In the museum we have a large collection of beer bottles and containers of varying ages and most are of local origin. In looking at these bottles it is important to understand aspects of manufacture and style.
For instance why are bottles in our collection different colours?
The colour of glass is determined by impurities or coloring agents present when the glass is made. Iron is the most common agent as it naturally occurs in much of the sand used to manufacture bottles. The amount of iron will produce varying shades of green. Very little iron will produce a light aqua shade and a lot of iron will produce an almost black color to the glass. Other additives will produce different colors. For example, tin produces a white or milk glass. Some additives act as decolourizing agent. These additives produce a clear glass, however, this glass is often not as strong as some of the coloured glasses. The colour of a bottle has something to say about a bottle's age. Colours used on soda and beer bottles have periods of use that are not reflective of the colours used in general. For example, there are many clear pontiled bottles but try and find a true clear pontiled soda bottle. Some colours, such as canary yellow, are not known in soda and beer bottles. Many colors were considered too costly to be used in the manufacture of the lowly soda or beer bottle. The colours of glass used for soda and beer bottles also has a lot riding on tradition and regional preferences. The shape of a bottle has a lot to say about a bottle's age. Regional preferences and traditions help to dictate what shapes were popular and for how long. Some forms are noticeably rare or absent from some areas of the country.
Then why are bottles in our collection different shapes?
Special patents also dictated a bottle's shapes. Some patents were more popular than others. In fact bottles from different countries also vary greatly. Whereas for instance Codd patent bottles from the United States are uncommon, but are the norm in Great Britain.
Through the latter part of the 20th century, most British brewers used a standard design of bottle, known as the London Brewers' Standard. This was in brown glass, with a conical medium neck in the pint and with a rounded shoulder in the half-pint and nip sizes. Pints (568 ml) and half-pints (284 ml) were the most common, but some brewers also bottled in nip (1/3-pint) and quart (2-pint) sizes. It was for example mostly barley wines that were bottled in nips, and Midlands breweries such as Shipstone of Nottingham that bottled in quarts. This standardisation simplified the automation of bottling and made it easier for customers to recycle bottles as they were interchangeable. They carried a deposit charge, which in the 1980s rose to 7 pence for a pint and 5 pence for a half-pint. Some brewers however used individual bottle designs: among these were Samuel Smith, which used an embossed clear bottle, and Scottish and Newcastle, which used a clear bottle for their Newcastle Brown Ale (both designs survive in the 500ml size today). Other brewers such as Timothy Taylor had used their own embossed bottles and rare examples continued to be reused into the 1980s. At around the turn of the 21st century the industry turned away from refillable bottles and UK beer bottles are now all 'one-trip', and most are 500 ml in volume.
Why is looking at the base of a bottle important?
The base of a bottle has a lot to say about a bottle's age. The main feature on a base is the presence or absence of markings. These markings can be a pontil mark, machine scar, or lettering.
Pontil marks are distinctive and are found on the earliest of soda bottles. A pontil was an iron rod attached to the bottom of a bottle after it was blown. After the pontil was attached, the blown bottle was severed from the blowpipe and the lip was applied. The bottle was then snapped from the pontil leaving its distinctive scar. A pontil mark usually indicates the bottle was made before 1860.
A machine scar is a light circular ridge of glass that was left on the bottom of a bottle as the result of the bottle being manufactured by an automatic bottle machine (ABM). These scars are often mistaken for pontils by learners to the subject. However, they are only found on bottles that were manufactured after 1900 and on some earlier bottles manufactured on semi-automatic machines. The first semi-automatic machines appeared about 1895, but were primarily used to manufacture fruit jars.
Lettering on the base of a bottle was usually reserved for mould or manufacturer's marks. Most of the embossing, such as "205A," were marks used by manufacturers to identify the specific mould a bottle was blown into. Many times bottlers would pick this number out of a catalogue and relay it as part of the order. Glass makers and some glass brokers also used this area to add marking as to who produced this bottle. Manufacturer's markings can also be found on the reverse or heels of bottles. On earlier bottles, the embossing was around the rim of the base so that the pontil scar would not deface it. When the pontil was eliminated, the whole base was available. Many times the bottlers initials or logo is on the base of the bottle. This is particularly true for bottles that were to be shipped base up. These letters allowed the bottler to claim his bottles without having to pick up each one from the shipping case. Often the lettering on the base is ghosted or double struck. This occurred when the gather of glass touched the base of the mold more than once.
