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dave ziegler

My Memories of Kinsey Distilling

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donviper

Dave, is it ok to go to the property to take pictures of the outside anytime? What happens if the police show up? What do I tell them?

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dave ziegler
Your collection certainly is fantastic. I'd sure like to see it in person some day. It's like having your very own museum right there in your home!

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dave ziegler

Seeing all those trees and weeds pictures I just put on the Fire tower Thread just made me think back to a tipical day on the Yard gang. The ground at the Plant is really good rich soil and that is why the ground left abandoned is so full of heavy growth.

at 7am we would ring in at the old DSP-Pa-12 Distiller and go down the stairs to the tunnel to Meet our Boss John Zuber. From there he would decide the summer Jobs for the day cleaning/Mowing/mulching. Or Hauling broken Glass and trash to the dump down by the river or special sweeping jobs. On a mowing day John would have us load our hand mowers on the old 1946 blue Ford Pickup and he would drop us at points to work from till all 3 or 4 of us ended up together with everything done in that section. Meanwhile John would take the Gang mowers pulled by an Old Ford 8n tractor and mow the large area's where we were mowing.

The place was over 199 acre's plus so we were busy those mowing days. Then there was the weekly Job of Hauling Metal rack uprights cut out on the weld spots, from the Warehouses on a farm wagon behind the Old 8n ford to the Steer pens down back where we put them all out of the weather incase they wanted to weld them back together and go back to the smaller barrels, which never happened as 8 years after I left they quit the spirits making industry to try and be like Proctor and Gambel after Si Neumans death. The idea failed and everything ended on Sept 1986 with the Man they sold the plant to, once again raising the lease price and them then giving up after many years of bad management after Si Neuman died 1976.

The plant was sold in 1982 to the person who has destroyed it supposidly to get capital to redo all the equipment in the 1966 Bottle House to be more like as I said earlier Protor and Gambel. They did anitfreeze and other household products from 1980 but retooled more when they sold the plant and leased back a couple of buildings, tanks and the Big bottle house.

The products were made in the Phila Plant. All the buildings at that time at kinsey including the old House and Barn down back had new or real good roofs everything was sprinkeled and there was power to everything when Publicker sold it.

So now the place just sits as a memory to 600 hard working People who worked there and loved their jobs and were like a family back in the day! And Si Neuman and His beautiful Distillery by the River

Dave Z

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It Seems All The Nicest People Drink Old Hickory

America's Most Magnificent Bourbon

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dave ziegler

Early this week I took some pictures of My office with all my 33 Explosion Proof Pilot light/Switch combos all lit up.

It has taken over 5 years to complete them and they were wired mostly by My two Plant electrian friends. Here are 3 Pictures of my Office with Pilot lights glowing that used to glow at Kinsey! Also in Picture two is my Antique Fire Extingisher I saved from Old Jake Kinseys Warehouse H. Through the years I have tried to save everything I can from the Plant for the sake of History, and I will keep at it till the place or I am gone!

Dave Z

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It Seems All The Nicest People Drink Old Hickory

America's Most Magnificent Bourbon --------------------------post-1964-14489818003317_thumb.jpg

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Edited by dave ziegler

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dave ziegler

On Hot days like today I well remember on days like this how cool the first floors of the old Warehouses were! When I walk around the plant nowadays I really enjoy stepping in them to cool off. Every Friday end of the day on the warehouse gangs you would find out who you were with for that coming Monday for mondays work. Jobs wise You would then either rack new filled barrels, break down barrels to dump or be moved to another warehouse to be dumped or Fill barrels at O building!

Days were busy and time passed fast so you enjoyed your work there. I was on several warehouse gangs with Jack Rayser, Shorty Keller, Bookie's ( William Haring's) gang and others. When dumping you had to time all the barrels lined up to be dumped at the trough so that they came up with the bung hole down in place on the trough. It was not an easy task but we learned how to do it.

Barrel rolling is not easy as it is repetive, and bending over the whole time is not easy in a 8 hr day. We just did the job and did not think anything about it. We enjoyed our moring break up at the break room in O building, the government building. We had a little coffee machine which produced a good cup of coffee from ARA vending and a bottled soda machine loaded with A Treat sodas the most popular soda being Ginger Ale it mixed so good with Whiskey!

Lunch was a half hour and you could get a ride out front 15 minutes before lunch and 15 minutes after to go back in the old 1953 Dodge flat truck. We also had a truck come in with sandwichs and drinks. We had real nice treated heavy wood picnic benches to sit at and they are still there.

