The Coca-Cola Bottling Works of Johnson City, Tennessee was incorporated on February 6, 1906 with J. P. Roddy, D. H. Williams, H. O. Goddard, John M. Lichtenwauger, and G. H. Gallaher signing.(9) The company was a branch of the Roddy Manufacturing Company in Knoxville, Tennessee who were granted the franchise area of Northeast Tennessee in 1902.(6) Originally the Roddy Manufacturing Company was shipping Coca-Cola in bottles via rail until they were able to open branch plants.(6) Their first location was at 123-125 West Main Street, with H. O. Goddard in the job of Manager.(1) In the 1908-09 City Directory the Company is also listed as a wholesale candy dealer (1), given that the Roddy Manufacturing Company also produced candy in their early days this makes perfect sense.(6) The 1913 city directory finally lists the President of the corporation as J. Pat Roddy, who lives in Knoxville, Tenn., and William G. Scott as secretary treasurer and general manager.(1)

Scott continues as manager of the company till June of 1918 when Herman R. Griffith came to Johnson City, from another Roddy branch plant Jellico, Tenn, to take over the position.(4) Unfortunately the Kingsport Times article wasn't about his taking over the office of manager, but that he was found dead, apparently overcome by fumes, in an empty gasoline tank in the rear of the bottling plant.(4) By 1921 we find that J. W. Barnett Jr. is listed in the manager position.(2) Aside from Coca-Cola the company is bottling the Cherry Blossoms brand in 1921 which is a brand that seems to have a connection to Coca-Cola plants.(2) The 1923 Beverage Blue Book lists Roy H. Woods as manager (7), and they are now bottling Delaware Punch, Orange Crush, and the Tru-Fruit flavor line, along with Cherry Blossoms.(8) In March and July 1925 the Coca-Cola Bottling Works purchases land at 226 East Market Street(9), and start constructing their new plant which they complete by the end of the year (3), their original location was remodeled in 1928 to create two store fronts.(8) Arthur W. Griffin has taken over the position of manager by 1925. Griffin is also manager of the Jellico Tennessee plant where he lives until moving to Johnson City around 1936.(3) More land is purchased on East Market in 1936 and 1937 for an expansion.(9) This expansion must have been sizable as the company celebrated a "new plant opening" in June 1937.

Upon his death in February 1950 A. W. Griffin made Lawrence Griffin manager of both the Johnson City and Jellico plants in his will.(4) After much struggle, and near abandonment due to issues during the Korean War, a sister plant of this company was opened May 1951 in Kingsport, Tennessee with William E. Lacy as manager.(4) Coca-Cola Bottling Works purchases land on Wesley Street on December 9, 1969 to build a larger bottling plant during what could best be described as an exodus of bottling plants from the downtown Johnson City area.(9) Construction of a new bottling plant at 310 Wesley Street was taking place in 1970 which would cause the closing of the Kingsport branch due to the greatly expanded production capabilities that the new plant would provide.(4) The East Market Street location was sold on September 1, 1972.(9) The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Johnson City ceased bottling operations in 1986, and was sold to Coca-Cola Enterprises in 1993; however, the Johnson City plant, like so many others in the area, is still a distribution plant for Coca-Cola.(8)

These two store fronts are the first location of the Coca Cola Bottling Company of Johnson City at 123-125 West Main Street

This is 226 East Market street where Coca Cola of Johnson City would relocate to by 1925.

The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Johnson City bottling line sometime in the 1930’s.

This is the plant at 226 East Market street as it stands today. As you can see the building has been added on to over the years, but if you will notice the pole in front you will realize that the same pole stands in front of the older photograph.

Coca-Cola advertisement from the 1908-09 City Directory

6oz Straight Side Amber Coca-Cola bottle dated 1914

A Coca-Cola cap from Johnson City dated 1912. My guess is that this cap was some type of commemorative for the tenth year anniversary of the Roddy Manufacturing Company which gained its Coca-Cola franchise for Northeast Tennessee in 1902.

6 1/2oz clear "arrow" Coca-Cola Bottle from Johnson City, Tenn, which I think is from around the same period and maker as the Superior Soda below due to it having the same type of markings on the bottom.

This is an August 3, 1916 Coca-Cola ad from the Kingsport Times in which you will notice that the Coca-Cola font isn’t used strangely enough.

6 1/2oz Superior Soda bottle from the C. C. Bottling Works. I would assume that this is an earlier soda water bottle unfortunately there isn't a date.

Coca-Cola advertisement from August 9, 1917 announcing the drink was at the time being offered at the Post Fund Hotel Restaurant which was located on the Mountain Home Military Hospital campus.

6oz Straight Side Star Soda Water bottles by Coca-Cola Bottling Works

Coca-Cola advertisement from July 18, 1922

6oz Coca Cola "Pat. November 16, 1915" bottle

The bottom of the Pat. November 16, 1915 Coca Cola bottle

Coca-Cola advertisement from September 8, 1922

6oz NuGrape straight side bottle dated 1922. Associating this brand with this bottler is still based upon speculation and circumstantial evidence. Mostly based upon the similarity of the base plate town name being nearly and exact match for the Orange Crush which I do know they bottled in 1923. Still looking for a smoking gun on this one.

From the collection of Geff Moore, photo by Joseph Lee
6 1/2oz Johnson City Soda Water deco bottle by Coca-Cola Bottling Works dated 1923

Coca-Cola advertisement from 1923

6oz Squat Orange Crush bottle from the 1920's which I feel was actually used by Johnson City Coca-Cola Bottling Works.

A May 23, 1927 Coca-Cola ad

6 1/2oz Straight Side Star Soda Water bottle by Coca-Cola Bottling Works dated 1925

A September 7, 1939 Coca-Cola ad

6oz Pat. D Coca-Cola Bottles The left one is dated 1942 and the other one is dated 1951

Coca-Cola fiftieth anniversary ad from Johnson City’s fifty years of progress edition of the Johnson City Press in May 1936. Click on the ad to enlarge.

6oz In patent office Coca-Cola Bottles The left one is dated 1954 and the other one is dated 1956

Coin purse with inscription “Drink Coca-Cola New Plant Opening June 1937 Johnson City Tenn.”

10oz Southway Beverages bottle dated 1956

Southway Grape cap

10oz Southway Beverages bottle from The Coca Cola bottling works Johnson City - Kingsport dated 1956

Southway Orange cap

A later 10oz Southway Beverages bottle from The Coca Cola bottling works Johnson City - Kingsport

6 1/2oz Coca Cola bottle dated 1968

12oz Coca Cola bottle dated 1982

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(1) Piedmont Johnson City, Tenn. City Directory

(2) Commercial Johnson City, Tenn. City Directory

(3) Baldwin's Johnson City, Tenn. City Directory

(4) Kingsport Times

(5) American Bottler Magazine

(6) "75 years of Refreshment" By Pat Roddy, Jr. Copyright 1983

(7) The Beverage Blue Book 1923, 1925, and 1930

(8) The Johnson City Press

(9) Washington County Court Records