The Oldest Bottling Company in Michigan, 1870
The oldest bottling company in Michigan is said to be the Pomeroy Bottling Works in Manistee.
John Pomeroy began his business in 1870 bottling and producing soda pop, which went on for 111 years.
Pomeroy was sipping some soda pop in a saloon with other businessmen when he came up with the idea of his own bottling works company. Eventually, the company supplied the surrounding areas with his own Pomeroy brand of pop, along with well-known brands like Bubble Up, Dad's Root Beer, and Squirt.
The Pomeroy Company is one of the few Michigan bottling works that survived many years, possibly thanks to their output of the above-mentioned pops. Back in the day when glass bottles were returned to the company for re-filling, worn-out labels would have to be scraped off and BBs would be poured into the bottle and shaken, in order to knock free any crusted-on dirt or debris.
And how would they make the pop? According to an article at manisteenews.com, “The process includes sterilizing the stainless steel vats, to which precise amounts of sugar and water are put in. This then goes through hours of agitating and settling. Then the base of each soft drink is put in.....Next, the soft drinks are bottled in a maze of machinery which runs the bottles through an intense washing process with water at temperatures of 130 to 135 degrees. The soft drink, water and carbonation is put into the bottles by the machinery, and caps snapped at the end of the maze.”
Once located at 53 Clay Street in Manistee, this very impressive company was run by Pomeroy's offspring until they finally decided to call it quits in 1981. In January 1982, the company was purchased by Squirt of Holland (Michigan). You can see a gallery of other Michigan bottlers HERE.
The gallery below shows a few items of Pomeroy memorabilia...
The Oldest Bottling Company in Michigan
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