Historical information

This bottle was found in sea water while the donor was snorkelling in Stingray Bay, Warrnambool. It is a marble stopper bottle from the Warrnambool cordial factory of John Fletcher. Th bottle was filled upside down so that as soon as the filling ceased the marble was forced down to seal the bottle against a rubber ring (missing in this bottle). Pressure inside the bottle would keep the marble pressed against the top of the neck. To open the bottle the marble was pressed down so that it fell into the body of the bottle. John Fletcher as a young boy worked at Rowley's Cordial Factory in Banyan Street, Warrnambool. He then worked for John Davis who had established the Union Cordial Factory in Koroit Street in the 1860s. In 1885 John Fletcher bought Davis' business and operated it until 1930. It was then bought by Ralph Reeves. John Fletcher manufactured soda water, lemonade, tonic waters, ginger ale, sarsaparilla, cordials, hop beer and hop bitters.


This bottle is of some interest as an example of a marble stopper bottle over 90 years old and as a memento of the Warrnambool soft drinks business of John Fletcher, a prominent businessman in Warrnambool for over 40 years.

Physical description

This is a clear glass bottle with a rounded body, a heavy indentation near the base of the neck and a thick tapering neck with a round opening. The bottle contains a green marble and some marine detritus. The bottle is discoloured with stains and dirt and has lettering etched into the side and base.

Inscriptions & markings

John Fletcher Ginger Ale Warrnambool
This bottle is the property of John Fletcher Warrnambool and cannot be legally used by others