A Lemonade Bottle

In times past, when water supplies were from wells, manufactured soft drinks were popular. Indeed, they are probably more popular today, but the soft drink industry has a long history.

We do not know of soft drinks being made on a commercial scale in Market Lavington but they were certainly made in other places in Wiltshire back in the nineteenth century.

Back then, and well into living memory, bottles were returned to the drink manufacturer. They were, in effect, loaned to the consumer and when returned safely, a small cash deposit was given back to the customer. There will be many people around who, as small children, were delighted to find a lemonade bottle in a hedgerow, for they could return it and collect that cash.

But one nineteenth century bottle escaped return in White Street, Market Lavington. Somehow, it got lost in a garden and was dug up nearly one hundred years later and given to the museum.

Hamilton bottle, used for Lemonade and dug up in a garden in White Street, Market Lavington

Glass is a wonderfully hard wearing material and the old bottle survived well, interred in that White Street garden. Sadly it carries no name to identify it, but the bottle shape is very nineteenth century. These bottles used a cork to seal them. It was important that the cork stayed moist for the compressed carbon dioxide could readily escape through a dry cork. The bottle shape meant it had to lie on its side and the drink itself kept the cork moist. Bottles of this shape are called Hamilton Bottles.

One place in Wiltshire where such bottles were filled by a drink manufacturer was Bradford on Avon and our friends at the museum there have a fine example of a bottle used by Wilkins Brothers. You can click here to see it.

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3 Responses to “A Lemonade Bottle”

  1. Sharon Neale Says:

    I have this bottle in my cupboard. My Nana and Mum and Myself used to darn our socks on it. Mum said it used to have a marble as a stopper in it. Mine is in a better condition than this pic though.

  2. Jonathan Moore Says:

    I have yet to find a Hamilton style or Torpedo bottle. But the small unknown domestic dump that I am digging right now is too recent for finding these particular bottles. Probably still some burried under the Norwood Country Park somewhere , deep deep down . The bottles with the marbles in where called Codd bottles. Digging on up complete and U damaged with the marble still inside is rare indeed. As the kids used to break into them to get the said marble. Again the local domestic tip I am digging is too recent for these . Although I have found internal screw carbonite stopper bottles , of which are more recent than the marble Codd bottles.

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