According to census records, in 1900 George Sessler Jr. was a clerk living with his family on First Avenue in Manhattan. By 1910, the census records indicate he had moved to Oyster Bay, Long Island, listing his occupation as “bottler of mineral water.” Two of his brothers, Adolph and William lived with him and listed their occupation as “worker – bottling works.”
Sessler was elected “a member at large” of the American Bottler in 1907, so it appears the business started sometime between 1900 and 1907. The business listed their address as “Highway, Glen Head Depot to Shore” in the Annual Report of the State Commission of Excise in 1913, 1915,1918 and 1919. This location appears to be the same as the house address Sessler listed in 1920 and 1930 census records, further indication that it was a small family run business.
In 1920 and 1930, George continued to list mineral water manufacturer as an occupation and Adolph listed his as mineral water salesman. So the business must have continued at least into the early 1930’s.
I was able to find two newspaper advertisements. One in a May 1918 issue of the “Sea Cliff News” stated Sessler was a bottler of mineral waters, seltzer and beer. The other was in the March 4, 1923 issue of the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle” and it announced that he was the sole distributor of Jeffress Irish Style Canadian Ginger Ale.
George Sessler passed away on September 29, 1933 at the age of 60. Adolph continued to list his occupation as mineral water salesman in the 1940 census records but it’s not clear whether or not he continued the family business or worked for another company at that point.
I found 4 bottles, all different (7oz, 8oz, 27 oz and 28 oz) and all machine made. Three are embossed George Sessler or George Sessler Jr and one is embossed Sessler’s Beverages. Recognizing the change in name, this last one may have been manufactured after George’s death in 1933. All of them are embossed with the Glenwood Landing location.
According to the local Historical Society, Richard William Frederick Runge was the founder of the Richard Runge Bottle Works in and around 1890. On the Internet, I’ve seen Hutchinson style bottles embossed “R W F Runge Farmingdale L.I.”
The 1900 census records list Richard Runge as a beer bottler and his father, Frederick, as a saloonkeeper living in Oyster Bay Township. Living with them is Richard’s wife Henrietta, the daughter of Edward Schnaderbeck, and Peter Schnaderbeck, one of Edward’s sons. Peter is also listed in the census as a beer bottler.
The 1900 census records also list both Edward Schnaderbeck and his son Martin as soda water bottlers in Oyster Bay Township and I’ve seen Huthinson style bottles on the Internet embossed “Schnaderbeck & Co Farmingdale L.I.” Farmingdale is a village located within Oyster Bay Township.
I’m guessing that at some point around the turn of the century the two families got together and combined the businesses. In fact, in 1898 Richard Runge is listed as a Liquor Tax Certificate holder in the New York State Directory. The address was given as Fulton St., near Main St. In the same document, Mary Schnaderbeck is listed at the same address. The problem is I can’t find a Mary in the Schnaderbeck family or on Long Island for that matter. It’s possible that the names Martin and Mary got mixed up in the Directory. It’s also possible I’m on the wrong track.
This being said, the only piece of information I could find that is directly related to the business is a great old photograph of two horse drawn delivery wagons taken in front of an old wooden building with shutters. A sign, both on one of the wagons and on the building reads: “Schnaderbeck & Runge, Mineral Waters, Farmingdale L.I.
Fulton Street is now a widened State Route 109 in this area. I assume the old wooden building housing the business was lost as Route 109 got widened over the years.
The bottle I found is a Hutchinson (8 oz). The embossing on the base of the bottle is “K Hutter of New York” indicating this company made the bottle.