Marshall & Co., 1866

Although there’s no location embossed on the bottle, I’m quite sure Marshall & Co. was a short-lived New York City soda water manufacturer. In fact, the year 1866 embossed on the bottle could be the only year that the business was in existence.

There are only two directory listings that I can find for the business. The first was found in the 1866/1867 N.Y.C. Copartnership and Corporation Directory; the other in the 1867 New York State Business Directory (likely compiled in 1866). Both listings include the same address in lower Manhattan, 182 Thompson Street.

In further support of this supposition, the only advertisements I’ve been able to find for the business were all published in the New York City newspapers during July, 1866. One ad, found in the July 20, 1866 edition of the New York Daily Herald, was a collection of three adjacent items, each touting their Sarsaparilla as well as something called Mingo Beer.

Another, published in the July 12, 1866 edition of the Herald, identified hotels, saloons, fruit stores and the family trade as their targeted market.

Similar July, 1866 advertisements also appeared in the New York Times and New York Tribune.

The subject bottle is a pony with an applied blob finish that almost certainly dates to 1866.

Duhme & Meyer, 115 Christopher St., N. Y.

 

Duhme & Meyer was a New York City mineral water manufacturer and a bottler of soda and beer that operated in lower Manhattan during much of the 1870’s and 1880’s. The proprietors were German immigrants Henry Duhme and Wiliam Meyer.

Census records indicate that Duhme arrived in the United States  from Hanover, Germany in 1848. By the early 1850’s he had apparently joined his brother Martin in the grocery business under the name “Duhme & Brother.” The 1851 N.Y.C. directory listed the business in lower Manhattan with an address of 17 Grand Street. By the mid-1850’s the name “Duhme & Brother” had disappeared from the directories however, both Duhme’s continued to be listed as grocers at several lower Manhattan locations up through the mid-1860’s.

It was around this time that Henry Duhme opened a saloon at 198 Bleeker Street as evidenced by the occupation he listed in the 1870 census records: “Lagerbier Saloon.” This likely occurred in 1868 when his occupation in the directories changed from “grocer” to “liquor.”

Sometime in the early 1870’s Duhme partnered with William Meyer and together they established Duhme & Meyer. Meyer had immigrated to the United States from Prussia and I suspect he had recently arrived in New York City after first settling in New Jersey.

The business of Duhme and Meyer was initially listed in the 1871 N.Y.C directory at 112 Prince Street where they remained for over ten years. Early directories (1871 to 1875) referenced the company as a “soda” business while later directories called them “bottlers.” They were certainly bottling beer as well as soda in 1875 as evidenced by a Duhme & Meyer bottle found in a collection presented on brucemobley.com. The bottle is embossed “Lager Beer” on the front, with the year 1875 embossed on the back.

 

It wouldn’t be a surprise if the bottling business was actually an outgrowth of Duhme’s saloon business and they were bottling beer from the start but that’s entirely conjecture on my part.

Sometime in 1883 Duhme & Meyer moved to 115 Christopher Street where they were listed in the N.Y.C. directories until 1886 when Duhme apparently left the business. He ultimately moved to Brooklyn where 1900 census records listed his occupation as a real estate agent. He passed away in March 1909.

The bottling business continued to operate under the management of the Meyer family after Duhme’s departure. In 1887, both William Meyer and Henry W. Meyer, were listed with the occupation “waters,” at 115 Christopher Street. Henry was almost certainly William’s son, who, according to 1880 census records, was born in 1871.

The following year William Meyer was no longer listed, apparently leaving the business in the hands of his son who continued to operate it at 115 Christopher Street up until 1898.

A bottle embossed Henry W. Meyer exhibiting  the 115 Christopher Street address was found in the collection of Mike AKA Chinchillaman1 at http://mikesbottleroom.weebly.com (no relation to this web site).

Sometime in 1898 Meyer moved the business to 218 West 22nd Street. The move was almost certainly associated with New York State’s enactment of their 1896 liquor tax law, popularly referred to as Raines Law. Among other things, the law included an $800 license fee making it difficult for much of Meyer’s small business clientele to remain in business.

Shortly after the move the business came to a tragic end when Henry W, Meyer committed suicide. A story in the May 21, 1899 edition of the New York Tribune provided the sad details.

Henry W. Meyer, head of the firm Henry W. Meyer & Co., manufacturers of soda water, committed suicide yesterday afternoon at his home, No. 215 Tenth Ave., by taking muriatic acid. The shrinking of his extensive business to a condition of poor trade by the closing up of many small dealers with whom he had a monopoly of trade is thought to have caused Myer’s act. Myer lived with his wife and four children on the second floor of the Tenth Ave. house. His factory is in Twenty second Street between Tenth and Eleventh Aves. The man had built up a large business among the small saloons in the city, especially on the East Side. The Raines Law license drove a great many of these dealers out of business, and Meyer’s trade suffered, as he found himself unable to compete with the larger dealers.

The bottle I found is a pony with an applied blob finish that includes the embossed Christopher Street address. The monogramed back includes the embossed year 1883, suggesting it was manufactured specifically to reflect Duhme & Meyer’s move to new quarters that year.

Streeteasy.com reports that today the building at 115 Christopher Street was built in 1904, so it does not date back to the time frame of the business.

Hawkins & Weeks, Bayport N. Y.

The Hawkins and Weeks story begins with a retired ship’s captain named Thomas E. Hawkins. A resolution honoring him was passed by the Bayport Fire Department shortly after his death on May 29, 1907. Published in the June 7, 1907 edition of the Suffolk County News, the resolution revealed a glimpse into his early life at sea.

