My Days at Kinsey Distillery

There's a lot of history and 'lore' behind bourbon so discuss both here.

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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:49 pm

Hi Leopold When I worked at Kinsey one of the things that Continental Distilling had done back in the 1940's was to put sprinklers in all the Old Buildings, even the Old Warehouse A & B built by Jacob Kinsey in the late 1800's. When they built the Explosion Proof Warehouses after buying the Plant in 1940 they all had sealed fire escape stair wells in the back and you would walk through a door in the wall onto a little balconey and into the fire escape. Right at the High Point of The Plant they built the escape on Warehouse Q with a fire observation room on the top and a little room on top of it to see over the roof on the one side!
When I first went into warehouse G I saw there had been a fire as the fire company had knocked a hole in the wall to put it out.
However the building is just as strong as ever and walking across the roof was no trouble. The kids many years before had started a fire in some old Corn Whiskey Barrles sadly. The glass in the windows on the fire observation room had melted it got so hot you could see the dryed Liquid glass on the walls.

Kinsey had its own fire dept and the Chief's name was Cal Roberts and his helper was Harry Martin. Every week they would drive the Old Mack Fire truck that Jacob Kinsey bought back in the 1930's around the Plant and blow the siran as they drove around the Plant. Continental had many things done to it to upgrade it through the years and it was of the old type with no cab over the drivers seat.

I have many fond memories watching the Old Fire truck run around and every building even ones never used not only had sprinklers but also full electric Power!

Working at Kinsey It was one of the safest Distillerys in the world they would do fake fire drills every month with the Linfield fire company mostly near the oldest Buildings and every building had sprinklers even the ones never used any more.
Kinsey Worker
Kinsey The Genail Gin
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looking up at the fire observation room from the ground
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inside the room there was even a heat pipe and my Old Friend Ludy who will be 91 in sept told me they would take Labels up there and test how they held up in the sun on the window sills
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back last year I climbed all the way up the front stair wall and took some Pictures of the fire Tower room note the room up top it was for looking across the roof to the wooded side of the Plant Thiis is the only fire escape like this
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One of the Little escape balconeys
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Last edited by Kinsey Worker on Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:54 am

Sunday at 11:00 AM I Parked at my friends house across the street that watch Kinsey. I went in witn my digital camera and also a 35mm camera. Here are a few of the 58 pictures I took Sunday! Besides these Pictures I have at least about 1,300 more I will be posting many more as time goes by and the rest of this lot of 58 I took Sunday.

On another Note I went to the Linfield Reunion on Sat it is for anyone that lived in Linfield back in the day and I am invited every year because I know most of the people and because of my years at Kinsey which people in Linfield were very Proud of and its History. There were many People at the Reunion that worked at Kinsey at some time.
One Lady there worked in the Bottling house for 20 years she went home and brought her album of Pictures in the Big Continental Distilling Bottle house and I saw many shots of the machines working and one picture showing hundreds of bottles of Philadelphia Blended Whiskey going through Quality control. She is going to let me get some copies of the Pictures one of these days.She also went over to the Old Kinsey Bottle House to bottle Liquors and she fondly remembers it as the Happy House as they could enjoy a drink there alot easier then in the Big Bottle House. She remembered drinking some Continental Black berry Brandy which from what i have been told was one of the very best.

On another great Note I was finally able to speak to my Friend in Ca. that was in one of the Highest positions at Continental Distilling till the take over and He is ok and still going to come out to visit with me in the fall at his home near where I work. He also said He may have a bottle of Dougherty's Medical Whiskey for me as when Publicker bought Dougherty's they found a case of old Dougherty's Medical rye and He knows I love Rye Whiskey.
I told Him I was worryed about him and He said he is fine and working on a book that will tell what Happen to Publicker after Mr Neuman died and he will have copies for me and my friends very Exciting to hear the true story and This Man truely knows what happen and can tell it. I also can hardly wait to see His Industrial pIctures of all the Plants!

It is now 6:00 AM and I have to get out of here and to work but I had a good time taking these and remembering those great days I worked at Kinsey.
Kinsey Worker
Kinsey The Unhurried Whiskey For Unhurried Moments
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Both 1/2 million Gal whiskey storage tanks from the dock of Warehouse J
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One of the two 1/2 million gal Whiskey storage tanks
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looking back you can see the top of the Fire observation room warehouse Q in this picture from the roof of warehouse N
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Looking toward the 2 - 1/2 Million gal whiskey storage tanks you can see their tops they stand 44 feet high
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Standing on the roof of warehouse N shot looking toward the front of the Plant
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I found that Warehouse N was Open so I climbed to the top of the Front stair well and went on the roof for a couple of Pictures this being the top of the stair well
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The first of the 3 Plant Maintaince rooms where Shorty tyson, Luo Stefy and Frank Kurtas worked and kept things operating in the Plant these rooms were nothing more than Barn rooms in the Old Kinsey Barn built by Mr Kinsey
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Plant Maintaince Room note Hanging Heater and cardboard on ceiling to keep cold out in these rooms everything plant wise was repaired
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One of the 3 rooms in the Old Jacob G Kinsey Barn where Plant Maintaince worked People Like Shorty Tyson and Rank Kurtas worked in these cold old rooms and loved their Jobs
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Controls inside the Old Guard House
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This is the Old Guard House sitting in a different place then it did when I worked there
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Leopold » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:50 pm

There's a documentary on HBO right now on Mickey Mantle. During one of the "Mickey arrives in NYC for the 1st time" type shots, there was a big neon "Kinsey Blended Whiskey" sign apparently near Times Square. Pretty cool.
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:26 am

Leopold I once somewhere saw that Kinsey sign in Times Square New York City. Kinsey was always a very big seller there I am going to look for it and post it here. Here are some of the Pictures I took 2 Winters ago inside the 1965 / 66 State of Art in its time 2 foot ball field Long Bottling House. Like others I have taken...these were taken in total darkness with 3 flash lights and my older Nikon Digital Camera. I have been talking to my friends who watch the place, about going in to get some better shots with my Newer Nikon P-80 10 MP digital camera , I do have a few in there with the new Nikon. These are not near as good as my new Nikon can do as that one was only 5 MP but at least you get an idea of the setup.

