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18 Nov 2021, last revised 29 Oct 2023

National Bottling Works was one of the later soda companies to start in the Copper Country, but it lasted well into the ABM age.

In Apr 1909, Matt Mattson was renovating his recently purchased property on the corner of Scott St. and Hancock St. for a bottling works to be known as the National Bottling Works (2). Embossing on the bottles, however, specified Ruona and Mattson as proprietors. The 1910 Polk directory specified them as August Ruona and Matt Mattson (1). Interestingly, Ruona resided in Ishpeming, while Mattson resided in Hancock (1).

Kustaa Adolf Ruona was born on 25 Sep 1869 in Finland (21) and immigrated to the U.S. in 1889 (22,23). He first settled in Calumet, and then in 1890, he moved to Ishpeming where he worked in the iron mines for 12 years (23). The Ishpeming City directory listed August Ruona as a miner during the 1890s (3,4,5). After acquiring sufficient funds, he established the Ishpeming Bottling Works in 1902 (23,6-9). It is unknown how he formed a partnership with Mattson given he lived in the iron country, but he also served as a director of Suomi College in Hancock from about 1914 (23), so he clearly maintained ties to the Copper Country.

As for Matt Mattson, he was born on 27 Mar 1881 in Finland (10) and immigrated to the U.S. in 1899 (11) or 1900 (12). He was married in Ishpeming on 16 Aug 1902 (13), so he may have resided in Ishpeming before moving to Hancock.

Their listing stated that they were manufacturers and dealers in all kinds of carbonated beverages. The bottling works was located on the northwest corner of Scott St. and Hancock St. (1).

Sanborn map - Aug 1917
Sanborn map - Aug 1917

The business was quite small, with only two employees in 1910 (18), three in 1913 (19), and two in 1915 (20). Ruona and Mattson were last listed together in the 1916 directory (14). A Michigan Department of Labor inspection in 1919 still listed the company as "National Bottling Works" (24). The 1921 directory then listed only Matt Mattson as a bottler of high-grade carbonated beverages at the same location (15). Mattson died on 03 Apr 1925 at the age of 44 and was buried in Lakeside Cemetery, Hancock (17). The bottling works was then listed as "Mattson Bottling Works" with Louis A. Pasula as manager in the 1930 directory (16). It was called "Mattson Bottling Co." in the 1939 Polk directory (25) and a 1947/1948 directory (26). It is unknown when the bottling works closed. The ABM bottles reflect the changes in proprietorship and company name.

Mattson ABM soda label<br>Courtesy of the Richard Dana Collection
ABM soda-bottle label
Mattson ABM soda label<br>Courtesy of the Richard Dana Collection
ABM soda-bottle label
Mattson ABM soda label<br>Courtesy of the Richard Dana Collection
ABM soda-bottle label

References

  1. R. L. Polk & Co. 1910. 1910 Calumet, Houghton, Hancock and Laurium Directory. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  2. anonymous. (1909, Apr 09). Hancock Brevities. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 3.
  3. R. L. Polk & Co. 1894. 1894 Ishpeming City Directory. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  4. R. L. Polk & Co. 1899. 1899 Ishpeming City Directory. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  5. R. L. Polk & Co. 1901. 1901 Ishpeming City Directory. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  6. R. L. Polk & Co. 1908. 1908 Ishpeming City Directory. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  7. R. L. Polk & Co. 1910. 1910 Ishpeming City Directory. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  8. R. L. Polk & Co. 1912. 1912 Ishpeming City Directory. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  9. R. L. Polk & Co. 1916. 1916 Ishpeming City Directory. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  10. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, Michigan; Death Records (accessed on ancestry.com).
  11. U.S. Census Bureau. 1910 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  12. U.S. Census Bureau. 1920 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  13. Michigan, U.S., Marriage Records, 1867-1952 (accessed on ancestry.com).
  14. R. L. Polk & Co. 1916. Houghton County Directory 1916-17. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  15. R. L. Polk & Co. 1921. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1921-1922. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  16. R. L. Polk & Co. 1930. Polk’s Hancock (Michigan) Directory 1930. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  17. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, Michigan; Death Records (accessed on ancestry.com).
  18. State of Michigan Department of Labor. 1911. Second Annual Report of the Department of Labor of the State of Michigan. Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., State Printers. Lansing, MI.
  19. Michigan Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics. 1914. Thirty-First Annual Report of the Department of Labor of the State of Michigan. Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., State Printers. Lansing, MI.
  20. State of Michigan Department of Labor. 1916. Thirty-Third Annual Report of the Department of Labor of the State of Michigan. Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., State Printers. Lansing, MI.
  21. Find a Grave. accessed Feb 2022. Kustaa Adolf Ruona. findagrave.com/memorial/186889545/kustaa-adolf-ruona
  22. U.S. Census Bureau. 1930 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  23. Fuller, G. N. 1926. Historic Michigan: Land of the Great Lakes, Vol. III - A History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. National Historical Association, Inc.
  24. State of Michigan Department of Labor. 1920. Thirty-Seventh Annual Report of the Department of Labor of the State of Michigan. Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., State Printers. Lansing, MI.
  25. R. L. Polk & Co. 1939. Polk’s Hancock (Michigan) Directory 1939. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  26. The Daily Mining Gazette. 1947 or 1948. Copper Country Classified Business and Professional Directory. Houghton, MI.