RESOLVED that we record upon the minutes of this meeting an expression of our sorrow and our profound respect for his memory. Captain Hawkins was one of the last of the blue-water sailors who were once the boast of Suffolk County, and of whom, alas, there are now so few survivors. The title of Captain which is nowadays bestowed on every owner of a catboat, was earned and worthly maintained, by him on full rigged ships in every ocean of the world.

The resolution went on to say:

After his retirement from the sea, he displayed in his business the same energy and honesty that had combined with his coolness and courage to raise him to the quarter deck.

His business career began in 1880 when he purchased a half interest in what was referred to as a “gingerine business,” called Johnson & Bishop. A June 12, 1880 story in Amityville’s “South Side Signal,” under the heading “Bayport News” made it clear that his intent was to transform it into a bottling business.

CAPT. THOS. E. HAWKINS, of our village has purchased one half interest in the gingerine business. The firm will hereafter be known as Johnson & Hawkins, instead of Johnson & Bishop as heretofore. Everything will be put in order, a quantity of bottles purchased necessary to supply the trade, and hereafter hotel, store and saloon keepers and others have but to send a postal card to Johnson & Hawkins, when any quantity will be sent to their address.

Over the course of their first year, several items published in the South Side Signal provided evidence that while the business was small, it was apparently active and doing well.

May 14, 1881:

We notice in passing by the manufactory of Johnson & Hawkins they have increased their large stock of bottles, as we saw many cases filled with new ones recently purchased by them.

July 2, 1881:

Johnson & Hawkins’ business has increased to such an extent that they now employ two extra persons.

September 17, 1881:

Johnson & Hawkins have purchased a handsome wagon to be used in their soda water business.

A July, 8 1882 advertisement in the South Side Signal made it clear that while they focused on plain soda, sarsaparilla, ginger ale and lemon soda, their entire menu of carbonated  beverages was almost endless. The jingle at the end of the ad is worth a read!

Johnson & Hawkins continued to sporadically publish their business card in the South Side Signal up through March 23 1883. Then, on April 14, 1883 the firm name on their business card was changed to “Hawkins & Weeks.”

This suggests that James T. Weeks bought out Frank C. Johnson sometime in late March/early April 1883. Weeks and Hawkins would remain business partners for the next twelve years.

As early as January, 1888 their advertisements began to refer to the business as the Excelsior Bottling Company.

By this time, it appears that they began expanding their reach to the neighboring village of Bayshore as evidenced by advertisements that appeared in the Bayshore section of the Suffolk County News.

Hawkins and Weeks have established an agency at the saloon of Chas. Brown where any person wanting cases of soda, sarsaparilla or any mineral waters can leave their orders with the assurance that they will be filled at once

Another read:

Leave your orders for soda water, ginger ale, vichy, seltzer, and all the best brands of mineral and aerated waters manufactured by Hawkins and Weeks, at the barber shop of Wm. Thuring, which has been designated as a branch depot. The retail trade supplied here.

It was also around this time that the company expanded into the coal business. According to a story in the December 15, 1888 edition of the Suffolk County news:

In our town we have a number of businessmen who are worth recognition and public note. Of these none more so than Hawkins & Weeks, the widely known soda manufacturers, who have been in business here a number of years. Their success has been phenomenal from the outstart and this fact has caused them to enter into still another departure of business – that of coal dealers. In this new branch of industry we wish them a prosperous career. They have commenced the erection of a large coal house, which they will soon fill up with this needed article.

Updated advertisements referencing their new coal business began appearing in January, 1889.

That being said, a Suffolk County News story published on November 22, 1890 made it clear that the bottling end of the business was still going strong.

Hawkins & Weeks have enjoyed a good business this summer, owing to the superior quality of their mineral waters, root beer, soda water and sarsaparilla, together with the prompt manner in which they deliver goods. They have the latest and best machinery for the successful prosecution of their big business and both men are very popular with the public. It is quite interesting to watch the modus operandi of making and bottling at the factory. The material used is first class and everything about the premises is as neat as wax. Hawkins & Weeks goods consequently take the lead on Long Island. The factory is a help to Bayport.

In 1894 Weeks, in an effort to pursue other interests, sold his share of the business to Hawkins. The dissolution of their partnership was announced in the September 28, 1894 edition of the Suffolk County News.

Hawkins & Weeks who have been in the mineral water business for the past twelve years, have dissolved partnership, Mr. Jas. T Weeks having sold out his interest to Mr. Hawkins, since which he has bought the Bayport bakery of Geo. J. Mallmann. He expects to make many improvements in the same.

Hawkins continued the bottling/coal business ultimately partnering with his son, Clifton (sometimes Clifford) in 1896. A feature on the business, published in the August 13, 1897 edition of Suffolk County News told the story.

In the year 1894 Mr. T. E. Hawkins, better known as Captain Hawkins, became sole proprietor and conducted it successfully until one year ago, when he associated with his son Mr. Clifford Hawkins. The firm now being known as Hawkins & Son.

The story went on to say:

They have a large family trade as well as a wholesale business. Five large wagons are kept constantly on the road delivering their many orders. Messrs. Hawkins & Son also have a coal and wood business in connection with the bottling where all the best grades of coal and wood can be had at short notice.

According to his obituary, the senior Hawkins retired in July, 1906 and passed away 10 months later. Clifton Hawkins continued to run the company, ultimately selling the coal piece of the business. The sale likely took place in 1911 as evidenced by this advertisement that appeared in the October 6, 1911 edition of the Suffolk County News. It references C. K. Green as the “successor to Clifton W. Hawkins.”

Hawkins continued to operate the bottling business throughout the remainder of the decade, promoting what he called his “Premier Brand,” in this August 6, 1915 Suffolk County News story.  Note that by then, auto trucks had replaced his horse and wagons.

“PREMIER BRAND SOFT DRINKS

Absolutely Pure – Manufactured by C. W. Hawkins of Belport

For thirty-five years Mr. C. W. Hawkins, of Bayport has been established in the same location manufacturing charged waters and a complete line of beverages, non-intoxicant in character.

These products have achieved a wide popularity under the name of the “Premier” brand, and the growing demand for these beverages is eloquent testimony concerning their quality. At present the “Premier” plant has a capacity of 400 boxes per day.

All the syrups used in flavoring are made at the plant in Bayport, extracted under scrupulously clean and sanitary conditions. The supreme importance of this fact cannot be emphasized to forcibly for such beverages are largely consumed by children, and mothers may feel absolutely safe in allowing the kiddies to partake of “Premier” drinks. A specialty of the “Premier” brand is its ginger ale, delightful in flavor and purity.

Auto trucks make deliveries covering the territory between Brookhaven and Islip, a distance of twenty miles, serving family trade also, of which Mr. Hawkins makes a special feature.

A July 2, 1920 advertisement for a grocery business called Henry Borchers indicated that you could pick up “Premier” ginger ale or sarsaparilla for $1.80 a dozen (ninth one down).

Ultimately Hawkins sold the bottling business in 1920. The sale was reported in the November  5, 1920 edition of the Suffolk County News.

Clifton W. Hawkins, manufacturer of carbonated waters, who has had his business on the market for some time, this week sold it to Arthur Sherry of Patchogue. Mr. Sherry is to take possession of the plant on the 15th of this month and is to keep the present place as his headquarters for the time being. In the spring he intends to move the business to Patchogue.

A November 19th follow up story reported:

On Monday Arthur Sherry, of Patchogue, the new proprietor of C. W. Hawkins soft drink manufactory, took possession of the plant. In a week or so Mr. Hawkins, former owner, who manufactured and supplied this part of the county for the past 28 years with carbonated beverages, is to leave for Bowling Green, Kentucky, where he is to live and take charge of his oil interests.

The following summer, a June 21, 1921 article in the Patchogue Advance confirmed that Sherry followed through on his intentions to move the business to nearby Patchogue.

Arthur J. Sherry, who bought out Hawkin’s Bottling Works, of Bayport, has purchased a plot of ground from T. P. Marvin situated at the corner of Bay Avenue and Norton Street, for the purpose of erecting a factory for the manufacture of soft drinks. L. S. Fulton has the contract for building the plant and work is to be begun at once. Mr. Sherry proposes to put up a two story frame building, 25 x 50. New and modern machinery will be installed throughout and the business will be known as the Premier Bottling Works.

On a final note, according to a story in the June 9, 1922 LongIslander, on May 23, 1922 the Premier Bottling Works of Patchogue was taken over by Fred W. Wilson and incorporated under that name, with a capital of $50,000. Wilson was named president and Arthur Sherry remained with the corporation as a vice president.

So you ask…what became of James T. Weeks?

He took over management of the bakery, calling it the South Side Bakery as evidenced by this December, 1894 Suffolk County News advertisement.

The next summer another advertisement, this one in the June 14, 1895 Suffolk County News made it clear that by then he had established an ice cream business as well.

A feature on Weeks, published in the June 24, 1898 edition of the Suffolk County News picks up the story from there.

The bakery he disposed of the following year to Mr. Joseph Douglass but the ice cream business he retained. He removed his family to Rockville Centre where he is engaged in the business of bottling soda and mineral waters and has a large and growing trade.  He gives his personal attention to both establishments dividing his time between the places and his efforts to cater to the public are ably seconded by his estimable wife who resides in Bayport and has charge of the ice cream factory and of the parlors connected with it where ice cream, soda water, fancy cakes and confectionery are on sale.

There’s more on Weeks’ Rockville Centre bottling business elsewhere on this web site.  Jas. T. Weeks.

The bottle, found in the bays by a friend, is a mouth blown hutchinson embossed with the company name “Hawkins & Weeks.” This dates it between 1883 and 1894, when Weeks was associated with the business.

Owen Clark, 23 Jackson Ave., L. I. City

 

Owen Clark operated a mineral water manufacturing and bottling business in Long Island City, New York from the early 1870’s through the turn of the century. Over the life span of the business Clark was forced to completely start over on two separate occasions as a result of devastating fires.

Census records indicate that Clark, an Irish immigrant, arrived in the United States in 1849. While his first decade in the United States is a mystery, by the early 1860’s he was serving as a Union officer in the Civil War. According to his obituary, published in the October 17, 1906 edition of the Brooklyn Times Union:

He served through the Civil War as a second lieutenant of Company C, Seventy-seventh Regiment, N. Y. V.

After the war he settled in Long Island City, New York. Located just across the East River from Manhattan, Long Island City operated independently of New York City at the time. It wasn’t until 1898 that it was consolidated with New York City becoming part of Queens County.

Clark’s Obituary went on to say:

In old Long Island City he served several terms as Alderman, and also served as Police Commissioner under former Mayor Petry, and was a member of the General Improvement Commission under former Mayor Gleason. He conducted a bottling business and owned considerable real estate in Long Island City and vicinity.

As early as 1868, Curtin’s Long Island  Directory listed Clark with an address of “Jackson Avenue, near 5th Street,” and the occupation “liquors.”  It’s not clear if the bottling business was up and running at this point but it was certainly active by the early 1870’s.

The business listed that address until 1875 when a fire swept through the facility. The June 15, 1875 edition of the New York Times reported on the blaze.

About 2:20 o’clock yesterday morning a fire was discovered in the mineral water establishment of Mr. Owen Clark, on Jackson Avenue, Hunter’s Point, and before assistance could be rendered the building, together with two others adjoining, were enveloped in flames…

The loss is estimated at $14,500. Mr. Clark’s establishment, together with two horses and a crate of bottles valued at $3,000 was totally destroyed; there was no insurance.

Afterwards Clark re-established the business. Likely nearby or at the former location, it was listed at 53 Jackson Avenue in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s. (I don’t have access to any directories from the early 1880’s).

Tragically another fire claimed this facility as well. The blaze was described in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle’s July 21, 1893 edition as “the most disastrous conflagration that ever occurred in Long Island City.”

The most costly square block in the city was entirely wiped out with the exception of a few gutted buildings and standing walls, which today tower above the smoldering debris. The loss is very heavy and roughly estimated by the sufferers at between $500,000 and $600,000 of which fully two-thirds is covered by insurance in the various companies. Beside the entire square block obliterated two other blocks were partially destroyed…

The story went on to describe the fate of Clark’s property.

…At this point the wind shifted a little to the east and the fire swept down Fifth Street in the direction of Jackson Avenue, where two three two story frame dwelling houses owned by Samuel Dennison helped the flames creep down to the new $75,000 triangle building of Colonel H. S. Kearney that was nearly completed on the corner of Jackson Avenue and Fifth Street.

Around the doomed triangle building the flames burned fiercely and communicated with Clark’s soda water establishment, a two story frame dwelling and sheds. The fire spread to Clark’s brother’s house, a three story tenement adjoining on Jackson Avenue, and from there to a new four story brick house owned by Owen Clark…

Clark once again rebuilt nearby, now listing his factory and home address as 130 5th Street (now 49th Ave.). A news item published in the January 22, 1905 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle indicated that the Clark family lived on the second floor above the business. This coupled with the fact that 1900 census records reported that two of Clark’s sons, James and Edward, were also involved in the business, all lead me to believe that it was a small family run operation.

The business was still located at 130 5th Street at the time of Owen Clark’s death in October, 1906. I suspect that he remained active in the business until the end as evidenced by an item that appeared a little over a year before his death in the March 15, 1905 edition of the American Bottler.

OWEN CLARK, the worthy veteran bottler, 130 Fifth Street, Long Island City, N.Y., still marches right along with the boys and never gets left.

After Clark’s death the business was not listed in the directories under the Clark name and 1910 census records don’t appear to connect any of his sons with the business. This all suggests that the family was not involved after 1906. That being said, an item published in the American Bottler noted that on April 21, 1908 detectives  raided the 5th Street location, levying a fine against the company for using bottles owned by another business.

April 21st: made a seizure of ten filled siphons from Owen Clark’s mineral water establishment at No. 130 5th Street, Long Island City; he was fined $15 by our Board of Directors. This was his second offense.

Recognizing that Owen Clark had passed away over a year earlier, it’s not clear who was actually operating the business at that point.

The found bottle is a mouth blown pony with a blob finish. It includes the embossed address of 23 Jackson Avenue. This address doesn’t correlate with any of the addresses that are associated with the business in the directories or newspapers. This leads to several possibilities:

1. The bottle is associated with the earliest location listed for the business; simply referenced in the directories as “Jackson Ave near 5th Street” (early to mid-1870’s) or

2. The embossed 23 is a typo and should have been a 53 with the 5 mistaken for a 2 by the bottle maker (late 1870’s to 1893).

That being said, the company included Jackson Avenue within their address from the early 1870’s up through 1893, so I suspect it’s safe to say that the bottle’s manufacture falls somewhere within that time frame.

T. L. Neff’s Sons, 179 – 181 Powers St. Brooklyn N. Y.

 

Theron L. Neff, and later T. L. Neff’s Sons (sometimes T. L. Neff & Sons) were soft drink bottlers that operated in Brooklyn, New York from approximately 1869 to 1935.

Theron Neff was born in Windham Connecticut in 1842. His obituary, published in the April 5, 1906 edition of the Brooklyn Times Union, mentioned that his arrival in Brooklyn came after his service in the Civil War.

When the Civil War broke out, Mr. Neff enlisted with Company H, of the Twenty -fifth Connecticut Volunteers, and during a number of engagements served as corporal in the Department of the Gulf under General Hanks. He participated in the Battle of Baton Rouge and Port Hudson.

The obituary goes on to say that after the war he settled in Brooklyn and joined the business of Mason O. Fuller, an old-time Brooklyn bottler whose business dated back to the late 1850’s. M. O. Fuller  Neff ultimately took over the business in the late 1860’s.

Mr. Neff came to Brooklyn in 1865. He went to live in the Fifteenth Ward and accepted a position with Mason O. Fuller, who was the originator of the soda water business. The plant at that time was located in Grand Street near Graham Avenue. Mr. Neff worked for Mr. Fuller for three or four years, and finally took control of the business and afterwards conducted it under the name of T. L. Neff.

Neff’s obituary also credits him as being the originator of bottled root beer.

At that time yeast was used in the making of root beer and the beverage was put in stone jugs. Mr. Neff originated the idea of putting the root beer in bottles under the present carbonated system.

By 1875, and possibly earlier, the company’s factory was located at 105 Maujer Street where according to their 1889 “bottle registration notice, they bottled and sold soda water, root beer and other beverages.

Theron conducted the business until 1895 when he retired. At that point he turned the company over to his sons Lewis and Edwin, changing the name to T. L. Neff’s Sons. Lewis was in charge of the business end of the house, while Edwin oversaw manufacturing.

A story featuring Brooklyn’s mineral water industry published in the July 7, 1912 edition of the “Brooklyn Citizen” provided this early  1900’s snapshot of the business:

In the manufacture of soft drinks T. L. Neff & Sons, Inc., 105 Maujer Street, Brooklyn, N. Y., is one of the largest and most prominent in the city.

They occupy a two-story building 25 x 100, used exclusively for bottling their drinks, and also maintain a stable at 52-54 Ten Eyck Street where their many horses and wagons are kept.

