W. H. Hutchinson & Son
William Henry Hutchinson was born in 1812 to Joseph and Sarah Hutchinson of Lebanon, Connecticut. During the 1830s he lived in Williamsburg, New York where he established and operated a rooming house known as the Williamsburg Inn. In 1840 he headed west to Chicago, Illinois and spent the next several years working at odd jobs.
W. H. Hutchinson opened a small
In 1851 operations were moved to the corner of
Randolph and Peoria Streets (8 & 10 North Peoria Street).
The Hutchinson & Company name was changed to “W. H. Hutchinson &
Company” in 1855 and their new cobalt blue soda bottles were embossed
(Our thanks to Joel Ferguson, Slidell, Louisiana, for permission to
post the illustrated image of this bottle on the right.)
(Our thanks to Joel Ferguson, Slidell, Louisiana, for permission to post the illustrated image of this bottle on the right.)
An interesting and very rare bottle from this era is a
beautiful, squat, cobalt blue, blob top soda embossed W. H. H. /
In 1858, William H. Hutchinson and T. O. Dunn formed a partnership known as “Hutchinson & Dunn.” They bottled soda water, ale, and porter. No bottles are known listing this business name or their 242-245 West Randolph Street address. In 1863 Dunn sold his interests to William H. Hutchinson’s sons, William A. Hutchinson and George C. Hutchinson. The sons became company officers, and the company name was changed to “W. H. Hutchinson & Sons.” The “W.H.H.” trade mark, however, continued to be used for several years thereafter. W. H. Hutchinson & Sons’ bottles in the late 1860s/early 1870s included amber and aqua W.H.H. pint porter beers, amber W.H.H. / CHICAGO wine-style quarts, round bottom ginger ales, and amber and green Saratoga-style W.H.H. mineral waters.
Fortuitously, the W. H. Hutchinson and Sons’ bottling
plant was located west of the business district devastated by the great
In early 1879, William H. Hutchinson died and his son
William A. Hutchinson retired.
Ownership of the firm then passed to George C. Hutchinson and his
younger brother, Charles Grove Hutchinson.
How unfortunate that William H. Hutchinson didn’t live to see
the enormous success his firm achieved following Charles G. Hutchinson’s
invention and registration of “Hutchinson’s Patent Spring Stopper” April
The Chicago Fountain Soda Water Company was established in 1887, with Charles G. Hutchinson as president. This branch operation focused on selling soda fountain supplies, allowing W. H. Hutchinson & Son to concentrate on manufacturing and selling stoppers and extracts.
In their 1889 Bottlers Supplies catalog, W. H. Hutchinson & Son advertised:
By favoring us with their orders, Bottlers will get the benefit of our forty (40) years’ continuous experience in the bottling of every description of Carbonated Beverages…Our Patent Spring Stopper is now in successful use by over twenty-five hundred (2,500) Bottlers, with the number constantly on the increase…We have an immense number of testimonials on the merits of the Hutchinson Stopper from Bottlers all over the country, but prefer not to print them, as the frequent abuse of testimonials, a great many of which, as a general thing are manufactured, has inspired a universal distrust in the value of such evidence.
In addition to heavy promotion
Over 3,000 North American bottlers were
When the following full page advertisement appeared in an 1897 issue of
Western Bottler, W. H.
Hutchinson and Son had dropped the price of
Following George C. Hutchinson’s death in 1897, Charles G. Hutchinson became president of the firm. When Charles G. Hutchinson passed away in 1903, Mrs. George C. Hutchinson became president, with Douglas W. Hutchinson (W. H. Hutchinson’s fourth and youngest son) serving as secretary-treasurer (and later as vice-president and general manager).
The W. H. Hutchinson and Son 1908 Bottler’s Book included the following facsimile copy of a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture indicating the firm’s products complied with the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906:
The title page of the W. H. Hutchinson and Son 1908 Bottler’s Book also provides what is so far the only known documented use of the corporate emblem illustrated at the right. It is included here for future reference and possible use in dating marked items.
headers in the 1910 Bottlers’
Supplies catalog identified W. H. Hutchinson and Son as “The Only
Exclusive Bottlers’ Supply House” and identified their address as
The introductory comments to the “Soda Water Flavors” portion of the 1910 Bottlers’ Supplies catalog mentioned:
During an experience of fifty-eight years in the bottling and supplying of Flavors, manufactured by ourselves, we have accumulated many valuable formulas. Much attention has been devoted to this branch of the business and no expense spared; the result is one of the finest equipped laboratories in the world devoted to the manufacture of Soluble Flavors for the exclusive use of the bottler, and the popularity of our goods is well known in all localities. Our aim has always been quality rather than price…Take our advice: Buy only the best.
The development of Owens’ Automatic Bottle Machine,
passage of the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906, and the economic reality
that crown seal closures (bottle caps) were sanitary, easily applied,
and significantly less expensive than
In 1916 W. H. Hutchinson & Son’s operations were moved
A full page advertisement in the June 5, 1920 National Bottlers’ Gazette provides additional insight into W. H. Hutchinson & Son’s business practices:Here’s a portion of an August 15, 1925 National Bottlers’ Gazette advertisement picturing W. H. Hutchinson & Sons’
W. H. Hutchinson & Son merged with G. J. Arnold’s Bottler’s Supplies Company in 1929 and moved to a new plant at
This full page advertisement is from the September 15, 1933 National Bottlers' Gazette:
Here’s the cover of W.H. Hutchinson & Son's 1935 catalog:
Noble E. Snyder retired in 1943 (he died in 1944) and Joseph S. Kelly became president.
W. H. Hutchinson & Son, Inc. was a major manufacturer of beer and soft drink crown caps when the firm was sold to the International Silver Corporation (Insilco) for $9 million in 1962.
W. H. Hutchinson & Son, Inc. was purchased by the National Can Corporation in 1974 and became their closure division.