Definitions

bottle heads

Bottle

[bot-l]

A bottle is a container with a neck that is narrower than the body and a "mouth." Bottles are often made of glass, clay, plastic or other impervious materials, and typically used to store liquids such as water, milk, soft drinks, beer, wine, cooking oil, medicine, shampoo, ink and chemicals. A device applied in the bottling line to seal the mouth of a bottle is termed a bottle cap (external), or stopper (internal). A bottle can also be sealed using induction sealing.

The bottle has developed over millennia of use, with some of the earliest examples appearing in China, Phoenicia, Rome and Crete. The Chinese used bottles to store liquids.

In modern times for some bottles a legally mandated deposit is paid, which is refunded after returning the bottle to the retailer. For other glass bottles there is often separate garbage collection for recycling.

History

Since prehistoric times, bottle containers were created from clay or asphaltum sealed woven containers. Early glass bottle manufacture was conducted by the Phoenicians; specimens of Phoenician translucent and transparent glass bottles have been found in Cyprus and Rhodes generally varying in length from three to six inches. These Phoenician examples from the first millennium BC were thought to have been used for perfume. The Romans learned glass-making from the Phoenicians and produced many extant examples of fine glass bottles, mostly relatively small.

For wine

The glass bottle was an important development in the history of wine, because, when combined with a high-quality stopper such as a cork, it allowed long-term aging of wine. Glass has all qualities required for long-term storage. It eventually gave rise to "château bottling," the practice where an estate's wine is put in bottle at the source, rather than by a merchant. Prior to this, wine would be sold by the barrel (and before that, the amphora) and put into bottles only at the merchant's shop, if at all. This left a large and often abused opportunity for fraud and adulteration, as the consumer had to trust the merchant as to the contents. It is thought that most wine consumed outside of wine-producing regions had been tampered with in some way. Also, not all merchants were careful to avoid oxidation or contamination while bottling, leading to large bottle variation. Particularly in the case of port, certain conscientious merchants' bottling of old ports fetch higher prices even today. To avoid these problems, most fine wine is bottled at the place of production (including all port, since 1974).

There are many sizes and shapes of bottles used for wine. Some of the known shapes:

  • "Bordeaux": This bottle is roughly straight sided with a curved "shoulder" that is useful for catching sediment and is also the easiest to stack. Traditionally used in Bordeaux but now worldwide, this is probably the most common type.
  • "Burgundy": Traditionally used in Burgundy, this has sides that taper down about 2/3rds of the height to a short cylindrical section, and does not have a shoulder.
  • "Champagne": Traditionally used for Champagne, it is similar to a Burgundy bottle, but with a wider base and heavier due to the pressurization.

Codd-neck bottles

In 1872, British soft drink maker Hiram Codd of Camberwell, south east London, designed and patented a bottle designed specifically for carbonated drinks. The Codd-neck bottle, as it was called, was designed and manufactured to enclose a marble and a rubber washer/gasket in the neck. The bottles were filled upside down, and pressure of the gas in the bottle forced the marble against the washer, sealing in the carbonation. The bottle was pinched into a special shape, as can be seen in the photo to the right, to provide a chamber into which the marble was pushed to open the bottle. This prevented the marble from blocking the neck as the drink was poured

Soon after its introduction, the bottle became extremely popular with the soft drink and brewing industries in mainly Europe, Asia and Australasia, though some alcohol drinkers disdained the use of the bottle. One etymology of the term codswallop originates from beer sold in Codd bottles.

The bottles were regularly produced for many decades, but gradually declined in usage. Since children smashed the bottles to retrieve the marbles, they are relatively rare and have become collector items; particularly in the UK. A cobalt coloured Codd bottle today fetches thousands of British pounds at auction. The Codd-neck design is still used for the Japanese soft drink Ramune and in the Indian drink called Banta.

Plastic bottles

Plastic bottles (e.g. two-liter) used for soft drinks can withstand typical internal carbonation pressures of 2–4 bar (30–60 psi.), because the plastic is strain oriented in the stretch blow molding manufacturing process.

Aluminum bottles

The aluminum beverage bottle, also known as a bottlecan, is made of recyclable aluminum. Beer, soft drinks, alternative beverages and wine have all been packaged in aluminum beverage bottles. CCL Container and Mistic Brands, Inc., part of the Snapple Beverage Group, teamed up in 2002 for the national launch of Mistic RĒ. The result was a recyclable packaging innovation that utilized aluminum and plastic, leveraging the best properties of each in a practical, attractive and groundbreaking aluminum bottle with a resealable lug cap that fits snugly onto a unique plastic sleeve. The aluminum bottlecan is an ecological alternative to plastic bottles. Shaped similar to the traditional glass beverage bottle, the aluminum beverage bottle is available in a broad range of profiles, styles and configurations for commercial production. CCL Container, North America’s leading producer of impact-extruded aluminum packaging offers a variety of shapes, including “traditional,” “oval,” and “sport.” Resealable lids are also available as a cap option. Some studies have concluded that aluminum provides for increased insulation keeping beverages cooler longer than glass.

Capsules

Some jars and bottles have a metal cap or cover called a capsule. They were historically made of lead, and protected the cork from being gnawed away by rodents or infested with cork weevil. Because of research showing that trace amounts of lead could remain on the lip of the bottle (NYT 2aug91), lead capsules (lead foil bottleneck wrappings) were slowly phased out, and by the 1990s (FDA 1992), most capsules were made of aluminum foil or plastic.

See also

References

External links

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