Codd-neck bottles were first patented in 1870 by British soft drink maker Hiram Codd. The unusual bottle design achieves a seal by utilizing the soda’s carbon dioxide gas to press a glass marble up against a rubber washer directly under the lip of the opening (the bottles are filled upside down). The thirsty consumer breaks the seal by pressing down on the marble and releasing some of the carbon dioxide.
The bottle style was popular in Canada, India, and Australia, but over time it has declined in popularity. Today these bottles can still be found in Japan and India, and Lindsay at Ouno Design has a post up about Codd-neck bottles, including images from her recent trip to India. Lindsay writes:
I only saw these bottles rarely, and only in old-fashioned soda carts like this one. As I said, on my last trip these bottles were everywhere. Because the soda water was sterilized, it was a safe drink for foreigners and I must have drunk hundreds of bottles of it, while my boyfriend drank the sweet stuff, mostly orange. There were no plastic water bottles anywhere to be seen.
By the way, these citrus soda carts are a brilliant idea. Delicious fresh lemon or lime sodas are made by mixing the plain soda water with freshly squeezed local citrus and local cane sugar, which is far better for you than our current sweeteners in North America. (High fructose corn syrup, which is unnatural, molecularly different and recently incontrovertibly linked to obesity, hasn’t been forced on India yet by the aggressive American corn industry.) Handmade lemon soda drink is far better than our soda pop here, and healthier too as long as the bottles are fully dried before refilling. Lastly it’s far better for the environment than anything we’re doing now. Plastic! Re-melting aluminum! Melting down glass! Argh.