Also a cig machine which sold alot of .35c Packs of Cigs. I had quit when I started there having smoked from when I was 11 till just before I hit 19 having gotten sick from them breathing wise.

Some days we just stayed in the warehouse and rolled dice during break and lunch. On Fridays we would go out to eat and I loved going on Fridays with Gus Niarahos who was a former major League ball player with the Yanks, Phillies and others.

He was a Company man with Kinsey in the winter months and managed a minor league baseball team in Va in the summer. At that time he manged the old New Port News minor league team. We would drive over to Spring City to the Bar on 724 that is an Irish bar to this day. We would have a couple of beers and a sandwich and then go back to work. Being with Gus if we were Late he would make sure we did not get in trouble and got the full days hours.

Sometimes we would go to the Old Frankie and Johnies bar in south Pottstown for home made stuffed Cabage or Pierogies on Fridays with Gus and of course a couple of beers.

It was a good and simple life back then and we would all be better off if things were so simple today as they were then.

Dave Z

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It Seems All The Nicest people Drink Old Hickory

America's Most Magnificent Bourbon

Edited by dave ziegler

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BourbonJoe

You're right Dave about life being much simpler back then. I'd love to return to those days. One thing though, I remember that ARA coffee as being terrible stuff.

Joe

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donviper

Dave,

I didnt see you on the property today? Did I have my dates mixed up?

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dave ziegler

The End Of The 1933 Post Prohibition Jacob G Kinsey Bottling House

( Happy House )

This Morning at 5:05 AM Lightening struck the Old Kinsey Bottling House which operated from before 1933 Fall through Sept 1979 operating for most of its years as the primary Liquor Bottling House for Continental Distilling at Kinsey. When the company bought the Plant at Auction in 1940 they had it fully sprinkled as they did with all the Old Buildings. The Old Bottling house was used to make all our Liquors till the Plant Closed. The Girls always called it Happy House because they could get a drink there fairly easy. At 5:05 AM this morning lightening knocked my power and about 650 other peoples power out and struck the building exploding it and sending flames 45 feet in the air acording to my Friends that watch the place. I have not had a chance to go there yet but once I do I can tell what all burned I expect the Old #10 Rye Barn DSP-PA-10 being so close my be gone too. And Possiblely the two old Warehouses out front E & D

What a sad end to that great old Bottle House, in the last 4 years the second floor had fell in due to fire there started by people who claimed they were going to fix the place up. They were burning a shed and caught the Old bottle house and barn and the Old Kinsey office on fire the bottle house survived for 6 yrs till heavy ice in winter brought down the roof of building destroying the second floor. The Barn also survived, the Office is a pile of Bricks.

Here is a picture of the first floor of the Old Bottle House taken in 2010.

Dave Z

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Kinsey The Unhurried Whiskey For Unhurried Moments

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ethangsmith

I'm glad we were able to get in there when we did and save what we did!

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ethangsmith

Dave, a man by the name of Ed Kern posted on my blog that Kinsey would be demolished "today." Here is what he said:

"This place was struck by lightning this morning and sustained heavy fire damage. Word on the street is that it will be demolished today."

Do you know him? I'll be interested to see what the status is of Kinsey....

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dave ziegler

I spoke to my friends tonight and found out that lightening struck Old warehouses E & D by the river so the old bottle house still stands with a pile of rubble behind it. The sadest thing of all to get to the fire they brought in a excavator and knocked down the most historic building left the old DSP-PA-10 #10 rye barn. Boy am I glad I got my friends to cut out the old stair piece that says Kinsey #10 rye building. I am going to post a picture of it I posted before in the building before, I saved it, but in thankfulness that I saved it I want to show it in the barn back in July 2010. It sits saved in my garage. Here is a picture of the stair before my friends carefully cut it out with a fiber blade cutting saw a year or so ago, I have a picture somewhere but I will bring it out of garage this weekend and take a new shot ot it. I am going to go over this weekend to get pictures of the destroyed buildings. The #10 rye stair piece now is a real piece of Saved History. I remember thinking back in 2010 I have save it and it took a while till my friends figuered how to cut it out without causing the staircase to fall and Thankfully they got it and it will some day sit in a museum for History. I have also added a picture of the Pot still wooden upper framework I got back in 2010 showing what was above the staircase. And a picture of the back area of the staircase which burned today stating that this truck Bonded & loaded by 163 local CIO union Linfield Pa. I can't tell you how glad I am I got these pictures for History!

