Suffolk County Bottling Works, Amityville, L.I.


The “Suffolk County Bottling Works” was owned by Jacob Hartmann from 1890 to 1902.

Hartmann’s biography, included in the “Portrait and Biographical Record of Suffolk County N.Y.,” published in 1896, indicated that he was born in Prussia in 1842 and arrived in the United States in 1859. He lived and worked in New York City as a glass cutter and, later, a manufacturer of paints before moving to Long Island. His biography goes on to document his first few years on Long Island leading up to the start of the bottling business.

…On account of his health, he moved with his family to Amityville, where he purchased a small piece of property. Settling this about 1877, or a little later, he began dealing in stoves, crockery and tinware, and meeting with some success, followed the business for a few years. Selling out in 1890, he embarked on his present business, and is a leader in his line on the island.

Started on January 1, 1890, the bottling business was originally a partnership between Hartmann and Charles W. Smith, however it appears that, based on this May 28, 1890 story in the Brooklyn Citizen, their relationship was not on the firmest of ground.

Bottling beer and soda water is a profitable business in Suffolk County, if the affidavits produced this morning before Judge Pratt in the Supreme Court are to be believed.

Charles W. Smith and Jacob Hartmann are the Suffolk County Bottling Company, doing business at Amityville. Mr. Smith, through Lawyers Fishel and Reid, asked for a receiver because Mr. Hartmann, as alleged, was taking the receipts and refusing Mr. Smith a share. The business and copartnership was begun on Jan. 1, to last a year, and the business is yielding a profit of $150 to $175 a week.

Lawyer George A. Hooper said that Mr. Hartmann furnished all the machinery and bottles and the plaintiff put in only $150. Smith drove the wagon and did the selling and Hartmann managed the business and took care of the proceeds.

Judge Pratt solved the difficulty by requiring the defendant to give a bond in $2000 to pay the plaintiff what might be due to him on an accounting. If the defendant fails to do this in five days, William G. Nicoll, of Babylon, is to be the receiver.

The “SH” insignia representing Hartmann and Smith’s last names is embossed on both bottle types (hutchinson and tooled crown) found in the bay.

Recognizing that the crown finish wasn’t patented until 1892 and wasn’t widely used for several years after, its likely that this bottle wasn’t blown until the mid to late 1890’s at the earliest. So, it’s possible that their partnership survived this disagreement.

In addition to owning the Suffolk County Bottling Works Hartmann was also proprietor of the Suffolk County Ice Company.

A large pond, once known as Oak Street Lake and later known as Hartmann’s Pond was named for Hartmann. His home and businesses were located adjacent to the pond on Lake Street. The pond supplied the Suffolk County Ice Company with ice each winter. (Today, the area around the lake is named Peterkin Park.)

A June 3, 1902 story in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle contained a description of the pond and Hartman’s businesses.

Hartmman’s Pond, which is owned by Jacob Hartmann, a bottler of beer and mineral waters, is situated a few hundred feet north of Oak Street or what has long been known as “the new road” and about one quarter mile east of the village proper. The pond is a little more than an acre in size and is fed by springs that flow through the woods north of the railroad track. The pond is surrounded by a grove in which is the residence and grounds of the owner. On the banks of the pond are buildings used by Mr Hartmann for his bottling establishment.

The story goes on to say that Brooklyn may buy the pond and use it as an extension of their water system. Hartman sold the business less than five months after this story was printed so it could very well have been the reason he sold out. The October 13, 1902 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported the sale.

Jacob Hartman, for a long period proprietor of the Suffolk County Bottling Works and the Suffolk County Ice Company has sold both enterprises to George Lyons of Coney Island and is to retire from active business. Mr. Hartman is a German by birth, but came to this country when a young man, and by hard work, thrift and enterprise has accumulated a comfortable fortune.

Approximately one year later, on October 4, 1903, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that Lyons had failed to meet the mortgage payments to Hartmann and the property was seized and offered for sale.

The plant and personal effects of George W Lyons, proprietor of the Suffolk County Bottling Works of Amityville were seized recently by Deputy Sheriff Morris, who will expose them for sale on Thursday. The cause of the goods being seized was that Mr. Lyons failed to meet the payment of a $4,000 chattel mortgage held by Jacob Hartmann.

Two weeks later the October 17, 1903 edition of the South Side Signal reported that the sale of the property had taken place and that Lyons was again in business at a new location.

The sale of the property of George W. Lyons, seized under an execution obtained by Jacob Hartman took place on Thursday and was quite largely attended. Dispossess proceedings against Lyons have been initiated by Hartman, and the decision of Justice Wilmarth, before whom the case was tried, is being awaited. Lyons is again in business on Broadway.

Whether he continued to use the Suffolk County Bottling Works (Co.) name is not clear.

On May 28, 1904 the South Side Signal reported that Lyons had also opened a road house in Amityville. Note that it was quite common at the time that hotel operators also bottled their own beverages

George W. Lyons of this village has leased the Depue place on Upper Broadway and has opened a road house thereon, where he will entertain old and new patrons.

The  bottling business was still in full operation as late as 1906 as evidenced by this June 9, 1906 story in the South Side Signal.

One of the most attractive delivery wagons in these parts is that of George W. Lyons, the well known bottler. It is very neatly painted and the lettering is such that he who runs may read where to obtain the bottled goods.

Lyons continued to list himself as a hotel operator in the 1910 census records and he’s listed as a N.Y.S. liquor tax certificate holder for the year ending Sept. 30, 1915 with a Broadway address (at Harrison Ave.). So, it’s likely that the bottling business, in association with the hotel/roadhouse, remained functional until at least 1915. I lose track of him at this point.

I’ve found 3 bottles all together, 2 Hutchinsons and an 8 oz tooled crown. This Hutchinson’s manufacture date lies within the 1890 to 1902 time period, while the tooled crown likely dates from the late 1890’s to 1902. Both periods could extend a little later if Lyons continued to use the “Suffolk County Bottling” name and insignia.

The slug plate on the tooled crown calls the company “Suffolk Co. Bot. Wks.” while both Hutchinsons call it “Suffolk Co Bot. Co.” Note that all references I could find on the Internet used the term “Works” not “Co”. (The Hutchinson Slug Plates are very crowded… the S in Wks wouldn’t fit unless they reduced the size of the lettering so maybe they changed it to Co to reduce the extra letter??).