Hutchinson Filling Head

Once the bottle was full, the arm was pushed back to shut off the flow of carbonated water and draw more syrup for the next bottle to be filled.  The bottler then pulled up on the handle on the Hutchinson filling head, engaging the stopper hook and pulling the wet stopper up and into place to seal the bottle.  Then the treadle was released.  Here’s a close-up, more detailed view of the filling head attached to the “New Style Bench” illustrated on the Hutchinson Bottling Tables page:

In Charles G. Hutchinson’s own words, his Patent No. 225,475 granted March 16, 1880 described the filling process as:

The bottle to be filled is placed on the disk or bottle-support...the stopper being first depressed or pushed down to its open position, where it will be suspended approximately in a central position with relation to the neck of the bottle.  The hook is then inserted into the loop of the stem of the stopper…usually the act of placing the bottle on its support and of hooking the stopper-stem to the plunger may be performed at about the same time.  I then depress the treadle, by which means the bottle will be held up firmly against the cushion.  The liquor may now be allowed to enter through the pipe, and as soon as the bottle is filled the lever should be raised enough to draw the stopper to its closed position…After it is closed the treadle and the hand-lever should be released, when the bottle will descend to a position which will admit of it being easily removed; but before releasing the bottle the flow through the pipe should be shut off, it being understood that the cock therein was opened after the bottle was raised to its cushion.  The most common use to which this machine will be applied, probably, will be the bottling of aerated liquors, and when so used the cylinder should be provided with an air-vent to prevent the gas from interfering with the filling of the bottle.

Here are the accompanying Patent No. 225,475 drawings, and a close-up/enlarged look at Figure 3:

James W. Tufts’ 1888 book, The Manufacture and Bottling of Carbonated Beverages, included the identical “Hutchinson’s Attachment” illustration shown above plus the following set up and operating information:

Directions for Using.

To adjust the Bottling Attachments for Stoppers into Corking-Tables:

First. – Remove the cross bar that holds the cork-plunger.

Second. – Remove the filling-head.

Third. – Put in the stopper attachment and have the bracket that holds the lever for pulling up stoppers, between the cross bar holding filling-head and back nut that holds the filling-head in place.  This gives the lever ample play so that the stopper can be pulled to its closed position.

To fill the Bottles with a Plain Hook: - Place the bottle under the cylinder; catch the hook in the stopper, then lower the cylinder to the bottle; open the syrup and water-gauge; when filled, close the syrup-gauge, draw up the stopper, and raise the cylinder.  The bottle is filled.

To Bottle with Automatic Rod: - Place the bottle under the cylinder; lower the cylinder to the bottle; open syrup and water-gauge; when filled, shut off the syrup-gauge, lower the rod, and pull up and the bottle is filled.

To Bottle with Guide Hook: - Put the bottle under the cylinder; lower the cylinder upon the bottle; open syrup and water-gauge; when filled, shut off syrup-gauge; lower hook, and pull it up again, and bottle is filled and stopper closed.  Always turn guide towards the operator putting in and taking out bottles.

Price of Hutchinson’s attachment, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10.00.

These guide hook, automatic rod (also referred to as a “plain hook”), and cylinder packing illustrations appeared in the 1889 W. H. Hutchinson & Son Manufacturers and Dealers in Bottlers Supplies catalog:

After filling, another bottle was placed on the table and the process was repeated.  Although the process sounds quite slow, experienced bottlers filled bottles very quickly.  Most had one assistant placing empty bottles on the table, and another one removing bottles after filling, leaving the bottler to simply operate the syrup gauge, filling head, and treadle. 

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


By John J. Burdell, Key West Bottling Works, Little Rock, Ark.

To greatly aid the jam nut (which is at connection of syrup pump and Hutchinson attachment) to do its work, fasten the back end of the syrup pump cylinder, either from the table, or by a wire from above, to keep it from dropping down.  I have mine hanging from a wire from above and it has been a great help to me.



By Chesterman Company, Sioux City, Iowa

Take an elastic band, tie strings at each end, attach one end to hook handle, other to ceiling or other place directly above table.  This keeps the hook up out of the way, and saves time and stoppers.



By A. Kantrowitz & Son, Paterson, N.J.

I have found that by attaching a spring to the handle and fastening same to the ceiling directly above the handle that about thirty seconds is gained in speed.  That spring always keeps the hook high and so does not interfere with the charged water; thereby it fills fast, leaks very little, and the only motion necessary to stopper bottler is to pull down the spring, forcing the stopper up itself.