D. J. Walsh, Far Rockaway, N.Y.


Daniel James (or Joseph) Walsh was a long time Far Rockaway, New York bottler. According to Emil Lucev, a local historian and  contributor to the local Far Rockaway newspaper called “The Wave,” Walsh was reportedly one of the first to make charged siphon club soda bottles.

His great-granddaughter, after reading an earlier version of this post, contacted me and was kind enough to provide this picture of him.

According to his obituary, published in the January 12, 1934 edition of the Brooklyn Times Union:

Mr. Walsh was born in Ireland and came to the United States when he was 16 years old. Shortly afterward he and his parents located in Springfield (Queens, N. Y.)…

Census records indicate that Walsh immigrated to the United States in 1880. According to another family member, his great grandson, Walsh applied for citizenship in 1890 and his naturalization paperwork named Brockholst Carroll, an established Far Rockaway bottler, as a sponsor. Carroll’s business dated back as far as the mid-1870’s, so its possible that Walsh spent his early years in the United States working in Carroll’s business. Brock L Carroll, Far Rockaway L.I.

Walsh’s obituary goes on to say that he:

…later went to Far Rockaway where he started a bottling business.

That being said, census records in 1900 listed him as a mineral water manufacturer living on Rockaway Turnpike in Springfield (Queens Ward 4). That, coupled with a bottle recently found in Jamaica Bay embossed: “D. J. Walsh, Springfield, B. Q.,” suggests that he originally established his business in Springfield prior to his move to Far Rockaway.

Census records in 1910, 1920 and 1930 listed Walsh as a bottler and/or mineral water manufacturer and proprietor of his own shop in Far Rockaway (Queens Ward 5), so he was certainly in business there by 1910. His great grandson placed the business at 21-03 to 21-07 Cornaga Avenue. According to his obituary Walsh was still in business at the time of his death.

Over the years, census records associated several of his sons with the business as well. Their occupations were listed as bottlers, bottler helpers and/or drivers leading me to believe it was a small family run operation. This was confirmed by his great-granddaughter who said that her father, Walsh’s grandson, pitched in to help as well.

Growing up, my father talked about his grandfather’s soda co., and how he would go and visit after school (elementary) and help fill the bottles.

I found one large (27oz) tooled crown and several smaller (8oz) tooled crowns. Several machine made bottles (8oz) have also been observed. The bottle embossed “Springfield, B. Q.,” found by a reader of this post, has a blob top finish.  I’ve also seen D J Walsh siphon bottles pictured on the Internet.

Many thanks to two of Daniel Walsh’s great grandchildren who provided some additional information after reading earlier versions of this post.