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Catsup Bottle

News and Information Archive : 1996

Date: January 1996
  • Letters and requests for shirts and souvenirs continue to come in from around the country.
  • Full color postcards of the restored Catsup Bottle water tower go on sale.
  • The Catsup Bottle bank account amazingly swells back up to about $10,000. The fund is pledged to continuing maintenance and future promotion. It is also intended to help with historic preservation and heritage education programs. 

Date: April 28, 1996
  • An article appears in the Chicago Daily Southtowncoloring book

Date: May 1996
  • The 12-page "Catsup Bottle Coloring and Activity Fun Book" is created by Mike Gassmann. It's filled with games and fun facts about the Catsup Bottle.
  • The United States Postal Service and the Collinsville post office offer a special commemorative stamp cancellation mark featuring the Catsup Bottle for National Historic Preservation Week. This starts an annual tradition.
  • Caldwell Tanks of Louisville, Kentucky, builders of the Catsup Bottle, presents to the CBPG a bronze plaque honoring the restoration. The plaque is installed on a leg of the water tower with the Collinsville Progress Historic Landmark plaque. 

Date: June 1996
  • Retail stores in downtown Collinsville begin to stock Catsup Bottle shirts and other souvenirs.
  • To date, a 20-page bibliography lists the appearances of the Catsup Bottle worldwide. 

Date: June 10, 1996
  • We received an interesting letter from our best buddy, David Dues, Vice President of Sales at Caldwell Tanks. In it he provides us with a copy of a letter he had received over a year before. The letter dated March 20, 1995, was from a former Caldwell salesman by the name of Frank Vehlein and contains some interesting information. According to Mr. Vehlein, Gerhart Suppiger had already decided to have Chicago Bridge company erect a water tower for the plant but reconsidered when he (Mr. Vehlein) suggested that a catsup bottle tank be built like the bottle shaped one that the Brown-Foreman company had. Frank and a Mr. Barriger made a proposal to Suppiger, and the rest is history. 

Date: August 1, 1996
  • The "Get Out" section of the Post Dispatch features an article called "Road Thrills." Saying there's plenty to marvel at on an Internet virtual vacation - including the World's Largest Catsup Bottle.

Date: August 1996
  • Graphic designer Mike Gassmann creates the World's Largest Catsup Bottle logo design. 

Date: September 1996
  • A 7-1/2 ft logo sign goes up on the wall at the Catsup Bottle site. It becomes a great picture taking place for visitors.
  • In its Fall issue, Route 66 Magazine features a 3-page article with color and b/w photos. The story, written by Judy DeMoisy, was a historical look at the factory and the water tower and explained their value to the community.Road Trip USA
  • The book "Road Trip USA" by Jamie Jensen includes a photo and a mention of the Catsup Bottle on page 674. Jamie refers to it and Cahokia Mounds World Heritage Site as "intriguing attractions worth searching out."
  • Another book, "Pure Ketchup" by culinary historian Andrew Smith features info about Brooks Catsup, the catsup factory in Collinsville, and the restoration of the Catsup Bottle water tower.
  • Photographer Thomas Miller displays his photo exhibit entitled "The Catsup Bottle: Restoration of a Collinsville Landmark" at the SOVA Gallery in Historic Miner's Theater during the annual Italian Fest. The show is comprised of twenty photos of the water tower in various stages of restoration. Not your average snapshots documenting the project, these pieces are an artistic look at the spectacular event. 

Date: September 18, 1996
  • The city of Collinsville and the Catsup Bottle Preservation Group receive Midwest Living magazine's 1996 Hometown Pride Award. A presentation luncheon is held at St. Louis' well-known Sidney Street Cafe. Magazine editor Dan Kaercher and publisher Matt Peterson were on hand to present the $1,000 check. KTVI Channel 2 sends a news crew to cover the event. The awards program was designed to recognize Midwesterners who make the Heartland a better place to live through community betterment efforts. "We are always amazed at the magnitude of community involvment and at the ingenuity and creativity of Midwesterners at getting things done." said Dan Kaecher. "Clearly we're proud to honor these volunteer efforts." A banner was placed at the Catsup Bottle announcing the award. The money was later used, in part, for the creation of the Historic Walking Tour of Downtown Collinsville, and for a giant photo placed in the Collinsville Memorial Public Library.

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