck, and liability to fracture the bottle is lessoned.


Meanwhile back in England, Henry Barrett (possibly related to the Barrett in partnership with Mr. Codd) was busy with his own answer to the stopper problem. He noted a problem with the Codd bottles which was that the marble being heavy could break or cause damage to the bottles. One solution was to make the marble stoppers of glass, earthenware or other like vitreous materials but with a hollow space in them of such dimensions that they would float on the liquid contained in bottles. He also proposed a chamber in the neck to seat the ball. Another answer he advocated was the use of gravitating stoppers of hollow glass, earthenware or similar material such that they would sink slowly and thereby avoid the risk of breakage. The bottom of his bottles would have a curved undercut into which the ball would fall to prevent its block the flow of the liquid. (fig. 7)

  bar81e1.gif (28277 bytes)   Barrett's design Fig. 7

The first American to answer this English volley of patent registrations was William L. Roorbach of Philadelphia. His variation was to use a rubber bushing or packing retained in a double groove in the neck of the bottle. The stopper consists of a stem with a spherical head a marble if you will. (Fig 9). His description does not make it clear as to whether the stopper remains in the mouth or falls to the bottom of the bottle. Perhaps the rubber bushing would hold it in place yet allow the liquid to by-pass it.  This unwieldy design probably never saw much use.

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Roorback 1883 Fig.9

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Roorbach March 1885 Fig. 10

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Roorbach August 1885 Fig. 11

Not to be discouraged, Mr. Roorbach registers two more patents improving on his ideas. In June1885 his patent looks very much like a Codd style. He is vague about the stopper in his claims but goes into great detail about the rubber bushings encased in the neck. The drawing (fig. 10) clearly shows no stem on the stopper. In a second registration in August of 1885 he clearly refers to a “spherical or globular” stopper. His third registration (fig 11) has minor changes to his improved design.

By 1882 Hiram Codd had moved to London,  a sign he was seeing some financial success. There he joined forces with another would-be inventor, Dan Rylands. yes">  In September of 1882 they filed a joint patent in U.S. Patent Office for an improvement (of sorts) in the Codd design. One they had been granted in Great Britain a few months earlier in July of 1882. Apparently when opening Codd bottles, the method of releasing the ball by pressure from the thumb was troublesome. Perhaps highly charged soda would drench a patron’s hands as the ball was depressed. To solve this problem Ryland and Codd created a small valve on the side neck of the bottle. (Fig 12) The bottle blown with a hole in the neck to receive the valve that served to release the pressure. The reduction in pressure would cause the marble to unseat itself. yes">  No more messy hands.

  Fig. 12 

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Another American who tried his hand in the stopper business was William Stewart of Brooklyn, New York. His device was similar in concept to Edwards and Barrett’s. In his design the ball was to be made of metal of a non-corrosive type or cork or other materials but it had to be of such buoyancy that it would float upon the liquid. He then attached a cap and wire bail over top of packing seated in the mouth of the bottle. (Fig. 13)   Fig. 13   

The next year, 1886, he registered improvements in his design. He modified the stopper to be either lighter or heavier than the liquid and proposed it be made in a two piece mold to create a hollow ball of hard vulcanized rubber. He says, “I have found by careful practical experiments that it is not possible to make a self-acting stopper from glass, porcelain, sheet metal or elastic material, and that while cork is light enough for the purpose it is very objectionable, because it will rot and render the stopper useless in a short time..   A stopper of elastic material, as heretofore made, is not light enough to be self-acting to close the bottle when the bottle is in the usual upright position during the filling process and is too buoyant to roll into the neck to close the mouth of the bottle when the bottle is inverted; hence it is necessary to use a lifting device to draw the stopper to its seat after the bottle has been filled.” He goes to lament his problems saying if the diameter is too small it could be blown out of the bottle and that glass, porcelain are likely to break the bottle or the stopper during the washing, filling or emptying of the bottle. Mr. Stewart in summing up his claims makes a point which might explain one of the reasons we do not see Codds here in America. He states, “My improved stopper, with a ring-shaped packing and apertured cap, can be applied to any bottle, and the bottle can be filled by any ordinary bottling machine in the market, thus enabling a bottler of soda-water or other liquids charged with gas to utilize bottles which are no practically useless, resulting in saving to the bottling trade of many thousand dollars every year.” yes">  The American bottling industry had a huge investment in their bottles. Adopting the Codd style would have been expensive not only in the royalties but also in the complete restocking of their inventory of bottles.

