Another bottle for ya on this edition of Friday Finds, this time a late 1940s to early 1950s “New Gold” soda bottle we found in a pantry in one of our houses. The story behind this product takes us across town into West Baltimore.
The New Gold Bottling Co. was founded in 1925 by Dionicios Karavedas. Dionicios (who would later Anglicize his name to “Daniel”) worked as a shoe shiner before getting into the world of soft drinks. In 1942, New Gold moved into new digs at 930 W Baltimore Street, taking over a space formerly occupied by a succession of movie theaters.
The company produced the popular “Sun Spot” soda along with the house brand “New Gold” bottle we found. Following the 1968 riots, the company experienced a sharp decline in sales, and Nicholas Karavedas, who had taken over from his father, explored a new and ironic line of products, namely a beverage that would detect sugar when ingested- Nicholas eventually refined his drink into a glucose-testing product useful for the detection of diabetes.
As for the old New Gold building (the one with the ovular sign hanging from it on the left side of the street) and its environs, here’s what it looked like in 1920:
And here’s what that same block looks like now: