Henry W. Putnam Stopper Fastening

U. S. Patent Number: 23,263                        Patented: March 15, 1859

U. S. Patent Number: 1,606 (Reissue)           Patented: January 19, 1864

Henry W. Putnam’s patent application specified:

I, Henry W. Putnam, of…New York (formerly of ClevelandOhio), have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Fastenings for Bottle Corks and Stoppers…

Fastenings for bottles have heretofore been made in which a strap of metal has extended over the cork from a hinge or joint formed on each side of the neck of the bottle by a second metallic strip.  This device is costly to manufacture, and is liable to be displaced in use by the pressure upon the cork, because such metal strap has had a notch formed therein for the plunger, (that holds in said cork after the bottle has been filled,) which notch allows the cork to project at this point, and by springing up the metal on the sides of the notch form an inclined plane, against which the pressure acts to force the fastener aside and relieve the cork.

The nature of my said invention consists in forming the fastener of wire bent in such a manner that if the pressure upon the cork is sufficient to bend said wire fastener it will retain the cork more firmly and the cork require to be pushed in before the fastener can be pushed aside, thus causing the pressure to render the fastening more secure instead of more liable to failure.  I also form joints for securing the fastener and forming a hinge upon which it may be turned aside by bending the ends of such wires at right angles, or nearly so, to the sides of the fastener, and I make use of a wire for attaching this fastener to the bottle, in which the eyes are formed for receiving the ends of the fastener, and on which the said fastener swings, thus producing by one piece of wire a much more simple, effective, and cheap attachment than any before made.

In the accompanying drawings, Figure 1 represents the fastener with the two parts separated from each other.  Fig. 2 represents the fastener with the two parts united.  Fig. 3 represents the fastener with one part loosely inclosing the neck of the bottle, and Figs. 4 and 5 show different views of the fastener in use…

The bottles are filled under a pressure of two or three atmospheres for the purpose of holding the carbonic-acid gas in solution with which the liquid is charged…

The manner of using this fastening is as follows: The bottle is placed under the fountain and its neck encircled at the top by the tube that conveys the saturated water or other liquid into the bottle.  The cork being placed in the tube above the side pipe that admits the fluid into the bottle, by turning a stop-cock the bottle becomes filled with the liquid, and by means of the piston above the cork the cork is forced into the neck of the bottle, the fastening being turned aside, as seen in Fig. 3.  When the bottle is full and the cork inserted, the pipe is elevated, the piston still holding the cork.  The fastener is then forced over the end of the cork, as seen in Figs. 4 and 5, in which position it is held from being pressed out by the expansion of the gas…It is sometimes necessary to force in the cork before the fastener can be released, which is effected by pressing with the thumb on the sides A of the wire fastening and turning it off into the position of Fig. 3.


This summary includes the illustrations accompanying the original 1859 patent filing, plus selected portions of the 1864 patent reissue specifications.  Putnam’s fastener clearly illustrates one of the most popular methods used to hold externally inserted corks into blob top soda bottles.  Looping a wire over the cork and twisting it around the neck beneath the blob top was also quite common.  Blob top soda bottles are sometimes incorrectly identified as Hutchinson bottles.  More often, however, Hutchinson bottles are incorrectly referred to as “blob tops.”  Once one becomes familiar with Hutchinson’s Patent Spring Stopper and how it worked, it becomes much easier to distinguish between these two significantly different types of closures.  Blob top soda bottles utilized an external stopper (typically a cork), while Hutchinson bottles utilized an internal closure.