Ashley glas bottle, c 1880s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Water bottle made by a machine invented by the Englishman Howard Matravers Ashley (1841-1914). Ashley had obtained a patent for a bottle-making machine in 1886. However, it took him another three years to come up with a practical method of producing narrow-necked bottles. This three-stage method dictated the design of the semi-automatic machine. Although Ashley's own company failed to exploit the invention, bottles could now be made ten times faster.