Henry N. Clark, Southampton, L. I.

Henry N. Clark ran a bottling business and later a grocery store in Southampton, Long Island around the turn of the century.

Born in Connecticut, upon moving across the Sound to Long Island he first lived in nearby Bridgehampton where, according to his obituary, he operated a plumbing business. His move to nearby Southampton was announced in a September 30, 1896 story in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Henry C. Clark has bought the property and bottling works of Harvey C. Halsey at Southampton and will shortly locate in that village.

That following summer, he was certainly up and running as evidenced by this advertisement published in the July 8, 1897 edition of Southampton’s  Sea-Side Times.

A May 5, 1898 story in the Sea-Side Times, described the business as being entirely focused on non-alcoholic beverages.

Every few weeks he introduces a new specialty which usually hits the mark and has a good run. The latest he has introduced is champagne cider, a delightfully refreshing drink, which notwithstanding its suspicious name is a thoroughly temperance drink, containing neither champagne nor cider nor any trace of alcohol. In fact all Mr. Clark’s beverages are temperance drinks.

It appears that it wasn’t long before Clark was well established in Southampton.The May 5, 1898 story mentioned that in addition to many small scale customers Clark had contracts to furnish all the soft drinks for the Golf Club as well as several nearby hotels. It went on to say that the business was in the process of expanding.

Mr. Henry N. Clark, manufacturer of carbonated beverages is building a large addition to his bottling works. The addition is 44×14 feet extending from the original building almost to the Main Street front, more than trebling his former space.

The enlargement of his quarters is made necessary by his rapidly increasing business. He is to be joined by his brother Mr. Orrin A. Clark, now of Amagansett, as a partner in business, on June 1.

Two new bottling machines have been added to the outfit which will give a capacity of many hundreds of bottles per day. The new machines use the crown seal, a new device for sealing bottles which is far superior to any of the older methods.

After these improvements are complete Mr. Clark will have one of the largest bottling works in the county.

In March, 1901 Clark bought a bicycle business, also in Southampton. The purchase was reported in the March 8, 1901 edition of the Sea-Side Times.

Grundy & Co. have sold their bicycle business to Henry N. Clark. It is said that Mr. Clark will form a partnership with Merton L. Packard, who recently bought Grundy & Co.’s repair department.

That summer Clark apparently maintained both businesses as evidenced by these two August 1901 advertisements from the Sea-Side Times. The advertisements, one for the bicycle business and the other for the bottling business appeared in the August 1 and August 8 editions of the  Sea-Side Times respectively.

   

Sometime in late 1901 or early 1902 Clark apparently sold the bottling business to James Allen Smith whose advertisements began appearing in the Sea-Side Times in April of 1902. The advertisements specifically mentioned that they were “Successors to Henry N. Clark.”

By 1904 Smith was advertising the business as the Southampton Bottling Works.

Recently a bottle from that era (with a crown finish) embossed “Southhampton Bottling Works” that included the embossed name of “James Allen Smith” recently appeared for sale on the internet.

   

Meanwhile Clark continued advertising his bicycle business until 1904 when a March 26 item in The (Sag Harbor) Corrector announced that he was back in the bottling business albeit in Mystic Connecticut.

Henry N Clark, the Southampton bottler, has purchased a bottling business in Mystic, Conn. He will move to that place about April 1.

Its not clear if he actually established the Mystic Connecticut business because, as reported in the October 26, 1905 edition of the Sea-Side Times,  within a year and a half Clark was back living on Long Island.

Mr. Henry N. Clark and family returned to this village last week from Mystic Conn., where he has been for the last year and is at his house on North Main Street where he expects to reside hereafter.

Subsequently the April 11, 1907 edition of the Sea-Side Times announced that Clark had purchased a local grocery business.

Mr. Henry Clark has bought the stock of goods which Mr. William Henry had in his store on North Main Street and will continue the grocery business at the old stand.

Advertisements for his grocery store ran in the Sea-Side Times from April, 1907 through December, 1908. The advertisements specifically mentioned soda water so it’s likely that he was manufacturing and bottling it as part of  grocery business.

   

Advertisements for the grocery store disappear from the local newspapers in December of 1908, and around the same time a November 19, 1908 news item in the Sea-Side Times announced that Clark was going to spend the winter in Florida.

Mr. Henry Clark has decided to go to Florida for the winter. He will leave here within a few weeks and go to Lake Wier, near Sanford, where many Long Island and New England people are located, and if he finds a favorable opportunity he expects to purchase a tract of land there with a view to spending future winters in the south hoping that his health will be benefitted by the change..

Over the next several years local newspaper items indicated that Clark spent the winter months in Florida, however, he continued to list his occupation as “proprietor – grocery store” in 1910 census records. Based on this it’s not clear how long the grocery remained active under his ownership.

He ultimately moved to Florida full time and passed away there on September 3, 1923. His obituary was published in the September 6, 1923 edition of the Southampton Press.

The bottle I found is a Hutchinson soda. Based on the May 5, 1898 newspaper story quoted above he was converting to crown finish bottles at that time so the bottle likely dates back to the first year or so of the business in late 1896 or 1897.

In closing….a little bit of American History.

The following news item regarding Henry Clark’s nephew, Orrin (I’ve also seen it spelled Orin and Oren) Clark’s son –  appeared in the July 23, 1909 edition of the (Sayville L. I.) Suffolk County News.

President Taft has appointed Walter Eli Clark, son of Orin A. Clark, formerly of Bridgehampton and Amagansett, and a nephew of Henry N. Clark of Southampton, to be governor of the territory of Alaska. Mr Clark was born in Ashford, Conn. in 1869.

In fact, he was the First governor of the Alaskan territory.

R. Robinson, 402 Atlantic Av., Brooklyn, N.Y., Patent

Robert Robinson was born in Yorkshire, England in 1821 and arrived in the United States in 1841. His obituary, printed in the August 5, 1890 edition of the New York Sun stated that he:

established what was probably the first manufactory of bottled mineral water in America.

Another obituary, this one in the August 4, 1890 Brooklyn Daily Eagle, mentioned that upon arriving in this country he spent several years in Philadelphia before moving north to New York. McElroy’s City Directory of Philadelphia listed a Robert Robinson as a tavern owner (Maiden near Stone Bridge and later 233 S 6th St.) from 1841 to 1846. While I can’t confirm that this was in fact our Robert Robinson, the timing is certainly correct.

He’s first listed in New York City’s Borough of Manhattan in 1849 with an address of 7 Elm St. (now Lafayette St.) and the occupation “mineral waters.” By 1851 the business had moved to 376 Bowery where it remained through the mid-1860’s. A March 22, 1862 advertisement in the New York Times makes it clear that by then, in addition to his mineral water, Robinson was also selling bottles of both Champagne Cider and Crab-Apple Cider.

In early 1865 Robinson apparently shut down his Manhattan operation and sold its entire contents at auction on March 16th. The auction notice was printed in the February 25, 1865 edition of the New York Daily Herald.

The sale included “1500 gross (over 200,000!) of mineral water bottles, most of them with Putnam’s patent wire fasteners on.” One of the survivors of this lot was recently offered for sale on the Internet.

            

Soon after Robinson was up and running again. Now located in Brooklyn, his business was listed between  1867 and 1871 at 402-404 Atlantic Avenue and later, between 1873 and 1886, at 432-434 Atlantic Avenue.

On August 13, 1878, he filed an application to trademark what he called in his application, “the fanciful word ‘Queer'” in connection with his temperance beer.

Less than a year later, a May 29, 1879 Brooklyn Daily Eagle item advertised “Queer” with this little jingle:

According to his Brooklyn Daily Eagle obituary Robinson discontinued the business and retired  to private life sometime around 1885.

The bottle I found is small, maybe six ounces, and mouth blown with an applied blob finish. Embossing that includes the 402 Atlantic Avenue address likely dates it to the period between 1867 and 1871 when the company listed that address in the Brooklyn directories.

On a final note, Robinson’s obituaries also note that he holds a place in the early sporting history of both Brooklyn and the Nation.

Mr. Robinson may be called the father of pigeon shooting in America and was known as such throughout this country. He was a peculiar example of the English sportsman. His gun and dog were his boon companions, and he shot snipe from northern New York all the way south to New Orleans, and west, through Ohio and other states to Iowa. Snipe was his hobby, but when snipe could not be had he shot pigeons. He originated the rules of pigeon shooting in this country and organized the first shooting club in this country – the old Long Island Club – which after forty years’ successful existence, was dissolved last year.

He was also involved in horse racing, serving, for a time, as president of the Brighton Beach Racing Association.

 

Albert D. Buschman, Coney Island, N.Y.

     

Albert D. Buschman was a German immigrant, who between the late 1880’s and early 1900’s was an influential business owner in Brooklyn, New York. His profile, included in a volume called “A History of Long Island from It’s Earliest Settlement to Modern Times,” published in 1902, called him a “shrewd, far-sighted business man who:

became convinced of the future development of Coney Island, and in 1890 invested largely in real estate, which property has made him one of the wealthiest men on the island.

His business activities, which included, mineral water manufacturer and bottler, brewery owner and hotel proprietor were cut short when according to his September 13, 1927 obituary in the (Brooklyn) Times Union:

In 1903 he suffered a paralytic stroke. Although unable to walk, his mental facilities remained unclouded, and he continued to conduct his business until he retired in 1908 and to advise his sons almost up to the time of his death. Bushman’s Walk, near Steeplechase, was named in his honor.

