Lucky Strike Bottling Works Ltd. Vancouver B.C.

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Canadacan

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I'm telling this story as best I can in honor of Bob Williamson the son of Bill Williamson co founder of Lucky Strike Bottling Works limited. Some of this information is from email correspondence with Bob, some of it is my research to fill in a few blanks, as with much research we often find details that are missing from the original story but most of this is pretty much to the point.
While it is sad this business venture came to an end for Bill and his son Bob, but what blossomed from that was the start of the Shasta Beverages Ltd company and the birth of canned soda pop in western Canada, that too is one of the greatest stories to be told that I hope to eventually tell.


Lucky Strike Bottling Works Ltd. Vancouver B.C.


This short lived company was formed in the summer of 1937 by Jack Christensen and Bill Williamson. The first location was at 214 W Broadway for a couple of years and later moved to 26th & Main, the final location was at 2120 Kingsway...I believe that was approxemently 1946 or so. They were a Mission Orange bottler and at the time when located at Kingsway the building had a fantastic neon sign! (see photo)

2023-02-19 edit note: the canning of Lucky Strike may have been closer to the years 1957-1958, as per advertising found dated, 'Now in Cans' Jan-June 1957, and June 26, 1958 Safeway ad.
Around 1952-54 they canned their house brand (I believe it was a house brand) Lucky Strike in cone top cans which were sent all across B.C. to various fish canneries, mining camps, and logging camps. This was a good way to supply product in a throw away container as previously they shipped a lot of product in returnable bottles from Steveston by boat but it became too costly thus necessitated a more economical method, which was the cone top can!

The beginning of the end as told by the son of Bill, whom also worked for the company, that Jack's sons (also worked for them) and did not see eye to eye, and quarrelled quite a bit so Bill allowed himself to be bought out and the business suffered as a result until they finally went broke. Bob recalled that was around 1957, but newsprint articles from May 1964 show the ordered Tender sale of the assets, including property, bottling line, compressors, washers, bottles...everything including the bottling rights to Mission Orange. So I guess the company did struggle along for a while longer than remembered.
Bill left the company to start on another venture at around 1955-56 that company became Shasta Beverages Limited, Vancouver B.C. ,So the

story does not end here though...but that's for another time!



Lucky Strike Bottling 2120 Kingsway, Vancouver B.C. -Check out that Mission Beverages bottle sign!

A-Lucky Strike  Do Not Copy1.jpg





Bottom left Jack Christensen and Bill Williamson is center, son's of Jack bottom right Clyde and above him is Lyle.

A-Lucky Strike Do Not Copy2.jpg





Far left is Jack Christensen and Bill Williamson is far right.

A-Lucky Strike Do Not Copy3.jpg







Far left is Bill Williamson and far right is Jack Christensen


A-Lucky Strike Do Not Copy4.jpg




Bill Williamson

A-Lucky Strike Do Not Copy5.jpg





Here is a nice photo of the fleet!

A-Lucky Strike Do Not Copy6.jpg







A-Lucky Strike Do Not Copy7.jpg









A-Lucky Strike Do Not Copy8.jpg







The phone number on the truck matches the address for 195 E 26 & Main so I believe this photo to be from the 1940-47 time frame.

A-Lucky Strike Do Not Copy9.jpg







A-Lucky Strike Do Not Copy10.jpg







Lucky Strike Incorporation- The Vancouver Sun, 13 Aug 1937

Lucky Strike Incorpation- The Vancouver Sun, 13 Aug 1937, Fri, Page 21  - Copy.jpg





Lucky Strike 1953 reciept.jpg





Lucky Strike-Mission orange-The Vancouver Sun, 17 Jul 1952.

Lucky Strike-Mission orange-The Vancouver Sun, 17 Jul 1952, Thu, Page 9 .jpg



The Chilliwack Progress, 12 Jun 1957

Mission- The Chilliwack Progress, 12 Jun 1957, Wed - Copy.jpg







Lucky Strike-Mission Beverages- The Vancouver Sun, 10 Aug 1961. This seemed like

an odd advertising for the Glass Can which was a neckless NDNR bottle more commonly

used by breweries in the USA at the time.


Lucky Strike-Mission Beverages- The Vancouver Sun, 10 Aug 1961, Thu, Main Edition, Page 35 .jpg





And this is one part of four describing the assets being sold off.

Lucky Strike-forclosure1-The Vancouver Sun, 02 May 1964, Sat.


Lucky Strike-forclosure1-The Vancouver Sun, 02 May 1964, Sat, Main Edition, Page 54 -.jpg







And here are the few items that I have from Lucky Strike, I'd sure love to find a carton and maybe a crate one day!

Lucky Strike Cola border2.jpg
 
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bottle-bud

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Great Story! Wow, It would have been really cool to see that Mission sign in your first picture lit up. I wonder if it survived?
 

shotdwn

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Super story on the history of this company. I love the old photos. Can't wait to hear the Shasta part of the story.
 

CanadianBottles

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This is some great research! I've got, or at least once had, a wooden Lucky Strike crate. I'm not sure if it survived one of our disastrous moves. It was built like the ones in the photo but rather than having "Lucky Strike Bottling Works Limited" just said "LUCKY STRIKE" in big block letters.
 

CanadianBottles

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Actually this has inspired me to go look for it and I found it almost immediately. I remembered wrong, it actually is very close to one of the crates from the photo but is quite badly worn so all that remains is "Lucky Strike". Looks like there used to be more though. I'll get a photo up later tonight.
 

CanadianBottles

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DSC_0002.jpg
Here's the crate. It's not much to look at, but at least it's still partially legible. This one has definitely seen better days.
 

Canadacan

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Here's the crate. It's not much to look at, but at least it's still partially legible. This one has definitely seen better days.

Oh yea nice!..just too bad it's worn off. So it looks to be the same as the one on Bill's shoulder. One thing I could never confirm is if Lucky Strike had any relation to the USA Lucky Strike Beverages.
All that history or knowledge is with Bill and Jack.

Lucky Strike 3-Bill Wiliamson - Copy (2).jpg
 

CanadianBottles

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It's not quite the same one, the font on mine is more widely spaced apart. The crate design is the same though. As for the US Lucky Strike I really doubt they're related, since the US one seemed to be primarily a Ginger Ale brand whereas the Canadian one was a line of different flavours. "Lucky Strike" seemed to be a fairly common brand name in those days anyway, since it was one of the most popular brands of cigarettes at the time.
Do you have a picture of a "Glass Can"? I've tried searching it up and came up empty. I also wonder if there are any surviving examples of Lucky Strike house brand bottles. I imagine if they ever existed they would have just had paper labels.
 

Canadacan

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Yup I see that now on the crate, and the ends have strips on yours. I was doing some digging and it shows Lucky Strike (USA) in the 40's had ginger ale, cola, root beer, orange and strawberry.
Lucky Strike Vancouver did do Mission Beverages in cone tops, orange, cola, and ginger ale... so who knows what the product was in the Lucky Strike cones, but I'm sure they did their own mixing of concentrates for it.
I don't know if they bottled it or not and have never seen a paper label for it, the crowns with the horseshoe on it do exist but are quite rare!
As for a glass cans I'm about to show you, even though they are no deposit no return they are referred to as a glass cans, 12oz and just a bit higher that a steel can.
In fact they much more resemble a cone top can!

20181223_193451.jpg
 

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