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dave ziegler

The Kinsey Fire Observation Room

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dave ziegler

When I think about how big a place the Kinsey Distillery was 2/3 more land then the Phila plant I offten wonder how we kept everything so good. The people working there when I did had a great work Ethic and did not miss much time from work.

Just the job of going to the the fire hydrents in the plant and opening them all once a month was a really big job over 100 acre's of land with hydrents down in the woods out back near the river to protect the second set of 1/2 million gal storage tanks which were filled from the pump and weigh house out back by rail tanker and dumping.

We would see Cal, Harry and Stan opening and checking presures and flow of different Hydrents almost every day. They had to go check the pumping station down back to make sure it was working and that the Cummins engine that pumped water started and operated ok.

They had to monitor the Pyrotronics fire warning systems in certain area's, go up on the Fire tower room at least once a week to look for danger and then there was the upkeep of the Old Fire truck which Continental Distilling got when Kinsey lost the plant and it was updated when ever needed to make it right for the protection of the plant.

The hardest job had to be climbing down in the sub floor area's of the Old Kinsey wood & brick warehouses to make sure all the valves on pipes for the sprinklers were working!

Go up in the fire escape stair wells to make sure fire doors were working to escape if needed. They were busy every day and I fondly remember them riding around in the fire truck sounding the alarm.

Dave Z

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Join The Swing To Kinsey The Unhurried

Whiskey For Unhurried Moments

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Jono

The grain storage silos had to be of immense concern as well with the explosion risk of grain dust. Controlling fuel, oxygen and combustion in those situations is tricky.

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dave ziegler

Yes Jono and there was never any problems till the still shut down in spring 1951, they always had their fire drills from fall 1940 when Publicker bought it till the end of spirits in 1980 and the plant sold and some stuff leasted back through 1986. It is always hard for me to see the place the way it is but I have today off yet from work and going to take a walk in a few minutes over at Kinsey. Also take a few pictures.

Dave Z

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dave ziegler

Walking through the Plant it hard not to notice some of the fire waring stuff still in the plant.

1. Back Water Tower for fire fighting.

2. Pyrotronics panel on warehouse Q the fire observation room building at the high point of the plant.

3. Inside of the Pyrotronics panel, there were at lease 10 of these all over the plant on warehouse docks in the fire house and in the big bottling house.

4. Fire Sprinklers on top of the back 1/2 million gal tank middle of the plant.

5. Double set of Fire sprinklers on top on the other 1/2 million gal front side tank in the middle of the plant.

There is a master panel in the old Kinsey Fire house that monitors the whole plant and I have seen these on Warehouse Q, P, and the big bottle house plus other warehouses around the plant. Cal Roberts and his helpers Harry Martin and Stan Stafoniwitz would monitor these every day while running hydrents and other duties.

One of the things I was always proud of working there, was the fact there were NO FIRES AT KINSEY WHEN IT OPERATED! Even when the Old DSP-pa-12 was running it was the safest Distillery in the world at the time Continental Distilling operated it from fall 1940 through till the end in Fall 1986. Also there were never any fires when Mr Kinsey operated it from 1892 through 1939.

The reason - Because People cared and were careful everyday long before companies started counting days without loss we were safe and operating wide open.

The people who engineered stuff and the Plant bosses really had their act togther those days. Our Best Engineer was Joe Trish and He spent most of his time in Phila but he lived in Phoenixville 10 miles from Kinsey and did all the important engineering at Kinsey also, it was Joe who engineered the detension basin around the two 1/2 million gal storage tanks, and it was Joe who engineered the Potato Project in Phila, the making of Potato flour at Publicker at the end of WWII to feed the starving at wars end.

Publicker was always ready for the action and all the years except the last few after Mr Neuman died, were filled with R&D Ideas many of which today are considered State Of Art. People try to say they invented them like the floaters in barrels that Makers mark did Last year. Continental did their first Floaters in 1962 and I have posted one of the pieces of Letterhead about that on my writing here.

As you can see I am still very proud to have worked for in my opinion The Greatest Distiller in History and the biggest in its time!