Buschman arrived in the United States in 1868, at the age of 10 and according to the History of Long Island between 1881 and 1886 he worked in partnership with Henry Sierichs. During this period, Sierichs was sometimes listed with the occupation of “waters” and other times “bottler” at two Manhattan addresses; 159 Elizabeth Street and 172 Orchard Street. Buschman was typically not listed during this period but did appear in the 1884 directory with the occupation of “bottler” at the Elizabeth Street location. So I suspect it was during this five year period with Sierichs that he got his start manufacturing and bottling mineral water.

In 1885 or 1886 Buschman and Sierichs dissolved their partnership and Buschman established his own business in Coney Island. Bushman’s obituary stated:

About 1885 he moved to a plant at Coney island. Four years later he bought out a large bottling factory.

I can’t find a directory listing for his initial Coney Island operation but the embossing on the back of the bottle I found, “Mineral Water,” and the date “1888,”makes it clear that the business was up and running in Coney Island by that time.

In 1890, the Lain’s Brooklyn and Long Island Business Directory included a Coney Island section that listed A. D. Buschman & Co. at what was presumably their newly purchased bottling factory, located on Surf Avenue (corner of Stillman Avenue). Apparently a partnership, the listing named Albert Buschman, along with Charles Buschman (likely Albert’s brother) and Frederick Von Wiegen as proprietors.

The 1892 edition of Lain’s included an advertisement that mentioned in addition to manufacturing and bottling mineral water, they were also bottling both local and out-of state beers.

A series of 1897 advertisements in a German magazine called “Puck,” identified one of their local clients as a Manhattan brewery called Schmitt & Schwanenfluegel for whom they served as the local Coney Island bottler.

Frederick Von Wiegen passed away sometime in the late 1890’s so by 1903, with Albert incapacitated, it appears that Charles was running the operation. Around that time, Frederick’s wife, Frieda, put the Von Wiegen share of the business up for sale. The announcement printed in the March 21, 1903 edition of the New York Times under the heading “Business Opportunities” provided a concise description of the company at the time, specifically mentioning that in addition to bottling mineral water and beer, they were also “wholesale dealers in wines, liquors and cigars.”

Around that time (actually 1888), a Report of the New York State Factory Inspector indicated that A. D. Buschman & Co. had 28 employees.

As far as I can tell, Frieda Von Wiegen never sold her share of the business. Charles Buschman was listed with the company until 1908 at which time it appears that Frieda’s son, also named Frederick W. Von Wiegen assumed control of the company. This August 28, 1908 advertisement in the Brooklyn Standard Union named him and Chas. W. Fehleisen as proprietors of the company, now called F. W. Von Wiegen & Co.

The business continued under that name for several years, but by 1913/1914 the Copartnership and Corporation Directory for Brooklyn and Queens indicated that the business had dissolved.

The bottle I found is mouth blown with an applied blob finish. In my mind the embossed date of 1888 on the bottle could mean one of two things. It could be the actual manufacture date of the bottle or, more likely, it could be the year Buschman established his large factory on Surf Avenue. This would put the manufacture date between 1888 and the 1908 name change to F. W. Von Wiegen & Co.

In addition to his mineral water business, for a time Buschman served as president of a corporation that owned the Apfel Klueg Golden Rod Brewery in Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn. It’s not clear exactly when Buschman acquired the brewery but newspaper articles in 1901 indicate that he was certainly the owner by then. A story in the May 25, 1927 edition of a Brooklyn publication called “Home Talk and Item Historical and Real Estate Review” mentioned that the brewery was demolished in 1907, which was about the time of Buschman’s retirement.

Although the story generally addresses a time period prior to Buschman’s involvement with the brewery, it provides an interesting description of the brewery and its place in history so I’ve included it here.

FIRST MOVIES HERE

A favorite gathering place for South Brooklyn people 30 years ago, was the Golden Horn Brewery on Third Avenue, between Ninety-fifth and Ninety-sixth Sts., owned and conducted by Adolph Texter. It was there that many banquets and other social events were held and where nightly one could enjoy excellent band concerts given by musicians from both the Hamburg-American and North German Lloyd steamers in port and prominent vaudeville and concert artists.

It was at the Golden Horn Brewery that first experiments with a motion picture machine were made. An inventor, named Thomas Kelly, who has many patents on motion picture machines and who has an office on Fourteenth Street, New York, set up his new discovery at that place in the summer of 1897. The event was widely advertised and the curious filled the large ballroom of the brewery. A large screen was spread across the stage and the experiment began. Of course, figures moved, but so rapidly and blurred that it was impossible to distinguish any object. And your eyes! Well, after looking for a few minutes, one was unable to see correctly for some time. However, Mr. Thomas Kelly kept improving on his invention, and in a few weeks after the first experiment, again had a motion picture machine that was considered marvelous in those days, for the objects were distinguishable and didn’t affect the eyes. The brewery was demolished in 1907.

 

 

Buffalo Lithia Water

 

The story of Buffalo Lithia Water is centered around a mineral water spring  located in Mecklenberg County, Virginia.

The very beginning of the story, as remembered years later by a long time local area resident, was included in a feature on the spring and the resort that grew up around it published in the August 23, 1874 edition of the Norfolk Virginian.

We have just learned from an old man living near here, who is about seventy-five years old, all about this now famous place, as it was when he was a boy. The valley in which the spring is was a black marsh, having a strong odor of gunpowder, and looked very much like it, and the Spring was known as “Gunpowder Spring.” It was a favorite resort on Sundays for all the Sabbath-breakers of the neighborhood, who congregated here to fight, play cards, etc. A few years after, the farmers who lived some little distance off, appreciating the valuable water, and not living near enough to visit it as often as they wished, commenced to build them cottages around here, and spend most of the summer here. A gentleman by the name of Speed built the first Hotel, and the place was known as “SPEED’S HEALING SPRING.”

Joseph F. Speed announced the establishment of his hotel, formally referred to as “Buffalo Springs” (sometimes “Buffaloe” in the early years),  in an advertisement dated May 24, 1816. The ad which ran in the June 7, and June 14, 1816 editions of the (Raleigh) North Carolina Star, referred to the hotel as “a house of entertainment,” but primarily focused on the supposed healing properties of the spring’s water.

Buffaloe Mineral Springs

The subscriber takes this method of informing the public that he has established A House of Entertainment at the above named springs, for the accommodation of those who may think proper to visit them, either for the benefit of their health, or for pleasure. To those who intend visiting the springs for the benefit of their health, he can say with confidence, that they will find the water efficacious in the cure of intermittent and remittent bilious fevers, acute rheumatism, taints from syphyliptic complaints, glandular obstructions, and is of peculiar efficacy in diseases of the skin and sore eyes. It has been of great service to several who appeared to have hectic, by speedily restoring their strength. Hypocondrical and hysterical cases are much benefitted. In fine’, from the sensible effects of this water upon the intestines, pores and kidneys, it must be useful in very many of those disorders which render life tedious, and man comfortless to his friends.

The announcement certainly appears introductory in nature so it’s likely that the summer of 1816, if not the hotel’s inaugural season, was certainly close to it..

The hotel remained in the Speed family up until the late 1830’s. During this period, annual items announcing the seasonal opening appeared in nearby Virginia and North Carolina newspapers. Based on these announcements, over the years the hotel was leased and run by various individuals. Some were members of Speed’s family but it was predominantly run by a man named David Shelton who, along with Clem R. Kenon, ultimately bought the property sometime in 1840 or 1841. They actually purchased it from John S. Field and Alexander S. Jones who had purchased it from Speed two years earlier in 1839.

An announcement published in the May 11, 1841 edition of the Raleigh (North Carolina) Register identified Shelton and Kenon as the new owners. It’s clear from this announcement that the resort had grown since 1816.

The subscribers (Shelton and Kenon) having become the owners of the property are tending their means of accommodation, and expect, by the opening of the season, to be able to afford comfortable entertainment to two hundred and fifty or three hundred visitors. Their cabins are well furnished, airy and comfortable – their stables good, with a pump of excellent water in the yard. Their bar will be furnished with the best wines and liquors that can be procured, and their table with the best supplies the country will afford. A band of good music will be always in attendance; in fact they intend to spare neither trouble or expense in their efforts to render this establishment a pleasant and fashionable resort for both the healthy and the sick.

Apparently the business continued to grow and prosper under Shelton who, by 1845, listed himself as the sole proprietor. He would remain the resort’s primary owner throughout the 1840’s and 1850’s. During this period his annual advertisements continued to stress the health benefits of the location. This was Shelton’s 1854 sales pitch, printed in the June 24 edition of the Hillsborough (North Carolina) Register.

The prevalence of disease in the middle and southern portions of the United States, during the past winter and spring, admonish the people to look out for some safe summer retreat, where the ills inflicted by winter maladies may be removed, and, at the same time, secure an exemption from the harassing complaints of the hot season of the year. As a locality propitious to this end, I beg leave respectfully to call the attention of the public to my watering place, the Buffalo Mineral Spring, situated in the upper end of Mecklenburg County, Va., several miles west of the town of Clarksville.

The tonic powers of this water, so potent in imparting tone and vigor to the digestive organs, and its diuretic qualities so efficient in purifying and cleansing the blood, renders it a pleasant and useful remedy in a wide range of disease. Its curative powers are more conspicuously manifested in the various forms of dropsy, protracted intermittent fevers, chronic diseases of the skin, functional derangements of the liver, stomach spleen, bowels, and kidneys, and last, though not least, female complaints, and almost every chronic disease of the pelvic organs in both sexes…

Having been the purveyor to the establishment for many years, I can bear testimony to the astonishing effects of the water on the appetite, and the perfect impunity with which quantities of food may be taken, which under other circumstances, would be wholly inadmissible. To meet this exigency, therefore, I can only promise to do my best in the cuisine department, and will pledge myself to the summer voyager to make no charge against him if his appetite or digestion fail him…

DAVID SHELTON, Proprietor

Shelton’s rate schedule permitted a stay by the day, week or month and he was even willing to care for your horse at seventy-five cents a day.

In addition to the resort’s health benefits, it appears you could have a little fun there as well. During Shelton’s tenure the resort added a billiard room, ten pin bowling alleys and in 1857:

For the gratification and amusement of visitors fond of riding out, I’m am preparing and will have completed in due time, a round trotting track upon a fine surface, where they may ride with comfort and safety.

If that wasn’t enough, they organized and hosted social functions, one of which was an annual knight’s jousting tournament held in full costume. The two day affair included the tournament and a “fancy grand ball,” that featured the coronation of a tournament queen by the successful knight, followed the next day by a balloon ascension and a party. Below, is the tournament’s 1855 announcement published in the September 5, edition of the Weekly Raleigh Register.

Based on their annual seasonal announcements, Shelton owned and ran the resort up through at least 1859, but by the early 1860’s he appears to have been slowing down. The June 11, 1862 announcement in the the (Raleigh North Carolina) Weekly Standard no longer named Shelton as the proprietor but instead indicated that the property had been leased to James Williamson who was running the operation that year.

The announcement went on to make this point:

The location is remote from the theatre of war, and yet accessible to travel.

So, surprisingly, it appears that the resort stayed open for at least a period of time during the Civil War.

Shelton ultimately sold the property to T. Paxson in December 1863 and passed away the following June.  Paxson owned and operated the resort up through 1873 at which point he sold a majority interest to Thomas Goode, a former officer in the Confederate army. The sale was announced in the July, 1873 editions of several North Carolina newspapers.

An August 23, 1874 story in the Norfolk Virginian described the accommodations at around the time Goode acquired the property.

The Hotel is a one-story building, containing the ball room, parlor and office – a very admirable arrangement, as no one is so disturbed by the music and dancing. The dining room takes up another spacious building just in rear of the hotel. Scattered all over the grounds and around the edges of the beautiful green, are about 50 cottages, containing some 100 rooms.

It was under Goode that the Buffalo Spring water went from local to global.

Shortly after  Goode obtained the majority interest in the resort area another spring was discovered on the site. Their seasonal announcement opening the resort in 1874 led with the discovery.

BUFFALO SPRINGS MECKLENBURG COUNTY, VA. – RECENT DISCOVERY OF AN ADDITIONAL SPRING, decidedly impregnated with the celebrated “Salts of Lithia.” These springs open for the reception of visitors on the FIRST OF JUNE, 1874.

A June 11, 1874 advertisement in the (Wilmington, North Carolina) Daily Journal described the new discovery like this:

The New Buffalo Spring

Mecklenburg County Va.

The Spring, discovered since the last Summer, is shown by analysis, made by Professor Toury of Baltimore, to contain a HEAVIER PERCENTAGE of the Bicarbonate of Lithia than any other AMERICAN MINERAL WATER. In fact it is the

Only Spring in America

containing Lithia in any substantial quantity. It is the ingredient which has given such celebrity to the “Aix-la-Chapelle,” the Vichy and the Carlsbad waters of the continent of Europe.

By that Fall they were exporting the water beyond the limits of the resort.  This September 26, 1874 advertisement published in the Richmond (Va.) Dispatch, makes it clear that by then they were bottling and shipping water from both Spring No.’s 1 and 2 under the “Buffalo Lithia Water” name using the half-gallon size; a unique size they would use throughout their history.

In the Spring of the following year local drug stores in both Raleigh, North Carolina and Richmond, Virginia began to include it in their local advertisements. These ads for Meade & Baker, Druggists and Simpson’s Drug Store that appeared in the May 11, 1875 Richmond Dispatch and the April 3, 1875 (Raleigh) Trickett-Weekly Topic respectively, both made mention of Buffalo Lithia Water.

In 1878, Buffalo Lithia Water’s long time trademark of a seated woman wearing a long flowing robe and  holding a pitcher, presumably containing their mineral water, began to appear in advertisements. The earliest ad I could find that included her attendance was published in the June 22, 1878 edition of a publication called the Medical Record.

Around the same time the word “Lithia” began to appear in advertisements for the resort as well, referring to it as”Buffalo Lithia Springs.”

In 1886 Goode gave up management of the Springs, leasing it to a company named the “Virginia Buffalo Lithia Springs Company.” This announcement marking the change appeared in the June 15, 1886 edition of the (Raleigh, North Carolina) Weekly Observer. Their new rates also appeared in several local newspapers.

According to an open letter to the public that was written by Goode and printed in the September 2, 1886 edition of the Richmond Dispatch this new arrangement lasted less than one season.

To the Public:

I have this moment had my attention called to a card in the Dispatch of the 31st ultimo of the “Virginia Buffalo Lithia Springs Company,” referring to a pending difficulty between the company and myself. I do not propose here to make any detailed statement as to the means of that difficulty. Suffice to say that I hold in my possession a letter signed by Charles H. Royce, president of that company, under date of August 20th, in which he virtually acknowledges the insolvency of his company, and states in express terms that he will not be able to pay the rents upon the Buffalo Springs property due September 1st, and also that he is unable to pay an extension of one half the June rents, a note for which matures on the 15th of September, unless I will take from him in payment stocks instead of money, which stocks I deem utterly useless. These acknowledgements of the president of the company, coupled with the fact that he had ordered the accumulation of 10,000 cases of the Buffalo Lihia Water in the offices of the company in New York, induced me to ask the interposition of a court of equity and the appointment of a receiver to take charge of the property.

Thomas F. Goode

This follow-up item in the June 23, 1887 Henderson (North Carolina) Gold Leaf, made it clear that by the following season Buffalo Springs was back in Goode’s hands, although it took a Supreme Court decision to get it done.

By the decision of the United States Supreme Court Col. Thos. F. Goode is again in possession of the noted Buffalo Lithia Springs near Clarksville, Va., and with many improvements in building and furnishing, is prepared to receive a large number of health or pleasure seeking guest. We know from experience, there is no more pleasant place to spend a couple of weeks in August, or earlier.

Legal issues not withstanding, distribution of their litha water increased throughout the decade of the 1880’s, primarily fueled by advertisements jam packed with testamonials from both doctors and supposedly cured patients. By 1882 it was being advertised in New York area newspapers and by the end of the decade advertisements had reached as far west as California.

Around 1890, distribution was aided further by the addition of a railroad depot at the resort itself. Earlier shipments from the Springs required a 13 mile horse and carriage trip to the Scottsville depot on the Richmond Danville Railroad line. The 13 mile journey included a crossing of the Dan River, described in an August 28, 1874 Norfolk Virginian story as being 50 yards wide and 2 to 4 feet deep. The crossing was facilitated by a “flat manned by one oarsman.” Groundings were not unheard of.

Nonetheless, while demand and distribution increased, their bottling operations up through the turn of the century remained relatively primitive. An August 14, 1889 story in the Richmond Dispatch described it like this.

A visit to the packing-house shows two stout negro men hard at work from morning until night, and often until a late hour of the night, filling the bottles and packing them for shipment to all parts of the country. Great care is taken to have the bottles clean and sweet and to pack them so that no loss is had by breakage while en route to their destination.

Ultimately a new modern bottling plant was opened, but not until sometime in 1910. A news story or advertisement, I’m not sure which, that marked it’s opening appeared in late August, 1910 newspapers across the country.

The story/advertisement went on to say, in part:

We beg to announce the completion of a New and UP-TO-DATE plant for handling and bottling the well-known BUFFALO LITHIA SPRINGS WATER in its natural purity and without loss of its health giving properties…

The spring from which these waters flow is chiseled out of solid rock, lined with white tiling, covered with plate glass and the whole surrounded by triple-reinforced cement walls laid in the natural rock. The water is taken from the spring by means of an air tight pump, silver lined and fitted with silver valves, and forced through lines of block tin pipe into glass-lined steel tanks. From these tanks the water is drawn through silver faucets into NEW bottles which have been chemically treated, washed and rinsed with the purest water under high pressure, and sterilized – all in the most thorough manner and with the latest devices and equipment. Even the air which enters the white-walled bottling room is taken from high above the building, filtered and driven out by powerful electric fans, rendering contamination by dust or otherwise, an impossibility.

The Buffalo Lithia Springs Water retains its medicinal properties to a remarkable degree when bottled and for thirty-eight years past this water has been widely prescribed by the medical profession and no remedial agent has received a larger share of medical endorsation of a high order. Most of this endorsation was given to the use of the bottled water, comparatively few of these eminent physicians having used the waters at the Springs.

Goode passed away in 1905 and by 1908 springtime advertisements confirm that the hotel and bottling business were both being conducted under the name “Buffalo Lithia Springs Water Company.” At the same time, the company began calling the water “Buffalo Lithia Springs Water.”

The formation of the company was likely in response to Goode’s death, however, the American Medical Association, in their June 14, 1914 Journal, suggested that the name change from “Buffalo Lithia Water,” to “Buffalo Lithia Springs Water,” was clearly in reaction to the Food and Drug Act of 1906.

One of the best known, because most widely advertised, of the so-valled lithia waters is Buffalo Lithia Water – or what used to be called Buffalo Lithia Water. After the Federal Food and Drug Act came into effect, by which falsification on the label was penalized, the name of Buffalo Lithia Water was changed to Buffalo Lithia Springs Water. The reason for this change was that when Buffalo Lithia Water was subjected to examination by the government chemists it was found to contain so little lithium that the amount present was unweighable – it could be demonstrated only by the spectroscope. It was evidently, therefore, not a litha water in that it did not contain – at least in quantities that could be consumed – an amount of lithium that would give the therapeutic effects of lithium: Possibly the company imagined that by changing the name from “Buffalo Lithia Water” to “Buffalo Lithia Springs Water” it had cleverly evaded the federal law. Their argument was to this effect: The springs from which the water is taken are known as Buffalo Lithia Springs; therefore, it is not a misstatement of facts to call this Buffalo Lithia Springs Water.

In December of 1910, the federal government formally declared the water misbranded and on February 16, 1914, after years of court proceedings the water was ruled mis-branded by the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. The ruling was later upheld by the Court of Appeals in December of 1915.

Ultimately this resulted in another name change, this time to the Buffalo Mineral Springs Water Company. Short-lived, the company defaulted and the property was sold at public auction in April of 1920. The (Newport News) Daily Press reported on the sale in their April 10, 1920 edition.

BUFFALO MINERAL SPRINGS SOLD TO RICHMOND CORP.

The Buffalo Mineral Springs Company’s properties in Mecklenburg County, including the hotel, cottages, water bottling plant, and all mineral rights were yesterday sold at public auction to the Prudential Realty Corporation of Richmond, at a figure said to be in excess of $200,000. H. L. Denoon of Richmond, is president of the corporation. Hotel and cottages it is understood, will be operated by the new owners this summer.

Under the new management the resort was now called the Buffalo Lithia Springs Hotel, but their sales pitch stayed pretty much the same stressing the health value of the waters as well as the resort amenities which, by then, included tennis as well as boating and bathing on a ten acre lake. In the late 1920’s they would add a nine hole golf course.

In addition to operating the resort, the company also continued to bottle and distribute the spring water. Updating the trademark, they now called it “Buffalo Mineral Springs Water.”

Some advertisements now referred to it as a delightful table water and words like therapeutic and helpful had replaced the word cure. One 1922 advertisement put it like this:

For a half-century it has been recognized by physicians the world over for its known therapeutic qualities. It is helpful in the treatment of Bladder and Kidney troubles, Nausea, etc. It is an active antacid Diuretic.

Buffalo Mineral Springs Water is one of nature’s gifts to man – a boon to Scientists and a water of known purity for table use.

The resort would assume new ownership again in May, 1930 when it was acquired by a newly formed corporation called the Virginia Buffalo Springs Corporation. The July 25, 1930 edition of The (Danville Va.) Bee reported planned improvements were in the works.

To Improve Springs

The Virginia Buffalo Springs Corporation, a recently organized company, has taken over from a Richmond bank the property known as Buffalo Lithia Springs in Mecklenburg County and plans to develop this well-known resort into a health sanatorium equal to any in the middle Atlantic states. Roger B. Williams, of New York, heads the newly formed corporation.

The optimistic plans for development never materialized and in 1939 the resort and bottling operation were acquired by a local group that included C. Brooke Temple, along with two partners, George and Ellis Penn. According to a July 31, 1939 story in The Bee:

Announcement was made Saturday of the purchase of the famous Buffalo Springs by C. Brooke Temple of Danville for $25,000. Mr. Temple has made no definite plans concerning the operation of the property as a resort or of the bottling and sale of the famous Buffalo Springs water.

While the $25,000 purchase price as compared with the $200,000 purchase price in 1920 tells you all you need to know about the health of the business, it appears that the bottling operation was still viable, at least to some extent. The July 31, 1939 story went on to say:

Despite the fact that Buffalo Springs water has not been consistently or extensively advertised for over a decade large amounts of it have been bottled and shipped to various points throughout the nation. It can be bought in Danville drug stores today.

Temple apparently kept the resort going, at least for a while. The resort’s opening night dance in 1940 was advertised in the June 10 edition of The Bee.

The following year a story in the August 25, 1941 edition of the Bee announcing an antique auction in the ballroom of the Buffalo Springs Hotel mentioned that the hotel was “open to accommodate guests for meals and lodging.” Whether it operated after 1941 is unclear.”

Temple also continued with what appears to be a scaled down version of the  bottling business. According to an October 17, 1939 item in The Bee:

The Buffalo Mineral Springs Company has been granted a charter to bottle and sell mineral water, by the State Corporation Commission at Richmond. The sum of $30,000 is set at maximum capital for this springs recently purchased by C Brooke Temple of Danville.

At around the same time, this October 9, 1939 advertisement in The Bee promised to soon deliver his water locally in five gallon containers.

He delivered on that promise and between 1940 and 1945 it was advertised locally in the larger bottle. The advertisement below was printed in the June 30, 1943 edition of The Bee.

Now simply called Buffalo Mineral Water, as late as 1943 it was still running afoul of the federal food and drug laws. On December 11, 1943 a judgement of condemnation was ordered against one of their shipments. According to the notice of judgement:

On October 21, 1943 the United States attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina filed a libel against 37 5-gallon bottles of Buffalo Mineral Water at Wake Forest, N. C., alleging that the article had been shipped on or about June 21, 1943, by the Buffalo Mineral Springs Co., Inc., from Buffalo Springs, Va.; and charging that it was misbranded.

Examination disclosed that the article was a lightly mineralized water.

The article was alleged to be misbranded because of false and misleading statements appearing in the leaflet entitled “Perhaps…You Might Wish to Know,” which represented and suggested that the article would improve or restore health; and that it was an unexcelled diuretic and would be of great benefit  in the treatment of kidney disorders, diabetes, renal calculi (stone in the bladder), inflammation of the bladder, Bright’s disease, constipation, stomach disorders, indigestion, gastro-intestinal disorders, jaundice, liver disorders, alcoholism, rheumatism, neuritis, arthritis, disorders of the nervous system, influenza, colds, and children’s diseases.

Finally, a May 27, 1944, a story in The Bee announced that Temple had bought out his two partners and had become the sole owner. The story went on to say that by then he had sold most of the resort buildings.

Regarding the bottling portion of the business it said:

Temple proposes, after the war to develop a bottling works there. Spring No. 5 has been found to be suitable for carbonization and this, he says is to be further developed.

In September, 1945, Temple went so far as to advertise for an operating manager for his bottling plant.

As far as I can tell, the Spring No. 5 plans never materialized beyond that point.

The bottle I found is a mouth blown example of their characteristic half-gallon size and includes their embossed “robed sitting lady” trademark. It was likely made around the turn of the century.

Also embossed with the words “Buffalo Lithia Water,” you would think it contained the water from Spring No.2, however, this may not be the case. According to an article in the November 8, 1900 edition of The (Richmond, Va. Times) they were still bottling the water from both Springs No. 1 and 2 at that time.

The article which was focused on the unlawful refilling of their bottles, described how to make the distinction:

Some unscrupulous dealers seeing the opportunity of enriching themselves at the expense of the public, and to the detriment of their customer’s health, have resorted to refilling Buffalo Lithia Water bottles with ordinary water…

It should be borne in mind that Buffalo Lithia Water is sold in half-gallon bottles and no other way, and that water sold from the siphon, or in goblets, or in any other way whatsoever, is not the genuine. Every cork of the genuine Buffalo Lithia Water is branded either Spring No.1 or Spring No. 2 and upon each cork is the seal which bears the trade mark and again the number 1 or 2, according to the Spring from which that bottle has been filled.

In addition to the cork the respective Spring No. was also indicated on the label. A fully labeled bottle that recently appeared for sale on the Internet clearly indicates Spring No. 2 on the label.

How long they continued bottling water from both springs is not clear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clicquot Club

 

The Clicquot Club story can also be billed as the story of ginger ale in America.

According to an article in the January, 1928 edition of a publication called the “American Exporter,” when the Clicquot Club business was founded the American market for ginger ale could be divided into two groups. One was the Belfast people, whose products were high grade and high priced, and sold almost exclusively to hotels, clubs, bar-rooms and cafes. The other group consisted of the local “pop-bottlers” who operated in practically every town that the annual circus visited or county fairs were held. Both groups depended on selling to people who were traveling or otherwise on parade.

Cliquot Club, while not neglecting the traveling public, focused their marketing and sales efforts on home consumption and ultimately revolutionized the industry.

