Bottle Designs and Trade Marks

Charles Sulz devoted an entire chapter to “Bottles and Bottle-ware” in his 1888 book, A Treatise on Beverages or The Complete Practical Bottler, but provided no Hutchinson bottle-specific information, and only these generic comments about bottles in general:

Good Bottles Necessary.  – As the means of dispensing the various manufactured beverages, there is the necessity of having effective bottles for the different purposes for which they are required, and this is next in importance to having effective machinery for the manufacture of the contents.  It is not only that they must have the necessary points to make them retain the gaseous properties in the waters – which are known only to the technicalist – but they must be appreciated by the public, as consumers of the drinks…

Colored Bottleware; Deleterious Effect of Light upon Beverages; Desirable Colors for Bottles. – Light has an effect upon beverages that few appreciate, or have knowledge of, but as learned in a general way from the more or less uncertain opinions sifting through the trade upon the subject.  Scientific experiment, however, has demonstrated the deleterious effect of light upon all saccharine and malt beverages.  Liquids contained in colorless bottles, when exposed for some time to the light, acquire a disagreeable taste, notwithstanding the fact that they may have been of superior quality before being so treated.  On the other hand, beverages contained in dark brown, amber, or the various shades of green remain unchanged in quality, even if exposed to direct sunlight.

That light has a disturbing influence upon beverages there is no doubt, though we have heard well-informed men in the glass trade question it.  The actinic effect of light (that power of the sun’s rays by which chemical changes are produced) is not as thoroughly understood as it might be by bottlers, and the character and color of bottle-ware is determined more by fancy than intelligent knowledge of its requirements…Colored glass prevents the white rays of light from acting upon the contents of the bottle…White bottles, therefore, are unfitted for bottlers’ use, except for bottling plain waters…

Size of bottles. – For bottling ordinary saccharine beverages half-pint bottles are used, shaped in various forms.  For different beverages often different shapes are employed, as for instance ginger ale.  No rules, however, are applicable.  It is always optional with the carbonator, who strives to please the fancy of his customers…

We beg to offer a few suggestions relative to the size of bottles, and think the trade would be much better off if a uniform bottle in size were adopted.  There are bottles and bottles, of various sizes, which must complicate matters very much where competition is sharp.  In a word all half-pint bottles should hold a uniform quantity; a quart bottle a quart, and thus serve all alike.

Protection for Marked Bottles. – Bottles that bear the ‘blown-in’ impress of a United States registered trade-mark, and have been used for ginger ale, lemon soda, sarsaparilla, or whatever other carbonated beverage the registration covers, cannot be used again for the same purpose by any other person whomsoever, without violating the law, and liable to an action for damage.  We strongly advise the adoption of a trade-mark by every bottler.  It costs but little, serves to protect his bottles, and in case any competitor infringes the same a suit at law will resulting favor of the party owning the trade-mark. 

Likewise, in his 1888 book, The Manufacture and Bottling of Carbonated Beverages, James W. Tufts did not provide specific information about Hutchinson bottles.  He did, however, address the importance of trade mark identification for bottles:

The bottle question, which is such a bone of contention among bottlers, can be readily disposed of by a simple and businesslike measure.  Adopt a trademark and have it blown into the bottle.  This will make the bottle useless to other bottlers, who will not take it in place of their own.  The cost of obtaining a trademark from the U. S. Patent office, including the patent solicitors’ fees, is about $40.

Soda bottlers were notoriously thrifty, evidence this suggestion submitted to the editor and published in The Western Bottler December 15, 1897:

Trade Mark.

(S. & N. Co. of Ill.)  As there is no regulation requiring time registration of a trade mark within a given time, in order to make such a registration valid, but on the contrary such registration can be made years after the trade mark has been first used, we should advise you to save the money until you see that the new drink is a success likely to last.