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Empire / New Empire Bottling Companies / St. Louis, Missouri


Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2018
St. Louis, Missouri
Empire Bottling Company
7300 Vermont (1907-1923)
516 W. Robert (1924-1929)
St. Louis, Missouri

Empire Soda Water Company
516 W. Robert (1930-1933)
St. Louis, Missouri

New Empire Bottling Company
516 W. Robert (1935-1936)
2011 Gravois (1940-1949)
St. Louis, Missouri

Empire Bottling Company was founded and incorporated in 1907. I found this announcement somewhere that shows all of the investors at the time.

1907 empire.PNG

The addresses for Empire shown above is a bit misleading as I find with other companies as well. The address of 7300 Vermont is that of nice brick home, not a bottling plant. Online maps have shown me the home as well as a rather large edifice at the alley way in the back yard. This building is a very large garage and faces Robert Avenue, the other address given. So, I am guessing some sort of zoning laws changed the business address from 7300 Vermont to 516 W. Robert.

Louis Schnellmann is listed as president of the company and will remain as president until 1928. In 1923 an ad was placed in a brochure fora charity concert given for the Relief of the Children of Central Europe as well as many others.

1923 empire ad.jpg

I have only four bottles in my collection from Empire. Only one of the bottles has a definite date stamp and that is the aqua glass,6-ounce version and is dated 1928. The other 6-ounce version and the two-quart size bottles are more than likely from the same time period. (1925-1930)

P1020347.jpg P1020348.jpg

Ok, so now its 1929 and a fresh name of The Empire Soda Water Co. is listed and Louis Schnellmann Jr. is now listed as president. A Herman Burkemper is also listed as a possible co-owner or vice-president. Dad,Louis Sr. is listed as being with the St. Louis Relay Motor Truck Company and vice president of Western Mineral Water Company with number 2 son, Frank Schnellmann listed as president.
This 1930 ad from a publication called The Politician shows an Empire Soda Water Co. ad that features Cherry Hi and Cinderella Orange. I know Cinderella Orange was an extract from the J.F. Lazier Mfg. Co. but not quite sure about Cherry Hi .

1930 empire ad.jpg

I was lucky enough years ago to obtain a 1928 Price List “E” which shows the extract for Cinderella Orange but no Cherry Hi. Folk-Lore’s cherry was called Peter Pan. Here is one side of the list.

1928 empire  lazier.jpg

The only go-with I have for Empire is this old soda crate. I have no bottles labeled Empire Soda Water Co.

empire crate.jpg

1934 and we have a new name and owner. The New Empire Bottling Company, and a J. Rizzuti is now listed as the new president. NEBCO is now a brand of soda water and mixers.

1934 1935 New Empire.jpg

Ok, lets see some more bottles, I have three embossed NEBCO’s and one paper label to share. First is a block letter NEBCO, then a script letter NEBCO, both dated 1935 and each having a 7-ounce capacity .Another 7-ounce bottle dated 1940 and would have had a paper label. Finally, a quart-sized Hi-Ball Lemon, paper label, dating to the latter 1930’s.

P1020844.jpg P1020843.jpg P1020842.jpg P1020398.jpg

A 1935 ad for NEBCO sodas.

1935 NEBCO ad.jpg

Ok, 1940 and its time to relocate one last time. Now listed at 2011 Gravois Ave and New Empire is bottling Natural Set Up. A 1942 Municipal Opera says so.
[SUB][/SUB]1942 opera ad.jpg

Natural Set-Up is another J.F. Lazier extract bottled by New Empire Bottling Co. The one in my collection is an 8-ounce dated 1946. I have other examples of Natural Set-Ups but not bottled by New Empire, or did they? It appears that in 1940 a John F. Lazier Jr. is now President/Treasurer of New Empire Bottling Co. and a Gus V. Keller is secretary. Online maps once again tell a story. These maps show the building of New Empire at 2011 Gravois as actually being in the back lot of the J.F.Lazier Manufacturing Company’s building located at 1947 Gravois. The House of Lazier story has been told and can be found quite easily on the internet.
Also shown is Lime Cola. This is a drink that was franchised from the Lime Cola Company of Montgomery, Alabama. Ihave twin bottles both 10-ounce dated 1946.

P1020351.jpg P1020352.jpg P1020350.jpg

My only Lime Cola go-with, an easel back counter display.




Well-Known Member
Jan 13, 2018
Macomb, IL
Another great job of research and some neat bottles to go with it. Enjoy reading the history of these companies and seeing their bottles and go withs. Thank you for posting these histories of St. Louis bottlers.


Well-Known Member
Aug 10, 2007
I love when some one takes the time to research a bottler . it answers so many questions .

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