Those "Soda" Bottles from the Silent Movies

I just watched a silent movie where the actors were fooling around with soda bottles and wetting each other with the content. First question is, what was the propellant? Second question, why don’t we have them anymore? Third question what where they used for when not fooling around? Anymore information, like how to get or make one would be appreciated.

They’re still available. Look for “seltzer bottles.”

A Soda Syphon?

Thanks for that link, it does explain some things but not how and what they used to have them refilled at the time, I am not interested in the modern ones with the CO2 cartriges.

The Three Stooges sprayed those at each other all the time. :slight_smile:

As Wikipedia noted, they were popular before the rise of bottled carbonated beverages and CO[sub]2[/sub] tanks behind bars. Now you can buy soda water in cans and bottles at supermarkets everywhere. And every bar has a CO[sub]2[/sub] tank on the premises. They were used by people who wanted carbonated water to mix with spirits such as bourbon or Scotch. As in a “bourbon and soda” or “Scotch and soda.”

I grew up in New York City in 50’s and 60’s. It was common to see a truck full of refillable seltzer bottles making deliveries to homes. Just like the milkman, but not as early. They would deliver full bottles and take the empties back to be washed and refilled.
They may have delivered club soda as well as seltzer but I don’t know.

“A little song, a little dance,
A little seltzer down your pants!”

Factual answers I am looking for, thanks for the anecdodes…

Ones that use CO2 cartridges have been around for a long time. Some siphons, however, were just pre-filled at the factory and either thrown away when empty, or returned to the factory for re-cycling. The propellant (if you haven’t figured it out yet) is simply the pressurized CO2 dissolved in the water.

You’ve been getting factual answers. Try reading for comprehension. Seltzer bottles are powered by CO2 cartridges. They have been around for over a century. They were and are used for fizzy drinks, like scotch & soda. You can buy them anywhere, and CO2 cartridges are available even in sporting goods stores.

Here’s a place that still sells the old-fashioned kind. They are not very explicit about it but it looks like they deliver fully charged, sealed bottles. No CO[sub]2[/sub] cartridges involved.

Not the ones the OP is talking about. Here is a video of some vintage seltzer bottles; no CO2 cartridges required. They are refilled at a bottler and injected with water and CO2 through two holes in the top. When they are empty, they were returned to the bottler, who refilled them.

Cool. Consider me edumacated.

Seltzer boy
Where are you hiding
If you don’t come right now
I’m gon’ tell you boss on you


Don’t bring me water
I rather have seltzer
'Cause water don’t bubble
And water don’t fizz

Thanks, Allan.

Thanks a lot, now I have the problem not being in Brooklyn NY but in the central Visayas in the Philippines, I have access to CO2 that I can get in a cylinder to charge my 22" Airgun, can I build something like a “Selzerbottle” with the help of a Schrader valve and a PET soda bottle? Any ideas or suggestions?

Here is a linky to a rechargeable one for sale on ebay.

We had these when I was a kid, but I think that the little disposable CO2 cylinders, were fairly expensive. The same seller has them at about dollar each. gas cartridge

Wait, when I order a scotch and soda I’m NOT supposed to tell the bartender what kind of soda I want? 'cos I usually ask for Orange Crush.

I can’t get to their website from work (for some reason, they think it’s not work-related…) but Williams Brewing has all things beverage-related for sale (not just homebrewing). I haven’t checked lately, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they sold home seltzer kits.

There was an article many years ago in the American Heritage Magazine of SCience and Technology about those seltzer bottles. They were refilled through the spout (which I would not have expected) using a special machine, of which one was still operating in the NYC metropolitan area when the article appeared. The bottle was filled with already carbonated water under pressure.

I don’t know if that machine (ancient even then, in the 1980s) is still operating, or if someone has changed over to a more efficient method of making and charging seltzer bottles for the trade (as I expect).