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Bartleby the Scrivener vegan27
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funkey pop
This past weekend I was digging a trench for a new ratwall by my porch. Digging around my house is always rewarding because I get to play amateur archaeologist. Here is one of the cedar stumps that once held up the house, which have since been replaced by (improperly placed!) concrete blocks:



Cedar is rot-resistent, but obviously not rot-proof. At least not after 150 years.

I also discovered a broken plate, a rusted jar lid, a broken glass bottle, and of course, more animal bones.



There is no way to know how long the plate, lid, and bones have been under the house. The bones could have been dragged under there by animals at any point. Anny thinks they're too big to be sheep bones, and are probably from a cow or pig.

The glass bottle says: "A. Funkey's Bottling Works, Detroit, Mich". It was hard to find information about it at first, because "A. Funkey" actually refers to Anthony Funke. He went into the soda water manufacturing business around 1868, and started spelling his name "Funkey" in 1873. By 1878, he went back to Funke. I have to assume that this bottle dates to the mid-1870s. Here is Anton Funke and family in the 1870 census:



Everyone knows that Vernor's, invented in 1866, is the oldest soft drink in the United States--but it was not the first. An 1867 article in the Detroit Free Press mentions that Warren Cronk had been manufacturing carbonated soft drinks in Detroit for twenty years. That article also explains how pop was manufactured in those days:
The water to be charged with gas is placed in strong vessels called "fountains," usually made of iron. The gas, obtained by the bringing together of sulphuric acid and marble dust, is passed through water to purify it, conducted to the "fountains," and after sufficient agitation in contact with the gas at high pressure the water becomes changed, and is then what is known as soda water. The syrup, flavored either with lemon or sarsaparilla is added during the process of bottling. The water is bottled and corked by machinery skillfully handled, and an experienced workman has, with one machine, bottled in a single day as many as seven hundred dozen. ...

Considering the immense quantities these establishments produce, we find that the manufacture of "pop" in this locality, is of greater magnitude than is generally supposed. The demand, of course, depends much upon the state of the weather, but during the "heated term," it often exceeds the supply.

(Detroit Free Press, 6 July 1867)

Sarsaparilla (or sometimes "sasparilla") used to be the main flavoring ingredient in root beer.

Anton Funke died on December 5, 1905. The following appeared in the Free Press the next day:



The Bernard Stroh mentioned in the article is, of course, the founder of Stroh Brewery.

Sarsaparilla is carcinogenic, but it sure makes me thirsty for some sulphuric acid and marble dust!

It tastes as good as vegetable oil that's been mixed with hydrogen gas and nickel oxide shavings!

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