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Chris E. Kleis Root Beer Bottle

Dating to around 1920, this root beer bottle from the Christian E. Kleis’ bottling company of Dubuque is made of transparent green glass and embossed with "CHR. E. KLEIS CO. DUBUQUE IA. CONTENTS 24 - FLUID OZS. M 2714 ROOT 20."

Kleis Root Beer BottleKleis’ bottling business was first organized sometime between 1862-1865 in Dubuque and survived until circa 1954. They manufactured flavored soda water, ginger ale, seltzers, soda, and other carbonated drinks. In 1910, Kleis' products were being sold within a 100 mile radius of Dubuque in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin and the company was the largest soda water factory in Dubuque. Although founder Chris Kleis died in 1909, many of his family members stayed with the company to keep it going according to Dubuque City Directory records.

As indicated in an advertisement in the 1873 City Directory, Kleis also sold wines and cider and would ship by river and railroads to supply his customers with beverages. The company’s soda water was touted as a healthful beverage that is “to some extent taking the place of strong liquors and even ale and beer.”

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