Early industry supply catalogs and related books providing bottlers with advice on proper soft drink bottling procedures placed heavy emphasis on the importance of cleanliness.  Even after 60 years of business experience, the 1910 W. H. Hutchinson and Son Bottlers’ Supplies catalog stressed:

Care should be taken to have the bottles absolutely clean and rinsed.  One of the chief vexations of the bottler is the so-called ropiness or viscous fermentation.  Too often this is attributed to poor extracts, water, etc., when the trouble is far more direct and lies entirely in uncleanliness.  A bottling shop is necessarily somewhat damp and the walls moist, forming a splendid vehicle for the propagation of the bacteria, to which this fermentation is due.  Fungi growths occur on the damp walls and ceiling.  The spores being dislodged by the first draft of air passing through the shop, settle down in bottles, kettles, measures – in fact, everything left open to the air.  The fermentation is then started which so frequently results in the loss of large quantities of goods.  Let every utensil and vessel, then, be washed thoroughly immediately before use, and never lay it aside until it has been thoroughly cleansed, for it is far easier to prevent this ropiness than it is to remove it after it has once obtained a foothold.  In fact, one may say a bottler’s direct enemy is dirt, and his greatest boon is water, and plenty of it.

This Hutchinson cleanliness-related helpful hint is from The Bottler’s Helper, a 1907 publication by the Blumenthal Brothers:


By Wm. H. Minck, Richmond, Indiana.

I have been in some good big bottling plants, and the condition they keep their places and machinery in is certainly awful.  Surely their customers can’t feel proud when they bring a visitor around to go through the plant.  Floor wet and dirty, cigar stumps, old labels, corks, broken glass, etc., lying around.  As for machinery, you can’t tell whether it is iron, brass, copper or lead; walls covered with spider webs, dirt and dust.  Workmen’s appearance correspond with the surroundings, makes a nice impression on the ‘Soft Drink’ drinking public when they happen in.  Now, this is not as it should be.  The people drink your goods, therefore, cleanliness is, or should be the bottler’s first thought.  Have your floor clean, nice pictures on the walls, machinery polished, and everything neat and clean.  It’s no trouble once you get things clean to keep them so.  In my place of business the floor is swept every morning and mopped every Saturday.  I have house-cleaning twice a year, Spring and Fall, when all movable things are taken out, pictures and ornaments from the walls, the ceiling brushed, the side walls swept down, floor scrubbed good, machinery painted, furniture washed and oiled; then we are ready to do business for the next six months, and don’t have to feel embarrassed or ashamed should a visitor chance to drop in.  My generators, syrup cans, gauges, faucets and all brass or copper about the place is polished so that you can see yourself in it at any old time.  I don’t believe there has ever been one traveling man in my place since I have been in the business (five years) who has not made some remark, or complimented me on the cleanliness and good shape things were kept in.