What happened to bottle manufacturers' order records? And are there any other good directories recommended for seeing what bottlers existed?

Welcome to our Antique Bottle community

Be a part of something great, join today!


Well-Known Member
Jan 9, 2022
Reaction score
So, I have exhausted my resources on history research for bottlers without going to the state archives and libraries (yet, I'm just a busy guy and am not in the area half the time). All of these bottle thoughts about rarity and when and where make me wonder--what the heck happened to all of the records of, say, A.B.Co.? Or D.O.C. plants? Or any number of other makers? Why aren't there any sales records with quantities of bottles ordered and to whom? These were large, successful businesses--that doesn't come with shabby bookkeeping. Are they just tucked away into sock drawers, abandoned buildings, and archives around the country? Dennis Smith has shown me some shipping manifests from the Atlanta Coca-Cola Company, but I imagine their bottle order of 100,000s dwarfed those of most other small town bottlers.

Also, are there any resources you all recommend for historical research into local bottlers in the United States? Here is what I have used so far:
1.) Beverage Blue Book, 1923 and 1925
2.) American Carbonator & American Bottler, 1903-1921 (sans 1914, 1916, and 1918, which I couldn't find scans of... I find errors in these periodicals all the time anyway)
3.) Local/statewide newspapers of the era
4.) Industry directories and factory inspections from my state during the era (though they were not scrupulous in recording bottlers)
5.) Beverage Journal, 1913
6.) Biennial Reports from the Department of Labor of my state of the era
7.) Ice & Refrigeration Guide 1904, 1920, 1928
8.) Manufacturers' Records (the periodical) 1903, 1919
9.) A few of the available city directories, though most are in private hands
10.) Occasionally a surprise discovery on Sanborn maps


Members online

Latest threads

Forum statistics

Latest member