Monday, June 7, 2021

I like my root beer ... sanitary

OK, I have some questions: What marketing genius came up with Sanitary Brand Root Beer? Did they think that fairy tale illustrations would help make up for the lame name? Why not just call it Fairy Tale Root Beer? Would this be the first root beer you grab off the shelf?

At least the public could be assured that the beverages from the Sanitary Bottling Works in Indiana Harbor, Indiana, were sanitary, right? Right??

Alas, the first article I found in a search on was this one, from the June 12, 1914, edition of The Times of Munster, Indiana.


The wrath of the law was visited upon a pop bottling firm, three groceries and five bakeries on one street in Indiana Harbor yesterday by J.T. Willett, state food and drug inspector, with the assistance of Frank O'Rourke of Hammond, and Justice Funkhouser. The nine fines amounted to $317.70. Willett was loud in his praise of the judge.

Those fined are:

The Sanitary Bottling Works, convicted on five cases of charging pop with soda and saccarine, the last a substance 500 times as sweet as sugar, costing $2.25 as against $25 for a like amount of sugar sweeting. Total fine $110.50.1 Samuel Meyers, bakery; Trkman & Sherpter [sic?], bakery; M. Hodiesski, bakery; F. Fiedrwicz, grocery; Fred Speisak, bakery; Abe Padi, grocery; Michael Chaswood, bakery. Each fined $25.90.

All these merchants hail from Cedar street. Inspector Willett says that there are other streets and he is back in Indiana Harbor today with blood in his eye. "I have warned these fellows repeatedly to clean up," said he this morning. "There is no place in the country that needs a city inspector as bad as East Chicago and Indiana Harbor. The conditions are the worst in Indiana. The walls, floors, windows and cases of the bakeries were filthy. Food was uncovered and thousands of flies were attracted to it. These things don't happen where there is inspection."
1. From the Wikipedia page on the artificial sweetener saccharin, which was first produced in 1879: "Starting in 1907, the United States Food and Drug Administration began investigating saccharin as a result of the Pure Food and Drug Act. Harvey Wiley, then the director of the bureau of chemistry for the FDA, viewed it as an illegal substitution of a valuable ingredient, sugar, by a less valuable ingredient. In a clash that had career consequences, Wiley told President Theodore Roosevelt, 'Everyone who ate that sweet corn was deceived. He thought he was eating sugar, when in point of fact he was eating a coal tar product totally devoid of food value and extremely injurious to health.' But Roosevelt himself was a consumer of saccharin, and, in a heated exchange, Roosevelt angrily answered Wiley by stating, 'Anybody who says saccharin is injurious to health is an idiot.' The episode proved the undoing of Wiley's career."

No comments:

Post a Comment