Updated: Dec 23, 2018
A clear syphon from the Lion Bottling Works of Rossland and Greenwood (pictured below) sold on eBay this afternoon for $1,382 US, which is $1,722 Cdn. That’s the most I’ve ever seen paid for a local syphon. The auction attracted 19 bids from five bidders. The seller is in Brantford, Ont.
According to Beer Barons of BC, published in 2011 by Bill Wilson, the Lion Brewery was formed in 1897 by Louis Blue and managed by James McCreath. The Columbia Bottling Works was built in 1898 and operated in conjunction with the brewery.
The Lion Bottling Works in Greenwood was apparently started by the Boundary Creek Milling and Lumber Company. McCreath bought it in 1899 and also opened locations in Phoenix and Grand Forks. Although it was affiliated with the Lion Brewery in Rossland, I’m unsure of the exact corporate arrangement. The Greenwood plant closed in 1905 but I don’t know what happened to the one in Phoenix. Blue sold the Rossland location in 1910. The Grand Forks operation was still going in 1911 with W.J. Penrose as proprietor.
Below: Ad from the Greenwood Miner, Sept. 7, 1900.
Wilson’s earlier book, Pioneer Soda Water Companies of BC (1986, written with Jim Askey) included a photo of a syphon similar or identical to the one seen here. It described the syphon as “very scarce” and estimated its value at $80 (which is $157 in present-day figures).