According to a recent article in the September 15, 2011 edition of the Boston Globe, the Ciccquot Club story started with a sparkling cider that was produced locally by Charles LaCroix of the LaCroix Fruit Farm. The farm was likely located somewhere on or neighboring the estate of Lansing Millis for whom the town of Millis, Massachusetts was ultimately named.

Sometime in the early 1880’s LaCroix partnered with Lansing Millis’s son, Henry Millis, and began bottling the cider under the name “Aqua Rex Bottling Works.”

The Boston Globe story goes on to say:

In the 1880’s, Henry Millis suggested he call it “Cliquot” after a famous French champagne, Veuve Clicquot.

Local advertisements for Millis’s Oak Grove Farm suggest that the name change to Clicquot may have taken place sometime in 1887. A March 27, 1887 advertisement in the Boston Globe mentioned an item they called “Refined Cider.” By the end of the year, their December 24, 1887 Christmas advertisement called it Clicquot Club Cider.

    

When Henry Millis incorporated several local businesses and utility systems under the “Millis Company” in June, 1891, the Aqua Rex Bottling Works was one of them.  The description of the bottling works included in the Millis Company stock offering, published in the July 11, 1891 edition of the Boston Globe, made it clear that by then the focus of the business had shifted from cider to ginger ale.

The Aqua- Rex Bottling Works who manufactures the well known “Cliquot Club Ginger Ale.” Actual profits for the first 19 days in June were $1,000.

Newspaper advertisements for their ginger ale began appearing at around that time. The first one I could find was printed in the August 1, 1891 edition of the Boston Globe.

In fact, a bottle from this era, embossed “Aqua Rex Bottling Works Millis, Mass” that likely held their ginger ale recently appeared on an internet sale site.

A year later, a June 28, 1892 advertisement in the Hartford (Connecticut) Courant provided evidence that they had quickly added birch beer, orange soda and sarsaparilla to their menu. It also suggested that by then they had started to use a pint bottle, something they would continue to use throughout their history.

By 1894, the Millis Company, as well as Henry Millis’s other financial interests, were in such serious financial trouble that it ultimately resulted in the failure of his businesses and the personal loss of over half a million dollars.

After failure of the Millis Company management and ownership of the bottling business during the 1890’s is unclear. Suffice to say,  Clicquot Club continued to be advertised throughout the decade and the Aqua Rex Bottling Company was still listed in the New England Business Directory and Gazetteer in 1896.  Up to that point the state of the business was best described in a feature published in the April 21, 1921 edition of an advertising publication called “Printers Ink.” It was written by Edward S Price who in 1921 was the manager of Clicquot Club’s advertising.

During its first fifteen years this was an honest, straightforward, but slow growing, small, countryside bottling business; handicapped at times by lack of capital and other annoying troubles due to lack of experience in buying, selling, manufacturing and exploiting.

The now famous Clicquot Club blend was there, however, and by sheer force of its goodness, the business grew. Then came a man who believed in advertising, a man who had the courage of his convictions.

That man was H. Earle Kimball whose father, Horace A. Kimball of Rhode Island, acquired the controlling interest in the business in 1901. He put his son in charge who would then manage the business until his death in 1952.

Shortly after the Kimball’s took control, their 1901 patent applications referred to the business as the Clicquot Club Bottling and Extract Company but soon after the name was shortened to the Clicquot Club Company.

Under Kimball’s management, the Millis plant grew quickly. A March 1906 feature in the “National Magazine” described the early 1900’s plant as three buildings with a floor space of 45,000 square feet.

In 1915, Clicquot Club advertisements in the January and February editions of the American Bottler mentioned that by then the plant had grown to 100,000 square feet and had a capacity of 60,000 bottles per day. The advertisements included this photograph of the plant presumably taken at around that time.

Documenting the company’s continued growth, the October, 1923 edition of the RE-LY-ON Bottler provided this description of an even larger plant.

The plant itself, located about 20 miles from Boston, on the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, is situated on a 17 acre tract of land and is housed in fire-proof brick buildings, consisting of the main bottling plant, 200 by 175 feet; four warehouses, from 100 by 180 to 100 by 280 feet; one three story building, 150 by 50 feet; a modern power house, 50 by 70 feet, containing two boilers, two generators and two engines; and the two story office building, containing 5,400 feet of space and given over to the administrative, advertising and clerical forces. Three railroad sidings, with a total trackage of 3,070 feet, make for speedy loading and unloading.

The growth of the business into a national concern under Kimball was in no small way the result of their advertising campaigns. Situated between Providence and Boston they were quite successful in those markets but had fewer dealers elsewhere. Nonetheless in 1907 they began advertising on a national scale. According to the 1921 Printer’s Ink story:

We did our first national advertising in 1907, using a large list of magazines and accepted “waste circulation” – waste circulation on account of our lack of distribution. We bought space in national magazines and considered it a profitable investment for the good it did us where we did have dealer distribution.

Many advertising theorists have contended that one should have distribution first, but it was not so with us. Consumer demand was created in many places where we had no distribution, that is true; but a big consumer demand was created where we did have distribution. Perfectly logically, demand created distribution, and now one may, in normal times, purchase Clicquot Club ginger ale in almost any community from Maine to California.

Our selling scheme was about like this: A salesman was to go to the wholesale grocer and say in effect, “Here is our ginger ale which is good enough and made by a concern big enough to advertise in all the leading national publications.”

This full page advertisement printed in the April, 1908 edition of McLure’s Magazine was surely part of their initial 1907 national advertising campaign.

In May, 1913 their long time “Eskimo Boy” trademark began to appear in newspaper advertisements. One of the first ones I could find was in the  May 23, 1913 edition of the Fitchburg (Mass.) Sentinel. The “Eskimo Boy” would go on to become the nationally recognized symbol of the company.

Their advertising wasn’t just limited to print and 10 years later, the Cliquot Club “Eskimo Boy” found himself on the world’s largest electric advertising sign smack dab in the middle of Times Square, New York. The sign was described in this June 18, 1924 story in the (Binghamton N.Y.) Press and Sun Bulletin, written around the time that the sign was illuminated for the first time.

BROADWAY’S GREATEST SIGN NOW ADVERTISES CLICQUOT CLUB PRODUCT

The largest electric sign in the white light history of Broadway was turned on last week at Times Square. The sign, advertising Clicquot Club ginger ale stretches a full city block and is over 50 feet high. Almost 20 miles of copper wire, tons of wrought iron, sheet metal and solder, hundreds of gallons of paint and nearly 20,000 electric bulbs contribute their parts to this colossal illiumination. Very striking design and ingenious action as well as gigantic size distinguish the Clicquot Club sign from all other Broadway displays. The Cliquot Club Eskimo Kid, whose face is so familiar in magazines and newspapers, sits on a dog sled behind a huge bottle of his ginger ale. His scarf flying in the Arctic breeze, he whizzes through the snow, drawn by three joyous little Eskimos. And as he rides, his great electric whip strikes the name of Clicquot Club Ginger Ale, one word at each illuminating crack.

The Clicquot Club company has erected this sign largely as a symbol of its entry into its 40th year of service to the American public.

This photograph of the sign is courtesy of the New York State Historical Society.

Cliquot Club was also a trailblazer in radio advertising. As early as 1925 it sponsored a radio program featuring a banjo orchestra called The Clicquot Club Eskimos. This photograph of the band appeared in the March 21, 1926 edition of the Pittsburgh Post and also appeared in several other newspapers that month as far west as Wyoming.

The caption under the photograph reads:

Picture in costume of the Clicquot Club Eskimos led by Harry Reser (seated in front). This banjo ensemble is making a great name for itself over the air every Thursday night. It is sponsored by the Clicquot Club Ginger Ale Company. The Eskimos are heard over 15 stations.

This description of the Eskimos appeared in the August 11, 1926 edition of the (Lancaster Pa.) Intelligencer Journal. They, and along with them the Clicquot Club name, entered homes across the country every week.

These remarkable producers of popular music under the leadership of Harry Reser primarily consist of solo banjo, plectrum banjo for rhythm,, two mandolin banjos, saxaphone, trombone, trumpet, tuba, violin, piano, drums.

When occasion requires, banjos are shifted to wood lutes, mandolins, guitars, ukuleles, an extra viola, cello and there are even further combinations sometimes worked out with this able group of four stringed instrument men.

An interesting feature has been added to the program of the Clicquot Club Eskimos of snappy popular songs handled mostly as chorus accompaniment  to the orchestra or with banjo and guitar accompaniment.

The radio program ran until the Mid-1930’s and the orchestra continued to make live appearances up through the late 1930’s. Here they are, sans costume, circa 1936.

By the late 1920’s, their advertising had literally woven Clicquot Club ginger ale into the fabric of the nation. Consider a story in the October 15, 1929 edition  of the (Caruthersville Mo.) Democrat-Argus about the Graf Zeppelin completing what they called “its epochal globe-girding flight.” The story marveled at the fact that “Such extraordinary events and apparently incredible achievements have been piling up (and) the world has come to take these marvels as accustomed events.” With the help of Cliquot Club the story went on to emphasize their point.

Curiously enough the man on the street was no more casual about the event than the Graf Zeppelin passengers. What do you think was on their minds as they approached the last leg of their trip around the world? Nothing more important than the replenishment of the steward’s supply of ginger ale. H. Earle Kimball, president of the Clicquot Club Company, tells me that his West Coast representative had to go to no end of trouble about it.

