The Codd bottle was designed and manufactured with thick glass to withstand internal pressure, and a chamber to enclose a marble and a rubber washer/gasket in the neck. The bottles are filled upside down, and pressure of the gas in the bottle forced the marble against the washer, sealing in the carbonation. The bottle is pinched into a special shape to provide a chamber into which the marble is pushed to open the bottle. This prevents the marble from blocking the neck as the drink is poured.
Some older examples had the bullet shape of soda bottles.
Soon after its introduction, the bottle became extremely popular with the soft drink and brewing industries mainly in Europe, India and Australasia, though some alcohol drinkers disdained the use of the bottle. One etymology of the term codswallop originates from beer sold in Codd bottles, though this is generally dismissed as a folk etymology.
The bottles were regularly produced for many decades, but gradually declined in usage. Since children smashed the bottles to retrieve the marbles, vintage bottles are relatively scarce and have become collector items; particularly in the UK. A cobalt coloured Codd bottle today fetches hundreds of British pounds at auction. Bilas, a company in Portugal created a soda named after the bottle design (Pirulito), however, the marble inside didn't seal the liquid, instead it was a normal cap, and it could be removed without breaking the bottle.
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- "The meaning and origin of the expression: A load of codswallop". www.phrases.org.uk. Gary Martin.