ORANGE CRUSH BOTTLING COMPANY

The Orange Crush Bottling Company of Johnson City, TN enters into a contract to purchase the bottling equipment of the Orange Crush Bottling Company of Atlanta, GA on February 19, 1929.(3) The new company was owned by the partnership of Albert L. Gibson and John W. Moulton, and was originally located at 256 West Main Street where they appear to have built a new building.(1) They bottled Orange Crush, Lime Crush, and Lemon Crush like most Orange Crush bottlers; however, by 1934 they had added Grape Crush along with Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale, from Birmingham Alabama, to their list of sodas. They are also distributing Falls City HI-BRU Beer in 1934. They have added Cocoa Crush to the lineup by 1935, and the O-C Flavor line is listed in 1936 along with Wiedemann's Beer.(2)

The Orange Crush Bottling Company purchased the lot at 112 West Jobe Street near the intersection with North Roan Street in 1937 where they construct a new bottling plant.(3) In 1938 they are bottling Old Colony which was Orange Crush's flavor line which replaced the older O-C line mentioned earlier. John W. Moulton's brother Howard acquires the Orange Crush franchise for Knoxville, Tennessee and starts producing the drink there. They have added Hudepohl Chevy Ale, Balantine's, and Miller High Life to their beer line up by 1941.(4) To their soda line up they have added Dr. Swett's Root Beer and Lime Cola by 1944, but have dropped Lime Cola by 1947.(1)

In 1953 it appears that the Orange Crush Bottling Company has purchased the Double Cola Bottling Company of Johnson City (3) through which they acquire the franchise to bottle Cheerwine. I confirmed this early on by contacting Cheerwine Company for information who was bottling the brand in Johnson City. I was told that their oldest employee remembered that the Orange Crush Bottling Company was bottling the brand, and this was confirmed by a 1956 bottler receipt which lists Cheerwine along with Dr. Swett's Root Beer, Old Colony, and Orange Crush.

By 1960 the Orange Crush Bottling Company is bottling Grapette (1), which had been the drink that Lawrence L. Rice had started bottling in Johnson City in the early 1940ís, but since he had taken over the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company it appears that he no longer needed the franchise. The Orange Crush Bottling Company is incorporated on February 23, 1967 with Frank Bryant, Walter L. Price, and David Torbit listed.(4) In December of the same year we have Frank Bryant being referred to as Chairman and David Torbit as Secretary when they amend their charter to increase their stock.(4) This may have been a last ditch effort to save the company as they are last listed in the 1968 city directory.(1) John Moulton and Albert L. Gibson sell the Jobe Street property to the Johnson City Housing Authority on July 14, 1970.(4)






This is 256 West Main Street which was the first location of the Orange Crush Bottling Company in Johnson City.




JDEPOT 01
This was what the parking lot below looked like back in the 1940's. If you look real close at the side of the building you will see what appears to be a painted on Orange Crush painted wall ad



This parking lot was once home to the Orange Crush Bottling Company



John W. Moulton founder of the company







6oz Orange Crush bottle from the late 1930's



Orange Crush Bottling Company ad from May 24, 1936







From the collection of Geff Moore, photo by Joseph Lee
12oz Old Colony bottle dated 1938



Orange Crush ad 1941







6oz ACL amber Orange Crush bottle dated 1939



Bottom of the Orange Crush bottle



Orange Crush ad from June 24, 1941







10oz Old Colony bottle dated 1942







6oz ACL amber Orange Crush bottle dated 1943



Hudepohl beer ad from 1941







7oz Orange Crush bottle dated 1946







From the collection of Geff Moore, photo by Joseph Lee
7oz Orange Crush bottle dated 1947



Orange Crush Bottling Company ad from 1950







6 1/2oz Buffalo Rock bottle dated 1948. May not be from Johnson City even though it was found near there; however, I am just using it to show what a bottle of this era would look like.







Two Old Colony bottles the left is dated 1948 while the other is dated 1966



Orange Crush ad from the May 30, 1957 Kingsport Times introducing the new "Mae West" bottles







8oz "King Size" Grapette bottle dated 1968



Here is a soda crate that tells a story. What you are looking at is a Cheerwine crate from Johnson City Tennessee. As we know the first bottler to produce Cheerwine in Johnson City is Double Cola, and that the company was sold to the Orange Crush Bottling Company. This would have included the Cheerwine crates and bottles which the Orange Crush Bottling Company had acquired the franchise for which is most likely when they received the OC stamp. Of course Orange Crush didnít continue to bottle the Cheerwine brand and eventually took over the Grapette franchise for Johnson City. They then repurposed the Cheerwine crates by repainting them orange thus creating this strange looking survivor.



Orange Crush ad from the April 2, 1967 Kingsport Times



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Special Thanks to:

Alan Bridwell owner and operator The Johnson's Depot website for allowing me to use image JDEPOT 01.




Bibliography:

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

(2) Johnson City Chronicle

(3) Washington County Circuit Court records

(4) Kingsport Times