Historical information

This is a marble stopper bottle. It was filled upside down so that as soon as the filling stopped the marble was forced down to seal the bottle against the rubber ring. Pressure inside the bottle kept the marble pressed against the top of the bottle. To open the bottle the marble has been pressed down and has fallen into the neck chamber below. The marble stayed inside the chamber when the bottle was tilted up for drinking. This bottle came from the Warrnambool aerated waters factory of John Fletcher. This factory was commenced 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. He then worked for John Davis at his Union Cordial Factory in Koroit Street for many years. In 1885 he succeeded John Davis in this business. Fletcher’s business continued until 1930 when it was sold to the soft drinks manufacturer, Ralph Reeves. John Fletcher made aerated waters, soda water, tonic water, lemonade, ginger ale, hop beer, hop bitters, sarsaparilla and cordials.


This bottle is of interest as a good example of a marble stopper bottle and as a memento of the soft drinks made by John Fletcher, a prominent Warrnambool businessman for over 40 years.

Physical description

This is a glass bottle with a heavy round base and a rounded body which is markedly indented at the top, causing the aperture inside to be narrowed. The neck is rounded and tapers to the moulded glass opening at the top. There is a round piece of red rubber inside the top of the bottle. A green glass marble is loose in the neck section. The lettering giving details of the manufacturer is embedded into the glass. There is a small chip on the base.

Inscriptions & markings

‘John Fletcher Trade Mark (crown symbol)Warrnambool’
‘Soda Water’