W & T, 57 Downing St., N.Y.

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Soda water manufacturers, Wills & Taylor was listed in the New York City directories from 1864 to 1874.

The business was first listed in the 1859 NYC directory as Wills, Taylor & Co., with an address of 49 Greene Street. The 1862 NYC Copartnership and Corporation Directory listed three partners; William Wills, Anson B. Taylor and John Scanlan. Then, on February 20, 1864 the partnership was dissolved when Scanlon retired. At the same time a new partnership named Wills and Taylor was formed. The notice announcing this change was published in the February 24, 1864 edition of the “New York Daily Herald.”

The company remained at 49 Greene Street until the Spring of 1866 when they apparently had a new building constructed at 57 Downing Street. The company was settled in their new quarters and renting out unused portions of the building in May, 1866 as evidenced by this May 4th advertisement in the “New York Daily Herald.”

The company remained at 57 Downing Street up through 1874. Anson Taylor continued to be listed individually with the occupation “waters” through the early 1880’s with an address of 119 East 124th Street.

On a side note, Anson B Taylor played baseball for a pioneering baseball club called the Mutual Baseball Club. Organized in NYC in June 1857, they were named after Mutual Hook and Ladder Company #1. A book entitled “Baseball Founders: The Clubs, Players and Cities of the Northeast that Established the Game”provided the following brief biography of Taylor:

Anson B. Taylor was born in Connecticut around 1827. He played a few games for the Mutuels in 1858, then was a regular for the next three seasons. He had served as club treasurer while an active player and began a four year tenure as club president in 1861. Taylor, who was partner in a mineral water business, died in New York on June 2, 1884.

The bottle I found is an 8 oz pony with an applied blob top finish. It’s embossed “W&T” with the 57 Downing Street address so it most likely dates between 1866 and 1874.