Traditionally, bottles had used a cork as a stopper. That changed when, in 1872, the American Hyman Frank patented the first successful internal screw cap bottle closure.

This was a simple device that could easily be used to reseal bottles and has remained one of the most popular technologies with this function ever since. Screw top bottles changed the way wine, fizzy drinks, water and squash were stored.

During the same year, in London, Hiram Codd perfected a new bottle stopper - a glass marble held tight inside the opening by the pressure of the effervescent drink.

In 1874, Charles de Quillfeldt filed for a patent for the swing-top bottle in America. This type of closure was frequently used for bottles containing carbonated beverages, such as beer or mineral water.

The Crown Cork cap was patented by the American inventor, William Painter, in 1892. It had 24 ‘crimps’ and a cork seal with a paper backing to prevent contact between the contents and the metal cap. As with the Codd bottle, a bottle opener was required.


  • Title: Bottle Tops
  • Type: Bottle container closure
  • Rights: Robert Opie Collection

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps