Wm. Dieckman & Son, 59-63 Stockholm St., Brooklyn N.Y.

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“A History of Long Island From Its Settlement to Recent Time” Vol 3 by Peter Ross; published in 1902 included a short biography of Frederick William Ernst Dieckman. The biography contains the following paragraph about the start and early years of his mineral water business:

In 1878 he began the manufacture of mineral water at No. 125 Elm Street, there conducting a successful business until 1884 in which year he purchased the three lots at No.s 59, 61 and 63 Stockholm Street. There he erected the dwelling and other buildings used in his manufacturing business and in addition he secured the accessories and other conveniences for the successful operation of his trade. In his undertaking he has prospered and the volume of his business is constantly increasing.

The early Brooklyn City Directories confirm and add a little to the story. William Dieckman was first listed in the 1880 Directory at 125 Elm Street. He was also listed as pop/beer and vinegar in the 1883 and 1884 Directories respectively. By 1886 he was listed at the 63 Stockholm address as vinegar and by 1890 he was listed primarily as a bottler of soda and/or mineral water. During these yearly years he was sometimes listed as having two n’s in his last name.

Around 1899 the son, also William, becomes associated with the business. The 1899 Trow Business Directory refers to the business as Wm Dieckman and Son and the 1902 General Directory lists both William and William Jr at the Stockholm Street address. Sadly, William Jr died prematurely of pneumonia in June of 1911 at the age of 36.

The business is still listed in the 1929 Brooklyn Red Book but I haven’t been able to find any listings in the 1930’s. Born in 1844, William Sr would have been in his 80’s by then.

Dieckman was one of several bottlers who incorporated the Brooklyn and Long Island Bottler’s Protective Union. The April 13, 1890 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported:

The Brooklyn and Long Island Bottler’s Protective Union has been incorporated by James Ward, Hugh Goodwin, George Russell, William Dieckman, Charles Maurer, John J. Dunn, F.W. Witt, J.F. Knoble, Daniel Bahr, Ebenezer Seely, P. Klein, George Bohlen and Henry Ahrens, of this city; Robert Finan of Long Island City, and Phillip Schweickert, of Coney Island.

Today, the Stockholm Street address is a vacant lot.

The one bottle I found is machine made, quart size (27 oz) probably from the last decade of the business.

I came across a humorous episode involving Dieckman in an item printed under the heading “Court News” in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Published in the February 17, 1881 Issue, it occurred early in his career.

William Dieckman is a dealer in root beer in the Eastern District, and he left the compound at various candy stores and other places where the stuff is sold. One Frederick Feltman was also interested in the root beer business, and Dieckman charged him with stealing his beer bottles and substituting his own in their place. He caused his arrest, but on the hearing before Justice Semler the complaint was dismissed, because it appeared that the Dieckman business really belonged to Mrs. Dieckman. Then the lady in the case had Feltman arrested on the same complaint, but that case was also dismissed by the justice. Now Feltman took his innings in the game and sued Mr. and Mrs. Dieckman for $5,000 each for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. The case was tried yesterday afternoon before Judge Reynolds and a jury. The suit against Mrs. Dieckman was dismissed, and in the suit against the husband the jury gave Feltman a verdict for six cents damages. Honors may be said to be easy between the root beer litigants.

Columbia Bottling Co., 105 & 107 Columbia Street, New York & 734 East 6th Street, New York

The proprietor of the Columbia Bottling Company, Bernard (sometimes Barnett) Sandrowitz was listed in the 1897 and 1898 Trow NYC Business Directory under “mineral water” at 330 Stanton Street.

The Columbia Bottling Company was first listed in the 1900 NYC Corporation and Copartnership Directory at 330 Stanton Street . They also appear in the 1901 New York State Factory Inspection Report with 8 employees. In 1902 the company moved to 734 East 6th Street and remained listed there through 1909 with Bernard Sandrowitz as proprietor.

The January 15, 1909 issue of the “American Bottler” announced that the business had incorporated.

The incorporation is announced of the Columbia Bottling Co 734 East 6th Street New York to bottle water and beverages: capital $ 5,000. The incorporators are: Harry Schiffman No 135 E 115th St, Leon Katz No 1461 Fifth Avenue, Samuel Slonim No 1590 Lexington Ave, all of New York.