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It was warehouse E that I first drank Rye whiskey straight from a barrel that was going to be Rittenhouse Rye and the barrels that went into the Old Hickory 20 year Old special Bourbon came from Warehouses D & E.

Dave Z

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Kinsey The Unhurried Whiskey Forr Unhurried Moments

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Edited by dave ziegler

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dave ziegler

Here are some more July 1 2012 fire Pictures from Kinsey Distillery once a division of Continental Distilling and a fully owned Subsidiary of Publicker Industries back in the day!

1. Warehouse D

2. Looking down at Warehouses D & E standing where Dsp-pa-10 Rye Barn stood, it was torn down to get to the fire with an exavator sadly.

3. Looking over from where the #10 Rye Barn was to the Old Kinsey Bottle House.

4. Between these walls once stood the second of the oldest Warehouses Old Kinsey Warehouse B, it and warehouse A had no elevators but instead you used a chain hoist to lift barrels up to the racks and to pull them. see Picture 7 also for another shot of B.

5. Sign torn from racks in what was warehouse D says section 1.

6. This was the elevator in Warehouse E sadly Warehouse E which I was never in all these years because it still had a very large Padlock from Publicker on the only door in and no one ever cut it, was in better shape then all the rest of the old ones looking at the wood on the racks and also it still had a roof. This was the elevator I hit bottom in when someone put an extra barrel in when I wass not looking! Also the wonderful 20 year old/ Old Hickory Bourbon was made with barrels from this warehouse.

7. This hole between the walls was Kinsey Warehouse B built in 1892.

8. Amazingly the very First Warehouse ever built at Kinsey Warehouse A still stands, no roof but still intact.

I will post some more in the next couple of days and be sure and look at the 5 pictures I posted on the Fire observation room thread too!

Also for me this is like the death of a dear friend, Kinsey Distillery never deserved this and Jake Kinsey and Si Neuman would be feeling my Pain were they alive today. I loved working there I loved the Old Buildings so much and I loved the people I worked with there. THOSE WERE THE DAYS MY FRIENDS

Dave Z

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Kinsey The Unhurried Whiskey For Unhurried Moments

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Edited by dave ziegler

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BourbonJoe

Looking at the photos Dave. Sad. :frown:

Joe :usflag:

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mike22487

what a shame, I wish I would have spent more time there. I think I'm going to plan a trip up there to sort through some of the rubble and see what I can find. I think ill be bringing some shovels, hedge clippers and a saw with me. It may yield some good writing on the old timbers.

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spiderblues

Wow, that is very sad. We'll have to plan another trip up there to see this in person. Tough to get my bearings from the pictures!

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donviper

Hey Dave, it was good seeing you there the other day. So I told you about that music video that I shot at Kinsey. This was shot the day before the fire. Hopefully I did Kinsey some justice with the video.

Let me know what you think? This is a local 14 year old girl, whom I am friends with her mother. She is an aspiring singer and her mother asked me to create a music video to share online.

http://youtu.be/phRjwdq4yi0

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dave ziegler

Here are some shots I got at Kinsey after the Fire on Monday July 2

around 6:00 PM.

I was amazed looking in the ruins at how strong and well built the walls were on warehouses D & E, 4 Bricks thick I have a couple of pictures showing them. Also as I said before what a shame the guy on the Excavator got carried away Knocking the wall into E down when no fire got in there, also leaving the structure at the mercy of Weather. I am sure I will get some snow pictures of the ruins this winter.

looking in E the floors were still there and it still had a half desent Roof. Here are some more pictures!

1. Warehouse E Note the thickness of the wall 4 bricks thick, Jake Kinsey Built them better then I ever relised. Note between the wall and racks is the Elevator Shaft all the wood boards sideways going up to the top with a Box sitting on the roof.

2. Warehouse E again

3. Back wall of Warehouse E with the Door now opened for the first time in 30+ years by where the Old Barrel rails were. That is the reason it was so good yet because Vandels never got into it. The Racks Wood looks like new. Also the elevator in E like H was at the door out so if something happened you had a chance. With the elevator at the very back of warehouse D you would have to walk the whole small wooden walkway to get out.

I never got in this one all the years going there, as it still had a large old Publicker Pad lock on it and no one ever cut it. Another note the Elevator on this one in E had the box type top like H verses built in the wall D.

4. The Elevator sitting at the bottom of the Shaft in Warehouse D. Both D & E shared a common wall between them.

5. The Elevator Control Panel Warehouse D which is alot like the one I saved from Warehouse H. It is my Guess all the old frieght Elevators were made and built by Reading Elevator Co, Reading Pa like Warehouse H.

