#174 Crown Cork and Soda Filling Machine
One of two surviving automated machines that founded the bottling industry
Although bottled carbonated beverages were popular by the 1880s, sealing the bottle was a constant problem. Most "stoppers" were of metal and intended for reuse. None sealed adequately, and contact with the cap often contaminated the drink.
In 1892 (Feb 2), William Painter (1838-1906) patented a cheap, single-use metallic cap, crimped over a lip formed on the bottle neck and lined with a thin cork wafer that both formed a leakproof seal and separated drink and metal. Soon thereafter, he patented a machine that filled the bottle simultaneously with syrup and carbonated water, then applied the cap. The two inventions commercially developed by Painter's Crown Cork & Seal Co. were the foundation of today's vast bottling industry. In 1898 Painter claimed a worker could fill and cap eight bottles a minute, although the average was half that. By 1902, Painter had introduced the eight- head automatic electric Crown bottling and capping machine with a capacity of 60 to 100 bottles a minute. Painter, who was an ASME member, had 85 patents.
There are only a few Crown soda machines known to exist today, two were restored for the centennial celebration and are on display in the company lobby of Crown Cork & Seal. One has recently been loaned to the Coca-Cola Company museum in Atlanta.
The second plaque was purchased by FMC Food Processing Systems Division and is located at 2300 Industrial Avenue.
Crown Cork & Seal Baltimore, MD