These bottles are known as marble stopper bottles. This type of bottle was filled upside down so that as soon as the filling stopped the stopper was forced down to seal the bottle against the rubber ring. Pressure inside the bottle would keep the marble pressed against the top of the bottle. To open the bottle the marble was pressed down where it would fall into the neck chamber below. The marble would stay inside the chamber when the bottle was tilted up for drinking. These bottles have come from the aerated waters factory of John Fletcher of Warrnambool. This factory in Koroit Street was established in the mid 19th century by John Davis. As a young boy John Fletcher worked at the cordial factory of John Rowley in Banyan Street, Warrnambool and then worked for a number of years for John Davis at his Union Cordial Factory. In 1885 John Fletcher succeeded John Davis and continued in this business until 1930.. The business was then taken over by Ralph Reeves. John Fletcher manufactured aerated waters, soda, tonic waters, lemonade, ginger ale, hop beer, hop bitters, sarsaparilla and cordials.
These bottles are of interest firstly because they are good examples of marble stopper bottles, no longer in use today. They are also important because they are John Fletcher bottles and he was a prominent soft drinks manufacturer in Warrnambool for over 40 years.
These four bottles are made of green coloured glass. They have a round body with deep indentations at the top, narrowing the entrance to the neck which is short and thick. The top opening is made of thick moulded glass. A glass marble is loose in the neck section. The rubber ring inside the neck is missing. The manufacturer’s details are embedded into the glass on both sides of the bottle.
Inscriptions & markings
‘J.Fletcher’s Aerated Waters Koroit Street Warrnambool’
‘This bottle is the property of John Fletcher Warrnambool and cannot be legally used by others’