Odds & Ends For The Next Session

For 101st Session, our host will be Jack Perdue, who writes Deep Beer. For his topic, he’s asking us to look beyond what’s in the bottle, and to the bottle itself, along with the crown, the label, the carrier, the mother carton and all of the odds and ends, or detritus, that go into the beer’s packaging, or as he explains what he has in mind for the July Session, the “Bottles, Caps and Other Beer Detritus,” which he describes below.

There are many great creative people involved in the beer industry: the brewers designing and creating the stuff of our attention, marketers bringing the product to market, graphic artists making the products attractive and informative and writers who tell the story of beer. The list goes on. And thus, many great products, that may or may not get your attention. The focus is on the liquid inside the bottle, can or keg, and rightly so. What about all the other products necessary to bring that beer to you? What about the things that are necessary but are easily overlooked and discarded. This months theme is, “Bottles, Caps and Other Beer Detritus”.

Detritus, according to one definition in the Merriam Webster Dictionary is “miscellaneous remnants : odds and ends”. While the number and quality of our beer choices has certainly improved over the recent decade, have you paid any attention to the rest of the package. Those things we normally glance over and throw away when we have poured and finished our beer. These are sometimes works of art in themselves. Bottle caps, labels, six-pack holders, even the curvature of the bottle. For this month’s The Session theme, I’m asking contributors to share their thoughts on these things, the tangential items to our obsession. Do you have any special fetish with bottle caps, know of someone that is doing creative things with packaging, have a beer bottle or coaster collection.

So drink the beer, but then think about what’s left over when it’s gone.


Let us know about the bits and pieces from your point of view. To participate in the July Session, leave a comment to the original announcement, with , on or before Friday, July 3.


Patent No. 1810630A: Combination Container And Bottle Opener

Today in 1931, US Patent 1810630 A was issued, an invention of Conrad Lenz, for his “Combination Container And Bottle Opener.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

The present invention relates to a combination container and bottle opener and has for its primary object the provision of a container having attached to the bottom thereof a bottle opening device designed to permit convenient removal of a bottle cap.

A further object of the invention is the provision of a container, preferably in the form of a tumbler having the bottom formed to intimately engage a bottle opening device designed particularly to engage the well known form of bottle cap to remove the cap in cooperation with the tumbler.

If anyone can explain the difference between the “primary object” and the second or “further object” I’ll be mightily impressed. But I especially love how they describe that the bottle cap and the beer glass as “cooperating” to open the bottle. That’s genius.

Beer In Ads #1586: Two Is Company …

Sunday’s ad is for Ductillite by the Wheeling Steel Company, from 1937. With all that skin showing, I imagine that was quite the racy ad for 1937. A pair of young lover at the beach is completing their “outing” by introducing a third to the party. Their ménage à trois includes a “handy can of beer,” which is made of tin from Wheeling Steel, of course.


Patent No. 1863081A: Bottle Cap

Today in 1932, US Patent 1863081 A was issued, an invention of Earl S. Bellows, assigned to the Huntington Rubber Mills, for his “Bottle Cap.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention relates to closures for glass bottles designed to contain effervescent fluid .producing a pressure in the container; and it is also useful for inert fluids or for use 5 in bottling processes resultant in a partial vacuum in the top of the bottle after the contents have been placed therein.

The particular feature of my new bottle cap is its capability of being re-used many times and the provision made for removing it without the use of tools or implements which will tend to destroy it.


Patent No. 856400A: Bottle-Seal

Today in 1907, US Patent 856400 A was issued, an invention of King C. Gillette, for his “Bottle-Seal.” And yes, that’s the same King Gillette who invented the safety razor. There’s no Abstract, although in the description it states that his “invention relates to bottle seals, especially to that class of devices used to close bottles, or vessels containing beer, mineral water, and the like where a cheap seal is desired; and the object of this invention is to provide a seal that will be cheap to manufacture and efficient in use.”

It is the object of the present invention to provide a seal so constructed that rubber can be used instead of cork, and at the same time provide means. to prevent the contents of the bottle coming in contact with the rubber; a further object being to provide a device wherein but a very small sealing ring is required and at the same time provide means to hold this ring in place in the cap while being transported from the factory to the consumer, and while applying the stopper to a bottle.


Patent No. 453970A: Bottle Neck

Today in 1891, US Patent 453970 A was issued, an invention of James Thomas Ford, for his “Bottle Neck.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it states that the “invention consists in an improved form to be given to the necks of bottles, of glass or kind and closed with corks or other stoppers.”

The objects of the invention are, first, to facilitate the fitting of such bottles with ordinary funnels or faucets by permitting free exit to the air during the introduction of the liquid, thereby preventing the splutter and overflow of the funnel and quickening the operation of filling the bottles, more especially with liquids of considerable density, such as oils and sirups of all kinds; second, to prevent effectually the forcing inward of the cork. beyond a certain point during the extraction of it by means of a corkscrew or other implement, so frequent a source of annoyance with corks of inferior quality or slightly loose for the neck of the bottle.


And here’s the original illustration:

Beer In Ads #1579: The Wife Most Likely To Be Kissed …

Sunday’s ad is for Owens-Illinois Glass, 1958. Owens-Illinois is still a going concern, making glass worldwide. It’s a big company. According to Wikipedia, “Approximately one of every two glass containers made worldwide is made by O-I, its affiliates, or its licensees.” In the late 1950s, they were trying to persuade people that “The wife most likely to be kissed … always puts Beer on her shopping list. Especially in “No-Deposit, No-Return Bottles.” Of course, this was also a time when it was “her shopping list” and not just “the shopping list.”


Patent No. 2794453A: Filling Heads For Bottling Machine

Today in 1957, US Patent 2794453 A was issued, an invention of Lucien Grosbois, for his “Filling Heads For Bottling Machine.” There’s no Abstract, though the description in the application states that the “invention relates to filling heads adapted to be mounted on bottling machines for gaseous liquids under pressure.”

Patent No. 2679346A: Filling System

Today in 1954, US Patent 2679346 A was issued, an invention of Rudolph H. Breeback, assigned to Crown Cork & Seal Co., for his “Filling System.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application, “The present invention relates to filling systems and, more particularly, to filling systems used in the bottling of carbonated beverages.” And that’s pretty vague, but there’s no other simple sentence or even paragraph that explains it in a nutshell way. Basically, you have to read the whole application.

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Patent No. 20080110854A1: Beverage Bottle With Gripping Feature

Today in 2008, US Patent 20080110854 A1 was issued, an invention of Jason M. Kelly, assigned to Coors Brewing Company, for his “Beverage Bottle With Gripping Feature.” Here’s the Abstract:

A container is provided with integral gripping features. The gripping features are preferably provided in two opposing groups located on opposite sides of the mid-section of the container. The gripping features include a plurality of finger grips that are adapted to conform to the placement of the thumb and fingers when grasping the container. The finger grips are elliptical shaped cavities, and ridges extend between each of the adjacent finger grips.