My aunt was in town and came over for dinner tonight. I showed her my distillery photos from my recent trip to KY. She began to fill me in on my grandfather's jobs at various distilleries throughout his life. I am somewhat embarrased to say that I didn't know about his life in the time before I was born. Consequently, I didn't know how many distilleries in KY he worked at before my life began.
My aunt and I called my grandmother and asked her to fill us in on the details. Here's what I got from my grandmother in the confusion in getting ready for supper. I will be sure to follow up with her later on, but I wanted to see if anyone here can provide some more info.
My grandfather (Thomas Holman Bryant) began at the Frankfort Distillery in 1933. They sent him to Baltimore for a few years before he returned to reside in Pee Wee Valley (east of Louisville). My grandmother mentioned the brands Mattingly & Moore and Paul Jones at the Frankfort Distillery.
After the Frankfort Distillery was bought by Seagrams, my grandfather left to work for Cummins & Collins at 15th Street in Louisville. He worked there through the death of Mr. Collins, but after the death of Mr. Cummins, he began to work at the Old Joe Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Ky. This was about 1951 or 1952.
I remember my parents having commemorative bottles of Old Joe, but in my adult life, I have never seen anything related to Old Joe. But, tonight, I searched the Internet (thank you Google) and found that it is the Four Roses Distillery.
My grandather worked there for a few years before moving to another distillery in Lawrenceburg. I asked my grandmother if that was Austin Nichols on US 62. She said it was something famous and that it was on Versailles Parkway. This sounds like Wild Turkey to me on US 62 between Lawrenceburg and Versailles, but, of course, I don't know if there were some other distillery in the area in the 1950s.
In 1961, my grandfather moved to Philadelphia to work for JA Daughtery & Sons in Philadelphia. After that, he moved to Linfield, PA to work for Publicker Industries about 1966. I lived with my grandparents for a few months in Linfield in 1968. At that time, I believe my grandfather was the manager of the plant. I do remember the school bus dropping me off at the plant's guard house where my grandmother would pick me up. They lived in a house behind the plant on the Schuykill River. The house was a historic house built in 1740 and served as a post office in revolutionary days.
My grandfather retired in 1977. He and my grandmother moved back to Louisville where she still lives. My grandfather passed away several years ago before I gained an appreciation for bourbon. However, I do remember going to the store for him to pick up some Very Old Barton. ;-)
I will be busy in the coming days looking up details on the Internet to fill in the blanks in my grandmother's description. But, if anyone here has any details, I would be most appreciative of any info you could provide.