When I worked for Publicker at the Kinsey Disitllery there were about 600 people working there at this time of Year Christmas there were always long lines of Box cars waiting to be loaded with our Products in the late summer and fall months! I will never forget one day on my way out of the plant a friend who worked in security told me about something that had happened on second shift the night before it was still warm out and as they were making their rounds they heard some strange noises coming from one of the Box cars! Apon going in they saw a high wall of boxes and when they looked over there was a man and a woman who decided to do something special on their Break without their clothes! In the early 1970's when I was about to get another job the place was going strong, still a fortune 500 company I had no idea that 12 to 13 years later it would be gone. There were 3 shifts and they were dumping barrels during the day continously. It was Mid 1971 5 years that I left Kinsey the old 1941/46 Ford flat trucks were still running with no doors and no wipers the 3 company houses were still being lived in by company Bosses. Early that year a man Named John got hired to work in the warehouse He told the Plant boss Mr Harold Reinert that not a drop of whiskey would touch his lips. Mr Reinert would always come out at quiting time and stand and watch us leave he enjoyed doing this every day! But this day as he stood there John came crawling along to the time clock, that morning he had said he would not touch a drop of Whiskey well he didn't he drank a few bottles full! Mr Reinert looked at him shook his head went in the office and He never came out again at quiting time while I worked there! He was a kind man and did not fire John as he knew he was to old to get work most places and he ended up working there till he retired. The guys in Maintaince were very kind people one day the Generator on my 1963 Chevy quit when I got to work the one mechanic Frank told me I will fix it for you and when work is over it will be done! That night sure enough He had put a brand new Generator on and when I asked him how much he said for what. He fixed it and never charged me! We made fairly good money working there for those days, I still have a pay stub from Nov 1969 I made $101.20 clear a week after taxes I did not know then how good my pay was looking back I see that was real good for those days for a 22 year old Guy! At that time they were experimenting with giant Wood Barrels standing on top of each other in piles, they leaked like crazy! Also they were slowly torching out all the steel racks in the warehouses one at a time and switching to the big barrels! When the stuff was ready to be used they had pumps to get it out of the barrels instead of like the old days when you rolled them on the Trough to dump them! This past week I took a walk through what used to be Kinsey, it was so strange to go back and see the place abandon and in ruin. No old trucks hauling barrels no people trees growing on the stone roofs windows smashed on warehouses and the Still torn down for its copper by the people who last owed the property after Publicker gave it up and just robbed it of any valuable metals and then just walked away! Stainless tanks sitting empty. I looked at building M and the stainless conection that went through the wall to one of the new tanks setups in the building after the racks were taken out was still shining in the sun as if it was still in use after all these years! Looking in what had been the most modern Bottling house in the world in 1966 I heard the rush of water looking with a flashlight were there had been a pipe hole in the roof Water from the storm the night before was flowing straight down the people who abandon the place had stuck a 100 gallon stianless open tank under the Hole and it was full and water rushed down the floor! Bits of Asbestos in corners, smashed Bottles and old empty Antifreeze bottles from the ill fated Antifreeze bottling they had done the last year before they just shut the place and walked away, ending what had been a fortune 500 company that had 5000 People working all over the world and was the Largest Alcohol maker of every type in the world. What a sad thing to see it like that the Lawns I had kept so perfect when My Cy Neiman was living and chairman of the Company now nothing but weeds and trees and Poison ivy! The company houses falling down windows broken and the office long gone! Just a pile of Bricks where the Still had once stood and all the steer pens out back torn down and gone were once they raised steers feeding them Mash during WWII when the still was operating yet there! It was after Mr Neiman died the company just kept going down and it never made a come back, like a person with a sickness that will kill them so it was for The Publicker Ind Continental Distilling plant at the old Kinsey distillery! It sits a memory of better days and of The Best Bourbon I ever Drank Old Hickory and still today I can say I was proud to work there and proud of the Products they made, they were made of the very best Alcohol and blending and quality Grains back then! Sadly this did not just happen with Distillerys it has happened in all the large Companys in the USA take the Steel Companys there used to be a Bethlem Steel in Pottstown, Pa they built most of the Golden Gate Bridge there it like Kinsey is long gone. As so are the good Paying jobes of those days!
Dave Z