What Is the History of the Water Container?

What Is the History of the Water Container?

October 1, 2015

As a nation prepared for war in ancient times, one military commander gauged the combat suitability of his troops by having them drink water from a stream.

The commander excused the majority of his prospective fighters who plunged their faces into the stream to gulp water as opposed to scooping water for drinking with their hands.

While we at Azure Water, the premier bottled water co-packers, can’t recall the last time we plunged our faces into a nearby stream for water, we do appreciate history and relish the lessons it teaches.

The first and simplest bit of information we can extract from the tale of this unusual military commander and his thirsty recruits is they didn’t have bottled water, which may have made their lives easier but perhaps the battle selection process more difficult.

But the greater point is: How did parched people of ancient days carry their water, who first used bottles for drinking and when? And when did we start using plastic bottled water?

Water in Bladders of Dead Animals or Animal Horns

In prehistoric times, water may have been carried in bladders of dead animals stitched together, animal horns or plant shells such as coconuts. Later, clay or mud was used to seal wicker baskets for carrying water.

The ancients began using pottery to carry water in 5000 BC. The pottery underwent light fire treatment to seal and strengthen the clay.

What Is the History of the Water Container?

Over the next three millennia, people learned to fire treat their pottery differently creating sturdier, more resilient containers that resembled porcelain pots or stoneware – as depicted in ancient Egyptian art. Artisans first began forming glass in 2000 BC.  The first glass bottles appeared in 1600 BC.

Historians believe the first hollow glass container may have been formed in 1500 B.C. by coating sand with molten glass. The more popular method of glass blowing later took the replace of the sand approach.

Engineers may have begun contemplating ways to transport water to homes during the Roman Empire. Vast aqueducts were built to move water closer to cities. Containers were made from clay, fibers and animal pelts to haul smaller quantities of water.

Glass-making faded temporarily into history with the collapse of the Roman Empire in the fifth century. Glass making underwent a resurgence during the renaissance in the 15th century. The bottles were initially used to store wine and the new medicine of gin.

The first plastic bottles were used in 1947, but the cost was high until the introduction of high-density polyethylene in the early 1960s.

With comparably low manufacturing and production costs, plastic bottles for water and food gained rapidly in popularity and eventually became the staple of modern times.

Azure Water’s facility uses state-of-the-art equipment that can generate 5,000 cases a day, including alkaline spring water and artesian mineral water. We can produce custom-bottle shapes, and fill, seal and label your bottles. If you’re looking to expand your business or have questions about co-packing or our capabilities, contact us.