Today in 1896, US Patent 572708 A was issued, an invention of Charles Meldrum, for his “Beer Bottling Apparatus.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:
Prior to my invention it has been the usual custom to fill bottles with beer from the keg by employing flexible rubber tubes which are passed down through the open bung-hole into the beer and siphoning the beer through these tubes into the bottles. The disadvantages in bottling beer in this manner are that too much air is admitted through the open bung-hole and the beer is subjected to unnecessary agitation in being siphoned over, all of which results in the liberation and escape of sufficient gas to materially effect the life of the beer. Then, too, any sediment or impurities which may be present in the beer in the keg are carried over into the bottles, which is also a serious objection.
-The object of my present invention is to overcome these defects in a simple and effective manner; and to that end it consists of a passage or conductor one end of which is adapted for tight insertion and removable retention in the bung-hole on the lower side of the keg and provided with a vent-tube which passes up through the beer and into the air-space above, the other end having a chamber across which is placed a strainer and a series of outlet-passages arranged in the wall of the straining-chamber and adapted for engagement with a series of flexible tubes, through which the strained beer passes by gravity into the bottles.