3-C Nectar "The Drink of the Gods" Story

The Columbia Chemical Corporation of Roanoke, VA was incorporated on March 13, 1917.(2) This company would later create a brand of soda by the name of 3-C Nectar, which is reported to be a cola, that they wanted to bring to market in late 1920. In the September 17, 1920 edition of the Clinch Valley News it was reported that, "Mr. M.J. Hankins, of this town, has been elected Treasurer and General Manager of the Columbia Chemical Corporation, manufacturers of 3-C Nectar, and will move to Roanoke. The manufacturers of this popular drink are building factories in different sections of the country, and are preparing to begin a campaign of advertising for the sale of their goods. A number of Tazewell People have stock in the company. Mr. Hankins and family will leave Tazewell shortly after the first of October for their new home."(3)

According to Wythe Hull's book "The History of the Marion Bottling Company, Inc", Hull explains what became of the company. "The company was organized as a corporation and one of their promotional gimmicks was to sell every merchant who handled soft drinks a share of stock in the company, thus encouraging them to push the product for better sales. It was said that stock certificate book was used very much as a check book and other items such as automobiles, etc. were purchased with stock certificates in the new company by its president, a Mr. Carmichael, of Roanoke."(1) The Mr. Carmichael referred to was John H. Carmichael. Wythe Hull goes on to mention that the bottlers went out of business after the collapse of the parent company, because they didn’t have any other brands to bottle.(1) Hull also mentions that 3-C Nectar was a cola.(1)

I have found that there were quite a few bottlers of 3-C Nectar aside from the two covered by my local area firms in Graham, VA and Marion, VA. There was 3-C Nectar Sales Company which was incorporated on January 11, 1921(4), 3-C Nectar Bottling Company of Manassas VA incorporated on April 29, 1921(4), 3-C Nectar Bottling Co. Norfolk-Newport News incorporated on July 12, 1921(4), and 3-C Nectar Bottling Corporation of Winchester, VA incorporated in 1921.(5) I have also seen a painted wall sign from Frederick, MD, which makes me sure they had one there as well. Recently discovered bottles and ads put the reach of the company as far away as Coney Island New York, Philadelphia PA, and Greensboro, NC. There were more than likely more 3-C Nectar Bottling Companies; however, they didn’t last very long at all, and with the mishandling of the company, would declare bankruptcy a few years later.

An advertisement for The Columbia Chemicals Corporation’s 3-C Nectar brand from the Kazim Temple production of “The House Boat On The Sticks” which was performed on February 17, 18, 19, 1921

An earlier blue version of the straight side bottle from Roanoke, VA

Advertising ink blotter for 3-C Nectar

A blue straight side variation from Graham, VA. These blue straight side bottles appear to be the earliest package for the brand, and were appearently quickly replaced by the dark flint glass bottles.

A 3-C Nectar bottle opener.

A 7oz Clear 3-C Nectar bottle from Graham, VA

Another type of 3-C Nectar bottle opener.

Straight side bottle from Roanoke, VA

A 7oz dark gray 3-C Nectar bottle from Graham, VA

A 3-C Nectar advertising mirror.

7oz "Ring Neck" 3-C Nectar bottle from Graham, VA

The patent issued to J. H. Carmichael, on June 27, 1922, for the bottle design below.

7oz Deco bottle type from Roanoke, VA

7oz Deco bottle type from Marion, VA with an error in the embossing making it Marian, VA

An advertisement for 3C Nectar from the May 1921 Marion Newspaper

7oz Deco bottle type from Marion, VA

A celluloid on tin sign advertising 3-C Nectar.

7oz 3-C Nectar deco bottle used in Graham, VA

An ink blotter advertising 3-C Nectar.

7oz Deco version from Winchester, VA

A crate from the 3-C Nectar Bottling Works, Inc. of Winchester, VA

A recently discovered 7oz bottle from Coney Island, NY

Ad from the Evening Public Ledger Philadelphia, PA from July 09, 1921. The brand was being distributed by (most likely also bottled by) P. & W. Products Inc. 1232 Callowhill St..

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(1) The History of the Marion Bottling Company, Inc. By Wythe M. Hull, Jr Copyright 1985 by Wythe M. Hull, Jr

(2) “Annual Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth to the Governor and General Assembly of Virginia” published 1917

(3) Clinch Valley News September 19, 1920

(4) Annual Report of the State Corporation Commission of Virginia 1925

(5) Annual Report of the State Corporation Commission of Virginia 1926