Hutchinson Stopper Repair

The 1889 W. H. Hutchinson & Son catalog included this list of product “advantages” that provide clues to typical Hutchinson Patent Spring Stopper maintenance activities:

First.  The Hutchinson Stopper is connected with a spring handle by a single wire, which makes the liability for collecting dirt very slight compared with those Stoppers having a jointed or hinged bail, or having two wires connected with the stopper or valve, which are very hard to clean when they get dirty.

Second.  The Spring in the Hutchinson Stopper is unlimited in its movement, consequently adjusts itself to all sizes of throats, and any little variation in the size of the throat of the bottle makes no difference in its working well.  All other Stoppers imitating ours, that is, having a spring action to hold them open and closed, have a limited movement of the spring and are liable, through a slight wear of the wire or variation in the size of the neck of the bottle, to become loose, and are therefore useless as a perfect stopper.

Third.  The Hutchinson Stopper is made very strong; the spring being of heavy tinned brass wire, which is not liable to break or get out of place from hard usage.  Unlike the other stoppers made, which, in order to save time and money, are too light to stand hard usage, or the hinged or jointed stopper, which is easily broken or becomes unjointed inside of the bottle making them useless, and almost impossible to extract them from the bottle.

Fourth.  The Hutchinson Stopper can be easily extracted from the bottles, and if the rubber washer gets out of order a new one can be put on, and the Stopper will be good as ever.  The rubber washer is the only part of the Stopper which ever wears out, and it can be easily replaced with new when desired, which is another distinguishing feature of Hutchinson's Patent Stopper.

Stopper gauges were used to sort stoppers by their five different button widths.  The 1908 W. H. Hutchinson and Son Bottler’s Book advertising copy specified “This gauge shows exactly the various sized stoppers we make and will be very useful in sorting old stoppers.”

The 1889 W. H. Hutchinson & Son Bottlers Supplies catalog advertised a rubber teat that was:

…put up on a split handle, adapted to straddle the stopper spring in the bottle, when the rubber comes in contact with the throat of the bottle, and by turning it around removes all the dirt.  It is not necessary to use this all the time, but if necessary, it can be done very quickly.

The 1889 W. H. Hutchinson and Son Bottlers Supplies catalog also offered rubber adjusters that were utilized to attach replacement rubber washers onto stoppers:

The W. H. Hutchinson and Son 1908 Bottler’s Book included the same illustration, but the price had been dropped to $ .50 and a footnote mentioned “A better way is to slip the rubber on the wire of the stopper and then pull it over the small edge of the button with a pair of pliers.”  The same catalog also offered:

The Superior Rubber Adjuster

Save time and labor, which means money, by re-rubbering old Soda Stoppers.

The following Hutchinson stopper-related helpful hints are from The Bottler’s Helper, a 1907 publication by the Blumenthal Brothers:


By J. C. O’Bannon, Chihuahua, Mexico.

Bottlers who have complaints of the bad odor of their Soda will find that many times it is the cause of the rubber discs in the Hutchinson style stoppers.  This can be done away with by letting the stoppers lay for four or five days in a solution of Burnt Sugar and after five days wash and rinse them and insert in bottles.  This applies especially in a hot climate.



By J. E. Daigre & Son, Cypress City Bottling Works,

Plaquemine, La.

Cover the stoppers with water, add a few ounces of lump sugar and let them soak for a few days, stirring once or twice daily with a stick.  After this treatment wash them and they are ready for use.



By E. Goltz & Son, Wadena, Minn.

When rubber disc on spring stoppers get hard, soak half an hour in two parts Ammonia and one part water.



By Commerce Bottling & Mfg. Co., Commerce, Texas.

We find that when putting new rubbers on spring stoppers if the bottom of the stopper is scraped with a knife it will do away with a sediment in the goods, that very often you cannot tell the cause of.  Shotting will not take this off, but you can scrape it off without injury to the stopper.



By Louis G. Uehling, Hooper Bottling Works, Hooper, Neb.

Save all our spring stoppers out of broken bottles, and those you pull out of bottles when rubbers are worn out and put on new rubber discs and you will find there is quite a little account saved each year.  Any supply house will supply you with all the rubber discs you need at 35 cents to 50 cents per gross.  Your stoppers thus repaired will be as good as new.



By C. N. Mead, Ballston Spa, N.Y.

Take a 5 gallon keg, cut a hole in the head or side, put in some fine sand and a little washing powder or Gold Dust, take the old rubbers off, then put the stoppers in the keg and give them a good rolling for a few minutes.  You will find the stoppers bright and good as new.  Then put new rubbers on.



By John W. Radley, Snyder, Okla.

In replacing rubber disc on Hutchinson stoppers, place disc in vessel containing hot water, let stand a few minutes before operation, and you will find the losses will be few or none.



By H. A. Ralu, Colon, Republic of Panama.

I have used in my Soda Water factory, four classes of bottles, viz.: the ordinary cork bottles, Hutchinson’s Patent, Crown Cork and ball stoppers.  In my opinion the latter, if the rubber rings are carefully attended to, give the best results, so far as keeping of gas is concerned, and also for economy.  I have had much pleasure and satisfaction in handling these ‘ball stopper bottles.’