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14 Nov 2021, last revised 21 Apr 2024

The Polk directory listed Louis Wolfsky, but strangely, not the name of his bottling works nor the Hancock Pop Co. The bottle book, Old Copper Country Bottles, cataloged two bottles embossed with HANCOCK POP CO. and one bottle embossed with LOUIS WOLFSKY. Since its publication, a Hancock Pop Co. bottle (#s13) was discovered with initials, L. W., linking the company name to Louis Wolfsky as proprietor.

Louis Wolfsky was born on 05 Aug 1866 in Russia (1), and immigrated to the U.S. in 1880 (2). In Nov 1899, Haefer's new store room was about ready for occupancy by "L. Wolfsky" (17). In Mar 1900, Louis Wolfsky went on a purchasing trip to Chicago (18) presumably for his new store. The 1901 directory then listed Louis Wolfsky as manager of Dora Oshinsky's fruit and cigar store at 106 Quincy St., while his residence was at 805 Franklin St. (3). Due to the re-numbering of Quincy St., the business address was not shown until the 1907 Sanborn map, but by then, the building was rebuilt and it was no longer a fruit store. The 1900 Sanborn map labeled the location as a fruit and candy store. It was located on the south side of Quincy St. between Tezcuco St. and Reservation St.

Sanborn map - Jun 1900
Sanborn map - Jun 1900

In Nov 1901, Wolfsky left for Chicago to purchase an ice cream plant with plans to start operations in the spring (19). In May 1902, he started to advertise the "Hancock Ice Cream Co." at the California Fruit Store. About a year later, in Mar 1903, Wolfsky was about to leave for Chicago to secure an expert pop man and an experienced ice cream man for the "summer business" with his factory already prepared to manufacture pop in the coming summer (21). The 1903 and 1905 directories then listed Wolfsky as proprietor of the California Fruit Store (4,5), where he was a "manufacturer of high grade ice cream and pop" and "dealer in fruit, candy, cigars and tobacco" (4). In Apr 1904, Wolfsky was identified as proprietor of the "Hancock Ice Cream and Pop Co." when he "opened the season's business" by furnishing ice cream for a reception (22). Thus, it appears that he only manufactured pop during the summer season, which would have contributed to his bottles being so rare.

Newspaper ad - <i>Hancock Evening Journal</i> - 15 May 1902
Newspaper ad - May 1902
Newspaper ad - <i>The Daily Mining Gazette</i> - 17 Jul 1904
Newspaper ad - Jul 1904

In Aug 1906, Wolfsky put his confectionary and fruit store up for sale (23), but it apparently did not sell. In Oct 1906, he discontinued his pop, ice cream, and candy business in Hancock and moved to Calumet (24). It was not long before he was back in Hancock, but now living at 805 Franklin St., according to the 1907 directory, which also listed him as a bottler (6). It is unknown if he restarted the business, but in Jun 1908, Wolfsky sold his pop and ice cream factory to Edward Carrigan, who would "continue the business at the old stand" (20). Strangely, Wolfsky was still listed as a bottler on the 1909 directory (7), and then as an ice cream manufacturer on the 1910 and 1912 directories (8,9). The 1910 directory listed two Edward Carrigans, but neither was a bottler (8).

In 1916, Wolfsky was a clerk in his wife's confectionery store (10). He was listed as a traveler on the 1920 census (11) and as a salesman of dry goods in Chicago on the 1930 census (12). The 1940 census placed him back in Hancock with no occupation listed (25). He then died on 07 Feb 1950 at the age of 83 in Stanton Township, Houghton County (13) and was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Houghton (14).

One bottle (#s13) bears the S B & G Co mark, which dates from 1881 to 1905 (15). Two bottles (#61 and 63) bear the AB ligature, which dates from 1905 to c.1909 (16). These maker's marks along with the local history information suggest that Wolfsky bottled from 1903 to 1906. One feature unique about the bottles is that he used "Pop Co." instead of "Bottling Works" in the company name. Pop arguably better aligns with the sale of ice cream and candy. In contrast, many bottling works sold mineral water, which was marketed as a healthful, even medicinal, beverage.

References

  1. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, Michigan; Death Records (accessed on ancestry.com).
  2. U.S. Census Bureau. 1910 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  3. R. L. Polk & Co. 1901. Houghton County Directory 1901-02. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  4. R. L. Polk & Co. 1903. Houghton County Directory 1903-04. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  5. R. L. Polk & Co. 1905. Houghton County Directory 1905-06. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  6. R. L. Polk & Co. 1907. Houghton County Directory 1907-08. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  7. R. L. Polk & Co. 1909. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1909. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  8. R. L. Polk & Co. 1910. 1910 Calumet, Houghton, Hancock and Laurium Directory. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  9. R. L. Polk & Co. 1912. 1912 Calumet, Hancock, Houghton and Laurium Directory. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  10. R. L. Polk & Co. 1916. Houghton County Directory 1916-17. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  11. U.S. Census Bureau. 1920 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  12. U.S. Census Bureau. 1930 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  13. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, Michigan; Death Records (accessed on ancestry.com).
  14. Find a Grave. accessed Nov 2021. Louis Wolfsky. findagrave.com/memorial/67331242/louis-wolfsky
  15. Lockhart, B., B. Schriever, B. Lindsey, and C. Serr. 2019. Streater Bottle & Glass Co. In: Encyclopedia of Manufacturer's Marks on Historic Bottles. posted on Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website. https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/StreatorBottleGlassCo.pdf
  16. Lockhart, B., P. Schulz, B. Lindsey, C. Serr, D. Whitten, and B. Schriever. 2013. The American Bottle Co.: A study in contrasts and contradictions. In: Encyclopedia of Manufacturer's Marks on Historic Bottles. posted on Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website. https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/AmericanBottleCo.pdf
  17. anonymous. (1899, Nov 07). Hancock. The Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  18. anonymous. (1900, Mar 08). Hancock Brevities. The Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  19. anonymous. (1901, Nov 28). Hancock Brevities. The Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 5.
  20. anonymous. (1908, Jun 07). Hancock Brevities. The Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  21. anonymous. (1903, Mar 29). Hancock Brevities. The Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 6.
  22. anonymous. (1904, Apr 13). Ice Cream and Pop. The Copper Country Evening News (Calumet, MI). p. 3.
  23. anonymous. (1906, Aug 08). untitled. The Evening Journal (Hancock, MI). p. 8.
  24. anonymous. (1906, Oct 16). Town Topics. The Evening Journal (Hancock, MI). p. 8.
  25. U.S. Census Bureau. 1940 United States Federal Census. accessed on familysearch.org.

s13
Hancock Pop Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: aqua
top: Hutchinson top - tooled
base: post-bottom
maker's mark: S B & G Co (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1903-c.1905
rarity: extremely rare

63
Louis Wolfsky bottle
capacity: half-pint
color: aqua
top: Hutchinson top - tooled
base: post-bottom
maker's mark: AB logo (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1905-1906
rarity: scarce
  • makers mark was stated as A B Co. in the book
  • lacks a date code

61
Hancock Pop Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: aqua
top: Hutchinson top - tooled
base: post-bottom
maker's mark: AB logo (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1905-1906
rarity: extremely rare
  • maker's mark was stated as A B Co. in the book
  • lacks a date code

62
Hancock Pop Co bottle
capacity: half-pint
color: aqua
top: Hutchinson top - tooled
base: post-bottom
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: THE LIQUID (base)
date: 1905-1906
rarity: extremely rare
  • half-pint complement to 61
  • the A B Co. mark stated in the book was not found on this example
  • lacks a date code