In 1910 the business changed their name in the directories to the Columbia Bottling Works but remained at the 734 East 6th Street location. Sandrowitz continued to be listed with the company in the Copartnership and Corporation Directories  so I assume that he continued to run/manage the business.

The company apparently went out of business in 1914. The 1914 directory stated that the company name had been discontinued.

In the 1915 NYC General Directory, Sandrowitz was still living at the East 6th Street location but was employed as a foreman at the Columbia Soda Water Works, located at 375 East 4th Street. Adolph Goldstein was listed as both president and vice president of the company and Frances Sandrowitz (probably a relative) was secretary/treasurer. By 1920, this company was not listed either.

I’ve found two Columbia Bottling Company bottles. One is embossed Columbia Bottling Co with an address of 105 & 107 Columbia Street. This is the same block as 330 Stanton Street, so it looks like the business was located on the northwest corner of Stanton and Columbia. Recognizing that the business moved to 6th Street in 1902, this bottle dates between 1900 and 1901 or possibly a couple of years earlier depending on when Sandrowitz started using the Columbia name. The bottle is quart sized (27 or 28 oz) with an applied blob finish.

The other bottle is embossed with the 724 East 6th Street address, so it probably dates between 1902 and 1909, before they started calling themselves the Columbia Bottling Works, but certainly no later than 1914. The bottle also has the monogrammed initials “BS” embossed on it which must stand for Bernard Sandrowitz. The bottle is also quart sized (27 oz) with a tooled blob finish.

I’ve also seen bottles on the internet embossed Columbia Bottling Co with a Harrison St address in Brooklyn. Their Bottle Registration Notice, printed in the February 18, 1898 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle stated that they had been in business since 1896 and that they maintained addresses at 117 Columbia Street and 36 Harrison Street in Brooklyn. They were owned and operated by Eugene R Judge. I can’t find any connection between the two companies.

The City Bottling Works of New York, Henry Downes, 1873

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According to his obituary in the December 15, 1905 edition of “The American Bottler” Henry Downes was one of the first makers of ginger ale in the US.

Henry Downes, the veteran bottler, died at his home, 429 Henry Street, Brooklyn on the 23rd, at the age of 72 years.

He was a native of County Clare, Ireland, and came to this country when a young man, and as a pioneer in the soda water business was one of the first manufacturers of ginger ale in this country.

He was one of the original members of the Bottlers’ and Manufacturers’ Association of New York.

Henry Downes was first listed in the 1870/1871 Trow New York City Directory at 411 1st Avenue with the occupation minerals. A year later, he was listed as a bottler at the same address. In 1873-74 he changed his address to 404 E 25th St. (on the same block but on the other side of First Avenue) with the following description:

manufacturer of Belfast Ginger Ale, Honey Mead Soda, Sarsaparilla, Fruit Syrups and Extracts; also original manufacturer of Extract of Ginger Ale.

He was still listed at that address through 1888. In 1890/91 he was listed as a bottler in Brooklyn at 98 Wycoff Street. He was still listed at this address in 1897 but as an agent, not a bottler.

Downes held the rights to at least two patents. One (No. 145139), dated December 2, 1873, and held jointly with Frederick W. Wiesenbrock was for “a fountain for soda water.” The other (196437 A) was for improvements in vent faucets for bottles, Filing Date: May 31,1877, Publication Date: October 23,1877.

Another obituary, this one in the November 25, 1905 issue of the New York Sun, said that Downes was a writer and lecturer, and for many years was connected with the Bottlers Gazette.

Today this area of First Avenue in Manhattan is heavily occupied by NYU. Their College of Dentistry occupies the former 411 First Avenue address. The 25th Street address is just east of First Avenue and is also occupied by a modern building.

The bottle I found is a pony style with an applied blob finish. Its embossed  with the date of 1873 which puts it on the bubble between the First Avenue and East 25th Street locations. I’ve seen bottles embossed with the Wycoff Avenue address on the Internet but have not found one.

California Bottling Co., 142 King St., Brooklyn, N.Y.

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The first listing I can find for the California Bottling Co. was in the 1920 Brooklyn telephone directory however the newspaper article quoted below suggested that it was established in 1917.  The business continued to be listed in various Brooklyn Directories up to and including 1931 at the 142 King Street address. Their business card appeared in several issues of the Brooklyn Citizen during the spring/summer of 1922.

