After discussing two organizations, we have gotten to a real tangible landmark of Saint Louis. Greater Saint Louis. A landmark that will make everyone proud who drives by, a symbol of home for those who were travelling, and an inspiration to all who love eating ketchup or spell it out in a strange way. The world’s largest catsup bottle is actually a water tower (with no ketchup in it either, to make things even more disappointing) and was erected in 1949 by the Brooks Tomato Products Company.
One of the most interesting things about the water tower, in my opinion, is the story of the company. Evidently, their ketchup (formerly known as Tabasco, to make things more complicated) was a huge hit in the Greater Saint Louis area, and even in the United States as a whole. There’s something cool about making a product that enjoys a wide popularity, and then identifying yourself with it. For instance, I like to walk around my home town of Leiden and remind myself that technically, I am walking in the footsteps of Albert Einstein. One day, I hope to accomplish the fact that a time-travelling Einstein would be proud to say the same of my foot steps. Anyway, the ketchup still exists, but as is the story with America on a broader scale, the company was sold, centralized in Indiana and the water tower became a nuisance to get rid of. Luckily, some people were willing to paint the thing and repair it, so it would stay a ‘world renowned’ landmark (their words, not mine; I hardly believe someone’s bucket list would be to see the Great Wall in China, the Taj Mahal in India, Machu Picchu in Peru, and the world’s largest catsup bottle in Collinsville, Illinois).
The catsup bottle has a fan club, an annual festival, merchandise and so much more you can see right here.
This blog post is part of a series on landmarks in Saint Louis. I take one of the 250 landmarks selected for the 250th anniversary of the city and look up some information. This way, I hope to get to know my new city a little better every week together with you, my readers.