L. Steinberger, 496 to 502 Pavonia Ave., Jersey City, N.J.

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The L stands for Louis Steinberger. Over the years his newspaper advertisements state that the business started sometime in the early 1870’s; some ads say 1870 and others 1873. It was listed in every early Jersey City directory I can find (1883 to 1925).

Apparently his directory advertisements didn’t change much over the years. The first advertisement is from the 1893 directory, the second  from 1922.

 

The February 15, 1904 Issue of the American Carbonator and American Bottler referenced him as a manufacturer of all kinds of mineral waters, root beer in fountains, fruit syrups and extracts. This June 5, 1916 advertisement in Jersey City’s “Hudson Observer” mentions ginger ale, lemon soda, sarsaparilla and birch beer.

The company also served as the local bottler for regional/national brands as well. The American Carbonator item stated that he was the sole agent in Jersey City for Sheboygan Mineral Water and he also served as the local Jersey City bottler for Ward’s “Orange (and Lemon) Crush.” This is confirmed in several “Orange Crush” advertisements printed in the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle” between June and August of 1920 (right side near the bottom).

Located at 496 to 502 (later 490 to 502) Pavonia Avenue, the business appeared to be a small, family run affair.  Census records indicate that much of the family lived on Pavonia Avenue, adjacent to or above the business.  Steinberger’s  sons, Louis, Jr. and Claude, were listed as superintendent and wagon driver respectively in the mineral water business. By 1920, Louis Jr.’s occupation was listed as “manager, soda factory” and Claude was “salesman, soda company,” but it wasn’t until 1925 that the sons were reflected in the company’s Jersey City directory advertisements.

According to his obituary in the March 14, 1933 issue of the Plainfield N.J. Courier News, Louis Steinberger served as president of the company up until his death in 1933. That being said, the company was still in business in the mid to late 1940’s. The 1930 and 1940 census records listed the occupation of Steinberger’s son,  Claude, as “treasurer, beverage industry” and “salesman, beverage manufacturer” respectively, so its likely he remained active in the business.

Steinberger’s Beverages continued to advertise in local newspapers during the 1930’s and 1940’s.  Early 1930’s advertisements in the Courier News touted the company’s association with the Plainfield Courier-News Cooking School.

The last newspaper advertisement that I can find appeared in the June 16, 1948 edition of the “Bayonne (N.J.) Times.” It celebrated their 75th anniversary.

The end date of the business is not clear, but I don’t see any advertisements for Steinberger’s Beverages in the 1950’s.

According to Zillow.com, 502 Pavonia Avenue is a single family home built in 1877. This fits with the directories that list 502 Pavonia as Louis Steinberger’s residence. Today, the building at 496 Pavonia Avenue appears to be a renovated four-story walk-up that’s been converted to apartments. It could also date back to the business.

Steinberger obtained a patent for his bottle design on November 14, 1922 although he was apparently using similar designs as far back as the late 1800’s. (There are examples of mouth-blown bottles with blob finishes on the Internet.)

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The bottle I found is machine made and similar in design to the patented design although it’s missing the double ring at the base of the neck that’s shown on the plans.

Steinberger also obtained a patent for the trademark “With The Taste That Tempts.” Trademark 210,660 was registered on March 16, 1926 but the documents indicate that it had been continuously used in the business since January 15, 1915. Note that the phrase was used in the 1916 advertisement shown above.