The Seven Up Bottling Company of Bristol, TN is established in 1940.(2) The owner of the company Wiley R. McCoy started bottling Seven Up in Johnson City, TN; however, issues with his brother in law and partner J. W. Cummins eventually forced him to abandon it.(3) The ensuing court case was won by Cummins, and it appears that after his appeal was denied on March 4, 1939 McCoy moved to Bristol Tennessee to establish the first plant at 24 Eighth Street near the steel bridge.(3) The bottling company bottled 7-UP and Mission Beverages, both of which he had been bottling in Johnson City.

In 1945 it appears that things are going well enough for McCoy to decide to expand his enterprise. Samuel W. Williams who had risen from salesman to manager of the Bristol plant was sent to Kingsport, Tennessee to establish a branch plant there in February 1945.(5) Alex E. Anderson was sent to Richlands, Virginia to establish a branch plant there named The Seven-Up Bottling Company of Southwest Virginia which opened on September 1, 1946.(4) Unfortunately by 1949 the Kingsport branch was out of business, and Sam was back at the Bristol plant as advertising manager as listed in the 1951 Bristol City Directory.(1) He would be working as an advertising manager for The Canada Dry Bottling Company of Bristol by 1955.(1) The Richlands Branch actually flourished well into the 1960's.

The Seven-Up Bottling Company would remain at the Eighth Street location until between 1951 and 1953 when they show up at their final location at 1406 State Street.(1) Up to this point it appears the company wasn't actually incorporated; however, on March 7, 1955 the Seven Up Bottling Company of Bristol was incorporated with Wiley R. McCoy, Glenn S. Bennett, and Alex E. Anderson, JR listed as officers.(6) By the 1950's they have expanded their line up to include Grapette along with its sister brands Sunburst, a flavor line which seems to have replaced Mission Beverages, and "Mr." Cola.

The 1960's were a turbulent time in the bottling industry with larger bottlers buying up smaller bottlers in order to eliminate competition or to gain the franchise for a particular product they wanted to bottle themselves. It appears that the latter happened to the Seven Up Bottling Company of Bristol, and its branch plant in Richlands. The company is no longer listed in the Bristol City Directory after 1968 so this is when I assume that the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Norton, Virginia purchased them in order to acquire their Seven Up franchise since the Norton company is mentioned along with the Seven-Up company as defendants in a court notice on August 17, 1972.(5)

This patch of land was once the home of the Seven-Up Bottling Company of Bristol, TN from 1940 til 1952 est.

This is the "bottle warehouse" that I have seen on the sanborn maps as being located diagonal of the main bottling plant. You can still see what appears to be a loading dock.

Here is the location of the Seven-Up bottling company from 1952 est. until its purchase in 1968.

7oz Seven-Up "Eight bubble" bottle dated 1940

12oz Mission Beverages bottle dated 1940

Bristol 7-UP ad from the early 1940's

9oz Mission Beverages bottle dated 1942

7oz Seven-Up bottle dated 1944

7oz Seven-Up bottle dated 1947 with Bristol, Tenn and Kingsport, Tenn on the back

9oz Mission Beverages bottle dated 1948 with Bristol, Tenn and Kingsport, Tenn on the back

9oz Mission Beverages bottle dated 1949 and a variation of the 1948.

9oz Mission Beverages bottle dated 1951. Technically this bottle shouldn’t exist. The Kingsport, Tenn. branch plant of the Seven Up Bottling Company had been shut down sometime in 1949, yet here is a 1951. Most likely they either had hopes of reopening the branch plant, the glass company applied the wrong back label to this bottle, or these got ordered by mistake somehow.

9oz Mission Beverages bottle dated 1952

7oz Seven-Up bottle dated 1953

This is the Grapette bottle cap which cemented my belief that the Richlands plant was connected to the Bristol plant.

7oz Grapette bottle dated 1956

7oz Seven-Up bottle dated 1956

1 pint 12oz Seven-Up bottle dated 1958

1 pint 12oz Seven-Up bottle dated 1959. No I didn’t double post the same bottle. Compare the back label of the 1958 bottle to the 1959, and you will see why I included this one.

16oz Mr. Cola bottle dated 1960. Whoops! This bottle says the company is located in Bristol, VA, this of course is an error, the Seven-Up Bottling Company in Bristol was always located on the Tennessee side of State Street.

7oz Grapette bottle dated 1964

16oz Mr. Cola bottle, with corrected town information.

10oz Seven-Up bottle dated 1964

16oz Mr. Cola bottle dated 1965. This is the variation with Mr. Cola embossed in the neck.

7oz Grapette bottle dated 1968

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(1) Hill's Bristol VA-Tenn City Directory

(2) "Directory of Tennessee Industries" compiled by Walter C. Long 1954-55

(3) Cummins V. McCoy et al. 125sw.2d 509

(4) Richlands News Press

(5) The Kingsport Times News

(6) Bristol Tennessee Court House records