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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

Well this saturday was a very busy one as 3 Times I took people through Kinsey for tours! First I took Mike, Then Sunday after Church I took Ethen and his wife, aand finally I took 5 people from my church who live near the plant and have always wanted to go in and look! I could hardly walk after the last trip in but what great fun and on to trips got some pictures inside buildings that had been broken open and told my friends so they could secure the area's for the safety of Very young people that walk in there.

Here are some Fire Observation roon shots.

1. Fire room standing on the roof.

2. Looking down the sealed shaft that is in the top bucker on the fire roon the floor fell in when the build had a fire many years ago.

3. Tower Room from the ground.

4. Looking out the back door of the observation room to roof and edge of roof.

5. Looking in the old top bunker room showing no floor and window and heat radiator on wall. Thankfully the door is breoken and will not open as walking in there in the dark would be the last walk you ever took as the shaft is sealed all the way down to the ground.

6. Whats left of the Fire observation room

7. Melted glass on the window sill where it ran out of the windows due to the heat from the fire.

8. Shot through Window Frame

9. shot of the fire room

10. Another shot of the room

11. Sign at door to roof from front stairwell.

12. Shot form roof to back of Plant.

I always enjoy the view of the Plant from the Fire Observation room on the high spot of the plant on Explosion proof warehouse Q.

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

Well I am back been dealing with some health stuff but doing great now and I have stuff I have not Posted yet from May. But as many of You know I go to the WWII week end every year in Reading and dress as a Col. and B-29 Pilot as my Father was a B-29 Tail Gunner in WWII. So here is one of My Pictures just for Fun from the show of me with The Manhaten Dolls at the show. And some Kinsey pictures

1. Me with the Dolls

2. I saved this old wooden side from a box that once held a metal worm used to move grain from the grain Process building at Kinsey to the DSP#12 Still. It says Kinsey Distilling company Linfield pa. Most likely the part was used around the mid to late 1940's

3. Old Kinsey Fire Fighting Tank of the Old Presured water type.

I have more Pictures to post and will post the Picture of the Old Whiskey Thief that we found in the ruins of the Old Kinsey Bottle house which was used till 1979 to make and bottle Liquors! I will put the picture of the whiskey thief in the Memories thread today if I have time. Felt so good Last night I broke out the Last of My Old Hickory 80 for a nice sip or two.

Dave Z

It Seems All The Nicest People Drink Old Hickory

America's Most Magnificent Bourbon

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dave ziegler

When Ethan was with me at Kinsey he got between the door and wall and got a couple of shots inside Warehouse H the last warehouse Jacob G Kinsey ever built in 1936 at 78 years Old.

Here are some Pictures taken for me by Ethan as I could not get between the door as it has a large rock holding it very close. It was this warehouse H where a Friend saw a place where My Dad had written Ziggy was here 1952, on one of the wooden racks but Ethan could not find it when he went in.

1. & 2. Racks in warehouse H

3. The wall where the freight elevator used to be

4. The front of what was the freight Elavator no smoking sign

5. Racks falling down in front of where the Freight elevator was.

It was in one of these Old Elevators in Warehouse E of these a trick was played on me when I started in the warehouses after 2 1/2 years in the yard gang. I went out of the elevator for a couple of seconds in that time someone I know who loaded one extra barrel past capasity so when I flipped the switch to go down I went straight down hitting hard on the lower level. I can still remember how hard the hitting hurt my back from the jolt!

Dave Z

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kinsey The Unhurried Whiskey For Unhurried Moments

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G.H.Adams

Dave, it's a shame that this countries whiskey heritage is slowly rotting away instead of being preserved for future generations. Thanks for all you have done. I have enjoyed your posts about the past a great deal.

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dave ziegler
Dave, it's a shame that this countries whiskey heritage is slowly rotting away instead of being preserved for future generations. Thanks for all you have done. I have enjoyed your posts about the past a great deal.

Greg thanks for your comments I love the Old Place and The Company even though it is Long gone. In the Old days Pa was a powerhouse for great Bourbons and Rye's. Our Rittenhouse Rye when we Made it was the Best Rye I have ever tasted. Old Hickory to me was the Best Bourbon made back in the day! BE Well Greg and again thanks for your feed back it helps to incourage me to continue my work so Publicker / Continental Distilling / and Kinsey are never forgotten.

