An impossible bottle is the term used to describe a rather unique form of mechanical puzzle. The term refers to any bottle containing an object that does not appear to fit through the neck of the bottle, that it has been inserted into. Probably the best known examples are the many nautical examples, of a ship placed within a bottle.
There are a couple of different techniques used to put a model ship within a bottle. The simplest way is to rig the masts of the ship and pull them gently up into position with thread, once the ship hull has been eased into its final position, through the neck of the bottle. Alternatively, using specialised long handled tools, it is possible to build the ship within the bottle.
For those interested in Ships and Bottles, the best known British Collection is known as The Dawe Collection and can be found, on display in an old Sea=Merchants House,in The Butterwalk, in the town of Dartmouth, in Devon. Uniquely the entrance up into the museum is via an old spiral staircase, built counter clockwise around a section of a ships mast.
I was very fortunate, as a boy, as I grew up with one ofthese Impossible Bottles, in my fathers house. And as you would expect, as a Freemason, my fathers bottle had a number of Masonic Symbols within. The main feature in his bottle was The Christian Cross, on which was fixed a set of Compasses and a Square in the 3rd degree position. Other symbols within the bottle are representations of The Crescent Moon, The Winding Staircase,A five runged Ladder, Setting Maul, and Trowel for spreading the cement of Masonic Brotherhood.
Over the years, I have seen other similar Masonic themed Impossible Bottles, right across the island of Ireland. As you travel around, visiting LOdges, then please keep an eye for these fascinating examples of a dying folk art.