Henry Youngman (English born American Comedian and Violinist, 1906-1998)
TIME: 2:18 PM
PLACE: 520 O’Fallon Street, St. Louis, MO
SUBJECT: Gigantic Vess Soda Bottle
(35 1/2´ high x 6´7" wide)
I was at the St. Louis County Library today doing some genealogical research. I found a few new facts for my files and on my way home, I meandered through downtown St. Louis to visit them in person. I had reviewed the Sanborn Fire maps, trying to determine just where my paternal relatives had lived in the early 1900s before they moved across the river to Illinois in the early 1920’s. I found out that this bottle is now located in the same city block where my paternal relatives resided. This block was home to residential flats, an auto body company and a produce warehouse. One block to the west was the home of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church and school. Sadly, all the buildings are gone and now they are just vacant lots.
(From the Vess Soda Bottle Landmark file in the Cultural Resources Office
A giant replica of a family-size Vess Soda Bottle, it was erected at Hampton Av. and Gravois Blvd. in South St. Louis. It was constructed by Treesh Neon Sign Company, East St. Louis, Illinois for the Vess Bottling Company of St. Louis. The bottle revolves on a steel pole. In 1953, it was believed to be the largest, revolving, lighted bottle in the world. At night it was lit by more than 600 lineal feet of neon tubing. In 1989, after the bottle had been found in storage, it was re-erected at 520 O´Fallon. It is mounted on a pole similar to the original, but no longer rotates.)