The origins of this plant is detailed in the September 16, 1892 issue of the Pittsburgh Dispatch:
|A HUGE DISTILLERY|
To Be Erected at Once in Bucks County by Big Liquor Dealers
OF PHILADELPHIA AND NEW YORK.
Over A Hundred Acres to Be Covered by the Company's Plant.
THE SCHEME IS A CO-OPERATIVE ONE
Philadelphia, Sept 15. - Upon the tract of 103 acres at Eddington, Bucks county, which has just been purchased from Mrs. Morris, a wealthy Pottsville widow, will be erected an enormous distillery for the production of rye whisky. The plant will be operated by a new company which has just been organized with a capital of $3,000,000, and which will be known as the Philadelphia Pure Rye Whisky Distilling Company. Nearly every large liquor dealer in this city holds stock in the company.
Despite the fact that the organization of the company has been accomplished so quickly, considerable work has already been done, and the contract for the erection of the buildings will be awarded at a meeting of the Board of Directors tomorrow. Quite a number of bids have been received.
Under the present laws of Pennsylvania there can be no president of a liquor company. Angelo Meyers has been elected Chairman; Henry Van Beil, Secretary, and James Maguire, Treasurer. These gentlemen, with Samuel Humphrey and Louis Gilliams, constitute the Board of Directors.
The Plant to Bo a Mammoth One.
The plant will have a capacity of 30,000 barrels a year, and will probably be in operation bv the first of next May. The site selected has a large frontage on the river, and work upon a wharf was begun today. At this point the Pennsylvania railroad is fully a mile from the river, which will necessitate the building of a branchroad, at the cost of about $7,000. Negotiations are now pending with General Agent Latta for the construction of the road, but nothing definite has been decided upon. The liquor men are wavering between building the road themselves or allowing the Pennsylvania Railroad to do it, in which latter case the company would own the property and make it unpleasant for any future railroad that might come that way, particularly the Reading.
Said a prominent member of the new company today: "There are fully 40 of the largest "liquor dealers in this cityand New York interested in the enterprise,which will be one of the largest of its kind. I suppose those 40 firms represent about $30,000,000. All the subscriptions have been paid in.
Cannot Fight the Whisky Trust.
"No, we will not be antagonistic to the Whisky Trust, because the trust does not make rye whisky. The principal advantakes to the stockholders will be in establishing a home industry, which will enable us to economize on shipping. We can probably secure sufficient grain from the farmers of Bucks county to keep us going, so we will not suffer from lack of material. Then, too, we are going to try some new experiments in the manufacture of whisky which are entirely original, and which, if successful, will have a tendency to revolutionize things."
The stockholders will probably control the whole production. Each stockholder will virtually be an agent, and will use extra efforts to sell the whisky, because he will reap a decided benefit from it He will receive his selling profits,and the more he sells the larger his dividends on his stocks will be. The meeting of the board will be held at James Maguire's office, Third and Noble streets, tomorrow, and in addition to transacting the regular business, will award the contract for the erection of the plant
The distillery was surveyed by Ernest Hexamer (an insurance surveyor based in Philadelphia) in 1894. His plans are detailed (see http://www.philageohistory.org/rdic-images/view-image.cfm/HGSv29.2757-2758) and note that the plant employed 6 men in the production of rye whiskey. C T Hanna was Superintendant. There was a single bonded warehouse and two large stills, one wooden, one copper. The wooden grain still had a capacity of 16,840 gallons, the copper still held 2,554 gallons. The warehouse was constructed of brick (six storeys) with a gravel roof and held 14,000 barrels.
Review bonded warehouse transactions for this distillery