The plant has capacity of fifteen hundred boxes of soda per day, and employs about thirty men. The business was established about 1858, and has served one customer for forty-six years.

A May 12, 1914 Brooklyn Daily Eagle advertisement, made it clear that the Neff company, with large contracts up and down the east coast, served more than just the New York City area.

Among the customers they are serving are the New England Navigation Company, which operates the Fall River Steamers, the Panama Steamship Company, the Central Hudson Steamboat Company and the U. S. Government Reservations between West Point and Governor’s Island, as well as the American Sugar Refining Company.

The Brooklyn Citizen feature went on to say that the company was in the process of planning the construction of a new modernized factory.

They are at present planning a new three-story building of concrete construction, and upon its completion they will have one of the finest plants for the manufacture of soft drinks in the country. The new plant will be equipped with all new and model machinery for the washing and sterilizing of bottles, which is one of the most important features of the business.

The company  moved to their new accommodations, located at 179-181 Powers Street sometime in mid-1914.

According to a July 17, 1921 Brooklyn Citizen story, by the early 1920’s their daily output had increased from 1500 to 2,000 boxes and the  business had established an international clientele.

Not  only in Brooklyn are the products of the company supplied to hundreds of dealers in the city, but they are shipped throughout the country and Europe. Steady customers are on the company’s books with their business houses in Japan and other Asiatic countries.

The Neff’s Sons apparently remained in business until 1935 when the corporation was dissolved. The dissolution notice was printed in several November, 1935 editions of the Brooklyn Times Union.

Edwin Neff’s obituary published in the March 10, 1940 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle mentioned that he retired in 1935 so it’s possible that his retirement triggered the ultimate dissolution of the corporation.

The bottle I found is machine made with a crown finish and an approximate capacity of 28 ounces. “T. L. Neff’s Sons”is embossed on the front, along with their Powers Street address. This dates the bottle no earlier than 1914.

The back of the bottle exhibits their trademarked case of soda bottles.

 

Today, the building located at 179 – 181 Powers Street appears to be the same building built and occupied by the the company in 1914.

Daniel Bahr, 679 Grand St., Brooklyn

 

 

Daniel Bahr conducted a mineral water business in Brooklyn, N. Y. from 1889 to approximately 1908. The business itself however dates back to the mid-1880’s when it was apparently established by his older brother, Jacob G. Bahr.

German by birth, the Bahr brothers immigrated to the United States in 1853 settling approximately 100 miles north and west of New York City in Ellenville, New York. According to Jacob’s obituary published in the January 26, 1917 edition of the Middletown Press:

Mr. Bahr was a native of Bavaria, Germany and came with his mother to Ellenville when he was but eight years old. He was employed for a time in the old Ellenville Glass works and had continued in that business ever since. As young man he went to New York where he remained until 11 years ago….

By 1870 Jacob had made the move to New York City where he was listed as a demijohn manufacturer in Manhattan up through the mid 1880’s. Then, in 1885, he moved to Brooklyn where he associated with Henry P. Bahr, who I suspect was his father, and together they started what was likely the predecessor of the subject business. That year, both were first listed at 679 Grand Street, Jacob with the occupation “bottler” and Henry as “glass.”

Meanwhile, his younger brother Daniel had also relocated downstate to Brooklyn where he was listed throughout most of the 1880’s as an oyster dealer and restaurant owner with an address of 11 Ewen Street (now Manhattan Avenue).

Then, sometime in 1889 Daniel  apparently took over the mineral water business. His “bottle registration notice” published in several February and March, 1889 editions of the Brooklyn Citizen and (Brooklyn) Standard Union made it clear that while he was still using bottles embossed with Henry P. Bahr’s name and monogram, by then he had begun using bottles embossed with his name and monogram as well.

A year later, in 1890, he was the only Bahr listed at the 679 Grand Street address. (At that point Henry was no longer listed in the Brooklyn directories and Jacob was back in the demijohn business with his son, Henry J. Bahr.)

Brooklyn city directories continued to list Daniel Bahr at 677/679 Grand Street until 1891 when he relocated the business to 911/913 Grand Street. It was also in 1891 that Bahr partnered with Harry Jaquillard under the name “Bahr and Jaquillard.” An August 24, 1904 feature on Jaquillard published in the (Brooklyn) Standard Union told his story.

In 1889 he was named Record Clerk in the County Clerk’s office, and held it about a year when he resigned to go into the mineral water business. He formed a partnership with Daniel Bahr, of Grand Street, and for nearly four years could be seen every day driving one of the mineral water wagons through the streets of the ward.

The story goes on to say that sometime in 1893 (or 1894) Jaquillard left the business and entered politics. By 1904 he was serving as Brooklyn’s Port Warden.

After Jaquillard’s departure Bahr continued the mineral water business and by the late 1800’s was expanding his facilities on Grand Street. Building permits issued in 1898 and 1899 show that he added a three-story frame building as well as a two-story stable and one-story wagon shed, all on the north side of the block between Olive and Catherine Streets.   That being said, the business always remained a small, local operation as evidenced by New York State’s Report of Factory Inspections for the fiscal year ending November 30, 1900 which stated that the business employed a total of 10 workers (all working a 60 hour week) during that period.

In the Spring of 1908 Bahr purchased property in Lynbrook, Long Island and shortly thereafter retired, resulting in the end of the business.

According to a December 7, 1909 story in the Standard Union:

Some months ago Mr. Bhar carried on a mineral water business at 899 Grand Street, but he gave up the business when he moved to the country and his Grand Street place has since been occupied by his brother, a manufacturer of demijohns.

Daniel Bahr passed away in June, 1930.

