I like old wooden crates, and have saved more than a few over the past decades. Aside from their own sake, they're really handy for carrying kindling to my wood stove.
This one was intended to carry bottles of Elder's Ginger Ale. Other than the fact that the company was out of Ontario, and that its product was truly gingery, I can't find any other information on it.
The musical clinking of glass bottles being transported in a wooden box has been replaced by, well, nothing. PET bottles shrink-wrapped in plastic film don't make any sound. Mind you, they don't break either. So, while something has been gained, something has been lost. That's the usual equation for progress in our society.
When I was a kid, on his back porch my grandfather had a huge Seven Up pop cooler, a left-over from his Toronto restaurant. You lifted a folding lid on top, and inside was a galvanized container in which the glass bottles resided up to their necks in cold water. I can remember him lifting us out two bottles, cold water running down them, and the hiss as he uncapped them in the opener on the side, which was housed at the top of a removable metal blister for holding the bottle caps. On the side of the cooler was stenciled, "Seven Up. You like it, it likes you." I don't think I've ever had a better soft drink experience since.
I have to agree, pop in a glass bottle always seemed to taste better. It also stayed cold longer, not that I ever nursed it slow enough to confirm this theory.
When I was a kid, I recall our local corner store had a pop cooler exactly like the one you describe. It also had what can only be described as the worlds filthiest rag permanently attached to it for wiping off the bottles (you'd think they might just change once it every couple of decades or so? - nah!). As kids, we didn't care but I'm sure if Mom had spotted it she would have had a fit.
I used to drink Mountain Dew, but only if I could find in a bottle, the glass added a good substantial feel. Funny that it's a recurring theme, I think we all have a picture of us as a small kid having our first softdrink.
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