Torpedo bottles in Canada are not very common and are usually considered
rare. Terry Matz at http://www.torpedobottle.com/
writes that there are less than 50 different known Canadian torpedo bottles. Most Canadian torpedo bottles are a normal shade of aqua. Some are a much more
deeply coloured bluish aqua in colour, adding to their desirability (and value).
Torpedo bottles usually held a DOUBLE CARBONATED or EXTRA CARBONATED style of
soda water. Hence the shape for extra bottle strength and stability.
From http://www.antiquebottles.com/torpedo/ :
'The Torpedo bottles have a round end to prevent them from being stood up. The idea was that the soda kept in contact with the cork and stopped the cork from shrinking; the corks would dry up and shrink on upright bottles, causing the bottle to loose pressure. A side advantage for the merchant was that the consumer had to finish the beverage before the bottle could be laid down'
These bottles are known as "Hamiltons" in the United Kingdom, named after their inventor Paul Hamilton.
I have catalogued over 8 different torpedoes used by the various Pilgrim factories in Hamilton, Ontario. The oldest being Pilgrim & Co (1848-1861), R.A.Pilgrim & Co (1862 and 1881), Pilgrim Bros (1881-1893) and Pilgrim Bros & Co (1894-1912). These are listed below. It you have pictures of missing variants please send me a copy.
1. PILGRIM & co HAMILTON C.W. Egg shaped with blob top closure. Found in aqua, cobalt blue and possibly Lockport or turquoise green; 7 3/4" high. (H03)
2. PILGRIM & Co HAMILTON C.W. All vertical embossing(?). Blob top closure, aqua coloured. Sorry, no picture available and I have never seen this one. (H04)
3. R.A.PILGRIM & Co (?) Blob top closure, cobalt blue and aqua. Sorry, no picture available and I have never seen this one (H17.1)
4. R.A.PILGRIM with crude eagle trademark. Embossing in circular slug plate (English made?). Blob top closure, aqua coloured; 7 3/4" high (H22)
5. PILGRIM BROS. TRADE MARK HAMILTON Eagle on rock facing left. Blob top closure, aqua coloured; 9 1/8" high (H27)
6. PILGRIM BROS & Co TRADE MARK HAMILTON Eagle facing left Blob top closure, two-piece mould, aqua coloured; 91/2" high. The embossing on this bottle is identical to the one above with the addition of '& Co' - This bottle is actually quite rare in mint condition. The few bottles I have seen have been damaged in some way. (H32)
Check out the following sites for other torpedo bottles:
Terry Matz's Torpedo Bottle Web page
Reggie Lynch's Antique Torpedo Soda Bottles.
Last revised: July 04, 2002 .