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John Graf Root Beer bottle
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Object ID 001164

Object Name John Graf Root Beer bottle

Object Desc Empty brown root beer bottle with metal piece that used to hold the cap. Made by the John Graf Company

Collection General Collection

Accession # CMY001012

Alternate ID

General Category History

Category Soft Drinks


Source Category Found In Collection

Accession Date JAN 1,1991


Location H. Grafman Grocery Exhibit

Object Date 1890s

Start Year Range

End Year Range

Status On Exhibit

Object Keywords soft drinks,John Graf Company,bottles,beverages,soda,

Title John Graf Root Beer bottle

Description An empty John Graf Root Beer Bottle with metal stopper without the cap. The bottle is brown and has some raised letters on the sides. The words are John Graf Milwaukee on one side and on the other it says "This bottle not to be sold."


Approx Collection Date

Height 8.5

Length 0

Width 0

Depth 0

Diameter 2.5

Circumference 8.75

Weight 0

Unit of Measure Inches/ounces

Dimension Details 4.00 in circumference for the bottle neck. 1 inch in diameter for the bottle opening.

Quantity 1



Site Details

Place of Origin

Maker John Graf Co.

Maker Details The origins of Grandpa Graf's root beer dates back to 1873, where John Graf first brewed the root beer on S. 41st St. and W. Greenfield Ave. in West Milwaukee. Graf then formed his own company, being Graf Beverages, that produced a wide variety of soft drinks. Graf continued to brew soft drinks, but it is his root beer that is remembered the most. John Graf's image is still on the can of root beer, in his memory of creating the hallowed beverage. His legacy was passed onto his son after his death in 1930, where his daughter (Sylvia Graf) took presidency of the company. Once she died in 1963, Lawrie O. Graf became president. Lawrie Graf was well known for his creative engineering skills and his education in chemistry from his study at Marquette University, and helped the company come to a national status. Lawrie Graf continued to run the company until 1968, where he sold the company to P & V Atlas Industrial Center who then sold Graf to Canfield Company.

Maker Mark


(click for full image)

Image Caption CMY001012



Date JAN 9,2014

Summary Very Good

Assessor Brooke Uhl

Notes Some edge wear on the bottom of the bottle. The metal that used to contain the cap is rusted.