Saturday, June 27, 2009
STARTUP With A COKE!
The Startup Candy Company has been in business in Provo, Utah, since 1875. The company is listed in Ripley's Believe It Or Not as the very first candy company to make a filled chocolate candy bar in America. The Startup family still makes that filled candy bar, called the Opera Bar, and still uses some of the same molds and equipment as they did when the company went into business. They were also an early distributor of Coca-Cola, and hence the sale of that product to Mr. L. C. Ford Junior, of Lima, Montana. Mr. Ford's father was the railroad doctor for the Oregon Short Line Railroad. When the Oregon Short Line was purchased by Union Pacific, Dr. Ford was out of a job, and moved himself and his family to the first real settlement of any size on the North side of Monida Pass, which was Lima.
According to the Historical Society in Lima, his kitchen table was also his operating table. Patients were brought in the front door, and if they didn't make it - they were taken out the back. His son opened a Drug Store/Pharmacy directly across the street, and I would bet that among the various glass fronted cases and lidded jars on his counter was an assortment of the candies made by the Startup family.
When I first was given this piece of paper, I thought it would be an easy task to find the right 'ingredients' for a visual fish to hang on the "Startup" hook. It took almost a month to finally find someone who could give me an image of the 'right' Coca-Cola bottle and the 'right' label to go with it. A gentleman from Atlanta, GA, by the name of Mr. Bill Baab was kind enough to send me not only a bottle that is proper for 1908, but also a copy of an original paper label, also proper for the period. And he sent them both to me on HIS DIME. I was blown away by the willingness of a total stranger to send me all the right pieces to put the puzzle together.
Thus, Mr. Baab, this Coke is for you!