My Days at Kinsey Distillery

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My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:27 am

I was very Lucky to have worked For Publicker Industries right out of High School in 1966 at age 19. I worked at their Kinsey Distillery which then was a very Beautiful plant sitting on a Penincula on the Schcuylkill River. It sadly now sits in ruin and if anyone has read any of my Web writtings knows how much I love the Place. Not long ago on a day in the 90's I went in one of the old Explosion Proof Warehouse's walking in it felt like the very best Central AC you could buy and after all the years you could still smell Whiskey. It was always very cool in the warehouses and we offten wore winter coats in them in the spring! The very First Whiskey I ever drank at the plant was Rittenhouse Rye right from the barrel, it was awesome. Next I had bourbon from barrels that were for Old Hickory which became my Bourbon of choice. Everytime I go there I still in my mind see the place as it was. My first years were on the yard gang then later in the Warehouses. I have spent many hours remembering all the history I can of the place. As I have written else where my First day I went to the Company Nurse She got all my information and then told me to be carefull and never get hurt and especialy in the after noon as she always had her Bourbon and Coffee at 2:00-Pm for her Health. At the time being a Kid I believed her I later found she had a good bit more then one Bourbon and coffee. Such was my start working for what I consider to be the most Prolfic Distiller in Pa and most of the world Continental Distilling Corp! The Place had beautiful trees and flower Beds and perfect lawns between all the Warehouses, and 3 company Homes two out front and Jacob G Kinsey's Home down by the river. When I worked there it was about 200 Acre's. There is always nice breezes blowing from the river below in the plant and my days working there were very Happy!
Dave
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Closeup I made of the 1937 Aerial Picture of Kinsey Distillery Note Warehuose H being built it is the last of the Kinsey Built Warehouses and the last Brick and wood ones
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Back of My Kinsey Siilver Bottle
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Old Kinsey DSP #12 2002
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Last edited by Kinsey Worker on Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:56 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby bourbonv » Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:11 pm

Dave,
Most of my sources of information are pre-prohibition and if Kinsey existed before prohibition, I have yet to find it. I did find in Mida's Directory publishe in the late 1930's that Kinsey Distilling Co. was located at 1520 Locust St., Philadelphia, Pa. with Federal Permit Number (D-389). The book also lest a brand name of Kinsey - Pa. str. rye wh. I don't know if that was distillery address or main office address, but I do hope it helps your research somewhat.
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:43 pm

Mike I don't know why but Finding out alot about Kinsey before Prohibition is harder however it was founded in Linfield in 1892. Jacob G Kinsey had been a school teacher and a Creamery Worker then bought 4 creamerys and sold them in 1891 and bought about 300 acres in Linfield in 1892. However for some reason I do not know why he used the name Angelo Myers there with Kinsey for awhile. A man who is a geneologist could never find anyone by that name around here but he did find Mr Kinsey and that he started his Distillery in 1892. There are so many things I do not know and I am not going to give up till I get them all! I did find out from Mr Kinseys great Nephew Al Landis that Mr Kinsey reopened the Distillery at Age 75 in fall 1933. And at 81 fall 1939 lost it to auction sale Publicker Buying it. His Great Nephew told me when I gave my talk on Kinsey that he dumped the first Barrel of Whiskey to be Bottled after it reopened. Also that the Old DSP# 10-Pa Still had the very first Bottling lines next to it in the Barn which still stands. Mike was it you who tried the Old Hickory the one time at a get together? I thought it was if so what did you think of it? Mike if you ever find anything out about Kinsey I would would be very happy to know, I hope if I live long enough to try and write a book about it. It was just such a great place to work and such great products, not just the drinking stuff but also Publickers Medical Alcohols were the very Best! One other thing I think Jacob Kinsey did have some sort of Office in Phila, and his great nephew told me during Prohibition Mr Kinsey went to Germany to study Brewing He must have been an amazing Person to talk to! His nephew said one day in 1933 He came to his home and said Al how about coming to work for me I am reopening My Distillery. And as I said He was 75 years old Most people would not even want to be working but Mr Kinsey was sure different.
Dave
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:45 am

I have a question for people here on this site How many of you have ever drank Old Hickory Bourbon back in the day and if you did what did you think of it? It was and still is my Favorite. I find the old Bottle I have to be smooth, flavorful and just the feel going down! Mine is the 80 Proof but they had 86 proof, 100 proof and 20 yr old bourbon they made for their Aniversary i think 40th it was special stuff and I remember being in the old Wood and Brick Warehouses E & D out front and seeing old Bourbon from the 1950's and being told it was saved for something special!
Dave
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:08 am

Dave,
Was looking mostly at Philly when I was searching for Kinsey. I will search the pre-prohibition sources again for Linfield. Do you know what county Linfield is in? Sometimes they simply use the county and not the town for distillery listings.
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Bourbon Joe » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:18 am

Dave,
I remember going into the State Stores in the 60's and seeing shelves full of Old Hickory (and Michters). At this particular time I was drinking Old Grandad almost exclusively but I did buy an occasional bottle of Old Hickory. I was a young man then and did not sip my bourbon (if you know what I mean). I recall liking it but continued to drink OGD BiB.
Joe :salute:
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby fricky » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:47 am

Mike,
Linfield which is not far from my house is in Montgomery County.
Doug
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:03 am

I looked in some Mida's Criteria Financial Guides that here at the Filson - one fom 1912 and one from 1906. The only distillery I found in Linfield, in Montgomery County, is the Augustus Meyer Distillery with offices in Philly. They had a "AAAA" rating meaning they were worth over a million dollars. Is it possible Kinsey sold the distillery to Meyer somewhere along the line? I have a book that lists all of the distilleries in 1901 at home. It will not give any information other than name, but I will be interesting to see if there was a "Kinsey" distillery.

It is possible that a Kinsey was the distiller for Meyer and he used that heritage to make a claim after prohibition and there really was no "Kinsey" distillery before prohibition. Such things happened quite often in the distilling business. It is often hard to tell the marketing from the truth and after several decades even the people involved believe their own propaganda!
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:01 pm

Mike do you mean Angelo Myers as that is a name that Jacob Kinsey used for a time when He first opened the Place up A man I know did Kinseys Geneology and found out all about him but Myers name was a name only in that area. I have a Picture of an old Post Card that says Angelo Myers and Kinsey Linfield Also My 1909 Whiskey Case from Kinsey says Kinsey on one side and Angelo Myers on the other. I will look up those Pictures and post them Here are 3 Pictures one of the old Post Card, and two of me giving my talk on Kinsey with my rare 1909 1911 Kinsey Angelo Myers Wood Whiskey Case. Angelo Myers was the name of someone as far as I have found that had offices in Phila and his name on the Distillery but the Person can't be tracted to have ever exsisted! BE Well Mike and look under Angelo Myers a bit see what you can find.
Dave
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:01 pm

This is the same. I was looking at the books in the basement and between my old eyes and the poor light, I just wrote down Meyer instead of Myers. I have desk duty the rest of the day, But I will look up this information at home this weekend. I will let you know what I find.
Mike Veach
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:10 pm

bourbonv wrote:This is the same. I was looking at the books in the basement and between my old eyes and the poor light, I just wrote down Meyer instead of Myers. I have desk duty the rest of the day, But I will look up this information at home this weekend. I will let you know what I find.

Thanks Mike and keep up the good work!
Dave
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby bourbonv » Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:29 pm

According to the Mida's Criteria 1909 Financial Register, the listing for Myers, Angelo, Offices 311,313 N. Third St., Philadelphia, Distiller, Dy. No. 65 1st Dist., Linfield, Montgomery County is AAAA which is $1,000,000+ value. They are also listed as a rectifier. I have not found any trademarks for "Kinsey", "Myers" or "Angelo Myers" in my 1900 Mida's Trademarks Register, but that may have been because of the fact they were more east coast and would have registered their trademarks with Bonfort instead of Chicago based Mida. I did check on "Old Hickory and two different company's owned the trademark - David Wise & Co. of Lincoln, Nebraska claimed it since 1887 and James Walsh & Co. of Cincinatti, Ohio claimed it since 1852.
Mike Veach
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby cowdery » Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:47 pm

I love this stuff!!!
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby mozilla » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:17 pm

Great info Mike! Can't wait to see what you find next. IIRC, after prohibition and the Gov update, the DSP's of Kinsey went to DSP PA 10 and DSP PA 12. One was for their rye still and one for their standard still.
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:31 pm

Hey Mike did you find any more out about the Angelo Myers days of Kinsey Distillery? I was talking to a 90 yr old former worker that started there 3 yrs after Prohibition in 1936 for Mr. Kinsey who was 75 yrs old then! His great Nephew told me that in fall 1933 Mr Kinsey came to his home and said I want you to come work for me at my Distillery he also is 90 yrs old, His name is Al Landis! Hope you can dig out some stuff from the old days Mike and hope you are having a great weekend!
Dave Z
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