Open pontil base (OP), circ: 1825-1845
This base type is distinguished by a tubular scar. This pontil is also known as a blowpipe pontil. After the blowpipe was severed from the blown bottle it was attached to the bottle's base . Thus the scar is the diameter of the neck. This type of pontil was used until 1860, but was not a production technique.
Scar pontil base (SP), circ: 1750-1845
This base type is distinguished by chunks of glass scarring the bottle's base. This is also known as a sand or re-fired pontil and is common on early black glass bottles. In the evolution of soda bottles, the scar pontil followed the use of the open pontil.
Improved pontil base (IP), circ: 1845-1860
This base type is distinguished by a gray metallic residue on the base of the bottle. This is also known as an iron pontil or graphite pontil due to the coloration of the residue. The example shown is the more common grey colouration. The amount of residue can very greatly and is many times worn off. However, scarring will usually remain on the base, which can be felt as a sharp indentation into the base.
Snap case base (SC), circ: 1855-1865
This base type is distinguished by smooth markings left by snaps or clamps, which were the replacements for pontils. They are often mistaken for pontils by novice and advanced collectors. With a pontil being a premium, this is often wishful thinking. The best way to identify this base is to feel it. Snap case bases are distorted but smooth to the touch.
Smooth base (SB), circ: 1857-1920
This base type is distinguished by a smooth well formed base. Often there are letters or numbers present. These can be mould identifiers, manufacturer's markings, or the proprietor's initials or logo. Many times the markings are double struck or ghosted.
Automatic bottle machine base (ABM), circ: 1895-1920
This base type is distinguished by a small ridge of glass that can travel up onto the sides of the bottle. The size of the ring can very from half an inch to the width of the bottle. Look for a seam line over the lip of the bottle to positively identify a machine made bottle. Semi-automatic bottles also have these base scars and predate fully machine made bottles by nearly a decade.
The form of a bottle's lip can say something about a bottle's age.
The major lip styles changed little of the years and with the exception of soda bottles produced in the 1840s and special patents, were used for extensive periods of time. Regional preferences and traditions help to dictate what lips were popular and for how long.
Special patents also dictated a Lip's shapes. Some patents required a special form of lip. The earliest Albertson patent, which was the forerunner of Mathew's gravitating patent, required a large and wide tapered lip to hold the internal spring mechanism.
Long tapered lip, circ: 1875-1920
This type of lip was used mostly on Codd shaped bottle. It was primarily used with bottles that used Codds patent closure or those of a similar function such as the early Roobach's stopper. There is often a ring inside the lip with a rubber gasket that serves as a sealing mechanism.
Rounded taper lip, circ: 1847-1920
This type of lip is often called a "blob" top by collectors. It was first used on soda shaped bottles and later on various shapes of beer bottles. Its rounded shape prevented chipping and provided the strength needed to mount various closures. It was used almost exclusively on pony and champagne beer shaped bottles. It was by far the most common type of lip used on pre-crown soda and beer bottles.
So what is the history of bottling of beer?
Beer was being brewed from ancient times and no doubt it was bottled soon afterwards. The first records of brewing are about 6,000 years old and refer to the Sumerians. Sumer was between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and in the area of Southern Mesopotamia. An ancient clay tablet engraved with the Sumerian language outlines the steps for making beer. This table has pictographs that represent barley, baking bread, crumbled bread being put into water and made into mash and then a drink. The Sumerians perfected this process and are recognized as the first civilized culture to brew beer. They brewed beer that they offered to their gods as in a 1800 B.C. hymn to Ninkasi, the goddess of brewing. The beer was drunk out of jars with a straw to help filter out the sediments and soggy bread that was part of the brew. When the Sumerian empire collapsed, the Babylonians became the rulers of Mesopotamia and incorporated the Sumerian culture into their own. As a result, they acquired the knowledge to brew beer. The Babylonians brewed at least twenty different types of beer. The beers were brewed with pure emmer (prehistoric grain type and similar to spelt), pure barley or a mixture of grains. The Babylonian king Hammurabi enacted a law that established a daily beer ration. The higher ones rank, the more beer that was rationed. High priests received two and a half times the ration of a common worker. The Babylonians also exported beer to Egypt. The Egyptians soon learned the art of brewing and carried the tradition into the next millennium. They continued to use bread for brewing beer but also added dates to flavor it. The ancient Egyptians even had a hieroglyph for the word brewer, which illustrates the importance of brewing to the culture. Ancient Egyptian documents show that beer and bread were part of the daily diet and was consumed by the wealthy and poor. Beer was an important offering to the gods and was placed in tombs for the afterlife.
