NEHI, a product of Royal Crown Cola Co, had its debut in the early 1920's as part of the then Chero-Cola Company. At the time, Chero-Cola was the feature soda line, and Nehi was introduced to provide a multi flavor drink.
There are at least two stories circulating as to the origin of the name "Nehi". One story is that the company founder, Claude Hatcher, in the early 1920's sent one of his salesmen across the Chattahoochee River from Columbus to check out his competition in Alabama. The happy salesman returned to report that Alabama competition was only "knee-high".
The other recurring story concerns
the checking of bottle
samples that were being considered for the new flavor line. Most of the
drinks of that era
were of the 6 or 7 ounce sizes. When the tall 9 ounce Nehi sample was
set beside the
competitors brands, the comment was made that the smaller bottles
"knee-high" beside their new container.
The first bottles were the paper label and embossed variety.
"Rope Design" Nehi embossed soda bottles have been cataloged from a time period spanning 1924 to 1955, long after the more eye-catching painted label bottles emerged on the scene.
There are two bottles sizes, a 7 oz and a 9 oz, with identical embossing. The brand name with "beverages" under it is located in the middle of the bottle, and the bottler's city name is at the base.
To follow is a list of cities found on Rope Design Nehi Soda bottles:
|FLORENCE AL||WINSLOW AZ||EUREKA
||SACRAMENTO CA||SANTA ROSA CA|
|SAN JOSE CA||SAN LUIS OBISPO CA||STOCKTON CA||WASHINGTON DC||COLUMBUS GA|
|SAVANNAH GA||EAST CHICAGO IN||FT SCOTT KS||KANSAS CITY KS||WICHITA KS|
||NAPOLEANVILLE LA||NEW ORLEANS LA||WESTMINSTER MD|
||HARRISON MI||BILLINGS MT||ST LOUIS MO|
|GRAND ISLAND NE||ROCHESTER NY||PORTSMOUTH OH||
VAN WERT OH
||RAPID CITY SD|
|FORT WORTH TX||LUBBOCK TX||KEYSER WV|
The first painted label bottles
were introduced in the
The oldest painted label bottle
has a red brand name on a
yellow background. 7, 9, 10, and 12 ounce sizes have been noted. One
generation of this
bottle grouping has the name on the middle only, and the other has the
name in the middle
plus on the neck of the bottle. Dates from base markings range from
1940 to 1956.
Values of these bottles should range from $4.00 to $8.00 to brand or cities collectors. To general collectors, the bottles have little value because of the large quantities produced.
CLICK HERE to see Nehi ads in our Ad Art Gallery
contributed by D Hanson 10'07 regarding Billings Mt bottle