The Richlands Beverage Corporation was incorporated on February 2, 1925 (4), with C. P. Kline as President, and E. C. Huffer as Vice President, both of Norton, VA, and R. C. Smith, of Richlands, VA, as Secretary treasurer.(4) In a March 22, 1925 blurb from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph it is announced that Richlands Beverage began bottling soft drinks in their plant “in the West End” that week.(5) It also notes that R. C. Smith is the manager of the operation, and also mentions that this is the second plant of it’s kind to be opened in Richlands in the past month(5), the other being the Richlands Bottling Company. In an ad from April 19, 1925 it is noted that they are bottling Pepsi-Cola, and according to a November 18, 1925 ad they are bottling Cascade Ginger Ale as well. Richlands Beverage was in operation by July 1928 according to R. G. Dun (3), and still in operation as of 1930 according to R. L. Humbert (2), and a listing in the 1930 Beverage Blue Book confirms this.(6) The Clinch Valley News makes note of their bottling Orange Howdy in 1928.(1).

The two bottles that I own from this company attest to the company's being in operation as early as 1925, and as late at 1926. There is no indication exactly which company these belong to; however, knowing that the Richlands Bottling Company burned down in May 1925, and there is no announcement that their promise of reopening was ever fulfilled, then I have to say these belong to the Richlands Beverage Corporation. While the bottles are embossed “Coca-Cola Bottling Company” I know that Richlands Beverage was not a Coca-Cola franchise, actually we know that they are bottling Pepsi-Cola in April 1925. These Soda Water bottles produced by Coca Cola Bottling company were ordered by bottlers that wanted to bottle flavored drinks, but weren't necessarily franchises of Coca Cola.(1) Seeing that a Kline from Norton, VA is president of the company, it is much more likely that he ordered his bottles through F. B. Kline, who was the Coca-Cola franchise owner in the area, and most assuredly a family member. If you want to read more about these Soda Water bottles then follow this link Soda Water and Flavor bottles.

6oz Soda Water bottles, property of the Coca Cola bottling company the one on the left is dated 1925 and the other one is dated 1926

The April 1925 ad advertising Pepsi-Cola

The November 1925 ad advertising Cascade Ginger Ale

Provided by Jean Davis
A 1927 ad advertising Howdy.

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(1) "Soda Water and Flavor bottles" Copyrighted by CokeGirl Soda Traderz

(2) "Industrial Survey Tazewell County VA 1930" By R. L. Humbert

(3) "R. G. Dun Mercantile Abency Reference Book July, 1928" republished by Carl E. Millison Jr August, 2004

(4) "Annual Report of the Secretary of the Commonwealth to the Governor and General Assembly of Virginia" published 1925

(5) Bluefield Daily Telegraph

(6) Beverage Blue Book