Standard Bottling Works
In 1895 the Standard Bottling Works, owned by F.C. Wenck, built a 2 1/2 story brick building at 915 Market Street in Vallamont, now part of Williamsport. Later, an addition was completed on the north end of the building to provide stables for the horses that pulled the delivery wagons. A hay loft was on the second floor of this addition.
The Standard Bottling Works manufactured and distributed a variety of soft drinks, may have been the first to offer bottled Pepsi-Cola in Williamsport, and was the first Coca-Cola bottler in Williamsport.
In 1896, Standard Bottling Works products included Mountain Birch Beer, Sarsaparilla, Cream Nectar, Lemon Soda, Orange Cider, Ocean Spray and Champagne Cider. At various times Chocolate Soda, Ginger Ale and Hires Root Beer were also produced.
By 1909 the Standard Bottling Works was offering cases of Pepsi-Cola in bottles. However, there were no known Pepsi-Cola bottlers in Pennsylvania at that time. F.C. Wenck had likely arranged for cases of Pepsi-Cola, bottled in another state, to be brought to Williamsport by train for his Standard Bottling Works to then redistribute.
On January 1, 1912 the Standard Bottling Works became the first Coca-Cola bottler in Williamsport, the sixth city in Pennsylvania to have a Coca-Cola bottler. Extensive research has revealed that all of the other Coca-Cola bottling plants that were producing Coca-Cola in Pennsylvania prior to 1912 have since been demolished. The Standard Bottling Works building is the earliest Coca-Cola bottling plant remaining in Pennsylvania today.
In 1917 F.C. Wenck sold the Standard Bottling Works and moved to Bethlehem PA, establishing that city's first Coca-Cola bottling plant. The new owners of the Standard Bottling Works relocated the business to East Church Street, Williamsport, in 1918. Shortly thereafter it became the Sherman Coca-Cola Bottling Works.
Over the next 90 years the former Standard Bottling Works building at 915 Market Street saw intermittent use by a variety of businesses, including a commercial laundry and a printing company. By the time Penn Real Estate acquired the building in 2009 it was in a serious state of deterioration (the hay loft above the stables collapsed in heavy snow in the 1990's). Since its acquisition, Penn Real Estate has substantially restored the Standard Bottling Works building.