SODA KINGS OF B.C. & THE YUKON

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VOLUME 1 NUMBER 2 – LIMITED EDITION, NOW SOLD OUT; END NOTES NOW AVAILABLE!

NEXT ISSUE – COMING SOON….!!

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o far “Soda Kings” has profiled the bottlers of Victoria and New Westminster – now we’re going to change things up. In the late 1800’s one company emerged from all the others to become the dominant force in the soda trade around the province. This firm provided collectors with a seemingly endless variety of bottles, syphons and ephemera to collect and puzzle over. For the serious, diehard collector it has been a joy to track these down over the last fifty years. Now it’s time to sort out the facts from the guesses about this iconic firm. So the next Soda Kings is all about Thorpe & Company Limited.

Soda Kings of BC – Volume 1 Number 2 – Limited Edition

Above: Never-before seen photo of Thorpe & Company labelled sodas. Photo courtesy Rob Northcote.

The employees who made Thorpe & Company the success it was often went on to form their own firms, which will also be explored in the next Soda Kings. As these firms are profiled, they will shed a new light on their relationship to Thorpe & Company Limited. The sprawling reach of Thorpe & Company will show that with plants in Vancouver, Victoria and Nelson, the company partners missed no opportunity to extend their market share anywhere in the province.

Thorpe & Company’s successor firm, Country Club Beverages Ltd., will also be profiled. The founder of this successful firm is identified, and of course its artifacts are shown in glorious colour. Decades ago, Thorpe & Company’s Victoria and Vancouver plants were successfully dug by collectors who raced to save any artifacts, literally steps away from the bulldozers. The memories of collectors who attended these famous digs were shared, shedding new light on Thorpe & Company.

Above: Jack “Indiana Jones” Whittles & Mike Boyd with an 1890’s Victoria Brewing Co beer & pottery ale newly dug in the Gorge. August 2021. These days good bottles from the Gorge are getting scarce. Despite that, hope springs eternal – that summer day there were at least half a dozen collectors out mud-larking, with Chris Hill retaining his long-held title as the “King of the Gorge”.