Dave Z

-----------------------------------------------------------------

It Seems All The Nicest People Drink Old Hickory

America's Most Magnificent Bourbon

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G.H.Adams

Dave

I was born in Ohio and raised in West Virginia. I moved to New Mexico when I was 26. I remember that my uncle always had a bottle of Old Hickory that he drank. One day I found his glass and took a sip. Needless to say it came right back up and my uncle thought it was funny but my mom did not. My uncle had a drinking problem. He got up in the morning with bourbon and went to bed with it.

I wish I lived close to you as I like to explore old ghost towns and mines. I would love to go with you to the old distilleries.

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Jono

Terrific photo Dave of you and "the Dolls". You look the part and if it was black and white a period photo.

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dave ziegler

I Did something I have not done for a long time now,walked around Kinsey late evening last night while my friends closed up all the buildings! The same movie making group that came last year to rent the place came back again this past weekend. They are called Northern Lights sure would like to see that movie! They use Paintball guns that look just like the real models.

I took a picture of open gates I will post later this week. I also went into the 1966 Bottle House to see what that rotten guy who pretended he was going to buy the place stole. All the Pumps are missing their stainless heads 3 200 gal stainless tanks are gone from one of the incoming Tank platforms and even the retaining fence is cut off. I wish Him the most terrible fortune that can come to him money wise for what He did to Kinsey.

Glad I got the Pictures I did the last couple of years in there of how things were layed out. I took a couple of Pictures of what is gone, but my camera was acting up flash not wanting to work. I also went into Warehouse J and took pictures of what is left of the piles of barnd new never used Bottles and cases!

Walking out I looked back and just wondered why this had to happen to Kinsey!

If anyone knows anything about this movie making group let me know, the new movie is I think called apoplas II.

Dave Z

It Seems All The Nicest People Drink Old Hickory

America's Most Magnificent Bourbon

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cigarnv

Dave, great posts.

I grew up in Philly about 4 blocks from the Kasser distillery at 3rd and Luzerne... what do you know if anything about them? Several folks in the neighborhood worked there until the day it closed. They were located right next to a large rail yard where we played as kids...

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dave ziegler

First off Cargnv I sure do remember Kasser and will Tell you when you drank Kasser blendeds and straights you were drinking Publicker Whiskys of varing types. We supplied them with Whiskey for many years.

Well today is the 4th of July and I went back to Kinsey today on a tip I could finnaly go into what is left of Warehouse H the last one Kinsey ever built!

Here are some shots in there, after many years wanting to get back in after saving the old fire fighting drill papers. Now I finnaly got to get some pictures. Here we go back into time, to the Last Warehouse Jacob G Kinsey ever built in the year 1936!

1. Warehouse H

2. Well I found the Place were my Dad put his nickname Zig this was pure JOY for me

3.Inside the old freight Elevater. Red place on back right wall was a Fire extinguser used to Hang

4.Elevater controls, top button up, lower button down sliding safety switch and sliding elevater Light bottom switch

5. Looking down through the first level

6. Front of Elevater

7. This was one of Bonda Bergeys favorite Warehouses to get Choice drinking Whiskey and here is his Name on the up right, most likely it marked a row he got whiskey from. Bonda was the truck traffic director

8. This is the space you had to fit in to roll barrels out of two sets of racks better be thin.

9. Fallen down racks Fire Extingusers still hanging on the wall for each level

10. Another shot of the Racks

11. Closeup of the Hanging Exstingusers

12. Another shot inside the Elevater

13.Old Explosion Proof Plugin

14. Joe Kuterbach's name on rafter

15. Another shot of the space you crawled in the roll barrels out of the racks

16.Joe Kuterbach again and below bearly readable 10 L. Dist for Number 10 Pa Distillery!

17. Old no Smoking sign on Elevater

18. Last shot of the Old Freight Elevater boy do I remember these in all the old Kinsey buildings and taking the safey off one day pushing the button and going straight down hitting bottom because Bobby Had put one two many Barrels on when I had my back turned doing something else!