The bottle I found is a mouth blown pony with a blob finish. It’s embossing matches the description included within the 1889 bottle registration notice:

Glass bottles on which is “Daniel Bahr” and the letters “D.B.” in a monogram…

The bottle exhibits the 679 Grand Street address dating it to the first two or three years of the business, prior to their 1891 move to 911/913 Grand Street. A bottle recently offered for sale on the internet exhibited this later address.

   

 

Day & Brother, New York, 353 E. 20th St., N.Y.

 

Day & Brother was a New York City mineral water manufacturer and bottler that operated from the late 1860’s through the early 1890’s. Always located on the east side of Manhattan, the business was operated by several different members of the Day family over the course of their history.

Their story begins with an Irish immigrant named John W. Day who, as early as 1863 was listed in the New York City directories with the occupation “soda,” and a home address of 201 East 20th Street.

In the late 1860’s he apparently went into business with his brother, James P. Day, and by 1869 both were listed with the occupation “soda” at the 353 East 20th Street address embossed on the bottle. A year later, in 1870, the business of Day & Brother also appeared in the directories at that address.

Their advertisement appeared in the 1872 edition of Goulding’s Business Directory.

The business continued in this fashion until sometime in 1874 when James P. Day apparently left the company. Whether he passed away or simply moved on is not clear. John W. Day continued the business, ultimately moving it to 351 East 23rd Street sometime around 1877.

John W. Day passed away in November, 1878 after which his widow Catherine took over. She apparently served as the proprietor until 1886 after which management apparently transferred to her eldest son Peter S. who, according to census records turned the age of 21 that year. Peter served as proprietor from 1886 to 1891. In the early 1890’s, another son, James R. Day, was also listed with the occupation “waters,” at the East 23rd Street address.

Still listed in 1892, by 1894 Day & Brother was no longer mentioned in the directories.

The bottle I found is a six ounce pony with a blob finish. It’s embossed with the 353 East 20th Street address, dating it from approximately 1869 to 1877 when the business utilized that address.

Examples of Day & Brother bottles that exhibit their later address at 351 East 23rd Street have also appeared on the Internet. They date from 1877 to the early 1890’s

I’ve also seen a bottle for sale on the internet that’s simply embossed John W. Day, with the 353 East 20th Street address. This example also included the embossed year “1874,” which suggests that John W. used this style for a period of time in the mid-1870’s after James P. Day left the business but prior to their move to East 23rd Street, roughly 1874 to 1877.

H. Busch & Son, 116-118 Blum St., Union Hill, N. J.

 

H. Busch & Son were the proprietors of a turn of the century bottling business located in Union Hill, New Jersey. The business, by all appearances, was a small, local operation.

Herman Busch, a German immigrant, established the business, likely called H. Busch, sometime in the first decade of the 1900’s. Prior to that, 1900 census records listed Busch as a teamster living in West Hoboken.

In 1910 census records listed Busch’s occupation as the owner of a beer bottling business and his seventeen year old son, Herman Busch, Jr., was listed as a helper in the business. Digitized directories that include Union Hill are scarce, however, one I did find, the 1915 Hudson County Business Directory, listed H. Busch & Son as bottlers at the address listed on the bottle, 116 Blum Street. So, based on this listing, Herman, Jr. was viewed as a partner in the business no later than the mid-teens. In 1920, census records listed both father and son as bottlers of soda.

By 1930 Busch Sr. had retired and Busch Jr. was a truck driver living in Jersey City so the business apparently dissolved sometime in the 1920’s.

Union Hill merged with West Hoboken becoming Union City, New Jersey in 1924. Three years later, in 1927, Blum Street was renamed 36th Street. Shown below is 116 36th Street in Union City, courtesy of Google Earth. Assuming the street numbering system remained unchanged, this could be where the business operated. According to Trulia.com the el-shaped building includes office space, warehouse space, a loading dock and a parking area in front; everything you need to operate a bottling business. Sadly there’s no information on when it was built.

The bottle I found is a 28 oz., mouth blown tooled crown that fits with the early years of the business.

Eau Minerale de Soultzmatt (Soultzmatt Mineral Water)

 

The Soulzmatt mineral springs are located in the Alsace region of France near its border with Germany and Switzerland. Written records of the springs date back to 1272 and the chronicles of a Franciscan monk named Tschamser de Thann. Visitors began enjoying its thermal baths sometime in the early 1600’s when spa facilities began to develop around the springs.

This late 1700’s/early 1800’s description of the springs appeared in an 1867 document entitled “Description Geologique et Mineralogique du Department Du Haut-Rain” (Geological and Mineralogical description of the Haut-Rain Department).

These springs sprung up at the southern foot of the Vosges sandstone mountain of Heidenberg, upstream from the village of Soultzmatt. Previously, in 1779 until 1838, according to Dr. Palm, they were the number of six gathered on a very small space.They (appeared) as pools in stone, the overflow of which flowed into the neighboring river. These sources were designated by the numbers and the following names: 1. acidule source (Sauerwasser); 2. copper source (Kupferwasser); 3. sulphurous spring (Schwefelwasser); 4. purgative source (Purgirwasser); 5. source of money (Silberwasser); 6. source of gold (Goldwasser). But all these waters held the same properties and were of the same nature…

Visited primarily by the locals for its curative effects, in 1839 Louis Nessel acquired the site and under his management it ultimately developed into a destination for those seeking cures from all over Europe. According to an 1888 Travel Guide entitled, “A Travers Les Vosges,” (Through the Vosges) by Fritz Ehrenberg:

The following illnesses have been cured by drinking or bathing the waters of the Nessel spring: Inflammation, nervousness in the stomach, liver, kidneys, bladder, and respiratory organs; inflammatory rheumatism, swollen joint, female diseases, bronchitis…

This description of the Soultzmatt spa and its surroundings during Nessel’s ownership was included in an 1853 publication called “Des eaux gazeuses alkalines de Soultzmatt” (Soultzmatt Alkaline Carbonated Waters).