With the rise of the Greeks and Romans Empire, beer continued to be brewed, but wine was the drink of preference. In Rome itself, wine became the drink of the gods and beer was only brewed in areas where wine was difficult to obtain. To Romans beer was the drink of barbarians. Tacitus, a Roman historian, wrote about the Teutons, the ancient Germans, and documented "a liquor from barley or other grain" that these people drank.
During these ancient times, brewing beer was a women's job. In some cultures beer was brewed by priestesses in the temples. During the Middle Ages this changed when brewing was carried on in monasteries. It is interesting that monks were able to drink beer when fasting. Beer was a drink and not food. This runs contrary to later beliefs where beer was considered "liquid bread."
When Columbus first arrived in the New World, the American Indians that he met served him a corn-based beer. The Aztecs, Incas and Mayans had been brewing such beers for hundreds of years before the arrival of Europeans.
Beer was considered a health drink for most of its history and was an good source of nourishment. It was often advertised as good for the sick and elderly. But perhaps it biggest health advantage was that beer was brewed. At a time when impurities and microbes in water were unknown, beer provided a safer drink as it boiled as part of the brewing process. Beer drinkers were less susceptible to waterborne diseases and thus healthier. Over the centuries this trend was noticed but was not understood until pasteurization was understood. Most beers brewed over the last four hundred years have been made of the following ingredients: barley malt for fullness, hops add bitterness, yeast to convert barley malt sugars into alcohol , water to serve as a medium for the fermentation process, brewers over the years have substituted other grains for the barley. These include corn, wheat and rice.
The early brewing centres of modern times were England, Holland and Germany. English beers had the greatest influence on American consumers at the countries founding and through the mid-nineteenth century. Although the first brewing centre in the New World was run by the Dutch , the brews were various ales and beers also common in England.
Starting around 1700, Philadelphia started to emerge as the brewing centre of the English Colonies in America. A good supply of water, the productive farmlands, a thirsty population and the skills of the English trained brewers were responsible for this. Soon Philadelphia beers were exported to all of the English Colonies in America. George Washington was an ardent fan of Philadelphia porter and ordered quantities of it for consumption at his Mount Vernon home. The beer bottles of this period were the common black glass bottles that were also used to bottle wine and other spirits. Starting in the late 1700s, the shapes of beer and beer bottles started to evolve in different directions. Wine bottles started to be more slender with higher shoulders, while beer bottles tended to be shorter with lower shoulders. This beer bottle shape was know as the porter shape. This style remained associated with English beers and remained in use until well after 1900.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century beers start to acquire trade marked names. Prior to this point beers were advertised by their brewer, the type of beer or the region it was from. Widely advertised types of beer included; ale, brown stout, cream ale, etc.
We have examples of soda bottles in our collection for visitors to see.
As compared to beer bottles, soda bottles are a relative newcomer. Although beer was brewed and bottled in ancient times, the manufacture and bottling of artificial mineral and soda water did not start until the end of the eighteenth century.
Since the ancient times man had used naturally carbonated mineral springs for medicinal purposes. Early European springs were documented in 77 A.D. by Pliny, the great Roman historian. Starting in the sixteenth century, early scientists and alchemists tried to unlock the secrets of these springs and their carbonated waters. If these secrets could be discovered, then artificial waters with the same properties could be produced.
The Reverend Joseph Priestley, the discoverer of oxygen, is credited with unlocking the secrets of the natural mineral springs. In 1768, he carbonated a glass of water by pouring the water from one tumbler to another over a vat of fermenting beer at a nearly brewery. The water absorbed some of the carbon dioxide, a byproduct of fermentation, and thus became effervescent. During the next couple of years, Priestley perfected the process and in 1772 published the first book on how to produce artificial Pyrmont water, a popular mineral water of the time. The book, Directions For Impregnating Water With Fixed Air, served as a basis for the manufacture of artificial soda and mineral waters that is still in use today.
In 1770 or 1771, a Swedish chemist named Torbern Bergman, expounded on Priestley's work and created an apparatus for making artificial mineral water. This apparatus used chalk and acid to produce the carbonic gas and charge the water. Bergman also analyzed the popular mineral waters of the day and discovered the minerals that where in them. Bergman added these minerals to the water before impregnating the water with the gas to produce a facsimile of the natural waters.
