Union Soda Water Company / St. Louis, Missouri

bottle-bud

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Union Soda Water Company
2014 Menard (1901-1906)
N.E. Cor. 18[SUP]th[/SUP] & Allen Ave (1907-1946)
St. Louis, Missouri

Union Soda Water Company starts up in a 1901 partnership by a Herman Christen, Frank Witter & Phil Wolf. After only one-year Phil Wolf leaves the company. Although the name of the company is Union Soda Water Co., I do have a bottle that is labeled only as Witter & Christen. This guy is in rough shape and I probably need to upgrade. Also shown is a 1904 advertisement.

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A 1905 Squib ad for Union Soda Water Co. and just a few ads below on the same page is their old partner and now rival Phil Wolf. I do not have any bottles related to Phil Wolf Soda Water Co.

Squibb ad.jpg

phil wolf.jpg


Here are some early Union Soda Water bottles. All have a W& C inscription on the bottom of the bottle. They are all the 6-oz size and date to the early 1900’s. The third bottle shown was dropped by me while cleaning some years ago. As you can see the bottle did not break apart and yet is still solidly intact.
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Business is booming and in 1905 a new building is erected at 18[SUP]th[/SUP] and Allen St. This area now is a merging ramp from I 55 to I 44 near downtown St. Louis. I do have a picture though.
building, 1908.jpg


Sadly in 1906 Herman Christen dies and his wife Ida holds half interest in the company. Frank Witter purchases the stock from Ida in 1909 and is now sole owner. A 1911 ad shows a John Witter is now secretary of the company.
1911 ad.jpg

 

bottle-bud

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Union bottles Orange Crush

Ok, we move on to 1919 and Union Soda Water Co. is bottling Ward’s Orange Crush. I believe Union is the first bottling company in St. Louis to bottle Orange Crush. 1920 and Crush is so popular that I find four companies that bottle the brand, they are Banner Bottling Co, Union Soda Water Co.,Wellston Bottling Works and Coca Cola Bottling Co. Oh my, 1921 and Coca Cola is the only bottler listed in ads as bottling Orange Crush. Not sure why, but I’ll bet Coca Cola sued for bottling rights and won or the others could not keep up with Coca Cola’s production line?

orange crush.jpg

1912 orange crush.jpg

coca cola orange crush.jpg

1924 and Union is bottling a very popular Grape Smash.

grape smash.jpg


More bottles now, an art deco era bottle dated 1935 in the 7-ounce size. A 1933 quart and a 1945 quart.

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Frank Witter must have liked his last name as all flavors of Union’s soda’s start with Witter. Not sure of the date of this ad.


union soda water.jpg


The last I see of Union Soda Water Co. is in the directory in 1946. So, the last bottles I have are dated 1945 and are the acl 7-ounce size variety.

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shotdwn

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Great job of tracking and presenting the history of another St. Louis bottler. Cool bottles once again.
 

iggyworf

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Excellent! Bottle-bud have you ever thought of putting together some sort of book/guide of St Louis bottles and bottlers?
 

bottle-bud

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Thanks for the nice comments guys! I do not believe I have enough qualifications to create a book or guide for St. Louis bottles, just enough for what I am doing.
 

shotdwn

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You could write an article for one of the bottle magazine though. You have plenty of information for that and you do have the ability to write and to pass your knowledge onto others.
 

jarhead67

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Thanks for the great presentations. More inspiration to get my bottles unpacked and back on the walls.
 

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