19. Outside Warehouse Switches

20. Looking up at the Old Elevater top Green on outside.

So there is your trip with me back into time into the only Old Kinsey warehouse you can walk in a little ways Building H. I most likely will never get in there again so took my time leaving as I thought of my First days on the warehouse gangs! I love those Old Brick and Wooden warehouses and it was in Warehouse E that I saw the Early 1950's barrels of Whiskey that would be used for the 20 yr anniversary Old Hickory we made! Most Likely they were Distilled at DSP-pa-12. KINSEY. It was warehouse E out front by the road that I went straight down in the Elevater to, sadly you can not walk in it at all anymore.

PS I will be posting some other Plant pictures and some rare Continental Letter Head in the other two threads this week.

Dave Z

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ethangsmith

Where was the "ZIG" on the wood? I couldn't find it the day I squeezed in there. Did someone move the rock so you could get in?

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timd

Phenomenal historical overview. Fascinating to see these pictures and read your memories.

Thanks much for sharing!

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dave ziegler
Where was the "ZIG" on the wood? I couldn't find it the day I squeezed in there. Did someone move the rock so you could get in?

Ethan you had to look at the cross beams walking out about 3 feet from the end. I was sure glad to get in with a camera as 4 years ago when I squeezed in with the boulder at the door I did not have my camera and I grabed all the fire drill papers. Since then it has been closed. The guys that watch the Place told me and they can not figure how someone ever moved that heavy rock but it gave me a chance in there. I had to Hold the wall with my right arm and reach my camera in the Elevator and shoot with out seeing what I was shooting as the Floor is compelety gone there.

I am going back this weekend to get some more pictures and look at whats left of it.

Dave Z -- It Seems All The Nicest people Drink Old hickory

America's Most Magnificent Bourbon

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dave ziegler
Hidden

Thanks for the Kind words Timd I love the old place and just want to tell and show and save all I can while I am living to carry History on after I am gone!

I went back to Warehouse H on Saturday to get some pictures and some things, here are some pictures.

1. Sign inside the Freight Elevater Says Reading Elevater company.

2. The control Panel in the freight elevater in Warehouse H switches, Top button up next button down then Safety and light switch.

3. Inside the switch box before I took it out!

4.A real Old 1940's water Fire Extinguser gotten in Warehouse H.

5.The Old Exstinguser and special wooden Pole with metal hook and point on it. These where used to get the wooden chock out so the barrels would roll and to push barrels in the rack where you had a hard time in these old warehouses getting at them. My Friends are keeping the pole for me till I can figure how to get it home as it is about 10 foot long.

6. Control panel and switches from elevater in H at home safe at Kinsey east!

7. The Cabels that pull the elevater up and down in H warehouse.

8. The spaces I had to go in the roll barrels out of the racks in Warehouse H. and the other old ones.

9. Looking up the tiers of racks. The building had 5 levels each level has sections and each section set of racks were 3 per section.

10. The Front of the Elevater.

11. Looking back all the way on the first level.

12. Lines running up racks for sprinklers each old warehouse that was on sight when Continental bought Kinsey had sprinklers put in by them.

13. This is where the second level was note the Elevater door which is closed. Warehouse H which I forgot till I got back in was different then the other old wood and brick ones in that there was no wooden ladder to go to different levels you had to take the Freight Elevater. Warehouse was built in 1936 By Jacob G Kinsey.

14. Writting on the wall my Old Friend Shorty Keller who was a Leed man.

15. Old Wooden Barrel Holder from Racks 5 section, C section in warehouse H with its old chain which held it to the rack upright.

16. Writting on the Wall my old Friend Walt Harrington who ran our Kinsey Benifit Club which if you got hurt would give you some money to help you through those times. He sold tickets weekly and the money was put in a fund after the winners were paid.

17. Where the Explosionproof light was put in the elevater when Continental bought Kinsey.

18. Place where an old Fire Exstinguser hung in the Elevater.

19. Section C on first level where I got my old wooden barrels shock.

20. Rack sections 5&6 in section C first level I got my Barrel shock in 5 rack section!

It was great fun going back for a second time in Warehouse H and I hope to go back one more time for something I want to save for Histiory yet.