While studying the problem of the self-acting stopper, Mr. Stewart notes the difficulties in filling the Codd and other stopper styles. The problem was that the stoppers were not “buoyant enough to float on the liquid and light enough to be impelled and seated against the packing-ring automatically by the gaseous pressure with the bottle without extraneous assistance or manipulation.” As a result they were always inverted or filled upside down which in and of itself was a problem.

  Now Mr. Codd was not sitting on his hands all this time. He was busy inventing yet more improvements to his original design. By 1886, he had moved yet again to 41 Grace Church St. in the city of London and now billed himself as a bottle manufacturer. He too began to tackled the problem of the self-acting stopper and registered yet another patent with the U.S. Patent Office in January of 1886 (Fig. 14). This bottle was constructed such that, “…When the bottle is standing upright and the ball is over the center of the horizontal contraction, it must remain in that position and cannot roll toward either end of the of the contracted upper part of the bottle. When in this position it is vertically below the mouth of the bottle and in such close proximity to the elastic ring that when the bottle have been filled with aerated liquid and the mouth of the bottle is suddenly relieved from m pressure the gas rushing upward from the liquid in the bottle will lift the ball and carry it up to its seat, and so as to close the bottle.” To open such a bottle one need to hold it at a slight angle with the mouth higher than the base so that when the ball was pushed in it would drop into the recessed area. The advantage for the bottler was that the bottle could be filled in a nearly upright position without the need to invert it in the machine. He notes, “because in all machines in which the bottle in order to close it has had to be inverted the parts of the machine have required to be lubricated with oil, and it is difficult to keep the oil entirely away from or to prevent it coming contact with the various beverages in the bottles.”

codd86fig.gif (50138 bytes) Fig. 14

One other English manufacturer who already had a good share of the American market was Henry Cochrane of Dublin, Ireland. He sold millions of dollars worth of his ginger-ale to the American market. In 1884-1885 Henry Cochrane and Joseph Michael Day filed with the United States Patent Office their own version of the Codd stopper. (Fig. 15) They described it as being, “A bottle having an external screw-thread upon its neck and a plane upper surface, combine with a cap having an internal thread and a shoulder, a rubber rind claimed in place between said plane surface and should by the act of placing the cap upon the bottle….”

  Fig. 15

Filling the bottle would be accomplished by: “When the bottle is about being filled, the cap is screwed into position, the glass ball or stopper having been first introduced. Upon the bottle being fully charged with aerated liquid in an inverted position and removed from the supply pipe, the ball is cause to impinge against the collar of India-rubber or other material, thus effectually closing the bottle. In order to open the bottle, it is held upright and the cap is screwed round until the joint between the rubber and the bottle is opened and the aperture or the slot in the screw of the cap or on the nozzle of the bottle, as the case may be, comes above the rim of the bottle, when the gas will immediately escape and the glass ball fall away from the rubber collar or washer, thereby enabling the contents to be poured out with ease. “ This screw-top while interesting was probably not practical.

In 1887 Charles De. Quillfeldt of New York suggested improvements on William Stewart’s patent. Of Stewart’s patent he said, “I refer to No 320189, dated June 16 1885. the metallic cap, as constructed in the said patent, consists of a flat piece of thin metal having three downward projecting arms inclosing the bottle neck and held to the latter by means of surrounding wire, the cap being held in place against outward pressure by bending up the end of the three arms around the wire band. To keep the flat cap from bending out of shape by the outward pressure, it is found that no less than three arms can be used, which necessarily a great waste of material in stamping the blank for a cap with the arms thereon. It is also found that wire band and the curved bend of the arms around the same yield frequently to the inside pressure, whereby the valve ring becomes loose and the stopper leaky.”  

   Fig 16

He further criticizes Stewart’s invention as being to time consuming to put on and with the ball rolling down into the inclined neck it prevented the liquid from coming out. (So much for Stewart’s attempt). His suggestion was to cheapen the construction and improve the appearance. To facilitate its attachment to the neck-band and solve the problem of the ball stopping the flow, he suggested a two prong cap and a right angle shoulder to catch the ball. (Fig 16).

  Copy of hutchisonstopp.jpg (26993 bytes)  1879 Hutchinson Stopper Fig. 17

American bottlers were busy with their own unique designs. By 1879, W.H. Hutchinson had invented his wire stopper which was to remake the U.S. industry and change soda bottle styles from squat shaped to what became known as the Hutchison style. (Fig 17). Prior to his invention, one of the design requirements for soda bottles to be corked with cork stoppers was the presence of a long neck. The length provided a greater surface area for more friction for the cork and so fewer losses from leakage. For this reason almost all early soda bottles from this country and others had an elongated neck incorporated into their design. With the invention of the Hutchinson and other internal spring type stoppers (fig E2) modifications in the design of the bottle began to appear including shortening the neck.

