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.
When the bottles are fused in a defective way, the manufacturer, in order to ease the melting of the substances composing the glass mass, having allowed an excessive proportion of potash, the glass will be affected by the fruit acids and thus affect the beverage. So the acids of wine will affect the glass, the wine will in turn become partly decomposed, change its color, brightness and taste. The following method for testing new bottles before employing them is recommended, and it is a very proper one :
Fill some of the bottles with water, add about 11 grammes of tartaric acid and shake until dissolved. Leave the bottles thus for several days, stoppered. If the glass is really good for holding acid liquids, wine, etc., then, after five or six days, the water should be bright. But if in the water gelatinous clouds or crystals are observed to be precipitated in the bottle, then the glass will be affected by the acids and the bottles are not serviceable. Extreme caution should be exercised by the bottler in selecting his bottle-ware. Uniform thickness of sides, well blown, no weakness in the necks, are points presenting themselves for consideration in placing orders for glass packages.
For bottling ordinary saccharine beverages half-pint bottles are used, shaped in various forms. For different beverages often different shapes are employed, as for instance ginger ale. No rules, however, are applicable. It is always optional with the carbonator, who strives to please the fancy of his customers. Pint bottles and quart bottles are employed also for various drinks; champagne bottles for fruit-champagnes, etc.
We beg to offer a few suggestions relative to the size of bottles, and think the trade would be much better off if a uniform bottle in size were adopted. There are bottles and bottles, of various sizes, which must complicate matters very much where competition is sharp. In a word all half-pint bottles should hold a uniform quantity; a quart bottle a quart, and thus serve all alike.
Bottles that bear the "blown-in" impress of a United States registered trade-mark, and have been used for ginger ale, lemon soda, sarsaparilla, or whatever other carbonated beverage the registration covers, cannot be used again for the same purpose by any other person whomsoever, without violating the law, and being liable to an action for damage. "We strongly advise the adoption of a trade-mark by every bottler. It costs but little, serves to protect his bottles, and in case any competitor infringes the same a suit at law will result in favor of the party owning the trade-mark.