The founders of Pflug & Ackley were Daniel Pflug and Henry E. Ackley. Pflug was a German immigrant who arrived in the United States in 1880. Ackley was born in Lynbrook, New York and was a life-long Long Islander.
The company was apparently established in 1881. At that time, a news item published in the April 22, 1881 edition of the Roslyn (L. l.) News stated that Ackley had partnered with Pflug after leaving the bottling business of Elbert Matthews.
Alfred Matthews, former Keeper of the Town Poor House, has entered into partnership with Elbert Matthews in the lager beer and soda water business. Henry Ackley, foreman in Elbert Matthew’s establishment has entered into partnership with Pflug of Washington Square, in the same business. They have leased the Mearing building on Greenwich Street and moved it flush with the pavement.
The Hempstead section of the 1890 Lain’s Business Directory listed their address as 33 Greenwich. They would remain at that location as late as the early 1950’s.
In early advertisements, like this one published in the September 4, 1886 edition of the Roslyn News, they also referred to the operation as the Enterprise Bottling Company.
Apparently a small operation, the “Annual Report of the Factory Inspectors of the State of New York in both 1899 and 1900 indicated the business had 6 employees during that time, all male.
Primarily a bottling operation, in the early years they also manufactured something called steamed beer, as evidenced by this June 22, 1889 item in the Roslyn News.
Pflug & Ackley of Hempstead, have added a steam engine to their bottling facilities. They are now prepared tp furnish parties promptly with their well-known steamed beer.
Later that year their steamed beer (two kinds?) was included in this October 12, 1889 Roslyn News advertisement.
According to Ackley’s obituary (provided by a family member who read an earlier version of this post), Pflug retired in 1903 and Ackley continued the business until 1909 when his two sons, William H. and Valentine assumed control.
A 1914 advertisement that appeared in several summertime editions of the Nassau Post indicated that by that time, in addition to mineral water and beer, the company was also bottling wine and liquors.
The same 1914 advertisement also included this photograph of their “Bottling Department and Sales Rooms in Hempstead L.I.”
An article under the Headline “Makes Good Beverages” in the December 17, 1925 edition of the Hempstead Sentinel provided a snapshot of the business at that time.
One of the oldest established firms in Hempstead is the Pflug and Ackley bottling works at the corner of Greenwich and Prospect Streets. The name has been synonymous with good beverages extending over nearly three generations. At the present time the business is managed by William H Ackley, who has a reputation for progressiveness.
Mr. Ackley keeps pace with all the newest methods, particularly those for the manufacture of the purest of products under the best sanitary conditions. He has recently installed machinery that has done away with much of the labor of human hands.
Mr. Ackley reports that although he is daily securing a large quantity of cider for the holidays there is such a demand for it that his delivery trucks are kept busy filling the orders of customers.
There was a P&A advertisement in the same December 17,1925 issue of the Hempstead Sentinel for Russet Apple Cider.
During the 1920’s the company was serving as the local Nassau County bottler for Ward’s “Orange (and Lemon) Crush as evidenced by a series of 1920 Brooklyn Daily Eagle” advertisements.
An August 16, 1929 advertisement in the Nassau Daily Review indicated that they served in a similar position for Schwepp’s Beverages as well. In fact, according to an August 11, 1933 advertisement in the Nassau Daily Review, by then they were handling “160 different items as distributors of various beverages.”
By the mid-1930’s the company had apparently changed its name to the Ackley Beverage Company. I’ve found shards of a bottle embossed Ackley Beverage Co, Hempstead, N. Y., that includes a 1938 embossed date, so the name change had certainly occurred by then.
Newspaper references to the Ackley Beverage bowling team indicate that the business was still active in the early 1950’s, however, by 1954 the business had apparently dissolved and their building was scheduled to be demolished in connection with the construction of Peninsula Boulevard. Under the headline “New Highway to Blot Out Landmarks in Hub,” the July 21, 1954 edition of Newsday provided the final chapter in the history of their long-time home at the corner of Prospect and Greenwich Streets.
A colorful part of Nassau’s largest village will be lost shortly in the push of progress when a north-south arterial highway is cut through the heart of Hempstead’s industrial and business section.
The proposed extension of Peninsula Blvd. along Mill Rd. from Southern State Parkway to Hempstead Tpke. (Fulton Ave.) entails one of the largest land acquisitions for a single project in the county’s history and removes from the scene some village landmarks, along with a few eyesores…
These are some of the “total land takings” out of 150 parcels needed to convert a two-lane 50-foot roadway into a main thoroughfare with 72 feet minimum width…..In the area bounded by Mill Rd., Grove, Prospect and S. Franklin Sts., all but five of a dozen dwellings will be removed along with the Union Baptist Church. The structure at Prospect and Greenwich Sts., that formerly housed the Ackley Beverage Corp., one of the older businesses, will be taken along with most of the buildings on the opposite corner to the west.
The future Peninsula Blvd. is depicted with a hatched line on this plan that accompanied the story. It runs right through the intersection of Prospect and Greenwich (right of center).
This business spanned the conversion from mouth blown to machine made bottles and I’ve found both types. Mouth blown ones include two blob tops, a champagne style beer (12 oz) and a large 27 oz, and several 8 oz tooled crowns, one embossed with the year 1917, another with 1918 and still another with 1919. The dates appear within the slug plate, right below the trade mark.
Machine made finds include a 27 oz bottle embossed with the year 1926 and a 6 oz Orange Crush. The Orange Crush bottle has the P&A monogram and “Hempstead,”embossed on the base.
I’ve also found a small 6 oz machine made bottle embossed “Ackley Beverages Hempstead NY” that probably dates to the late 1930’s or early 1940’s.
On a final note, a Pflug and Ackley weather vane was recently offered for sale on the internet. It could actually be a portion of the one visible in the photograph of their bottling department and sales room.