Joseph A. Stukey Bottle Stopper

U.S. Patent Number: 475,631                           Patented: May 24, 1892

Joseph A. Stukey’s patent application was filed January 8, 1892 and specified:

I, Joseph A Stukey…of…Columbus…Ohio, have invented a certain new and useful Improvement in Bottle-Stoppers…and has particular relation to that class of bottle-stoppers which are adapted for use with bottles containing carbonated liquids and wherein a double wire stem or shank is made to support a flexible stopper-disk between two rigid buttons.

The object of my invention are to provide a stopper of this class of superior construction and arrangement, to form integral with the stopper-disk holding-buttons a casing for the doubling-point of the wire shank, and in forming said casing not only greatly increase the strength and durability of the stopper, but produce thereby a form of knob or projection at the inner end of said wire shank or stem which will greatly facilitate the withdrawal of the stopper through the bottle-neck when the stopper has been reversed within said bottle…

Figure 1 represents in elevation a bottle closed by my improved stopper.  Fig. 2 is a detail view, in elevation, of said stopper.  Fig. 3 is a central sectional view of the stopper shown in Fig. 2.  Fig. 4 is an inner end view of the stopper.  Fig. 5 is a view in elevation of the tool employed in withdrawing the stopper from the bottle, and Fig. 6 is a similar view of the tool employed in restoring the stopper to the closed position shown in full lines in Fig. 1…

In case it is desired to gain access to the bottle for the purpose of cleaning the operation of removing the stopper entirely from connection with the bottle has been as follows: The stopper has been pressed completely within the bottle-body and the bottle so manipulated as to cause the stopper to be reversed or turned end for end within the bottle.  In this position it is customary to withdraw the stopper from the bottle by engaging the loop a2 of the wire with a suitable hook and drawing the stopper through the bottle-neck.  The formation of the short bends necessary to produce the loop a2 has resulted in weakening the wire to such extent that the latter often breaks at the doubling-point when submitted to the strain imparted thereto when the same is drawn through the bottle-neck.  This difficulty I have remedied by incasing the doubling point or loop and forming the same into a ball-shaped body, which may be easily grasped by the jaws f’ of suitable pliers…

In drawing the stopper back to the closed position shown in Fig. 1…I employ the tool shown in Fig. 6.  In using this tool the hook end s thereof is engaged with the crossed stopper-hooks a4.


National Bottlers’ Gazette advertising copy for Joseph A. Stukey’s “Patent Perfect Spring Bottle Stopper” declared his stopper was “The Finest Soda Bottle Stopper In The World” and “Guaranteed Pure Block Tin.”  Stukey’s stoppers sold for $2.50 per gross.  The extent of Stukey’s marketing success is unknown.

Special thanks to David Graci, author of Soda and Beer BOTTLE CLOSURES 1850 – 1910, for providing the patent number for this little known stopper.