Bottle Washing and Rinsing
In addition to emphasizing the importance of pure water for bottling in his 1888 publication, The Manufacture and Bottling of Carbonated Beverages, James W. Tufts also advised: “Pure water should be used for washing bottles, as well as for manufacturing the beverages, for it is useless to provide pure water for the beverage if there are impurities left in the bottle by the water used in washing.”
Bottle brushes were used to wash
The W. H. Hutchinson and Son 1908 Bottler’s Book advertised scrub brushes to be used for washing the outsides of bottles. A layer of cork sandwiched into the two piece wooden handle caused the brush to float:
BOTTLE WASHING MACHINERY
Bottle washing machinery was first introduced in the 1870s. Most of the early power washers employed a rotating brush for cleaning the insides of bottles. Here is an example of a direct belt power washer available per the 1908 Bottler’s Book produced by W. H. Hutchinson & Son:
The 1908 W. H. Hutchinson & Son Bottler's Book also offered this more sophisticated Goulding power bottle washer model:
Whew; the “capable boy” washing a dozen bottles per minute was definitely earning his no doubt meager salary!
Larger-sized bottlers required bottle washing machinery that could be used to clean a substantial quantity of bottles in a short time period. Here’s an example of the “Improved Lightning Bottle Washer” offered by Tufts in 1888:
The advertising copy accompanying Tufts’ advertisement specified:
I have sold to Messrs. Hoyt Bros. & Co., of
With this patent, together with those previously controlled by Hoyt Bros. & Co., the Lightning Bottle-Washer becomes the most perfect washer ever produced, and it is now difficult to see where it can be improved. It is perfect.
As these patents control essential principles which all perfect bottle-washers must employ, it is at once apparent that all washers that are at all serviceable must of necessity be infringements, and so not safe to buy; while those, if any, that are not infringements are unsafe to use…Price, $190.00.
Although Tufts claimed this bottle washer was
“perfect,” using it to wash
Some bottlers experimented with washers that shot a
pressurized stream of water into bottles, but the
The most reliable bottle washing equipment bottlers
depended on for cleaning
The following illustrations are from the 1910 W. H. Hutchinson and Son Bottlers’ Supplies catalog. Iron shot was 8¢ per pound, steel shot was 10¢ per pound, and anti-rust cut steel shot was 12.5¢ per pound in 100 pound bags. W. H. Hutchinson & Son promoted anti-rust steel shot because iron and steel shot “have been objectionable because they become rusty when used in water and leave rust stains in the bottles:”
Late in the
Bottle-Washing with Leaden Shot or Emery.
Leaden shot are very extensively employed for cleansing bottles…but unfortunately lead is smeary and extremely poisonous. When bottles are washed daily with shot a film of black lead will sometimes be formed…In soda and beer bottles this film cannot be seen, on account of the colored glass; but occasionally a shot can be seen that has become wedged in at the bottom of the bottle, and held there, and thus contaminating the liquid by the chemical action of the beverage on the lead…shot for washing bottles is not to be recommended; and in our opinion the cleansing of glass bottles with shot should be absolutely prohibited where the bottles are intended for beverages.
Iron shot is preferable to lead shot, as it does not affect the contents of the bottle. This shot has sharp edges, cleaning the bottle more thoroughly than lead shot.
Emery…is a very economical and practical substitute for cleansing bottles, instead of leaden shot. It occurs native in masses and grains, and is extensively used in the arts for grinding and polishing metals, hard stones, and glass, and can be used alone as well as with diluted acids. It works much more rapidly than shot, on account of its sharp angles, and is in every way an economical substitute. Grains No. 5 or 6 are the most suitable for bottle-washing.
Rather than rinsing bottles by hand, many bottlers utilized bottle-rinsers. Here’s an example of a bottle rinser from James W. Tufts’ 1888 The Manufacture and Bottling of Carbonated Beverages (look closely and note that in addition to Hutchinsons, the illustration also features round bottom, torpedo, and quart bottles!):
Tufts’ accompanying description indicated:
This simple and substantial bottle-rinser is intended to be placed across a sink of any width greater than itself. This is done by attaching to the sink the supports, marked ‘A’ in cut, of necessary width. The rinser is constructed of hard-wood and galvanized-iron tubing, and is provided with two inlet-cocks, each side being entirely separate from the other, so that water may, at the same time, be turned on at one side and off at the other. It is also provided with coupling to attach supply-pipe.
The rinser is arranged to take any size of bottle, and hold it upright, as shown in cut.
When water is turned on at one side a powerful jet is thrown inside each of the dozen bottles placed on it; and meanwhile the dozen on the other size may be removed and replaced with others…Price, $20.00
The following advertisement for The Sears Bottle Washer and Rinser (patented October 8, 1901) was placed in the October 5, 1903 National Bottlers' Gazette. Both of the pictured Hutchinson bottles have Hutchinson's Patent Spring Stoppers in place in their necks:
Here are examples of three bottle rinsing machines
offered in W. H. Hutchinson & Son’s 1908