pièce de résistance: siphon bottles
On any given day, there is not much that beats the sensation of a perfectly fizzy drink. I am dreaming of a fresh flavored seltzer water as we speak! The idea of carbonated drinks came down from the Parisians around 1790, making them the epitome of French creativity and ingenuity. And as you can tell, we certainly love all things French!
We find the French have historically been able to make items that are both useful and beautiful. Siphon bottles are one of these aesthetically appealing + useful items. Although most of us no longer have a use for these refillable containers of carbonated water, they are still quite lovely and certainly continue to have a place in the world of home décor.
Siphon bottles, sometimes spelled syphon, can also be called seltzer or soda bottles. Their history is interesting, like most vintage + antique pieces. While the love of carbonation came in the late 1700's, it wasn't until the 1820's that a "cork" was patented to keep pressure in the bottles and not until the 1920's when siphon bottles became quite the fashionable but also useful kitchen and bar gadget.
Siphon bottles are usually made of heavy, thick Bohemian or Czech glass. Bohemian glass originated in both Bohemia and Silesia, now part of the modern day Czech Republic. Because the contents of a siphon bottle were under great pressure, a very stable glass had to be used for bottling to reduce the chance of explosions. The outstanding quality and craftsmanship made this thick Czech glass the winner over less dependable domestic glass. And the array of exquisite colors was an added bonus!
Siphon bottles can be found in clear, pink, purple, yellow, and various shades of blue and green glass. Some bottles are also made from Vaseline glass, which contains uranium oxide that glows under ultraviolet light. Shapes and sizes of siphon bottles can vary slightly and some might be found with colored markings or etchings. Many are found with beautiful acid etchings of the maker, business, or owner. These are our personal favorite!
We love to use Siphon bottles in kitchen, bar, and dining vignettes. They look great grouped together along a shelf, cabinet top or table top. The bottles even have a stained glass effect when placed on a window sill or somewhere light can shine through them. They are also a great way to add a pop of color where needed!
If you wish to read more about the history of mineral waters and their evolution into current day soda pop, click this link. It's an entertaining read and will make you think the next time you pop open a refreshing bottle of Coke!