This section is from the book "A Treatise On Beverages or The Complete Practical Bottler", by Charles Herman Sulz. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Beverages.
Probably nothing has contributed more to the popularizing of carbonated beverages than the different kinds of stoppers which have been so successfully developed. As may be expected, the system of corking or stoppering has undergone some changes, which pertain, however, more to the design of the stopper than anything else. There is a great difference of opinion still respecting the merits of the old and familiar method of corking and the use of the patent stoppers. The latter are designed for a particular purpose, outside of all considerations of economy in the purchase of corks, and fill a limited field of usefulness. Beverages intended for shipment, or to be stored and preserved any length of time, are stoppered with corks almost exclusively. The system of patent stoppers is chiefly for home consumption only, where the beverages are soon to be consumed, and for this purpose they can be recommended and are a welcome contrivance for fast bottling. The material of the patent stopper must be a substance free from objectionable properties, and non-corrodible, so as to have no influence whatever on the beverage.
Fig. 296. - The Hutchinson Patent Stopper.
Numerous kinds of patent stoppers are competing, and many of them have been favorably introduced in the trade. Where the necessity for adopting a patent stopper is felt, the question arises, Which patent shall be used? They are too numerous to be mentioned, and we content ourselves with describing the two distinct and different methods in patent stoppers, viz: wire and ball stoppers.
The Hutchinson Patent Stopper, illustrated in the above cuts, consists of a wire attachment in hook-form, on that part of which entering the bottle is attached a piece of rubber to do the closing, aided by the pressure of the gas. The stopper remains in the neck of the bottle, and can only be pulled out with a contrivance made for that purpose; therefore it is never lost.
To use this kind of stoppers, a special and separate bottling attachment, as shown in Fig. 225, has to be adjusted on the cork bottling machines. While filling the bottle, the stopper is kept down by the bottling support and the hook raised when filled, thus pressing the rubber piece tightly on the neck of the bottle, which is kept in this position by the gas pressure. The part of this wire stopper exposed to the liquid inside the bottle consists of a tin plate, while the wire itself, which comes in contact with the liquid, when filling the bottle, is tinned, thus guarding against metallic contamination. It is highly important, that this be pure tin and no leaden alloy mixed with it.
The cleansing of bottles with this kind of stoppers is done by soaking and rinsing them and brushing the necks with specially adapted brushes. No botttle-washing machine for the Hutchinson patent stoppered bottles has hitherto been introduced.