Old pop bottles. Rochester NY
Old pop bottles. Rochester NY

I found these pop bottles in the woods near our house. I’m guessing some neighborhood kids left them down there a long time ago. I bought a bottle washer at Home Depot and scrubbed them clean with Mr. Clean before taking this photo. Now all I have to do is get that “Mr. Clean” jingle out of my head.

Pop bottles looked like this when I was a kid so they must all be fifties vintage. The empty Qualtop bottle is really heavy and it holds only 6 and 1/2 ounces of liquid. The Miller’s bottle with the slogan, “Short and Good”, holds 6 ounces and the 7-Up bottle with the “You Like It. It Likes You.” slogan holds 7. These are all a long ways from today’s “Big Gulp”.

All three bottles have “Rochester, N.Y.” printed on them. The Miller’s bottle has “Rochester Soda Water Co. Inc.” on the back and that brings up this whole “pop” verses “soda” thing. We call it “pop” in Rochester but in New York City they call it “soda”. In Detroit, where the accent is nearly indistinguishable from the Rochester accent, they call it “pop”. And it was “soda” when we lived in Indiana. I like “pop” better.


4 Replies to “Pop”

  1. Soda vs. Pop….Pop Wars!

    “Well, sometimes we’d travel right down the Green River
    To the abandoned old prison down by Adrie Hill……
    where the air smelled like snakes and we’d shoot with our pistols
    But empty pop bottles was all we would kill.”

    -John Prine, “Paradise”

  2. I seem to remember when I was a kid in northern California that we called it soda-pop. I thought it strange when I came out east and people would call it soda or pop.

  3. I spent a long time learning to call it “soda,” rather than “pop,” so that I’d fit in. It was a symbolic and linguistic running away from my past, I think. Now, I wish I’d stuck with “pop,” and the rest of the world be damned!

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