VISIT US Bergdala glastekniska museum

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- Our sheet glass exhibition
- Our pantograph
- Our guilloché machines
- Pictures from a pattern book
- Our presses
- Our semi-automatic bottle machine
- Our glass artifacts

Production of bottles, jars and household items like that in a semi-automatic machine.

This machine was used here from (at least) sometime in the 1940ies up to the 1980ies.

This machine was rigged with different moulds and tongs for the different types of bottles (or whatever) to be produced. For a blank surface, all tools had to be pre-heated before production started so they were put in the cooling furnace for some time. Then they had to be carried by hand and mounted.
  • Covering the hole to the left end in the working table was placed a "primary mould". At the bottom of the mould was then placed a spacial tong with a blank holder to shape the mouth of the bottle. The neck and mouth of any bottle must be shaped to fit the sealing to be used and must also be reinforced by its design. The tong and its mould would be placed upside-down so that the would-be neck is pointing down and the future body of the bottle is pointing upwards.
  • At the far left end of the table is a lever attached to a bellows underneath the table. Moving the lever one way produces a vacuum, moving it the other way blows air through the opening.
    (Anecdote: a certain skill is needed to handle the bellows - each time this machine was to be used here in Bergdala, one of two specialists were called in: one from Åseda or one from Finspång.)
  • To the right, on the revolving table, were mounted two "final moulds". These were used alternately by turning the table halfway.
  • To handle the hot glass a fork is mounted above the final mould.

Unfortunately, we only have one bottle-mould, which is why we have have placed it in the middle of the table.

overview of the bottle machine

Working the machine:

The team was composed by four workers, the feeder, the master, the blower and the carrier.
  1. The feeder would gather an amount of glass on a gathering ball, carry it to the machine and hold it above the primary mould.
  2. The master would cut of an appropriate amount of glass into the primary mould. He (they would all be men) would then apply a soft vacuum so as to fill the mould completely. Then he would supply a little bit of air to create a primary balloon for the bottle body. That's what the bellows is for.
  3. The primary mould would be opened and the tong - with the hot glass - would be turned upside-down (that is so that the bottleneck is up and the bottle-body is down) and hanged in the fork with the balloon hanging down into the final mould.
  4. The blower would pull the handle and hence expand the bottle to completely fill the final mould by compressed air supplied from the top.
  5. The final mould was then opened and the tong removed. The revolving table was turned halfway and the carrier - on the back side of the machine - would bring the bottle to the annealing oven.