William Beardsley Bottle Stopper

U.S. Patent Number: 317,705                           Patented: May 12, 1885

William Beardsley’s patent application was filed February 27, 1885 and specified:

I, William Beardsley, of Beacon…Iowa, have invented a new and Improved Bottle-Stopper…for bottles containing soda-water or other aerated liquids…

Figure 1 is a cross-sectional view of my improved bottle-stopper and of a bottle in part.  Fig. 2 is a plan view of the under side of the cap.

The bottle A, of any desired shape or size, is provided with an externally-screw-threaded neck, B, on which a screw-cap, C, is screwed having a central aperture, D.  On the under side of the cap C a packing, E, or leather, rubber, or other suitable material, having an aperture corresponding to the aperture D, is secured, and the bottle contains a glass or other ball-valve, F, adapted to close the aperture D.  On the inside of the bottle, in practice, a series of triangular or crescent-shaped projections, G, are formed at a greater or less distance from the neck, said projections extending continuously around the bottle.  The bottle is filled with soda-water or other aerated liquid under pressure, which forces the ball-valve against the seat formed by the packing E, thus closing the bottle.  To open the bottle the ball-valve F is pressed down and the liquid is permitted to flow out of the bottle.  When the bottle is opened, the ball F rests against the ridges or projections G, and is thus prevented from closing the opening in the cap.


William Beardsley was a druggist and soda bottler in Beacon, Iowa.  In addition to using bottles that utilized Hutchinson’s Patent Spring Stopper, Beardsley also designed and patented the unusual closure illustrated and described above.  Of particular interest is the screw-cap, apparently designed to help prevent leakage, prevent contamination of the bottle’s contents, and provide consumers with a convenient method for resealing a partially consumed bottle on a short-term basis.  Leakage, contamination, and resealing were challenges faced by all bottlers during the Hutchinson era.  No bottlers other than Beardsley are known to have used this bottle-stopper.