Posted by Penelope Lovesy at 19/03/2021 12:16:40
This week’s featured object is a glass torpedo bottle used by the Dorset Mineral Water Company.
The Dorset Mineral Water Company was the largest mineral water and soft drinks producer in Victorian Poole and their first factory was operational by 1895 on West Quay Road. Although they had competition from other local companies, such as the South West Mineral Water Company in Wimborne and B J Symonds ‘Mineral Water Manufacturers of Poole’, the Dorset Mineral Water Company had a long and successful life. The company had moved a short way to West Street by 1902 and expanded and changed their name to the Hants and Dorset Mineral Water Company in 1935. The company was a main supplier for Dorchester based Eldridge Pope but even this couldn’t prevent the company’s closure in September 1979.
An advert in 1930 described them as a “manufacturer of High-Class Mineral Waters” which included soda water, Potass Water, Seltzer Water and Lithia Water.
This type of bottle is known as a torpedo bottle, or Hamilton bottle and was used to contain aerated or carbonated water. They were deliberately designed to prevent the bottle from being stored in an upright position to keep the cork stopper wet. If the cork dried out it would crack or shrink, loosening the tight fit in the neck and allowing the fizz to fizzle out! The bottle’s design strengths were also its downside. The torpedo shape often resulted in them rolling off the shelves, losing their contents entirely, with a rather exciting bang.