Amos F. Parkhurst Bottle Stopper

U.S. Patent Number: 289,928             Patented: December 11, 1883

Amos F. Parkhurst’s patent application (filed August 17, 1881 and subsequently assigned to Edward H. Everett of Newark, Ohio) specified:

I, Amos F. Parkhurst…residing at Kewanee…Illinois, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Bottle-Stoppers…(relating to) that class of bottle-stoppers known as “internal suspended stoppers,” wherein the valve or stopper proper closes upward, and is operated by a bail or handle projecting up in the neck of the bottle.

The novelty consists in the combination, with the neck of a bottle having a slightly contracted throat at or near its middle lengthwise, of an internal stopper-plug having a looped wire bail rigidly fastened by one end to the plug or valve, and having the other end free, whereby the bail becomes a spring to hold the plug or valve in either its closed or open position…

In the accompanying drawings, Figure 1 is a vertical central section of the upper part or neck of a bottle provided with my improved stopper, showing the valve open.  Fig. 2 is a corresponding view, showing the valve closed.  Figs. 3 and 4 are modifications in the spring-bail.

A represents the neck of a bottle whose throat is slightly contracted at or near the point of the dotted line a.  The valve or plug B, I prefer to make of the two integral or separate disks b, with an intermediate projecting rubber disk, as is common in this class of stoppers.

Extending up from the valve B, and rigidly secured thereto by one end, is the spring-bail C, which may be of either of the forms shown in Figs. 1, 2, 3, and 4.  This bail is formed of wire so bent and doubled back in the neck of the bottle that its upper end forms a grasping-loop for drawing the stopper up to its seat, while its free end serves as a spring, which, acting against the throat of the neck, in connection with that part of the outward bend of the bail just above its point of connection and opposite said free end, serves to hold the valve in either its open or closed position, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2.  The spring is sufficiently yielding to pass through the contracted part of the throat of the neck, while the upper bend forming the grasping loop is sufficiently large to prevent the stopper falling entirely into the bottle.

In Figs. 1 and 2 I have shown the bail bent in substantially the form of a figure 8; but the forms shown in Figs. 3 and 4 serve the same purpose, and I consider them as equivalents.

The advantage of having a stopper which can be held either open or closed, as above, is that it can be used with still liquids as well as gaseous or aerated liquids, and when the bottle is tilted to pour out the contents there is no liability of the stopper accidentally reseating itself.

I do not limit myself to the shape of the bail, nor to a bottle with a contracted portion in its throat or neck, for a spring bail properly fitted into a straight neck would serve to suspend the stopper adjustably by the frictional contacted caused by the spring in the bail.  I do, however, limit myself here to a bail attached rigidly to the stopper by one end only and with the other end free.


This is the infamous patent that generated a major lawsuit (and countersuit) between Charles G. Hutchinson and Edward H. Everett.  Rather than duplicating information about the lawsuit and its outcome here, navigate to the “Hutchinson's Lawsuits” pages in the Industry History section for full details.