6. A Sprinkler sticking out of the racks in Warehouse E.

7. Warehouse D Elevator Shaft which is different from all the others in it is built in the wall and is at the very back in the wall at the river.

8. The top of the Elevator Shaft on Warehouse D note the metal frame still holiding the Elevator Motor.

The one thing I get some peace about this is Nature took the old Buildings and not Vandels and I am studying how the warehouses were built, and to my surprise the Jacob G Kinsey Built warehouses are made much better then I ever knew. Also looking at the racks you think to yourself I bet there is no one living in this day and age who has the skill to build something like Warehouses D & E the way the racks are put together with giant bolts and the slots in the walls for each levels racks support! They were five levels high and if you were climbing the ladder you had to not look down while going up or coming down. D & E were the tallest Warehouses, and built around the turn of the century. Another thing the cost for the Quality wood that they used in them would mke it impossible to build something like them!

Also something I never thought of working in these two warehouses, if there would have been a fire and you were up top say level 5 you would never get out as the elevator would not work and by the time you climbed down if the section you were in especialy D, if not burning you would then be at the very back and have to walk the wooden walkway to get to the front.

You would then be in more trouble when you got to the bottom as each building had one door out. Guess you could have jumped out of one of the windows but if you lived you would break alot of bones. Also if you could get to a window between the racks!

One Last note some of the very best Whiskys we ever made came from Warehouses D & E. Rittenhouse Rye BIB, All the barrels for The Special 20 Year old, Old Hickory Bourbon and alot of Hallers County Fair whisky too!

I had my first taste of Whiskey in Warehouse E and it was Rittenhouse Straight 100 proof Rye, for a young guy it was awsome!

Note this Nov will be 6 years since I started here writing about Publicker and The Continental Distilling Corporations Kinsey Distillery Division. I still enjoy sharing everything I can about the plants and Kinsey! I well remember the Old water towers Painted saying Continental Distilling Corp Kinsey Distillery a Division Of Publicker Industries.

Dave Z--- Kinsey The Unhurried Whisky For Unhurried Moments

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Edited by dave ziegler

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ethangsmith

Dave, I got a Continental relic off EBay. It is a Union agreement book for 1969-1971. It has some advertisements in it along with all sorts of descriptions of pay and a list all the positions at all the Publicker plants. It's pretty cool.

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dave ziegler
Dave, I got a Continental relic off EBay. It is a Union agreement book for 1969-1971. It has some advertisements in it along with all sorts of descriptions of pay and a list all the positions at all the Publicker plants. It's pretty cool.

Wow how did I miss that. That is the Last 3 years I worked there, I will have to try to find one myself but most times you miss something you never see another Good find!

Dave Z

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ethangsmith

I'll bring it along next time I'm down. I figured I would grab it right away before it disappeared.

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donviper

Dave,

I provided a link to a music video that I produced, 100% captured at Kinsey in Linfield.

http://youtu.be/phRjwdq4yi0

Let me know what you think!

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spiderblues

Got a chance to walk through the old warehouse's with Dave today. What a mess it is now. Shame what happened, but guess you can't do anything about lighting strikes. Walked around & in & took a few pictures of the area. Also went into the bottling house. Been a little bit since we've been in there.

Here's a few pics for you to check out.

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Inside

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Dave & Andy looking at the warehouse

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Inside the pit of the warehouse

For the rest of the shots, check them out here:

http://photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=1035666

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ethangsmith

Did I see a barrel???

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spiderblues

Yep, the last one in there. Empty & no writing that I saw on the top.

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dave ziegler

In early 1969 I got the Nicest Car I ever owned working at Kinsey! My 1967 Buick Grand Sport GS-400. It was a 400 cu inch 425 HP with a isky 3/4 race cam and 4 speed close ratio trans with a hurst shifter. It had 2 fuel pumps, one electric and the regular one plus a low 456 posi rear and drag shocks. The custom scoop on the hood was open to the Quadro Jet 4 barrel carb. And it would fly and it had only 10,000 miles on it. It was because of the good money I made working for Publicker that let me get this awesome set of wheels. The first picture has my winter mags and tires, giant snow tires on the back. The second picture has my beautiful Factory Mags. I also had a Dixco Tack on the steering colume and full gauges. Those days were as special as life could be for a 22 yr old!

Dave Z

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It Seems All the Nicest People Drink Old Hickory

America's Most Magnificent Bourbon

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