These days when most of us reach for a soda on the supermarket shelf our options are limited to a few international brands that have cornered the market. And when we do grab it, it will most likely be in the form of a plastic bottle or aluminum can. But in the early 20th century, the business of soda, like many others, was a local enterprise.
In 1900 two brothers, recent immigrants from Italy, founded a soda and beer bottling plant at 812-14 Washington Avenue. The business went through several product and name changes, often taking on a different name every time there was a new product, according to Robert Esposito, the grandson of James “Giacomo” Esposito, one of the brothers.
The name that is most likely to ring a bell these days is probably its last one: “Primo Gassosa,” an Italian name meaning “First (or first best) Gas Soda.” The soda was popular for many years. Some claim that it’s cola and lemon-lime flavors rivaled Coca-Cola and 7up. However, the changing of the times, the transition from re-usable glass bottles to disposable plastic ones, and shifts from small stores to giant supermarkets, made it too difficult to continue. However, James Esposito’s grandson Robert, and great-grandson Alexander have taken on the historical documentation and research of the family soda business as a labor of love. That Alexander Esposito is a private investigator no doubt helps when unearthing artifacts such as the unopened case of Primo Gassosa he found in a South Philadelphia supermarket basement years ago.
Text found at: philaplace.org/
I need your help visitors, both in suggesting sodas and soft drinks from around the world and in giving your opinion on the ones presented if you know the product. And you can start with giving your opinion on the ones posted already or reading what other visitors have written – Ted