Discovered by

Susan and Owen Kibble-Booth


Te Aroha, New Zealand

Quinine tonic bottle

“Found this bottle in a barn. Doing a little research it looks like it is quite old and significant if it’s from your No 7 shop? It’s in amazing condition. Label is excellent as well as the bottle.”

Reply from CS:

“Hello Susan and Owen

Thanks for taking the time to send us the pictures of your bottle find.

What you have there is a Codd Bottle, invented in 1872 by a chap called Hiram Codd. Residing in Camberwell, London, Hiram came up with this ingenious design for carbonated drinks (such as tonic water). The bottle was designed and manufactured with thick glass to withstand internal pressure, and a marble was enclosed in the bottle, with a rubber washer in the neck. Pressure formed by the gas in the carbonate liquid would force the marble against the washer, sealing in the carbonation. You will note the pinch in the lower neck of the bottle, this was done to provide an area for the marble to be pushed to, to open the bottle and dispense contents. This prevented the marble from blocking the neck as the drink was poured. A feature of this was that a small shake of the bottle would disengage the marble from the pinch and gas pressure sent it back up against the rubber ring. This allowed (to a degree) for the contents to be sipped at leisure and retain its carbonation for a little while.

Whilst Codd Bottles crop up regularly, it’s highly unusual to find one with a label still attached, so that is indeed a good find. Wilkinson opened in 1852 in Preston, about 35 miles from Cannington Shaw and the No: 7 Bottle Shop. They disappeared through subsequent mergers and acquisitions, eventually arriving in the ownership of Vimto. Not sure if you get this brand in New Zealand, but its popular over here and is manufactured in Haydock, St Helens, just a few miles from the Bottle Shop.

Thanks again for getting in touch and I hope the above is of interest.

John F Tabern MSc.”

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