Historical information

The design of the bottle is called a Codd, sometimes referred to as a marble bottle or "Codd's patent bottle".
During the mid-to-late 1800s, there were many inventions to keep the fizz in carbonated drinks such as ginger ale, soda water, and fruit drinks. Hiram Codd, an English engineer invented a successful process that he patented as "Codd's patented globe stopper bottle" in 1872. The Codd-neck bottle (commonly called Codd or marble bottle) is manufactured in two parts. The body of the bottle is cast in two sections. At the time of joining the sections, glass marble and rubber seal are inserted into the neck section. The lip is then applied to the top of the bottle.
The Codd bottle is filled upside down as the pressure of the gas from the carbonated liquid holds the marble up and out of the way. When the bottle stands upright the gas pushes the marble up against the washer, creating a firm seal to keep the fizz inside. The bottle is opened by pushing the marble down firmly to allow some of the gas to escape. The marble drops down and is caught in a depression formed in the neck. When the bottle is tilted to pour or drink the liquid the marble rests in a dimple.
Two Ballarat miners, Evan Rowland and Robert Lewis started manufacturing mineral and aerated waters, bitters, cordials, and liqueurs in 1854, in a tent on the shores of Lake Wendouree Ballarat. Another 13 firms at that time employed manual operations, whereas they introduced Taylor's No. 1 machine that speeded up the process and laid the foundation for their fortune. Evan Rowland was a pioneer in the aerated water trade in Australia. He was born on August 2, 1826, in North Wales. In 1852, during the gold rush, he emigrated to Melbourne, and in 1854 he went to Ballarat and formed a partnership with Robert Lewis, the firm being called ‘‘Rowlands & Lewis’’.
Their next step was to secure a supply of pure water. Using mineral Waters that they found via a natural spring at Warrenheip, Victoria. From the outset, the beverages made from this water gained repute and were in great demand. Their business prospered so well that in 1858 they were able to build a factory at the corner of Sturt and Dawson Streets, Ballarat, and to fit with the most up-to-date machinery then in use.
By 1870 their business had increased so much and demand had grown to such an extent that Mr. Rowlands erected another factory, covering over an acre of ground at the corner of Dana and Doveton Streets, costing £13,000. The factory was fitted with the most modern equipment of the time to manufacture cordials and aerated water. In 1873 Rowlands established an agency at 116 Collins St, Melbourne, because the demand for the products of the Melbourne factory became so large. The company expanded to Sydney opening a factory at the corner of Burns & Hay Streets Darling Harbour obtaining spring water to supply this plant from Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. The water was brought to Sydney by rail. In the meantime, the Melbourne concern had progressed so rapidly that in 1888 a magnificent factory embodying all the latest ideas and equipment was built in King Street Melbourne.
Robert Lewis was a fellow Welshman born in 1816, and he arrived in Port Phillip in 1853 and became a partner in the early day with Evan Rowland but with lesser and shorter involvement in the firm, from which he retired in 1876. Robert Lewis was perhaps better known as Ballarat's first mayor and a Member of the Legislative Assembly. He was a strong supporter of local charities, president/treasurer of the Eisteddfod Committee, a major force in the development of the Ballarat Hospital, and he was the mayor of Ballarat five times, the first in 1863, (having been a counsellor as early as 1859) and for the last time in 1881. Lewis died in 1884 of a stroke in Ballarat.
Rowlands continued in the firm and invented and patented an improved soda water bottle. The water used in Rowlands products was filtered four times but his attempts to use local corks failed on quality grounds. He was a stickler for quality, which was so good that many outside Victoria were prepared to pay the 'premium' imposed by inter-colonial customs duty payable at that time. By the 1890s, Rowlands had factories in Ballarat, Melbourne, Sydney, and Newcastle. He died in 1894 but his company continued until well after the Second World War when it was sold to Schweppes.


An early manufacturing process producing the first mineral waters in Australia was invented and developed by an early Welsh migrant to Australia. The Evan Rowlands story gives an insight into the early development of manufacturing industries in Australia that allowed their workers and the towns they were situated in to prosper and develop into what they are today.

Physical description

Bottle; clear glass Codd neck bottle with small marble in top. Once contained soda water or soft drink. Manufactured in 1921 by E. Rowlands of Ballarat, Melbourne, Katoomba and Sydney. The bottle is 'recyclable' - the message on the base says that it remains the property of E. Rowlands Pty Ltd.

Inscriptions & markings

Imprinted into bas "1921"