1915 BARR 20 fl oz Internal Screw Stoppered Bottle
This 20 fl oz size bottle was introduced during the First World War.
At this time normal soft drinks bottle sizes were 26 2/3 fl oz. However the Gov't introduced a number of revenue raising measures including a soft drinks tax to pay for the cost of the war.
It was a difficult economic period and so in order to keep the retail price of a bottle of soft drinks the same for Scottish consumers whilst at the same time paying the new soft drinks tax, the bottle size was reduced from 26 and 2/3 fl oz to 20 fl oz.
These 20 fl oz sized bottles lasted in general circulation in Scotland until the late 1930's when Tizer was launched in Scotland selling in 26 2/3 fl oz bottles. As a result, all manufacturers started changing back to 26 2/3 fl oz. Since the 20 fl oz were returnable bottles and in those days the return rate was very high we didn't finish using them [for premium fruit juice drinks] until the 1960's.
The screw stoppers concave middle also tells us something of the bottles history.
Screw stoppers with the concave middle were used prior to the mid-1920's and they were screwed into the bottles by hand. During the mid 1920's automatic screw stopper applying machines came into use. These new machines needed a flat round stopper so although the concave middle was hugely better at protecting the tamper evident top strap label from being torn off during storage/delivery, the fact that these screws were not round and flat meant that they could not be used in the automatic machines.
However, concave screw stoppers were returnable and washable prior to re-use and so they lasted long after the mid-1920's. They were separated from the new round flat stoppers and continued to be used in our smaller factories where the filling machines were slower and the screws were still applied by hand. We don't think they finally disappeared until after the Second World War.
Bottle pictures reproduced by kind permission of Mr B Bowie.