A load of Codswallop

I’ll start with a regular and heartfelt cry. I do not collect bottles. But I do rather like them and some have come my way and they do get kept.

Here’s another example. It is in a style known as a Codd’s bottle named after the designer of this container. And the contents – fizzy drink – was sometimes called codswallop. Actually, there’s no certainty that the word codswallop derives from the drink in these bottles.


I think I must enjoy the challenge of photographing these see-through items.

This is a mineral water bottle embossed with the marks of Allen and Lloyd of Aldershot. It’s one of those bottles held shut by the pressure inside the bottle against a ground glass marble trapped in the neck. You needed a pusher to push the marble further into the bottle to release the pressure so that you could get at the drink. The bottle opener might have been a wooden device like this one I snapped at a local museum.


The firm of Allen and Lloyd came about in 1868 when Mr Lloyd joined Mr Allen’s existing business.  I think the bottle could be 100 years old.

The other side of the bottle tells us about its manufacturer.


Redfearn Bros, Bottle makers of Barnsley.

As far as I can make out they opened for business in 1910.

I do like the cleverness of the design and the reusable nature of the bottle. By comparison with re-using, recycling glass seems almost criminal. Just think of all the energy needed to melt down old bottles and reform them into new ones.


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2 Responses to “A load of Codswallop”

  1. Ishimar Says:

    I believe the opener was called a codswallop because you pot it on the top of the cod neck bottle and gave it a wallop. When the bakerlite screw top came out, the codswallop became redundant, everyone had them but they were useless now, hence ‘a load of old codswallop’

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