  Hutchinson was far more successful than others who were trying to solve the stopper problem. Case in point is that of Frederick Thomas resident of Catskill, New York. In 1895, he proposed his own version of the Codd stopper for a Hutchison style bottle. (Fig. 18)  Thomas argued that when the balls were made of stone or glass that both kinds were “liable to the serious objection, that , in handling and shaking the bottle, as when washing them, and, particularly when inverting and again reversing them, when empty, the momentum due to the weight and movement of the ball together with the hardness of its surface, frequently cause bottles to break. Rubber balls, although they may be weighted to sink and yet not be liable to break the bottles, under circumstances as aforesaid, are objectionable because they impart to the beverage a disagreeable taste and are blackened, corroded and deteriorated by the chemical action of acidulous liquids, for instance citric acid.”

Thomas’ ‘improvement’ was to propose a new type of ball or stopper compounded of his unique formula which consisted of “whiting, white lead, shellac, rosin and flock…By “flock” is meant a finely pulverized fibrous substance, such as wool, cloth or asbestos.” yes">  I don’t know about you, but given a choice, I would take my chances with breakage.

thomasfig18.gif (23935 bytes)  Fig. 18

thomasfig19.gif (26231 bytes)  Fig. 19

Not to be discouraged as he surely must have been, Mr. Thomas registered a different patent for a marble stopper bottle in December of 1895. In his claim he points out how a long necked bottle would require the valve to be seated too far below the mouth to be convenient and may require a special means by which to press down the ball so as to prevent its being pushed back towards the seat by the outward rush of the liquid as the bottle was opened.” He goes on to state, “In bottles having floating ball-valves and improved by have not pockets another objection exists – namely, that the very light ball jumps back to its seat time and again when opening, there causing the gas-charged liquid to spatter over the person who opens it, and sometimes it lodges on the foam and is slow to recede from the neck even the bottle be inverted. Again at times when after emptying a small portion of the liquid remains, the sweet or gummy ingredients therein will cause the light ball to adhere to the inner surface of the bottle so hard as to impede considerable the process of washing. The usual length of the necks of bottles of both classes makes them all very liable to be broken. yes">  In those having sinking ball-values and pockets at the bottom the bottle must be held upright until the ball has lodged in the said resting-place. In the meantime the liquid foams out of the bottle without getting into the drinking-glass and is wasted.

To solve these objections he suggests a bottle with a very short neck so as to bring the “ball within one fourth of one inch below the same, and thus easily accessible to be depressed by the thumb to drop from its seat when desired to empty the bottle.” Mr. Thomas’s proposed bottle looks remarkable like a Hutchinson soda bottle. (Fig19) the advantages he cites are the bottle will be easier to clean (cleaning must have been a problem with Codd type stoppers). The shortness and increased wideness of the neck would not only save breakage and seat the ball more easily saving spillage upon filling but would also allow the ball to drop away thus reducing the likelihood of spattering.


align="center">To solve the problem of opening Codd type bottles some inventors such as 
H. Barrett  (1889) suggested various means of opening them. Fig 20

In 1901 an Italian, Domenico Tognarini of Cecina, Italy filed for a U. S. patent for a Codd type bottle which incorporated design elements first introduced and refined by Hiram Codd and Dan Rylands. The patent filer suggested solving the problem of spattering the contents by putting a valve in the neck of the bottle. As can be seen from the drawing registered in 1902 (Fig 21)   His patent shows how Codd bottles in Europe had developed to a high degree. They 1) usually had a separate chamber for the ball stopper, 2) a means to prevent the ball from returning to the closed position while pouring and 3) a valve to release the pressure thus automatically dropping the ball.