Both Priestley's and Bergman's processes could not sustain a viable business. It took Jacob Schweppe, a German born Swiss jeweler, to perfect the process of making artificial mineral waters in 1783. He partnered with Nicholas Paul, an engineer, and M. A. Gosse, a scientist, to produce artificial mineral waters in Geneva, Switzerland in 1790. Prior to this partnership, they were his competitors. Later Schweppe would continue the business alone. Due to the popularity of his waters in England, Schweppe he brought the his process to London in 1792. Over 200 years later the Schweppe name is still with us.
In Great Britain, the production of artificially carbonated waters exploded. Patents were issued in 1807 to Henry Thompson of Tottenham, England and in 1809 and 1814 to William Hamilton of Dublin, Ireland for processes of manufacturing these artificial waters.
Although soda was bottled in the early days, those containers were doubtlessly unmarked, at least in America. In England we had adopted an egg shaped or torpedo bottle to their artificial mineral waters. This shape is credited to Nicholas Paul, who was an original partner with Jacob Schweppe, but round based bottles were used to German Spa waters nearly a century prior to Paul's credit. The rounded shape would not stand up and thus kept the cork wet at all times. A dry cork would shrink and allow the charged gas in the water to escape. This style of bottle is mentioned in various early English patents. The earliest of these bottles were made of stoneware, but later glass was used.
During the ensuing decades, the soda water industry became firmly rooted. Starting in 1851, with the introduction of "ginger ale," named products start to emerge and are later franchised. During the 1880s, we have Coca-Cola (1886), Moxie (1885), and Dr. Pepper (1885) arrive on the scene. Other named products include Pepsi-Cola (1898) and Hires Root Beer (1876).
The changes in the way bottles have been stoppered during the past is also reflected in our varied collection and can be readily seen.
Since there were bottles, man has been looking for a better stopper. A stopper held the contents in and protected them. Early stoppers were leather or anything soft that could be pushed into the lip of a bottle to seal it. Eventually, the cork became the preferred bottle closure. At times tar or pitch was applied to the cork to help seal it.
Closing of soda bottles was problematic because of the pressure of the contents. If the stopper leaked, the soda water would go flat. If the cork remained moist, it would not shrink and thus protect the contents. This is the reason some soda bottles will not stand up. When a bottle rested on its side the contents would keep the cork moist. Other bottles were stored and shipped upside down to accomplish the same goal. Often a string or wire was fastened around the neck and over the cork to secure it against the pressurized contents.
As the industrial age dawned, there started a slow but steady number of patents for stoppers for soda and beer bottles. The earliest patent for a soda water bottle stopper was in 1859, and issued to Henry William Putnam. This patent was for a heavy wire bail attached to the bottle's neck that could swing over the cork to hold it in. In 1885, there were over 80 patents granted. As the number of bottlers deceased, as national brands flooded the market and as automation of the bottling process became standard, the number of patents decreased. The crown cork effectively replaced all bottle stoppers and became the standard by 1920. The crown worked well on the automated bottling lines and was more sanitary than other stoppers.
The stoppers used on a bottle has something to say about a bottle's age. Ones used on soda and beer bottles have periods of use that are not reflective of ones generally used for other bottles. For example, the screw-on top was used on many types of bottles, but try and find a true screw top soda bottle. Other types were designed for use on soda or beer bottles. For example the Hutchinson and Codd stoppers were designed for carbonated beverages. They both needed the pressure of the charged gases to seal them. You will not find these stoppers on any other type of bottle. Stoppers were often patented and the patent date establishes the earliest date of the bottle. Some stoppers were only used on a single bottle, often on the bottles of the inventor. The Roorbach and Tucker stopper is a prime example. Other, like the ABC Patent, gained limited success. While some were extremely popular. Those that were popular spawned imitators who made minor improvement to the widely used stopper. There are no doubt over one hundred different patents for a bail type stopper for beer bottles that are all variations of the "Lightning" stopper.
As more economical and easier to use stoppers were invented, older styles fell out of style. Health laws doomed many stoppers as unsanitary. These events all help to mark the end of a stoppers use.
Stoppers achieved different levels of popularity in different countries. The Codd stopper was immensely popular in England and its empire. The Hutchinson stopper was the stopper of choice in the United States, but virtually nonexistent in Britain.