I know alot of people only want whiskey information, but I want to capture as much as I can of the Plant to give everyone an Idea of what the place was like and the times, and what it felt like to work there and the way we felt about the Place. Everyone I talk to that worked there that are still living when I ask them tell me they loved the place and the company!!

Dave Z == Its Seems All The nicest People Drink Old hickory

America's Most Magnificent Bourbon

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dave ziegler

First thanks for the Kind words Timd On Saturday I went back to Kinsey Warehouse H and got some good things to save and more pictures here are some of them. Here are 5 of the Pictures I took as can only put so many on each time. There will be more on the other two threads later today hopefully

1. Sign inside elevater says Reading Elevater Company.

2. A closeup of the Controls for the Elevater Top button up next one down flip switch for safety which holds the elevater and the light switch.

3. Inside the switch as I took the box home to save it for History.

4. Here is the control panel put back together for displace for History at Kinsey East my place.

5. A shot of the heavy cables that pulled the Elevater up and down.

Warehouse H was the last one built by Jacob G Kinsey in 1936 at the age of 78 years old. Ludy was working at Kinsey when this warehouse was built.

Warehouse H unlike the other big Wood & Brick warehouses did not have any ladders to climb up you had to ride the freight up to the level you wanted.

The building had 5 levels and each was divided in lettered sections each separate section had 3 racks of barrels, from my information from Ludy Warehouse H held 20,000 barrels.

I have always loved this warehouse as when I worked there it was the newest of the old ones and was in great condition in the late 1960's. I am very sad to see it falling down inside.

On a note something I had really never thought about there was only one way to go in or get out of H the door I went in. We would use a small electric Lift pluged into the Explosion proof plugs like the one I posted last time in this building. The Lift would be taken with one person up to the floor you were taking barrels out and you would stand a certain amount of barrels in the freight elevater and run them down flip them and roll them to your left and then some one would push them out the metal door to the dock and onto one of the 1941 Ford Flat trucks to be taken to one of the Explosion proof warehouses where another gang of Men would unload them and dump them in lot order!

Dave Z -- It Seems All The Nicest People Drink Old Hickory

America's Most Magnificent Bourbon

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dave ziegler

Saturday I went back to Kinsey and warehouse H and the 1966 bottling house. I met Ethan his wife and his friend steve and I took them for another trip through Kinsey!

Here are some Picture and I got them to take a couple of me in the Plant since I had them there to do it.

1. Looking down through level one.

2. Here I am in Warehouse H pointing out my Dads nickname written on the Beam - Zig

3. Well here I am 42 years later in the racks but there are No Barrels.

4. " GOIN UP" Here I am in the Old Reading Freight Elevator but it is going nowhere!

I have many more pictures from this trip and lots of the ones Sandie sent me yet to post on all 3 of my threads this week. And I sure did fell 42 years older in there.

Dave Z -- It Seems All The Nicest People Drink Old Hickory

America's Most Magnificent Bourbon

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Pieface

Is that a not so subtle subliminal message in photo 2 Dave?

Still reading these threads Dave. They really are a fascinating view into the past. Thanks for your efforts to record and post.

Morgan :)

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ethangsmith

Ha! I was waiting for the "Going Up" post! What you don't see in the first photo is my friend Steve falling through the floor. I was doing pretty well at missing the soft spots in the floor and Steve was following me. Then I hear 'crunch' and "OUCH" and I see Steve in the floor up to his shoulders. Luckily there was dirt floor a few feet below so he was able to boost himself back up and out. He's ok but his ribs hurt him a bit. I got him some Advil on the way home so hopefully he's back up to speed in a few days. Unfortunately bumps and bruises are one of the risks you take when you explore places like Kinsey!

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dave ziegler

Ethan I guess us older guys are more careful sometimes! Here are some more pictures from Sat July 16.

1. Are Old Safety Sign in the 1966 Bottle House hangs waiting for work to begin. For your Safety Everything in its place!

2. The other side says Good Attendance a top performace, Quality on The Job.

3. Here is the Old Lab Refridgerator with old food on the bottom and an ice bag that was never used still in the Freezer! Everything waiting for the Next Day that never came to sit guard over a place that sits waiting saying where are my workers they never came back!