  Fig. 21

In August of the same year, 1911 a U.S. patent was granted to an Australian, George William Midson of Nundah near Brisbane, Queensland. His patent pertains to “Various bottles have been designed for holding aerated drinks and other liquids differing one from the other in minor details. That in most common use is what is known in the trade as the ‘Codd’ or four way bottle (fig 20 pollard). These bottles, although they fill the purpose very well have one serious drawback viz: - they are very liable to break off at the part known in the trade as the gullet, and great loss is entailed thereby. There is another form of bottle on the market but the design is such that in proportion to the bottles blown there are a great number of wasters. I have therefore designed a bottle which will overcome these objections.” His improvement was to reinforce the bottle at point 4 as shown in figure 1 below. The reinforced gullet is shown in figures 5 and 6  (fig 22)


   Fig. 22


In April of 1913 an application for an interesting variation of the marble stopper was filed by Louis J. Crecelius of St. Louis, Missouri (Fig 23). His invention using crown top bottles provided what he termed a “double seal.” The twist was that both the mouth of the bottle and spherical stopper were to have ground surfaces like those found on a ground glass stopper. Grinding the surfaces he reasoned would create additional frictional and would “positively wedge some part of its ground surface into frictional contact with the ground surface of its seat and be retained therein, except as against a considerable degree of pressure tending to force it inwardly.

  crec1913fig.gif (12024 bytes)  Fig 23

Finally, in 1923 the first American Codd appears. Romolo Amicarelli and William A. Fisher of Lowellville, Ohio proposes a real American Codd. Based on their description, you’d think this was a new idea. They say, “This invention relates to bottle constructions and aims to provide a novel form of bottle especially designed for containing effervescing or charged liquids. yes">  The primary object of the invention is to provide a bottle wherein the stopper will be held in s seat by the pressure of the liquid contained in the bottle. A further object of the invention is to provide means for holding the stopper from its seat while the liquid is being poured there from.”(Fig 24) They claim their bottle not only to do everything Hiram Codd’s bottle did but it looks suspiciously like a Codd bottle and would appear to have all the flaws heretofore cited (I am beginning to talk like these guys). Perhaps the English patents ran out and these would-be entrepreneurs simply snatched it up or perhaps the isolation of their geographical placement left them uniformed. This 1923 American Codd bottle fifty years late would certainly be machine.

  fisher23fig.gif (42120 bytes)  Fig 24

The second Patent for an American Codd does not show up in 1942! Talk about being behind the times. Nick and John Marino of Washington D. C. They note, “It is an important object of our invention to provide in a bottle of the above character an improved sealing means so constructed and arranged as to insure a tight and leakproof fit between the ball valve and its seat. Our invention has as another object to provide in a bottle of the above character, means for supporting the ball valve out of obstructing relation to the pouring opening in such a manner that, after the bottle is returned to the bottling works, a brush may be readily introduced into the bottle through the pouring opening for cleaning the inside of the bottle. Still another object of our invention is to provide in a bottle of the above character means for retaining the ball valve away from the pouring opening after the bottle has been initially opened so that it does not interfere with the free pouring of the liquid from the bottle.” About the only thing original about their design is they advocate a cup shaped seat for the ball to make a tighter seal. Their pinched neck, first found in the original Codd patent, they say allows for the bottle brush to reach all the way into the bottle for cleaning. Here we are full circle.

  mar1942 fig25.gif (42268 bytes)   Marino 1942 American Codd  Fig. 25

Our story is nearly complete. Except for one more interesting footnote. In May 1923 George N. Mas who was a bottle designer that had patented dozens of bottle designs in the early 1920s registered a new bottle design. In his Codd-like design, the marble is not quite round and is designed as a hollow floating glass stopper which is self-righting. (It seems to me a round stopper would not need righting) A second innovation of his was the pasteboard disk which he says may be placed on the seat to prevent dust from entering the neck of the bottle and to serve as a convenient means for advertising. Other than that, the bottle lacks much of the sophistication of other Codd designs. Was Mr. Mas hoping to catch the attention of the Coca Cola Company when he included in the patent drawing writing on the pasteboard disk which can clearly be seen to say “Coca Cola Sanitary?” Would you believe a Coca Cola Codd? Now that would be the quintessential American Codd bottle. You be the judge. (fig 26 & 27)

mas23fig.gif (27586 bytes)  Fig 26    Fig. 27



Hiram Codd was born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, UK, in 1838 and died in Brixton. London, in 1887. He is buried in London's Brompton Cemetery.

There are about 25 known American Codd bottles.  The bottles themselves were difficult to make and American bottlers probably met some resistance from glass houses to make these.  David Graci is currently working on a book Soda and Beer Bottle Closures 1850-1910 . the publication should be available by Christmas 2002.  the pictures below were contributed by Mr. Graci.

Lancaster.jpg (55734 bytes) mass.jpg (41153 bytes) New York.jpg (47918 bytes) newyork2.jpg (89090 bytes) phila.jpg (56761 bytes)