KWASS BOTTLING WORKS

In 1910 Isaac Greenspon, Solomon Kwass, and Norman Kwass formed a corporation that was producing ice in Pocahontas, VA.(3) It appears that they purchased the factory of the Pocahontas Ice Company which sat diagonally across Railroad Avenue from the train station. The name of this corporation was the Greenspon-Kwass Ice Company.(3) This corporation was dissolved on February 15, 1912, when Isaac Greenspon decided to start his I. Greenspon Manufacturing Company in Bluefield, WV which would be producing candy and soft drinks in that city.(3) As the 1913 Sanborn Fire Maps attest to, the Kwass brothers continued operating the now renamed Kwass Brothers Ice Factory, and had themselves decided to follow the lead of their former partner in creating their own bottling works on the same property.

The bottling operations are referred to by a few different names in the Quarterly Report of the Dairy and Food Commissioner of Virginia from 1914-1916 including The Kawasso Bottling Works (March-May 1914), Kiwassa Bottling Works (June-September 1914), and of course Kwass Bottling Works which is the actual name of the bottling works listed in the Bluefield city directory in 1915-1916.(2) Iím not sure what is going on with the other two names, maybe these are name changes, or just mistakes made by the inspectors on their paperwork. The Kwass Bottling Works actually produced a Coca-Cola imitator named Poka Cola, not sure how long it lasted in this time of Coca-Colaís suing anyone with the name cola in their brand name. The Kwass family were owners of several saloons, and whiskey wholesalers, Solomon and Norman were no different as they not only owned this ice and bottling business but a saloon on St. Clair Street as well. By 1919 the bottling company no longer appears in the city directory, and in 1923 the factory is being used for hay storage, so it is safe to assume the company shut down between 1916 and 1919.





This Funeral Home now sits on the location of the Kwass Bottling Works.



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Biblography:

(1) Polk's Bluefield City Directory

(2) Quarterly Report of the Dairy and Food Commissioner of Virginia

(3) Bluefield Daily Telegraph