Q: This bottle was given to us and we don't know what it does. It says "Sparklets, Reg. US Pat. Off., do not fill above red line, made in USA, use one bulb only" and "Sparklets Corporation, New York." Does it have any value?
A: Your bottle is a seltzer bottle, used to turn tap water into carbonated water. The bottle was filled with water up to the red line, a bulb of compressed carbon dioxide was attached, and the carbon dioxide was squeezed into the water. Soda syphons like yours were popular in the 1920s and '30s, until bottled carbonated beverages became more popular. Sparklets Corp. in New York City was a subsidiary of Sparklets Ltd., a British company founded in 1896. Sparklets bottles were exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. The company became part of British Oxygen Co. in 1920 and was granted a patent for a soda syphon like yours in 1937. Gas cartridges called "Sparklets" were made for use in soda syphons, dental sprays, fire extinguishers, and lifebelts. You can buy an old seltzer bottle for about $30. New gas cartridges are available.