Dr. Eckener had instructed his steward, Hendrick Kubik, to lighten the load to facilitate the ship’s crossing of the Rocky Mountains, and as ginger ale comes in heavy glass bottles, Herr Kubik appealed to the Clicquot people and they proposed supplying it in gallon aluminum containers, used for quite another purpose, but which had a spigot attachment. Herr Kubik objected that as part was drawn off the balance would become flat and useless. But the Sec brand was so dry that it could be de-cantered without loss of carbonation. This was proved by a hurried experiment and the Zeppelin passengers enjoyed their ginger ale, avoided airsickness, and Herr Kubik’s reputation as the best steward on the round-the-world air service was maintained.

It was sometime in the mid-1920’s that they began marketing their ginger ale in multiple brands, initially adding a second brand of ginger ale called “Pale Dry” to their menu.

One advertisement described the distinction between the two different brands, both of which they called thirst-erasers:

Wherever you go this summer from Bar Harbor Maine to Coronado Beach in California, you will find these two thirst-erasers. Choose Cliquot Club Ginger Ale, Regular, to get that rare and spicy flavor that is real ginger ale. Uncap Cliquot Club Pale Dry for a drink that is as delicate and subtle as Regular Cliquot is vigorous and full flavored. Both are full of life. Both have that famous Cliquot Club taste – the taste that, forty years ago, taught America what real ginger ale is like.

By the late 1920’s it appears that their original ginger ale named “Regular” in the above advertisement had acquired the more consumer friendly name of “Golden.” They had also added a third brand by then called “Sec,” describing it as:

The supremely dry ginger ale, a favorite in clubs, hotels, and wherever people of discriminating taste gather. Sec is the rarest ginger ale flavor in America!

During the 1930’s the company updated their packaging, adding a quart bottle to their long time pint and a canned option as well.

The quart was added in 1934 and was extensively advertised throughout that year starting in May/June.

Cans became available in 1938. This July 1938 advertisement exhibits a cone-shaped type can and it certainly appears introductory in nature.

The advertisement goes on to say that it was the first ginger ale offered in a can.

This fine old ginger ale is the first to come to you in cans. You’ll like the new way of buying Cliquot Club – because it’s so handy, and because it’s the same delicious ginger ale as Cliquot Club in bottles.

In the 1940’s and 1950’s the company was no longer manufacturing and bottling their beverages exclusively at their Millis, Massachusetts plant. By then they were establishing regional bottling plants in an effort to bottle and distribute their products closer to their end user. In the late 1940’s the New York City franchise was called the Clicquot Club Bottling Company of Manhattan, although it was actually located across the East River in Long Island City Queens, at 5-16 47th Avenue. Clicquot Club bottlers in upstate New York were located in Cairo and Binghamton.

According to a June 6, 1953 story in the Kingston (N.Y.) Freeman, by this time their advertising strategy was no longer national in scope but focused primarily on local newspaper advertisements in an effort to best service these regional bottlers.

Clicquot Club Selects Newspaper Advertising

Newspapers have been selected as the principal medium for the advertising and promotion of Clicquot Club ginger ale and other sparkling soft drinks for 1953, it was announced by Alton T. Barnard, vice president in charge of sales for the Clicquot Club Bottling Co., Millis, Mass…

Barnard, who has recently completed a coast-to-coast tour of Clicquot Club bottling plants, pointed out that regional bottlers were highly enthusiastic about this years sale possibilities and the advertising campaign which he outlined for them.

Ninety percent of the entire 1953 appropriation will be spent in local newspapers to bring the Clicquot Club story to the public.

“We believe that by placing our advertising directly in the newspapers in the areas serviced by Clicquot Club bottlers, we can best tell the American public about the goodness of our ginger ale and other drinks,” Barnard said.

After Kimball’s death on November 26, 1952, his lawyer, Thomas F. Black, Jr. assumed the presidency at Kimball’s request. The H. Kimball Foundation web site completes the story.

In the late fifties, officials of Veuve Clicquot (after whom the ginger ale had been originally named by Millis) threatened court action if the American soft drink manufacturer didn’t cease using the name Clicquot. Black traveled to France and a meeting was held at which it was agreed that the Millis based company would drop the name at an agreed upon future date.

Declining sales, increased competition and the thought of losing their long held name, probably had a lot to do with the company being sold to Cott Beverage of Connecticut in 1960.

The company operated a number of years under the direction of John Cott who continued to bottle Clicquot until the name change agreement went into effect. Cott Beverage was later sold to Canada Dry and the plant closed.

The Cliquot Club name completely disappeared from grocery store advertisements and price lists sometime in the early 1980’s.

Today, a smokestack associated with their plant still exists in Millis. Sadly, though not a surprise, this google maps image indicates that it’s now functioning as a cell phone tower.

The bottle I found is a machine made pint, typical of the bottle they used throughout much of their existence. The base of the bottle is embossed with a likeness of their trademark “Eskimo Boy.” The letters “A” & “B” are embossed on either side of the figure, suggesting it may have been made by the American Bottle Company. A “25” embossed below the “A” could indicate a 1925 manufacture date. The bottle appears identical to this one that appeared in a 1922 advertisement.

       

The presence of the Eskimo certainly dates it no earlier than 1913.

Empire Bottling Works, Rockaway Beach, New York

    

The Empire Bottling Works was established in June, 1905. Nathan Goldberg was named as one of the four original directors and apparently the one actively involved in the management of the business. A Russian immigrant, prior to establishing the bottling business Goldberg lived on Second Street in Manhattan where he listed his occupation as  “hotel keeper” in the 1900 census records.

The company’s incorporation notice was published in the June 10, 1905 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The 1913/1914 Copartnership and Corporation Directory of Brooklyn and Queens continued to associate Nathan Goldberg with the business listing him as president of the company. His son Samuel, a lawyer by trade was named vice president.

The business was located in a small portion of Rockaway Beach called Hammels for most if not all of their history.

Initially, a September 5, 1906 story in the Times Union mentioned that the Empire Bottling Works was located at 23 and 25 South Hammel Avenue (later named Beach 85th Street), which they went on to say was also the dwelling of Nathan Goldberger.

Later directories and tax certificates between 1906 and 1927 listed the business on Division Avenue (later named Beach 82nd Street) near Boulevard.  At times they also used a Boulevard address (both 497 and 522 were listed at various times).

Their 1905 incorporation notice only mentioned mineral waters but the company certainly bottled beer as well. This is confirmed by a labeled bottle that recently appeared for sale on the internet. The label named the Empire Bottling Works of Rockaway Beach as the local bottler for Koehler & Co.s Fidelio Beer.  Information on Koehler & Co.and Fidelio Beer is available in more detail within another post on this site.  Fidelio Brewery, New York

   

By 1928 the business was listed at 75-18 Rockaway Beach Boulevard which was technically just outside of Hammels. As far as I can tell Goldberg’s wife Yetta was listed as a widow in the 1930 census records so its quite possible that the business ended around that time. The company was not listed in the 1940 Queens phone book. (I don’t have access to any directory information from the 1930’s.)

The bottle I found is 27 ounces and machine made.

 

Union Hill B. B. Co., 6 – 8 Monitor St., Brooklyn N. Y.

The Union Hill Birch Beer Company was listed in the Brooklyn directories from 1904 t0 1951, always with an address of 6 Monitor Street.

Edward C. Hindermann was named as the owner of the business in his October 30, 1959 obituary that was printed in the Geenpoint Weekly Star.  Born in 1872, 1910 census records indicate that he immigrated to the United States in 1901. The 1904 Brooklyn Directory listed Hindermann’s residence as 8 Monitor Street, right next door to the business, suggesting that it was a relatively small operation.

The 1910 census records also listed a Dieterich Benken living at the same 8 Monitor Street address. Benken, like Hindermann, listed his occupation as a birch beer manufacturer so he was likely associated with the business, but in what capacity is unknown.

Hindermann was still living at 8 Monitor Street when he died on October 24, 1959.

There’s not much information available on the company which is another indication that it was not a large business. I did find one reference to it in a column entitled “I Remember Old Brooklyn,” in the March 22, 1965 edition of the New York Daily News. A reader had submitted this story to the newspaper.

PICNIC LUNCH

When the St. Nicholas Band struck up a tune with fifes, drums and bugles, that was a signal that we St. Nicholas pupils were starting off on a picnic to Washington Park on Grand St., Elmhurst.

The band would parade through the neighborhood and stop at Grand and Olive Sts. We would pile aboard chartered trolley cars at 7 A.M. with shoe boxes full of lunch, enough for all day.

Our tickets cost 15 cents, including three stubs, each good for a glass of Union Hill birch beer. The beer was on tap at the park for us. Then the trolleys would take us back at 7 P.M.

Today 6 – 8 Monitor Street does not date back to the early 1900’s

The bottle I found is 27 ounces and machine made. A monogram is embossed on the back of the bottle that, as far as I can tell, represents Hindermann’s initials “E H.”

H. Harkavy, 510 – 512 E 85th St., N.Y.

Hyman (sometimes Herman) Harkavy was a Russian immigrant who, around the turn of the century, established a business that manufactured and bottled mineral/soda water.  Originally located in Manhattan, the company later moved to the Bronx.

