Historical information

These marble stopper bottles came from the Warrnambool aerated waters factory of John Fletcher. A marble stopper bottle 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 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 of the chamber below. The marble would stay inside the chamber when the bottle was tilted up for drinking. As a young boy John Fletcher worked at the cordial factory of John Rowley in Banyan Street, Warrnambool. He then worked in Koroit Street, Warrnambool at the Union Cordial Factory of John Davis. This factory had been established in the 1860s. In 1885 John Fletcher bought the business of John Davis and continued it on until 1930 when it was bought by Ralph Reeves. John Fletcher manufactured lemonade, tonic waters, soda water, sarsaparilla, cordials, ginger ale, hop beer and hop bitters.


These bottles are of interest, firstly because they are good examples of the marble stopper bottle type of bottle, no longer in use. They are also important because they are John Fletcher bottles and he was a prominent businessman in Warrnambool for over 40 years.

Physical description

These are two glass bottles. They have a rounded base and body with deep indentations which give a narrowed aperture to the top of the body and the neck. The neck is round and tapering to a moulded opening at the top of the bottle. Both bottles had a round rubber ring inside the bottle, with one lodged in the bottom of the bottle. Both bottles have a green glass marble in the neck of the bottle. The name of the manufacturer of the lemonade is impressed into the body of the bottles.

Inscriptions & markings

‘J. Fletcher’s Aerated Waters Koroit Street Warrnambool’
‘This bottle is the property of John Fletcher Warrnambool & cannot be legally used by others’