During our research, we came across a brilliant article that described how they thought that glass bottles would be a thing of the past. Their vision was that paper bottles would take over and leave old glass bottles obsolete.
Here are some excerpts from the article that is featured in the National Guardian in 1889.
“One of the most interesting of the many uses in which paper has been put is the manufacture of paper bottles. We have long had paper boxes, barrels, and car wheels, and more recently paper pails, wash basins and other vessels; but now comes a further revolution of paper in the shape of paper bottles, which are already extensively used for containing such substances as ink, bluing, shoe dressing, glue, etc.”
“They are cheaper and lighter than glass, unbreakable and consequently very popular with consumers; while the fact that they require no packing material, and are clean, handy and economical, commends them to manufacturers. Unlike glass, they can be manufactured at all seasons.”
“There are bathtubs and pots made in the same manner, by compressing the paper made out of linen fibres, which is painted over with a composition which becomes part of the paper and is fireproof.”
How can you have paper bottles?
I can only imagine that the paper bottles would be like the containers that you get your drinks in, in fast food restaurants or like the pubs that you get some ice cream in. The paper was likely a laminated style paper rather than just standard paper.
Why didn’t paper bottles take off?
We can only speculate as to why the paper bottles never took off and made the glass obsolete like the article was suggesting. Perhaps the paper bottles were not fully tested long term with the alcohol. It could be that the chemicals in the alcohol were slowly breaking the bottles down. There is also the fact that transport might not have been quite as straightforward as they had suggested. When the bottles were being transported, there could have been some issues like the weather. Were the bottles waterproof on the outside as well as the inside? This is Scotland after all!
This one is not what you might think! This doesn’t mean that there were cars driving around with paper tyres (although that would be interesting to see), it actually refers to how the wheels on trains were made. Laminated paper was used in the process of creating the wheels so that they made less noise and made it a much more pleasant journey for their passengers.
There was Bathtubs Made of Paper?
Apparently so! It would be great to see what one of these indestructible, fireproof paper bath tubs were like. Modern bath tubs have obviously replaced them for a reason, so they probably were technically functional, but probably not very comfortable to soak in after a long day!
We have a channel on YouTube that we are bringing you some easy to digest stories and facts about Glasgow’s pubs and licence trade history, so please do head over and tell us what you think! You can visit the YouTube channel here.
Paper Beer Casks
I have also found another article in the National Guardian on the 1st of January 1890 that shows how the world is trying to adopt paper beer casks.
The employment of paper as a material for the manufacture of casks is rapidly gaining ground, and a number of American brewers have taken the matter in hand and are submitting paper casks to thorough and severe tests to ascertain whether they are well adapted for their particular requirements. It is stated that a process has recently been devised and patented by a manufacturer in Newark, N. J., for the utilization of a luxuriant native wild grass to be used in the production of the necessary paper pulp; and that a machine has been constructed whereby 600 casks a day can be turned out by two workmen. The casks, after being moulded into the proper form under enormous pressure, are coated on their interior surfaces with an enamel possessing antiseptic properties, and with an appearance like porcelain. The object of this enamel is, of course, to facilitate cleansing and prevent mould and decay. The point has yet to be solved as to how casks made of paper will withstand the rough usage to which beer casks are subjected. The verdict of these brewers who now have them in use will be, therefore, looked for with much interest. Paper casks have for some considerable time been employed successfully for the manufacture of paper pulp, and the day may not be far away when beer shall be stored and shipped in casks made from this residual bye-product.