Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, December 27, 2020, pg. 6

A Happy New Year to my readers of this column. Carbonated flavored drinks were becoming popular in America at the end of the 19th century, including here in Albion. In the late 1890s, entrepreneurs George W. Juckett (1855-1917) and Orris V. Eastman (1867-1921) teamed up to form the firm of Juckett & Eastman. This firm is listed in the 1897 Albion City Directory as dealing in carbonated drinks and was Albionís first such business. It was located at 105 N. Clinton St., in a small 1-story wooden structure built on the north bank of the Kalamazoo River, adjacent to the William E. Slowey blacksmith shop at 107 N. Clinton St.

George was the son of Civil War veteran N.Y. native Samuel (1827-1862) and wife Elizabeth Juckett, and there were six siblings total in the family. Georgeís brother Lewis C. Juckett (1853-1932) was a barber here in the late 19th century. George married Alice Rounds of Wood River, Nebraska in 1887. They lived at 114 W. Vine St. as listed in the 1897 directory, and 102 S. Pearl St. in the 1901 directory. Orris V. Eastman (1867-1921) (son of Jerome and Lucy Keslar Eastman) lived next door to the Juckettís at 116 W. Vine St., which no doubt was a factor in the two men forming a business partnership.

Apparently, the partnership didnít last long, for the business is missing in the 1901 directory and Georgeís occupation is listed as a laborer. George and his wife thereby moved to her hometown, Wood River Nebraska, where George ran a meat market for many years with his nephew until just before his death. He died there on May 8, 1917 and was interred there in the local Wood River Cemetery.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present Albionís very first pop bottle, circa 1897: A thick aqua tint 2.125-inch diameter glass bottle measuring 6.75 inches tall. The raised lettering states: "GEO. JUCKETT ALBION, MICH." At the bottom in small letters appears "A. G. W." which stands for the manufacturer, "American Glass Works" out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in operation until 1905.

This is a Hutchinson soda pop bottle of the W. H. Hutchinson & Son Company of Chicago, Illinois, Manufacturers and Dealers in Bottlers Supplies. Itís Hutchbook.com catalog number for collectors is MI0001. This bottle comes with their patented "Hutchinson Stopper" designed by the son, Charles G. Hutchinson. It features a copper-wire and rubber gasket to seal the bottle from the inside. The stopper remained in the neck of the bottle after use. I wonder what flavors Juckett carried?

Albionís very first pop bottle, circa 1897


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