Hutchinson Stopper Repair
The 1889 W. H. Hutchinson & Son catalog included this list of product “advantages” that provide clues to typical Hutchinson Patent Spring Stopper maintenance activities:
The Hutchinson Stopper is connected with a spring handle by a single
wire, which makes the liability for collecting dirt very slight compared
with those Stoppers having a jointed or hinged bail, or having two wires
connected with the stopper or valve, which are very hard to clean when
they get dirty.
Second. The Spring in the Hutchinson Stopper is unlimited in its movement, consequently adjusts itself to all sizes of throats, and any little variation in the size of the throat of the bottle makes no difference in its working well. All other Stoppers imitating ours, that is, having a spring action to hold them open and closed, have a limited movement of the spring and are liable, through a slight wear of the wire or variation in the size of the neck of the bottle, to become loose, and are therefore useless as a perfect stopper.
Third. The Hutchinson Stopper is made very strong; the spring being of heavy tinned brass wire, which is not liable to break or get out of place from hard usage. Unlike the other stoppers made, which, in order to save time and money, are too light to stand hard usage, or the hinged or jointed stopper, which is easily broken or becomes unjointed inside of the bottle making them useless, and almost impossible to extract them from the bottle.
Fourth. The Hutchinson Stopper can be easily extracted from the bottles, and if the rubber washer gets out of order a new one can be put on, and the Stopper will be good as ever. The rubber washer is the only part of the Stopper which ever wears out, and it can be easily replaced with new when desired, which is another distinguishing feature of
Stopper gauges were used to sort stoppers by their five different button widths. The 1908 W. H. Hutchinson and Son Bottler’s Book advertising copy specified “This gauge shows exactly the various sized stoppers we make and will be very useful in sorting old stoppers.”
The 1889 W. H. Hutchinson & Son Bottlers Supplies catalog advertised a rubber teat that was:
…put up on a split handle, adapted to straddle the stopper spring in the bottle, when the rubber comes in contact with the throat of the bottle, and by turning it around removes all the dirt. It is not necessary to use this all the time, but if necessary, it can be done very quickly.
The 1889 W. H. Hutchinson and Son Bottlers Supplies catalog also offered rubber adjusters that were utilized to attach replacement rubber washers onto stoppers:
The W. H. Hutchinson and Son 1908 Bottler’s Book included the same illustration, but the price had been dropped to $ .50 and a footnote mentioned “A better way is to slip the rubber on the wire of the stopper and then pull it over the small edge of the button with a pair of pliers.” The same catalog also offered:
The Superior Rubber Adjuster
Save time and labor, which means money, by re-rubbering old Soda Stoppers.