A few hundred of steps to the west of this town (Soultzmatt), the valley narrows between two mountains that rise and seem to defend the entrance. These two opposite mountains, which rise, so to speak, side by side, and which, by the equality of their proportions and the symmetry of their forms, appear as two gigantic twins, seem to have received two very different consecrations in the past. One to the north, is Heidenberg, or mountain of the Gentiles, the other, covering the valley to the south, bears the name of Gros pfingtsberg , mountain of the Pentacost.

At the foot of these two mountains, on a narrow horizontal space which covers the junction of their bases, the establishment of the baths rises solitary at the bottom of the valley and detaches its white walls on a magnificent curtain of greenery.

This sketch included in Fritz Ehrenberg’s 1888 travel guide adds the visual perspective to this elegant verbal description.

The 1853 publication went on to describe the spa complex.

The buildings that compose it extend on the four sides of a rectangular courtyard.

Those of the north are dedicated to the bath houses and cover the basins of the sources.

On the opposite side is the main building, it is wide spacious and convenient, its exposure to the South is most favorable to the sick. A large dining room and elegant living room occupy the grounds.

To the east, an avenue of tall and bushy trees announces and seems to veil this delicious retreat.

In the west, the center of a well distributed garden, wild vines entwining their vigorous vines form a green and shady gallery around the pool with a jet of water, which keeps this place pleasantly cool.

On December 1, 1853, at around the same time this description was written, an imperial decree authorized the bottling and marketing of Soultzmatt water under the name Source Nessel. According to an inventory of the “Vosages Valleys of the Haut-Rhin” found on the French website grandest.fr., as early as 1855 Nessel sold 55,000 bottles of his mineral water. This description of the Nessel sources, now numbering eleven, focused on the single source used for bottling. It appeared in an 1859 publication called “Des principales faux minerales de’l Europe” (Of the Main Mineral Waters of Europe)

The sources are eleven, six old and five new. The most carbonated, the main source, is used exclusively as a drink, and only supplies the exported water. It is therefore necessary to take special care of it, all the others being used for external use.

Main Source – In front of the corridor door, at the end of the courtyard of the establishment is the source, whose tap, 1 centimeter in diameter at its opening, is sealed 20 centimeters from the paving at the bottom of the wall of the part intended for the various bottling jobs. We arrive at the source praetorium, 1 meter 60 centimeters below the ground, through a glass door opening onto a sort of vestibule 3 meters long by 2 meters wide, which leads to a stone staircase of nine steps. A wooden grid painted green surrounds the courtroom area, 2 meters long by 1 meter wide, and supports a shelf with compartments for drinkers’ glasses.

The flow of the source is only 1 liter three quarters per minute, 98 liters per hour, or 2,352 liters per day. It is collected at times when the refreshment bar is not frequented, in bottles consumed in the surroundings, and especially in the many countries where there are deposits.

The water is clear, limpid, transparent, colorless, and reveals by its taste and its smell the large quantity of dissolved and free carbonic acid gas with which it is charged, and which soon settles in numerous and shiny pearls on the walls of the glass. It’s flavor is fresh, sour, very pleasant; it is also used as a drink during meals.

The Vosages Valleys’ inventory went on to say that in order to meet growing demand Nessel undertook collection work on the other side of the road at the foot of the Heidenberg rocks such that by the mid 1860’s he was selling 400,000 bottles annually.

When Louis Nessel passed away in 1875, he was succeeded by his son Jacques.  By this time they  had established a business relationship with Antoine Brun, forming Nessel, Brun et Cie. This advertisement for their waters appeared in several 1877 issues of a publication entitled “Gazette hebdomadaire de medicine et de chirugie” (Weekly Gazette of Medicine and Surgery).

Translated (courtesy of Google Translate), it reads :

The mineral source to which the just reputation of Soultzmatt waters is due is that of baths belonging to Messrs. Nessel and Brun. More Carbonated than the water sold under the sole name of Soultzmatt, it can be recognized by the following brands: “Nessel,” “Soultzatt Mineral Water,” and “Soultzatt Carbonated Alkaline Water,” at the bottom of the cork in the glass on the tar.

The bottle is sold for 60c. the bottle taken back for 15c. at the depot 18 Rue de Choisent, Lescun house, in pharmacies and depots. Require the brand.

In 1891 the facility was partially destroyed by fire after which it was purchased and rebuilt by Joseph Brun who, along with his sisters operated it under the name Brun & Cie.

This entry in an 1897 English publication entitled “Health Resorts Of Europe – A Guide to Mineral Springs, Climates, Mountain and Sea Side Stations of Europe,” by Thomas Linn, M.D., was very complimentary of the Brun & Cie product. By this time the Nessel Spring, through its various catchments was producing 15,000 quarts per day.

Soultzmatt

These bi-carbonate of soda, gaseous, alkaline digestive waters, are found in Haute Alsace, near Colmar, and were declared of public utility by the French Government in 1865. The Nessel Spring, from which they come, gives now over 15,000 quarts of the water per day, and its chemical analysis shows that it is of great purity and highly charged with carbonic acid gas; this gas is natural to the spring and is not added to the water in bottles, as is the case in many table waters.

From personal experience we can state that these waters are without a rival as Table Waters, and they are the most agreeable and hygienic that we have tasted, having nearly any metallic principles in them; this absence of iron makes them eminently digestive, and allows of their perfect conservation in bottles.

The 1904 edition of the same publication, “Health Resorts of Europe,” made it clear it was still being touted as a cure as well.