Examples of stoppers are:-
Putnam Stopper, circ: 1859-1905 invented by: Henry William Putnam
American Patent: March 15, 1859, Number: 23, 263
This cork fastener was the standard used on corked soda and bottles during the 1870s and 1880s when it was replaced with the more popular Hutchinson internal stopper. The bail was reusable and the bottler was not required to rewire the cork with every refilling of the bottle.
Codd Stopper, circ: 1872-1920, invented by: Hiram Codd in 1872, England
American Patent: April 29, 1873
A marble in the neck was pushed up against a rubber gasket in the lip to seal the bottle. The pressure of the carbonated beverage inside kept the marble in place. Theses bottles had to be filled upside down in order for the marble properly seat. The indentations in the neck kept the marble from clogging when the contents were poured out. There were many similar patents that all worked on the same basic principle.
Lightning Stopper, circ: 1875-1910,
Invented by: Charles De Quillfeldt,
American Patent: January 5, 1875, Number: 158,406
This stopper revolutionized beer bottling and was an almost instant success for Karl Hutter who acquired the patent rights and popularized this stopper when it was reissued in 1877. In 1878, Henry Putnam also acquired and interest in this stopper and in 1882 adapted it for use on fruit jars. There were many imitators of this patent over the years, but they all worked on the same principle of leveraging a rubber disk into the lip of the bottle to make a seal.
Hutter Stopper, circ: 1893-1920, invented by: Karl Hutter.
American Patent: February 7, 1893
This stopper was an improvement to the Lightning stopper and was extremely popular and eventually replaced the Lightning as the preferred beer bottle stopper. A tapered porcelain plug was fitted with a rubber washer on the bottom and forced into the lip of the bottle to seal it. This stopper was replaced with the crown cork.
Hutchinson Stopper, circ: 1879-1915 invented by: William H. Hutchinson.
American Patent: April 4, 1879 Number: 213,992
This was an improvement to Matthews gravitating stopper and worked on the same principle. When the stopper was raised, the pressure of the carbonated contents sealed the rubber gasket against the base of the neck. Unlike Matthews, it was cheaper and more efficient to use. Also, the bottle did not have to be filled upside down. To bottle, the stopper was put in the downward position, the contents were injected into the bottle with a nozzle. This nozzle contained a hook that grabbed the top loop of the stopper and pulled it upward thus sealing the bottle. This stopper was deemed unsanitary because dust and dirt could settle above the stopper and contaminate the drink when the contents were dispensed. Its replacement was the crown cork.
Screw Stopper, circ: 1880-1920
This stopper was never popular in the United States, however it was widely accepted in England and its colonies. A composite stopper was screwed into the lip of the bottle, which had screw threads on the inside. In the United States this closure was known as the "American Screw Stopper."
Roobach Stopper, circ: 1883-1885, invented by: William L. Roorbach
American Patent: February 20, 1883
This stopper was similar to Codd's patent although it used a ceramic marble to seal the bottle. The marble was held in place by the pressure of the carbonated contents. Additionally, the indentations to hold the marble and keep it from clogging the neck during pouring were located near the base of the bottle. These bottles had to be filled upside down to properly seal the bottle.
Floating Ball Stopper, circ: 1885-1910 invented by: William L. Roorbach
American Patent: June 23, 1885 and August 4, 1885, Numbers: 320,701 and 323,737
This was also known as the Twitchell Floating Ball stopper. This stopper gained some popularity in the United States. A hollow composite ball or marble was held against a rubber washer that was secured in a neck groove by the pressures of the carbonated contents. This stopper was an improvement on Roorbach's 1883 patent. The bottles can be identified by the large groove in the neck.
Self-Closing Stopper, circ: 1889-1895, invented by: William L. Roorbach and George W. Tucker
Matthews Gravitating Stopper, circ: 1864-1885
This stoppers was an improvement to the Albertson stopper, which was patented in 1862. This stopper consisted of a glass rod that was tipped with a rubber nipple. The glass rod fitted into the neck of the bottle and the attached rubber nipple sealed the contents when the pressure of the carbonated contents pushed the rubber nipple against the base of the neck. To open the bottle, the glass rod was pushed down to break the seal. The bottle had to be filled upside down so that the glass rod could fall into place. The stopper gained popularity after an improvement was made in 1872 and most of the bottles date after this point. Glass rods of these bottles bear the Albertson and two Matthews patents. If the stoppers are missing, the bottles can be identified by the elaborate patent embossing on the base, which is not present on latter bottles, and the straight neck and inverted taper lip. The glass rods were fragile and had a tendency to break. As a result, the cheaper and more durable Hutchinson stopper quickly replaced the Gravitating stopper during the early 1880s.