58
National Bottling Works bottle
capacity: quart
color: colorless
top: Hutchinson top - tooled
base: post-bottom
maker's mark: I. G. CO. (back heel)
other marks: star logo(base)
date: 1909-1910
rarity: rare

59
National Bottling Works bottle
capacity: half-pint
color: colorless
top: Hutchinson top - tooled
base: cup-bottom
maker's mark: I G Co. (stamped out, back heel)
other marks: star with circle logo (base)
date: 1909-1912
rarity: rare

s50
National Bottling Works bottle
capacity: quart
color: colorless
top: crown top - tooled
base: post-bottom
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: star logo (base)
date: c.1910
rarity: extremely rare

s65
National Bottling Works bottle
capacity: quart
color: colorless
top: crown top - tooled
base: cup-bottom
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: star logo (base)
date: c.1912
rarity: rare
  • different plate design

60
National Bottling Works bottle
capacity: quart
color: colorless
top: crown top - tooled
base: cup-bottom
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: star logo (base)
date: c.1912
rarity: rare
  • smaller plate than s65
  • seam lines goes halfway up the top

abm-61
bottle image
capacity: half-pint
color: aqua
top: crown top - ABM
base: post-bottom
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (base)
dated: 1914
rarity: scarce
  • heel has "14 3", which may be a date code

abm-62
bottle image
capacity: quart
color: aqua
top: crown top - ABM
base: post-bottom
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: CONTENTS 1 PT. 8 FL. OZ. (front heel), (base)
dated: 1917
rarity: scarce
  • this example has an A B Co. date code: 17 S 2

abm-63
bottle image
capacity: quart
color: aqua
top: crown top - ABM
base: post-bottom
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: CONTENTS 1 PT. 8 FL. OZ. (front heel), (base)
dated: 1923
rarity: common
  • change in proprietorship
  • this example has an A B Co. date code: 23 S 1

abm-64
bottle image
capacity: half-pint
color: aqua
top: crown top - ABM
base: post-bottom
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (base)
dated: 1921
rarity: common
  • this example has an A B Co. date code: 21 S 1

abm-65
bottle image
capacity: half-pint
color: pale aqua
top: crown top - ABM
base: post-bottom
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (base)
dated: 1922
rarity: common
  • change in bottling works name
  • full-mold plate
  • this example has an A B Co. date code: 22 S 1

abm-66
bottle image
capacity: quart
color: aqua
top: crown top - ABM
base: post-bottom
maker's mark: (base)
other marks: CONTENTS 1 PT. 8 FL. OZ. (front heel), (base)
dated: 1936
rarity: common
  • this example has a date code for 1936
  • S in REGISTERED under O in WORKS
abm-66a
bottle image
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: CONTENTS 1 PT. 8 FL. OZ. (front heel), (base)
dated: 1928
rarity: common
  • different plate from abm-66
  • S in REGISTERED left of O in WORKS
  • this example has an A B Co. date code: 28 S 2

abm-67
bottle image bottle image
capacity: half-pint
color: colorless
top: crown top - ABM
base: cup-bottom
maker's mark: (base)
other marks: Duraglas (base)
dated: 1948
rarity: common
  • this example has a date code for 1948

abm-68
bottle image bottle image
capacity: quart
color: green
top: crown top - ABM
base: post-bottom
maker's mark: (base)
other marks: Duraglas (base)
dated: 1951
rarity: rare
  • same label for abm-68 and abm-69
  • color variant of abm-69
  • this example has a date code for 1951

abm-69
bottle image bottle image
capacity: quart
color: colorless
top: crown top - ABM
base: cup-bottom
maker's mark: (base)
other marks: Duraglas (base)
date: c.1957
rarity: common
  • same label for abm-68 and abm-69
  • this example has a date code for 1957

abm-96
bottle image bottle image
capacity: pint
color: colorless
top: crown top - ABM
base: cup-bottom
maker's mark: (base)
other marks: Duraglas (base)
date: c.1965
rarity: common
  • this example has a date code for 1965