Codd Bottles and Marbles


Codd marbles (retrieved from the sea) on a solitaire board

Hiram Codd, from London, invented and patented the Codd bottle in 1872. It was an ingenious way to maintain the fizz in fizzy drinks, initially soda water, by using the pressure of the carbon dioxide to push a marble against a washer in the neck of the bottle. He licensed his patent to several manufacturers, including Ben Rylands. By 1877 they formed a partnership and started the Hope Glass Works in Barnsley. They remained partners until Ben’s death in 1881.

Here is a Rylands manufactured Codd bottle, made during the period 1897 to 1928 in Barnsley.

The Rylands Codd Bottle

Mineral water manufacturers who wanted to use Codd’s Globe Stopper bottles had to pay a yearly fee for a licence to use his patent bottle. By mid 1873 he had granted 20 licenses and received a further 50 applications. By 1874 the licence was free to bottle manufacturers as long as they purchased the marbles, sealing rings and used his groove tool. The mineral water firms they traded with also had to have a license to use his bottle. Codd had two factories in London solely producing marbles, one in Kennington and the other in Camberwell.

Other Codd bottle manufacturers.

Codd marbles were highly prized by children and bottles were smashed to retrieve the marble.

Codd marbles alongside more conventional stoppers

A Codd marble

This web site examines alternatives to the Codd bottle and the many patented techniques invented, as well as improvements to the basic Codd design.
Codd marbles were made initially by hand, using a press, as described here. This says;

“The second method employs a bench mounted press that looks like a big pair of pliers. At the ends of the “plier” arms are a matching set of hemispherical molds. A gather of glass or a heated rod is placed into the jaws of the press and the marble is formed by squeezing the two mold halves together. This leaves a flange around the hemisphere of the marble that must be knocked off. This is the method that is employed to make the few toy marbles that fall into this category. Again, most of the toy examples were made in the former Czech Republic. It is believed that the “Codd” bottle stopper marbles were made using this method also.”

Codd Bottles


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