Whitestone, NY (May 19, 2011) – What started as a celebrated elixir in 1871, soon became America’s most recognized brand of seltzer and water; chosen to christen Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis” prior to its historic flight, featured at the coronation banquet of England’s King Edward VII, and the first to introduce ads portraying Santa Claus as the jolly, plump character he has become universally known today.
White Rock Beverages, one of America’s oldest beverage companies, turns 140 years old this spring, adding another chapter to its long, storied history. By the time Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper debuted (1886 and 1885, respectively), White Rock was already a teenager, and when Pepsi (1898) was introduced, White Rock was well on its way to being the most popular soft drink and seltzer brand in the country.
“It’s one thing to say you’re a ‘product of the ‘70’s,’ but few can clarify that they mean the 1870’s. It truly is remarkable to be celebrating 140 years in what is arguably one of the most competitive of all American businesses,” said Larry Bodkin, president of White Rock Beverages, and a member of the Morgan family that has run the company since the mid-1940’s.
(The Morgan family founded its own beverage company that pre-dates even White Rock. Morgan Beverages was founded in New York in 1857, and merged with White Rock in 1944.)
The original White Rock mineral springs in Waukesha, WI, were purportedly a popular watering place for local Indian tribes. The mineral springs at Waukesha eventually became well known throughout the Midwest, and the water was marketed as a curative for a host of ailments and illnesses. The White Rock Medicinal Water Company began selling its product in 1871, and registered its label two years later.
“We’ve gone from warding off the consumption to being a deliciously refreshing brand of seltzers, waters, and soft drinks. It’s been a nice evolution,” said Bodkin.
Today, White Rock sells more than dozen different flavors of seltzers and water, and boasts a complete selection of mixers, flavors and specialty beverages. The company introduced Sioux City Sarsaparilla in 1975, and expanded its offerings and distribution to a national audience by 1986.
White Rock acquired the Olde Brooklyn brand of beverages in 2003, and was one of the first beverage companies to launch a line of organic sodas in 2005.
Known throughout its history by its iconic logo, White Rock’s kneeling nymphe (Psyche) was named one of America’s 10 most recognizable trademarks of the first half of the 20th century. The famed water fairy, who debuted as White Rock’s logo in 1892, has evolved over the past century – sartorially and physically. She has been seen in varying degrees of dress and undress, and her hairstyle and figure have reflected changing styles over the decades.
White Rock, founded in 1871, is one of America’s oldest beverage companies. Its products are available in the contiguous United States, and multiple overseas markets. Psyche, a Greek Goddess and White Rock’s trademark, signifies White Rock’s commitment to the utmost quality, purity and refreshment.