The first listing I can find for his business was in the 1900 New York City Directory with an address of 193 Broome Street. In 1902 and 1903 the business was listed at 413 East 24th Street, then sometime around 1905 it moved to the address embossed on the bottle, 510 East 85th Street, where it remained until approximately 1931.

Originally the business was quite small and family run. Testimony from a 1934 court case, “Harkavy Beverage Co., Inc. against David Radek, et al,” indicated that in 1926 H. Harkavy had approximately 20 employees and that his son, Harry Harkavy was serving as General Manager. Then, in an effort to expand, on May 22, 1926 the business incorporated under the name “Harkavy Beverage Co., Inc.”

This advertising sign recently offered for sale on the internet listed a wide variety of carbonated drinks that the business was manufacturing under the corporate name.

By the early 1930’s the company had moved north from Manhattan to the Bronx, listing their address as 415 Concord Avenue in the 1931 directory. The 1930 census records listed Hyman Harkavy’s spouse Jennie as a widow so Harkavy had apparently passed away sometime in the late 1920’s leaving his son Harry as president.

In 1946, the Harkavy Beverage Co. formed a second company called Doc’s Beverages, Inc. Both the Harkavy Beverage Co. and Doc’s Beverages were listed in the 1948 and 1949 NYC directories at 415 Concord Avenue.

The summary of another court case, Dad’s Root Beer vs. Doc’s Beverages, Inc., et al.,” spells out the reasoning and history behind the second corporation.

In 1941, the plantiff (Dad’s Root Beer Co.) granted to defendant, Harkavy Beverage Co., Inc., the franchise for the Borough of Bronx and the County of Westchester in New York. For the next six years the concern continued to sell there plaintiff’s product which it manufactured from concentrate purchased from plaintiff. In 1946, however, the individual defendants formed Doc’s Beverages, Inc., the other corporate defendant, and began sometime later to substitute their own product, Doc’s Old Fashioned Root Beer, bottled, labeled and boxed in strikingly similar fashion on orders for plaintiff’s root beer. When plaintiff discovered this fact in March 1947, it terminated the franchise, and in October of that year filed the complaint in this action.

This advertising sign, also recently for sale on the internet, depicts “Doc’s Old Fashioned Root Beer” being sold under the Doc’s Beverages, Inc.’s name.

Dad’s Root Beer was granted and injunction in the case and other than an accounting of profits, Harkavy/Doc’s did not appeal.

In 1953, the Harkavy Beverage Co., Inc. and Doc’s Beverages, Inc. were both listed at 629 East 136th Street in the Bronx. That address was also the listed address of the Apollo Bottling Company. According to “The Practical Brewer: A Manual for the Brewing Industry,” some of the assets of the Harkavy Beverage Company were ultimately purchased by the Apollo Bottling Company. The timing of this purchase is not clear to me.

According to streeteasy.com 510 East 85th Street is, today, a 13 story apartment building built in 1956 so it does not date back to the business. The same website indicates that the existing building at 415 Concord Avenue was built in 1931 so Harkavy was likely the original tenant at this location.

The bottle I found is 27 oz. with a crown finish. It’s embossed with the East 85th Street address so it dates between 1905 and 1931 when the company was located at that address. Machine made, it likely dates to the teens or 20’s.

S. Casella & Sons, 84 Huyler St., Hackensack, N.J.

       

The S stands for Salvatore Casella who was an Italian immigrant. His snapshot biography was included in his March 1, 1937 obituary printed  in The (Hackensack, N.J.) Record.

Mr. Casella, who migrated to this country before 1900 and has lived in Hackensack since 1917, is well known in the First Ward. For a number of years he manufactured carbonated beverages, forming the company known as S. Casella and Sons. Since 1933 he has operated the Fair Grill at 81 Fair Street, Hackensack.

While the facts presented in the obituary are generally in agreement with records from other sources, the time periods are slightly off.

Census records indicate that Casella was born in Italy in 1878 and actually immigrated to the United States in 1904, not prior to 1900. As late as 1920 he was living in New York City. Census records show his residence in 1910 on Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan and by 1920 he was living on Nineteenth Avenue in Brooklyn. During this time he listed his occupation as a retail dealer in coal and ice.

He was first listed in Hackensack, New Jersey in the 1921-1922 directory. At that time, he was partnered with Mariano Torrisi in a bottling business  located at 84 Huyler Street called Torrisi & Casella. The partnership with Torrisi was apparently short-lived and by 1923 Casella was listed individually as a bottler at the Huyler Street address.

By 1925, his sons Russel and Charles had formally joined the business and the company name in the directories was changed to S. Casella & Sons. The business continued to list their address as 84 Huyler Street up through 1931 (the last directory I have access to). Casella also lived at 84 Huyler so it appears that the business was always a small family run operation.

Located within the same block as Casella’s bottling business was the Fair Grill. The Grill’s 81 Fair Street address was in close proximity to 84 Huyler, possibly with adjacent back yards, and it’s apparent that Casella had a connection with the Grill well before the 1933 time frame mentioned in his obituary. This is evidenced by an item that appeared under the heading “Other Arrests”  in the May 15, 1929 edition of The Record.

Salvatore Casella of 84 Huyler Street, arrested by Detective-Sergeant Shuart at 81 Fair Street on a charge of violating the Federal Prohibition Act.

Whether he owned the Grill at this time or was just supplying it with illegally bottled beer through the back door is not clear but he certainly owned it in January, 1934 when he applied for a retail liquor license for 81 Fair Street, the address of the Fair Grill. The following “notice of application” appeared in the January 18, 1934 edition of “The Record.”

The Fair Grill under Casella’s management was referred to as everything from a take-out pizza place to an Italian restaurant to a night club in this 1935 advertisement.

Based on annual license renewals, Casella owned the Fair Grill up until his death in March of 1937. Subsequently, in June of that year, his son Russel renewed the license but by 1939 the business was apparently no longer in the family and  being run by Paul Maiorisi, who applied for the license renewal in June of 1939.

In the 1950’s a portion of Huyler Street was renamed South State Street. Today, 84 South State Street is a two story building, with commercial at street level and apartments above, that’s located within the block that also includes the 80’s addresses of Fair Street.  It’s almost certainly the building where Casella lived and ran his bottling business.

The bottle I found is 27 oz. and machine-made. It’s embossed “S. Casella & Sons” so it likely dates no earlier than 1925 when the company name changed to include “& Sons.” Neither Russel or Charles Casella reference the bottling business in the 1940 census records so I think it’s safe to say that the business had ended by then. More than likely it ended around the time that Casella began to legally run the Fair Grill in the mid 1930’s.

Kirsch & Herfel Co., Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y.

Kirsch & Herfel was established by Hyman Kirsch and Henry Herfel in the first decade of the 1900’s. The company existed as Kirsch and Herfel up until 1920 after which both went their separate ways.

Kirsch went on to become a giant in the industry and in the 1950’s was the developer and initial manufacturer of sugar-free soda. A feature on his business in the June 23, 1971 issue of the Tampa (Florida) Tribune mentioned his early years:

Hyman Kirsch learned how to formulate soft drinks before the turn of the century when he worked for a Russian family in the Crimea. After five years in the Russian army, he immigrated to England then the United States.

His obituary in the May 13, 1976 edition of the N. Y. Times (he lived to be 99 years old) picked up the story from there.

Mr. Kirsch came to this country in 1903, and the next year he went into the soft drink business in a 14-by-30-foot store in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Distribution of ginger ale and other sodas was by horse and buggy, and the daily production was 25 cases, made by hand.

Census records from 1910 indicate that Herfel immigrated to the United States from France in 1882. Prior to meeting Kirsch he was sometimes listed as a grocer in the Brooklyn directories.

Later Kirsch advertisements include the phrase “Since 1905,” so it appears that the two formed their partnership around that time. The first listing I can find for Kirsch and Herfel is in the 1907 Trow Business Directory for Brooklyn and Queens. Their address, 67 Bartlett, was in Williamsburg so it’s quite possible that it’s the location referenced in Kirsch’s obituary. A year later, the 1908 Trow Business Directory listed their address as 244 Scholes Street where they remained for the next 12 years. According to the November, 1915 issue of a publication called the “New Confectioner,” the business incorporated around that time with capital of $10,000.

In this April 26, 1919 Brooklyn Daily Eagle advertisement the company called themselves manufacturers of soda water and another beverage called Golden Dwarf Celery Tonic.

They also served as one of three local Brooklyn bottlers for Ward’s Orange and Lemon Crush as evidenced by a series of Eagle advertisements in 1920

Around this time, with prohibition just enacted, the company was feeling optimistic and broke ground on a new plant. According to this January 24, 1920 story in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle,

Soda Water Firm Building Big Plant

Ground has been broken for the new plant at 172-6 Cook St. of Kirsch & Herfel Co., Inc. of 244 Scholes St. The new establishment, which will be devoted to making soda water and celery tonic, will be ready to use about April 1.

The building will be 225 feet long, extending from Cook St. to Flushing Ave. The latest model machinery, purchased during the convention in Chicago in November will be installed.

No interim in the business due to moving will occur. The old plant will be kept in full operation until the new has completely taken over the load carried by its predecessor.

Due to prohibition and other causes, the company expects a bumper season this summer and is already keeping a full force at work, although it is the winter season. In some quarters the soda water companies are expecting to step in where the breweries stepped out and take over the enormous business of quenching the nation’s mid-summer thirst. Although Kirsch & Herfel do not go so far as to predict that soda water will build up great castles of industry, such as the modern brewery had grown to be, they are very sanguine of the outlook for the coming year.

