logo2

05 Jan 2022

With only two known bottles, Hill & Bietila's bottling works was seemingly short-lived, which adds difficulty in finding any information about them or their Upper Peninsula Bottling Works. We did not find the Upper Peninsula Bottling Works with Hill & Bietila as proprietors in any of the Polk directories we have access to. Given they used crown-top bottles, their business probably occurred during the early 1900s.

Newspaper ad - The Calumet News, 30 Sep 1910
Newspaper ad - Sep 1910

The first clue came with a newspaper ad that listed them among other soda bottlers in a notice of price increases. It is unknown how the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 affected local soda bottling, but the ad provided a date of Sep 1910 as to when Hill & Bietila existed.

The breakthrough came with an article from 08 Jul 1910 that stated that John Hill and Jacob Bietala (with this spelling) purchased the U. P. Bottling Works (1). It stated that the business was located on Pine St. and was organized about three years ago. Jos. James' bottling works was located in Pine St. but it was sold to Beiswanger & Westerberg in Feb 1910 (2). Since they were also part of the price notice, Hill & Bietila must have purchased a different company. The Upper Peninsula Bottling Co. was listed in the 1910 Polk directory as being on Pine St. (3). Further research revealed it was called a "Bottling Works" interchangeably with "Bottling Co." and it was organized two years prior as a stock corporation. Now we have a reasonably close match to conclude that Hill & Bietila purchased the Upper Peninsula Bottling Co.

They planned to conduct the business as it was formerly (1), but we found no other evidence of their existence. They were not listed in the 1912 directory (4). They were not inspected by the Michigan Department of Labor in Sep - Nov 1910 when other Calumet businesses were inspected (5). We found no other newspaper ads or articles by searching for their names or their bottling works. We could not find them in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census as bottlers. Without a cross-reference, we cannot confirm that we have identified the correct persons with these names. We are left with two rare bottles as their only artifacts.

References

  1. anonymous. (1910, Jul 08). U. P. Bottling Works Sold. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 5.
  2. anonymous. (1910, Feb 01). Local Brevities. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 8.
  3. R. L. Polk & Co. 1910. 1910 Calumet, Houghton, Hancock and Laurium Directory. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  4. R. L. Polk & Co. 1912. 1912 Calumet, Hancock, Houghton and Laurium Directory. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  5. 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.

102
Upper Peninsula Bottling Works bottle
capacity: quart
color: aqua
top: crown top - tooled
maker's mark: I. G. CO. (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1910
rarity: rare

103
Upper Peninsula Bottling Works bottle
capacity: half-pint
color: aqua
top: crown top - tooled
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: 1910
rarity: rare
  • half-pint-sized complement to previous