Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pop Bottle Caps

Uh-oh, I feel a new collection is forming in my already crowded house!  I've discovered pop bottle caps.  I already have a few bottles, and one of those bottles (my Nesbitt's Orange bottle) already has a cap.
But, this past weekend I was able to get out-n-about to a few garage sales.  One older gentleman had a snack baggie of vintage bottle caps (about 9 in the bag).  For about the same price as a bottle of pop in today's market, I was able to bring these precious little cuties home!

The ones that struck me as the most peculiar were the ones that say 5-Hi on them (see top row of caps).  I'd never heard of 5-Hi pop so I looked it up on the internet and had no luck.  Most of the caps in the bag say either Williston Bottling Company or Plentywood Montana Bottling on them and most of them have a very small WHS on the band, and I have NO idea what that means.

So on a hunch I looked on Ebay and wouldn't you know...I found a "rare" pop bottle with the 5-Hi label on the front! The bottle says, "bottled by Wildwood Beverage Co. Plentywood, Montana"!  For those of you who may not know, Montana is our state's neighbor and I grew up fairly close to Williston and the Montana boarder.  As a college student, my crew and I would cross the Montana line and drive to Fairview to buy lottery tickets and eat jalapeno poppers from their local gas station.  Ahhh, good times, good times.
But anyway...Here is the Ebay bottle.
Apparently, Wildwood Beverage Co made 5-Hi Root Beer, Lemon Soda, Cream Soda, Concorde Grape, Cherry-Strawberry.
I'm thinking Cherry-Strawberry would've been heavenly.  But I like Cream Soda too...and Root Beer, and Grape Soda.  Oh it would've been so hard to pick just one!  See!  Isn't bottle cap collecting a perfect hobby for me!?
So I e-mailed my dad, who is quite a local historian.  He was born and raised near Williston and has, for the most part, stayed nearby.  If it happened in the vicinity of his hometown, he probably remembers it, and those who were involved. 
He remembers 5-Hi being in Plentywood MT and remembers the company being sold to a man who turned it into a Pepsi Bottling Company instead.

I suppose that makes sense in a way, why be Harry's Hamburgers, that no one's ever heard of, when you could be McDonald's.  And I do like Pepsi, I mean who doesn't love the Nickel Nickel jingle?

  But it's also sad that the "bigger" franchise bought out the smaller, local company and *poof* 5-Hi pop was made no longer.  But, you know what they say, "you can't stop progress".  Maybe not, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to regress once in awhile?  Just to go back for spell to witness a simpler time.  A time when grocery stores were owned by folks who lived right down the block.  Or a time when kids could stand in line at the local bottling company on "parade day" and watch the glass bottles being washed, dried, filled and inspected, with each child receiving a free bottle of pop at the end?  How wonderful I'll bet that was for kids, especially for the kids who were given pop ONLY as a rare treat!  (Dad told me that story too).

On that note, here's a neat little video (only 45 seconds long) of a vintage bottling company.  Looks like the syrup is put into the bottle first, then the water, then capped.

Well, that's all for today.  Until another time, since you can no longer open up a refreshing 5-Hi, "be sociable-have a Pepsi" and have a "fizzy" kind of vintage day!


No comments:

Post a Comment