Despite the optimistic outlook, five months after this story was published, an item in the June 22, 1920 edition of the New York Times announced that the Kirsch & Herfel corporation had been dissolved. Whether the dissolution had been planned all along or was the result of a recent development is not clear, but by August, the business had moved into the new plant and was continuing as H. Kirsch & Co.

The August 28, 1920 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle covered the story.

Kirsch & Herfel Now H. Kirsch & Co.

The old soda water firm of Kirsch & Herfel is now continuing the business under the name of H. Kirsch & Co., located at 923 Flushing Ave. and 172 Cook St.

It was this firm which made the old reliable Golden Dwarf celery tonic, popular even at the bar of that merry old John Barleycorn person.

The company’s business has grown since the institution of prohibition. It is now the largest soda and mineral water bottling plant in Brooklyn and maintains a large fleet of trucks to care for its boro business and out of town trade.

According to an official of the company, a great many people have been coming direct to the factory to fill their orders. The plant has been working to capacity.

Advertisements for the new business began appearing in the Eagle in early September, 1920.

The demand was such that according to this March 19, 1921 story in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, by the following summer they had doubled the capacity of their new plant in an effort to expand their product line.

Soda Water Plant Enlarges Capacity

In anticipation of a long spring and summer, H. Kirsch & Co. have doubled their capacity by extensive alterations and additions to their factory for soft drinks at 923-925 Flushing Avenue. These extensions are now complete and include a new washing machine capable of turning out several thousand clean and sterilized bottles per hour.

This company, taking prohibition by the forelock put on the market a drink called Golden Dwarf Orangeade, which quickly caught public fancy. Although the company specializes on soda water and celery tonics, sold throughout the Greater City, its new orange drink will occupy a large part of the old plant’s capacity.

The extension is devoted chiefly to bottle washing, this operation in the preparation of soft drinks for the market requiring considerable space, not for machinery so much as for stacking up clean “empties” waiting to be filled.

Sometime around 1930 the company expanded further, acquiring another soda manufacturer, also located in Williamsburg, called T.F. Ness & Son.

After prohibition they continued to be successful and sometime in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s they changed their name to Kirsch Beverages, Inc. By the late 1940’s they were manufacturing 16 different flavored drinks as evidenced by this 1949 Brooklyn Daily Eagle advertisement.

In 1952, the No-Cal Corporation was formed as an affiliate of Kirsch Beverages, Inc. to produce a new line of sugar free soft drinks. Hyman Kirsch’s 1976 New York Times obituary described how the “sugar free” concept got started.

Mr. Kirsch began the commercial production of sugar free soft drinks in 1952, when he started distributing them through dietetic outlets under the No-Cal brand.

The idea for the product was the byproduct of one of his many philanthropic activities. As vice president of the Jewish Sanitarium for Chronic Diseases, he and his son, Morris, had become concerned about the lack of a sugar-free, nonalcoholic beverage for diabetic patients of the sanitarium.

They got together in the laboratory at Kirsch Beverages with Dr. S. S. Epstein, their research director, and explored the field of synthetic sweeteners. Saccharine and others left a metallic aftertaste. Then, from a commercial laboratory, they obtained cyclamate calcium, which proved satisfactory in soft drinks produced for diabetic and cardiovascular patients in the sanitarium.

No-Cal Ginger Ale was first to hit the market in March, 1952 and by the end of the year four additional flavors were being sold. This early ginger ale advertisement appeared in several June, 1952 issues of the New York Daily News and Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

By December the advertisements included Cola, Cream Soda, Black Cherry and Root Beer as well.

Originally intended for dieters and those with medical issues like diabetes, it wasn’t long before the company focused their marketing efforts on the public at large. The reasoning behind this change was explained in an April 10, 1953 story in the Long Branch (New Jersey) Daily Record.

More than a year ago Kirsch Beverages, Inc. marketed their new sugar free NO-CAL ginger ale. Aimed primarily at the dietetic and diabetic markets, NO-CAL was an immediate sales sensation.

As sales doubled and re-doubled with each passing month, the pleasantly amazed Kirsch people enlarged their bottling capacity and developed four new NO-CAL flavors, cream, cola root beer, black cherry.

In an effort to determine the “why” behind the “buy,” Grey Agency, which handles Kirsch advertising, conducted an intensive survey in metropolitan area supermarkets. The survey revealed the amazing fact that only half of regular NO-CAL buyers are on a diet. This means that a market of literally millions of non-dieting, yet weight conscious, soft drink buyers is wide open for NO-CAL

In an all out effort to capture this huge market, Kirsch is initiating this program with a quarter-of-a-million dollar “saturation advertising campaign.

Their focus on the weight conscious market is exemplified by this 1954 advertisement that appeared in the New York newspapers. With the tag line “Time to Switch to NO-CAL,” the advertisement was designed to make you weight conscious even if you weren’t!

Another series of advertisements in the mid-1950’s highlighted the star of a current movie, always slim and female, promoting both the movie as well as NO-CAL. An advertisement from July/August, 1956, which was typical of the series, featured Kim Novak and the movie “The Eddie Duchin Story.” It reads in part:

You know Kim Novak as a NO-CAL girl! You see the slender modern look…sense the relaxed “enjoy life”air. You know Kim refreshes with NO-CAL.

Other advertisements featured Mamie Van Doren in “Running Wild,” Julie Adams in “All Away Boats,” and Jan Sterling in “The Troubleshooter.”

By the 1960’s their slogan had become:

In 1969, when the United States banned the use of cyclamates in food and drink products, it could have spelled the end of the company, but according to a June 23, 1971 feature on Kirsch in the Tampa Bay (Florida) Tribune:

Our first decision the morning after the ban was announced was that we wouldn’t go out of business. That gave us just eight weeks to develop a new formula and market it.

This October 22, 1969 New York Times News service story found in the Franklin (Pennsylvania) News Herald demonstrated that they had been up to the task.

The nation’s diet food and soft drink manufacturers rushed out new-product announcements yesterday, indicating they had been prepared for the Government’s ban on the use of the artificial sweetener cyclamate in general-purpose food products.

The Government’s action was announced on Saturday. By nightfall yesterday, a number of leading soft drink manufacturers and others involved in the $1 billion low-calorie market had reported they were ready to market new, cyclamate-free beverages and other products within a matter of days or a few weeks at most…

No-Cal Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kirsch Beverages, Inc. will have a new line of No-Cal drinks on the market in about two weeks. A company spokesman said they will contain sacharrin and a small amount of sugar, adding about 10 to 14 calories to the drinks.

Both Kirsch Beverages, Inc. and No-Cal Corporation remained under control of the Hirsch family until 1980. Morris Kirsch, Hyman’s son, had joined the company in 1926 and assumed the presidency of Kirsch Beverages sometime in the early 1940’s. By 1971, according to the Tampa Tribune feature on the business, Morris’s sons, David and Lee, were presidents of No-Cal Corporation and Kirsch Beverages respectively, and both Hyman, at the age of 94, and Morris were still active on the board of directors. Around this time the business moved to a new location in College Point Queens at 112-02 15th Avenue.

Hyman died in 1976 at the age of 99 and his son Morris retired in 1980. At that time the Kirsch companies were acquired by a Philadelphia bottler named Harold Honickman. According to January 21, and March 19, 1980 articles in the Daily News, shortly after acquiring Kirsch, Canada Dry awarded him a bottling and distribution franchise and their products were added to his College Point production line of Kirsch and No-Cal sodas.

That was the beginning of the end for the Kirsch companies that ultimately fell victim to consolidation in the soda industry. The end of the line came sometime in the mid-1980’s. It was summed up like this in a July 26, 1987 story in the New York Daily News:

After years of mergers, the man who would be king today is Harold Honickman, head of Pennsauken, N. J. based Honickman Enterprises.

The leading independent bottler of Canada Dry products gradually acquired such city favorites as Dr. Brown, Kirsch, Hammer, Hoffman, Kirsch’s No-Cal brand and Meyers 1890. Though distribution is somewhat limited, all brands but Kirsch and Meyers are still alive.

The 244 Scholes Street address no longer exists and is now within the limits of Ten Eyck playground which is under the jurisdiction of NYC Parks and Recreation.The building currently located at the 172 Cook Street address is likely the building built by Kirsch & Herfel in 1920.

The College Point plant is now owned by Pepsi.

So, you ask, “What became of Henry Herfel?” Well he certainly didn’t achieve the same notoriety as Hyman Kirsch. A year after their partnership was dissolved, he established another Brooklyn soda water company named Herfel & Co. The company was listed as a new corporation, with capital of $20,000, in the April 15, 1921 edition of the New York Times. The incorporation notice named Herfel, along with J. Grodinsky and E. Heyman as directors. The initial company address was 215 Montague Street.

By the mid 1920’s, the directories listed the company address as 257 Ellory Street with Morris and Sam Shapiro named as proprietors. Herfel was no longer mentioned. A notice in the June 8, 1934 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle announced that the corporation had dissolved.

The bottle I found is machine made and 27 oz. It’s embossed with the name “Kirsch & Herfel Co., Inc.,” which dates it between 1915, when the original business incorporated, and 1920, when it dissolved.