At one time in Vicnennes there was 30 different bottling companies that filled and distributed everything from milk to hard liquor.
These were local companies, dairies, breweries and soft-drink bottlers whose distribution area included Vincennes and a few nearby communities. Most of the local firms went out of business either before or at the start of the Great Depression in the early 1930’s.
Some of the remnants of this history are in the hands of Bill Hopper, a retired elementary school principal who has studies the history of bottling in Vincennes and who has amassed a collection of bottles respresntative of the city’s bottling past. In 2004, he published “The History of Viincennes Bottling.” The book was so popular that even though there was a special, revised sixth printing, they completely sold out.
While he loves history, especially that relating to Vincennes, he began collecting bottles and several other things by accident.
[reading more about Bill Hopper and Vincennes Bottling history on page 40 of our online issue]
by Bernie Schmitt