It appears that The Mutual Bottling Co and the business of Buttling and O’Connell were tied together, if not one and the same. Both were located at the same address, 127 to 131 Boerum Place. My impression is that Buttling & O’Connell manufactured mineral water and the Mutual Bottling Co. bottled it.
The first listing I can find for Buttling and O’Connell, 129 Boerum Pl, was as a Mineral Water manufacturer in the 1899 Trow Business Directory for Brooklyn and they were also listed under mineral water in the Annual Report for the Factory Inspections of New York State 1899 and 1900 with 10 male employees. Prior to that, James O’Connel was listed individually at the Boerum Place address going back to the 1880’s. Avery Buttling was first listed individually at that location in 1899.
I can’t find the Mutual Bottling Co listed in the Brooklyn Directories until 1903 but I did find a business card from August of 1897 in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that contained both business names.
Based on this I’d say 1897 was probably close to the start of the business. The Copartnership and Corporation Directory of the Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens 1913-1914 named Avery Buttling and James O’Connel as principals in Buttling & O’Connell and just James O’Connell as a principal of the Mutual Bottling Co. Both were still located at 127 Boerum Place.
Advertisements in the October 6, 1912 and October 9,1915 issues of the Brooklyn Eagle listed Buttling and O’Connell and Mutual Bottling Co together as manufacturers and bottlers of mineral water and carbonated beverages. The 1915 ad stated “Specialties: Sparkling and Pure Diamond Spring Water, Extra Ginger Ale, Extra Lemon Soda, Extra Sarsaporilla, Extra Club Soda.
Mutual Bottling Co was also one of many Brooklyn and Long Island Bottlers of Beverages that “patriotically contributed” advertising space in the June 27, 1918 edition of the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle” that contained a plea from Uncle Sam to Brooklynites to sign a pledge card to purchase war savings stamps to fund the war effort. O’Connell was listed as President of the Mutual Bottling Co.in the advertisement.
The Mutual Bottling Co. incorporated in 1921. The May 1921 issue of “The Beverage Journal” reported:
The Mutual Bottling Co has incorporated with a capital of $16,000 to make non-alcoholic beverages. The incorporators were Louis Ruskin 307 Smith St, SS Levy 134 Bergen St and Sam Ash 115 Court St Brooklyn.
James O’Connell appears to be out of Mutual at this point and the 1922 Copartnership and Corporation Directory of Brooklyn and Queens showed the business of Buttling & O’Connel as dissolved.
The Mutual Bottling Company remained listed in the Brooklyn Directories up until about 1930.
Today, the east side of Boerum Place between Dean and Bergen Streets consists of modern day apartments buildings.
The machine made (27 oz) bottle I found is embossed “Diamond Sparkle Beverages.” It’s probably from the late teens and most likely contained the sparkling diamond spring water mentioned in the 1915 ad above.