According to 1922 issues of the “Beverage Journal” and the “Soda Fountain” under the heading “soft drinks and syrups” the California Bottling Co patented the design and the word “click” for non-alcoholic, non-cereal, maltless beverages sold as soft drinks and syrups for making same. Used since: February 1, 1920, Filed: February 28, 1922, Published: July 18, 1922 and Registered: October 17, 1922.

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A July 9, 1922 story in the Brooklyn Citizen highlighted both “Click” and the California Bottling Company. The story, actually a glorified advertisement, had to have been written and submitted by the firm.

CLICK COMES IN TIME FOR SUMMER

New Beverage Meets With Instant Favor and Is In Great Demand

“Click” the newest member of the beverage family, has arrived in good time for the abatement of summertime thirsts. It comes in three flavors, orange, grape and cherry. Brooklynites have been pleasantly surprised with the latest addition to the long line of excellent products sold by the California Bottling Company of No. 142 King Street.

Their four delivery wagons are being kept busy all day long supplying the needs of their many customers both in this borough and across the river in Manhattan.

And it is little wonder that there is such a wide demand for “Click” and the other products such as ginger ale, soda and carbonated waters that this company specializes in, for they are thoroughly satisfying in all ways.

Sparkling, filtered waters are used in the manufacture of these drinks. Pure fruit juices are used exclusively for coloring and flavoring purposes. The machinery is of the modern type and the plant is up-to-date in every respect.

L. Diccor, manager of the factory, says that the concern has increased its size yearly. It was established five years ago, and its growth has been remarkably rapid. Since the advent of prohibition there has, of course, been a marked increase in the demand for soft drinks.

“Click,” they say takes some of the sting out of prohibition, for it really does quench even the most obstinate thirst and is soothing to the driest of throats.

Starting in the mid-1920’s through 1931, the Click Cola Bottling Company was listed in various directories with the same address and telephone number as the California Bottling Co.

I’ve seen bottles on the Internet embossed Click Cola (in script) Bottling Co., with the 142 King Street address looking very much like a classic Coca-Cola bottle. An Internet bottle site stated that Coke sued them for infringement and put them out of business. I can’t confirm this.

Today 142 King Street is a one story building with two garage door size openings. Property Shark.com states that it was built in 1931 so it post dates the business.

The bottle I found is machine made (8 oz) with California Bottling Co embossed inside a large horseshoe. There is no mention of “Click” Cola. It fits with a mid 1920’s time frame.

Bruckner Bros., 408 to 412 E 161st St., New York

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The NYC Copartnership and Corporation Directories listed the Bruckner Brothers as John A and Henry Bruckner. The business bottled mineral water and soda. Henry was also a prominent Bronx politician serving as an Assemblyman in 1901, Commissioner of Public Works from 1902 to 1912, a Congressman from 1913 to 1917 and Bronx Borough President from 1918 to 1933. Bruckner Boulevard and the Bruckner Expressway were named after him.

An early Bruckner Bros bottle listed on the Internet is embossed “Successors to Stephen Garland.” Garland was listed as waters in the Directories between 1875 and 1892. He was located at East 163rd Street near 3rd Avenue through the mid 1880’s, and at Elton Avenue and E 162nd Street until 1892. Bruckner Bros was first listed in the 1894 NYC Directory in the same neighborhood at 668 East 161st Street so they must have purchased and moved the business sometime in 1892 or 1893.

Sometime between 1906 and 1908 they moved to 408 East 161st Street and continued to be listed at that address throughout National Prohibition. In the 1940’s they were still located there but had changed their name to Bruckner Beverages. Henry Bruckner died in 1942 but the business survived through most of the 1950’s. In 1957 they were listed at 450 Thompson Place.

The “American Bottler” contained the following story of a robbery that occurred at the business in July, 1917. The story gives a little insight into Henry Bruckner’s sense of humor.

The Uses of Adversity

Sweet are the uses of adversity. Sometime during the night of July 28th last, burglars forced an entrance to the soda water plant of Bruckner Bros., at 412 East 161st Street, New York City, and blew a large safe in the office on the second floor, securing $1,000 in cash and a number of checks. They then went to the private office of Congressman Henry Bruckner and blew the safe there, securing a number of checks.

Turning his misfortune to advertising account Mr Bruckner immediately furnished the local newspapers with the following copy.

Burglars recently robbed the safe in the establishment of Bruckner Bros. The cracksman drank several bottles of ginger ale before departing. It must be good. Try it. Sold by first class grocers, delicatessen dealers and confectioners in the Bronx.

U-NO-US

Henry Bruckner, Sole Proprietor

Interestingly, Henry listed himself as sole proprietor in the above story but two years later, the 1919 Copartnership and Corporation Directory continued to list both Henry and John as principals. The 1925 NYC Directory listed the business as Bruckner Bros., but only named Henry Bruckner. I guess it’s safe to say that John left the business at some point during this period.

In 1921 they registered the U-NO-US slogan as a trademark (No.148198; Published Date Sept. 27, 1921) although they claimed to have been using it since 1896. They describe the product as non-alchohlic, non-cereal maltless beverages sold as soft drinks. This was their big seller during the prohibition years. I’ve seen bottles listed on the Internet with “U-NO-US”embossed in large letters below the shoulder and the company name and address in smaller letters near the base.

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408 to 412 East 161st Street is located in the Morrisania section of the Bronx, about 10 blocks east of Yankee Stadium. The former addresses are now encompassed by a new apartment building that takes up the west end of the block on the south side.

The bottle I found is a 28-ounce, machine made crown. It has the 408 to 412 address embossed on it but does not have the U-NO-US trademark. They were using this trademark as early as 1916 and it apparently was popular during Prohibition. This leads me to believe the bottle was made before the trademark really caught on; say sometime between 1915 and 1920. It was found with the porcelan stopper still in place but no wire bail.

Brock L Carroll, Far Rockaway L.I.

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Brock stands for Brockholst Carroll, apparently a prominent Far Rockaway name at the turn of the century. He served as the last Village President of Far Rockaway (before they became part of NYC). His mineral water business existed from at least the mid 1870’s until his death in 1905.

The first listing I can find for Brockholst L. Carroll was in the Rockaway section of the Lain’s Directory of Long Island in 1878 -1879, classified as mineral water. He was also listed as the excise commissioner in the same directory.

The business was listed under Soda and Mineral Water in the Far Rockaway section of the 1890 Lain’s Business Directory of Brooklyn, located at the foot of Broadway. According to “Far Rockaway Reminiscence” a presentation given by Valentine Smith in 1934, the original bottling plant on Grandview Avenue burned to the ground on Columbus Day 1892.

Later, the business continued to be listed as a manufacturer of mineral water. In the 1899 Trow Business Directory of the Borough of Queens two locations were given: Broadway in Far Rockaway and Central Avenue in Lawrence. It was also listed in the 1903 Trow Business Directory of the Borough of Queens with just the Broadway location (foot of Broadway).

Grandview Avenue is currently named Beach 17th Street and Broadway is named Beach 19th Street. Based on the address given as the foot of Broadway, I suspect that the business (both original and rebuilt) was located near the ocean beach between what is now Beach 17th and Beach 19th Streets.  The second location in Lawrence may have been needed during the rebuilding process. The area between Beach 17th and 19th Streets now serves as parking for beachfront residential high rises.

Strangely, I found the story of Carroll’s death in the February 1, 1905 edition of the Scranton (Pa.) Republican.

Brockholst Carroll Passed Away. A Hymn on His Lips.

New York, Jan 31. – Brockholst L. Carroll who was the last president of the village of Far Rockaway, died in his home in Review Avenue, Far Rockaway, Sunday evening.

Mr. Carroll was fifty-eight years old. Calling his wife and five children to his bedside on Sunday afternoon he told them he believed his end was near and began to sing hymns.

At night he grew weaker, and then he started to sing “Think of Me.” After a few words he gasped for breath and passed away.

His bottles are one of the most plentiful finds on the bay,  probably because they are extremely heavy and durable. I’ve found a total of 18 (16-8oz pony’s and 2-28 oz sizes) and all are tooled blob tops. I’ve never observed a crown top finish or machine made version. This agrees with a 1905 or earlier end date.

The embossing on all of them refers to “Far Rockaway Long Island.” This would indicate they were manufactured in 1898 (the year Far Rockaway became part of NYC) or earlier. I’ve never found one with “Far Rockaway N.Y.”embossing so it’s possible he just never went through the cost of changing his molds.

The embossing includes a picture of two gentlemen seated at a table that are being served bottles of presumably Brock Carroll Mineral Water by a waiter with a large mustache.