JOHNSON CITY BOTTLING WORKS

In July 15, 1903, Henry W. Lyle announces that he is going to be establishing a soft drink bottling works at Johnson City, Tennessee and was wanting a bottling outfit including bottles.(4) The bottling plant was located at 336 West Main Street. This block was known as the Evan block which almost completely burned down on Saturday October 24, 1903, except for one detached building at the railroad end of the block.(5) The bottling company obviously rebuilds at 103 West Market Street as the March 15, 1904 issue of the American Bottler mentions that the Johnson City Bottling Works of Johnson City, Tennessee had ordered a new steam engine and other machinery, and they expect to double their capacity for the upcoming season.(4)

On July 5, 1906 the Comet newspaper announces that James E. Crockett had given up his position with the Barton-Montcastle Hardware Company to take charge of the Johnson City Bottling Works since he was the largest shareholder in the company.(5) The January 1907 issue of the American Bottler announced that the Johnson City Bottling Works of Johnson City, Tennessee had just been incorporated in Johnson City, Tenn with capital stock of $1300.(4) The announcement also lists Major Paul E. Divine as President, and James E. Crockett as Secretary-Treasurer, with the other incorporators being James M. Gaunt, C. G. Beasley, and J. R. Gardner.(4)

In 1908 Hinds & Hanby (Johnson City Bottling Works) are listed in the American Bottler as having attended the Tennessee Bottlers Association.(4) Iím not sure who Hinds & Hanby are, maybe new officers of the company, but the Johnson City Bottling Works still located at 103 West Market Street, still being run by James E. Crockett. They are bottling Hires Root Beer along with Koca-Nola.(1) The Comet announces on January 14, 1909 that the Johnson City Bottling Works had purchased the Star Bottling Works from the receivers and had leased the same to the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Works which was to be managed by C. S. Crockett remaining where it had been located.(5)

Thomas J. Cox has taken over the reigns as manager by 1911. Thomas Cox would start the T. J. Cox Ice Cream Co. at the 103 West Market address by 1913 while Johnson City Bottling Company has moved to 116 East Market Street, and is being run by Granville A. Barlow. James M. Gaunt is listed as President of the company in 1915, with Granville A. Barlow listed as Manager in 1917.(1)

The year 1919 finds Barlow as President, with Charles S. Crockett as Secretary-Treasurer.(2) The American Bottler announces in April 1920 that J. O. Frazier has purchased the Johnson City Bottling Works which he would operate as the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. Richard S. Edwards is listed in the 1921 city directory as being over the company, and they are still located at 116 East Market. They are bottling Pepsi-Cola, Orange Crush, Lemon Crush, and Lime Crush in 1921.(2)

This is the second attempt that I have found to bring Pepsi-Cola to Johnson City, the first being in 1909. It would take two more attempts before the brand finally sticks. By 1923 they are listed as Johnson City Bottling Works, and have moved to 103 South Boone with Robert M. Tunnell as President, an office he still holds in the 1925-26 directories. (2) By 1928 the company has moved to Knob Creek Pike with W. Erastus Trivette listed as President; however, the company has shut down by 1930.(3)





This was once 103 West Market street which was the location of Johnson City Bottling Works in 1908.



116 East Market street



"Watermelon slug plate" bottle from Johnson City Bottling Works



Advertisement for Johnson City Bottling Works from the 1908-09 City Directory. Koca-Nola appears to be misspelled.




From the collection of Geff Moore, photo by Joseph Lee
Applied top clear slug plate bottle from Johnson City Bottling Works



Advertisement for Johnson City Bottling Works from September 30, 1909




Early machine made slug plate bottle from Johnson City Bottling Works



7oz Johnson City Bottling Works Bottle dated 1916



6 1/2oz Johnson City Bottling Works Bottle



Advertisement for Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company from the 1921 City Directory







From the collection of Geff Moore, photo by Joseph Lee
6 1/2oz deco Johnson City Bottling Works bottle







From the collection of Geff Moore, photo by Joseph Lee
8oz deco Johnson City Bottling Works bottle



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Bibliography:

(1) Piedmont Johnson City, Tenn. City Directory

(2) Commercial Johnson City, Tenn. City Directory

(3) Baldwin's Johnson City, Tenn. City Directory

(4) The American Bottler

(5) The Comet a Johnson City Tennessee newspaper