Arthur Christian Stopper, circ: 1875-1880, patented by: Arthur Christian
This stoppers was an adaptation of the Gravitating stopper. Its improvement was the placing of the sealing gasket in the lip of the bottle and not on the stopper itself. A tapered composition stopper was pulled up into the lip and wedged against the rubber gasket in the lip creating a seal. The bottle was opened by pushing the stopper down into the bottle. This stopper was never widely accepted, even though it was used by a number of bottler across the country. Due to the limited numbers that are found, it was mostly tried and abandoned by those who were looking for an improvement over the cork stopper.
Many of our bottles reflect in the names to be seen on them brewing in the town, so what breweries has Newport Pagnell had over the years?
Transport took off through the town during the 1800s, but many of the old inns have long since disappeared. Coaches passing through Newport Pagnell came from Leeds, Chester, Manchester, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Sheffield and Holyhead.
These coaches would have primarily used The Swan Revived Hotel to be found in the High Street, which is a former Coaching Inn and dates back as far as the 15th century.
However, brewing gradually became established in the town and in fact there was a 'Newport Brewery'. It was Rogers' Brewery, which now has the Newport Pagnell Medical Centre situated on the site, and it was very successful. When anyone was sick and ill, it used to be said that Dr. Rogers recommended Rogers' stout as a cure/ pick-me-up. Despite its success over many years it eventually closed to become an agricultural engineering business called W.J. Coopers.
There was also 'The Cannon Brewery' or Wilmer's Brewery, which was run in its heyday by William and John Wilmer. Again it was very successful. Eventually it was taken over by the 'Aylesbury Brewery Company'. During the Second World War the public house connected with this brewery was known as the 'Gin Shop' and was popular with local farmers and tradesmen.
There are examples of both breweries' bottles in our collection.
Often the public houses were small breweries in their own right.
Examples of notable town pubs include:-
'The Three Cranes' in St John Street closed in 1909 and can be traced back to the late 18th century. The three cranes referred to the crest of a local family. The very large building after closing became a bakery. In the 19th century there were at least 8 public houses in St John Street alone. There was certainly no shortage of choice in Victorian times in Newport Pagnell of places to drink.
In 1954 the public house called 'The Marquis of Chandos was closed. Once it was third in a line of four public houses on one side of St John Street. It originally was'The Marquis of Granby' and this name was known in 1778, but by 1822 the name changed.
Also in St John Street was the 'Admiral Hood' opened in 1799. Admiral hood served with Nelson. In the early days it was an inn, where travellers making journeys by coach could stay the night and horses could be stabled and shod. With the construction of the Iron Bridge in 1810 the road surface was raised and the pub subsequently nicknamed the 'Tater Pit' because drinkers had to go down steps to get in, as if going into a pit. It was an inn until 1880. The building had three storeys.When it closed, the owners were the Allfrey and Lovell brewery. The Allfrey family lived at 'Brewery House' in the Hight Street. It was demolished in the 1950s.
In Silver Street can be found 'The Green Man' public house now no longer operating. This is another very old property and built high to withstand flooding. In the mid 19th century it was a boarding house aswell as a beerhouse. In the 1870s to the rear stood the original parchment works. Situated at 29 Silver Street was another public house, but a very small one. Originally a Beerhouse it later became known as the 'Horse and Jockey' and was granted a licence in 1846. Towards the end of its time being so small and having no water in the bar and no female toilets it struggled to get a licence and compete with other establishments with better facilities. It closed in 1960. Finally in this area to a very unusual name for a public house, the 'March of Intellect'. This name is certainly pre 1820, but it may have had another name earlier. There may have been a building here as early as 1510. The public house bore a sign on which a chimney sweep was seen playing a piano, thought to be a reference to the title the March of Intellect. It is said that the sweep was wearing a tall top hat as he played. There were links to the Northampton Brewery Company. In 1985 the building became two private houses, numbers 27 and 25.
The Society has many publications, which go into far more detail about the breweries and the public houses to be found in Newport Pagnell. These can be seen or bought at the Society's museum, when it is open on the final sunday of the month.