Indications. – Chronic inflammatory troubles of the stomach; nervous diseases. Very diuretic, and given in liver, kidney and bladder troubles, gout, rheumatism.

Brun & Cie was liquidated in 1921, replaced by the Societe des Eau Minerale de Soultzmatt (Soultzmatt Mineral Water Company). Around this time, the company drilled new wells and after adding carbon dioxide marketed a new product under the name Lisbeth. This place mat recently offered for sale on the internet highlighted their Lisbeth Carbonated Water as well as their Nessel Mineral Water.

Again thanks to Google Translate:

Nessel Natural Mineral Water

Nessel mineral waters are indicated in disorders of the stomach, liver intestines, kidneys and bladder.

Lisbeth Carbonated Table Water

The most pure, the most pleasant of table water which keeps gas better.

Today a company called “Sources De Soultzmatt” continues to sell sparkling water under the Lisbeth name and mineral water under the Nessel name.

According to the company’s web site, their products are currently exported to the United States as well as Canada, Australia and several European countries (United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Holand, Greece, Poland…).

The bottle I found was mouth blown in a turn mold and includes a a blob seal exhibiting one of the trademarks presented in the 1877 advertisement.

Recognizing it was blown in a turn mold, I suspect it was made sometime around the turn of the century after Brun & Cie was established.

Recognizing that I found this bottle on Long Island, N.Y. it’s likely that Nessel mineral water was being exported to the United States by the turn of the 20th century and possibly earlier. That being said, I can’t identify any specific company as their U. S. agent, nor can I find any reference to their mineral water in American medical publications or general magazine and newspaper advertisements. So, I suspect their U. S. imports were minimal, probably limited to local retailers.

 

Hicksville Bottling Co., Hicksville, N. Y., “ROXY”

 

Long Island New York’s Hicksville Bottling Company had its roots with the mineral water business of a man named Edgar Davis. When Davis started the business is not clear, however, bottles produced for the Hicksville Bottling Company in the 1940’s and 1950’s include the phrase “Since 1873,” so it’s possible that it’s inception extended back that far.

 

A September 4, 1886 local newspaper story specifically referenced Edgar Davis as a bottler so it’s clear he was up and running by the mid 1880’s.

In 1894, brothers-in-law William F. Staude and Charles Fassbender purchased the business from Davis. The transaction was announced in the May 12, 1894 edition of a Huntington, New York newspaper called “The Long-Islander.”

William F. Staude of the Roadside Hotel and Charles Fassbender, collector for the Ulmer Brewing Company have bought out the mineral water business of Edgar Davis and have leased the old Pahde property where they will carry on a bottling business on a large scale. Both young men are sons in law of August Fleischbein, proprietor of the Grand Central Hotel and are well-known. We wish them success.

As far as I can tell their initial location was near the Hicksville train depot on the northeast corner of East Marie Street and Railroad Avenue. A map, circa 1914, confirmed their plant was located there by that time.

Not just associated with mineral water, this advertisement, published in the September 21, 1907 edition of the Brooklyn Times Union also labeled them as beer bottlers and wine and liquor dealers.

The advertisement specifically mentioned Ulmer Cabinet Beer. According to Fassbender’s April 12, 1922 obituary published in the Brooklyn Standard Union he worked for Brooklyn’s Ulmer Brewery from 1880 to 1920.

During his forty years connected with the Ulmer Brewing Company, Mr. Fassbender advanced himself from clerk to personal collector for Brooklyn and Long Island. He also handled a considerable portion of its real estate dealings with its various agencies.

So, it’s no surprise that the company not only bottled Ulmer beer, but almost certainly bottled it from the start in 1894. Recognizing that their father-in-law, August Fleischbein, owned Hicksville’s Grand Central Hotel including its 600 person capacity hall, it’s also likely they had an immediate market for their products.

Staude passed away in 1917 and Fassbender ultimately sold the business in 1921. The sale was reported in the August edition of the American Bottler.

HICKSVILLE BOTTLING PLANT CHANGES HANDS

The Hicksville Bottling Co., at Hicksville, Long Island, has been purchased by Jac. Friedman, who was formerly connected with the Christ Wagner Bottling Co., of Java Street, Brooklyn. Charles S. Fassbender was the former owner of the plant, which he had successfully conducted for a number of years.

Polish immigrants, the Friedman’s apparently operated the business as a family affair. In addition to Jac (Jak), 1930 census records indicate that Eli Friedman, likely his brother, as well as Jak’s two sons, Louis and William, were all involved in the business. Census records in 1940 continued to associate the Friedman’s with the business.

It was the Friedman’s who, during Prohibition, began utilizing the name “Roxy.” They trademarked the name in 1930, but their application indicated that it had been in use since July 1, 1926.

After Prohibition they were back in the beer business as evidenced by this May 26, 1937 advertisement in the New York Daily News listing them as a Brooklyn and Long Island distributor for the Fidelio Brewery. By then the company had apparently moved, listing their address as 10-2 Lenox Avenue in Hicksville.

Another advertisement, this one published in the March 17, 1939 edition of the Nassau Daily Review named them as a distributor for New York City’s John Eichler Brewing Company as well.

The company, as well as the Roxy brand, endured well into the 1950’s and possibly longer. As late as 1957, this July 21 New York Daily News advertisement listed “Roxy – dietetic” (halfway down the second column) as a beverage made with Sucaryl.

           

The bottle I found is machine made with the Hicksville Bottling Co. name embossed on the bottom. The name “Roxy” is embossed on both sides in a style matching the patented trademark.

      

The bottle was likely made in the late 1920’s or 1930’s, and certainly no earlier than July, 1926 when the trademark application declared it was first used.

The company also used the Roxy name on siphon bottles as evidenced by this item recently offered for sale on the internet.