4. A Look arcoss the 1966 Bottling House.

5. Old Machines at the beginning of Line B-2

6. Upper Line that carried the cases above the bottles being filled

7. And Here I am working One of the Lines!

When I think of Kinsey I think Those were the days My Friend I thought they would never end.

Yet in Sept 1986 One day everyone went home only to come back the next to find the place sealed and gone forever.

Kinsey Oh Kinsey What have Men Done To You

For 94 Years You Were Revered and now you sit and rot

Does The ghost of Jacob G Kinsey walk your grounds

Where have Your Workers Gone!

I will Always love your grounds and the People that made you great, The Coopers like Ludy and Bud Bergey, The Lead men Like John Zuber and Shorty Keller and Jack Razor and the Maintance men such as Shorty Tyson, Frank Kurtas and Lou Steify.

They will never be forgotten because they made Kinsey Distillery and Continental Distilling Great!

Dave Z == It Seems All The Nicest people Drink Old Hickory

America's Most Magnificent Bourbon

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dave ziegler

Well here are the last I can find of the Pictures Sandie sent me of Kinsey Operating.

1. This truck was there from the Company in Ohio that was buying small barrels as fast as they could dump them. Canton Wood Products.

2. Labeling Liquor bottles in the HH Haappy House the Old Kinsey Bottle House.

3. Sandie and Our Fire Chief Calvin Roberts! Sandie told me in her notes that looking below them you see barrel staves from the 365 gal barrels and that is what they were the 340 gal number was a mistake during the writting.

Boy the memories are amazing looking at all these pictures. Seeing people I worked with at Kinsey back in the day. I worked there from age 19 and all these years later I still have some living friends I met there.

When you walked into the Big 1966 Bottling house the very first thing you thought was boy is this place BIG 2 football fields long and a 1/2 plus football field wide! Then you looked at the 11 lines all running at the same time and the cases of Spirits rolling through the last wall bulkhead and being put on Pallets and it was quite a sight. "State Of The Art"

Then There was the early computerized Line A-1-F it could do 40,000 bottles a day and think about it Computerized in 1966! And all you did was supply it! It even boxed the bottles when they were full! Granted it was an old time style computer but new then and the latest, what a feat.

And all the People 600 in 1966.

The sweet smells of Whiskey being bottled, and the precision of how the plant ran. You walked in looked around and as you stood there looking it hit you THIS IS THE BIGGEST AND MOST MODERN SPIRITS BOTTLING HOUSE IN THE WORLD. As a young guy I was in awe!

Then here was the smooth droning of the bottling machines, cleaning filling and sealing, and labeling bottles of some of the Finest Whiskeys ever made.

Hall of Fame Whiskeys such as Old Hickory 80 proof 6 yr, Old Hickory 86 proof 10 yr old and Old Hickory BIB 100 proof.

Number two was Hallers County Fair BIB 100 proof 6 or 4 yr old.

And Charter Oak straight BIB Bourbon.

And so many more uncountable brands including Our Lolita line of Liquors.

Then there was for my young eyes to see the Old Kinsey warehouses, The Old DSP-pa-12 and # 10 rye barn and all the state of art 14 explosion proof warehouses and so much more.

-- If you have not looked on the other two threads there are more of these working plant pictures there also!

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

Well with a little research which most likely alot of you folks in the Midwest knew, I discovered why Canton Wood products bought all the whiskey barrels that Kinsey had when Publicker stopped filling barrels with whiskey in 1980. I went on the web with the name on the old truck there at Kinsey and discovered they are a very large cooperage company.

Sandie told me that 90 + % of the barrels at Kinsey back in the closing days went to Canton and they had their trailers and that semi truck there to move them.

Having worked there I know how dirty a job it is to bundle up used whiskey barrels for shipment! You are covered with the black char after a days work and all your clothes are black from it and wet from whiskey still in the bottom of the barrel.

Also you were dealing with those giant 365 gal barrels if you saw the picture of them I posted. I left the notes of weights of the heads and staves at home and will post later.

Warehouse work was not for Pretty boys it was hard dirty work but with a great final product great whiskeys and Ours were some of the Best of best!

Dave Z

It Seems All The Nicest People Drink Old Hickory

America's Most Magnificent Bourbon

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