Thursday, November 17, 2016
Lake Erie Kist Beverages
From about 1947 to 1958, Lake Erie Kist Beverages was in business in Sandusky, Ohio. Most of the time that the franchise was in town, it was located at 1401 Sycamore Line, where the Sandusky Paint Company is now located. In November of 1947, Kist Beverages was among the many sponsors of the Amvets Hour on Sandusky’s new radio station, WLEC. Auditions for the program, which featured amateur performers, were held on November 15, 1947 at the auditorium of Sandusky High School, now known as Adams Junior High.
An article in the November 9, 1956 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News stated that Kist beverages came in twenty different flavors, including orange, root beer, cream soda, strawberry and grape. John Routh, Jr. was the president of the company, which was franchised nationally. In 1956, over two thousand bottles were processed at the Sandusky bottling facility, and were transported to 492 customers in an eleven-county region in Ohio. Lake Erie Kist Beverages sponsored an athletic scholarhip, a marbles champion, and a bowling team. A sign on the company read “Get Kist for a nickel.” This slogan was also printed on a bottle opener that was given away by Kist, now in the collections of the Follett House Museum.
A Kist beverage bottle is among the several vintage soda bottles in the Industry Room at the Follett House Museum.
Lots of small grocery stores in Erie County carried Kist beverages in the 1950s. Kist collectibles are popular today on online auction sites.