I would not recomend going in this building without someone like me, as if your flashlight goes are in deep trouble. I know this building like the back of my hand and I got lost with a low flashlight one of the first times I went in there.
The bottle House is very big covering 2 football fields in size. When it opened many Distillers came from far and wide to tour it. We had 11 continuous Lines running and millions of gallons of tank storage capasity. Over 450 to 500 people worked in there on two shifts and it was something to be very proud of back then.
To See it like it is now is quite hurtfull to me but, I remember it back in those thrilling days of the Mid 1960's when the Company was in the safe hands of Mr. Si Neuman!
Ideas came to Mr. Neuman like breathing comes to us all naturally.

For the heck of it the third shot you will see is one of an Old Antifreeze ad from Publicker Later a picture with a bottle that never made it to be bottled in the bottle House. There it sits for 23 years never to make it to the end of the line as Publicker Packaging ended there and then.
I found the Kinsey sign on Times Square, these Bill Board pictures of Kinsey Whiskey were in 1947 the year I was born.
I found two lit at night, One Black and white the other in Color I Just posted them.
I just now at Lunch time found another Picture on Times Square with the Kinsey Blended Sign in the back ground Dated April 1945 an ad for a clothes drive for WWII..

Kinsey Worker
Kinsey Blended The Unhurried Whiskey For Unhurried Moments
I just found this old Picture of The Kinsey sign on Times Square 1945 an ad for a clothes drive for WWII
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The Kinsey Sign lighted on Times Square The year 1947 In Color
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An old ad for Publicker Industries most Famous Antifreeze they made this brand till the end
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Here is the sign you talked about Times Square NY Year 1947 Lit in Black and White
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Old Antifreeze line near the far front side of the Building with a bottle that never made it to be filled
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First of 3 incoming spirits Lines area in the 1965/66 Continental Distilling Bottling house
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One of 3 shots I posted here of Incoming Spirits Lines coming from the Black incoming spirits tanks at the back of the Bottling house
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More equipment in incoming spirits area
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inside tank platform
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Shot in incoming Spirits area Big Continental Distilling Bottle House
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Old Incoming Spirits equipment tanks ect
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Old Incoming Spirits lines I got a couple of these Old Plates broke them off to save for History back then
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:21 pm

Here are a few more Pictures to go with my Earlier Post of yesterday and today on the thread before this I had more then it could hold to put them all on it so please look there first!

Here are 2 Pictures of some of my Letter head from Continental Distilling to A&P About Red Crown Whiskey in my collection, an Old Times Square Post card with Kinsey Whiskey and one more picture from the Bottling house from the incoming area and a shot of an Old Kinsey Blended Bottle.
Kinsey Worker
Kinsey The Genial Gin
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Another Old Ad from my collection of Publicker stuff
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Letter head List of products for RED CROWN A&P Stores
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Letter Head from my collection letter to A&P about leftover Red Crown spirits products we made for them
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Equipment at Incoming area of 1965/66 Bottling House
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Old Bottle of Kinsey Whiskey
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Old Post card of Times Square with Kinsey on the Bill board
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:37 pm

Well on Sunday at 11:00-AM I went with my friends that keep Kinsey locked up to go with them on their rounds checking doors and they went into the 1966 Bottling house to check all the doors. They left me to take pictures for 25 minuets. Here are a few pictures taken in total darkness.
Here are 10 of 106 Pictures I took, plus I talked to a Lady Sandy on The Phone Last night that worked in the bottling house for 20 years and She knows more about it then any living person and Sandy Told me that Line F was the last line in the bottling house and it could on any good day crank out 20,000 Filled and Labeled Quart Bottles as far as she remembers.
Line F- was the fastest line in the bottle house and ran by a early Computer generated control system made in those days and was automated.
She was in charge of making sure that the finished Product looked good labels right and ready to go. She Told me Line F did quarts, Line A-1 did Pints, Line C-3 did 1/2 pints and Line G only did Scotch!
She also gave me the opening day for the Bottling House it started operating on Sept 12 1966. It was that year that she myself and many other people got our good jobs at Kinsey Thanks to the opening of the Bottling house.

To see it like it is now is hard but I go and do this so everyone can get an idea of what an amazing place it was in the year 1966! A 2 football Field Long Powerhouse for bottling Spirits thanks to the Ideas from mr Si Neuman! I will post some more pictures soon.
Kinsey Worker
Kinsey The Genial Gin
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These say Outlet on them
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some of the Incoming or out going Lines from the black tanks behind the Building
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This small tank says # 1 Filter mixing on it
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These lines say Chill on them
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Incoming bottling area pumps
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more tank and other equipment
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incoming tank area
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Room A at far end Where the Outside Black tanks are behind the wall
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Tank Platform in Bottling house at the very far end inside the wall where the black tanks are outside
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Old Key board computer sits in the General office in the 1966 Bottling House heating duct has fallen down
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:46 pm

Jeff we had 11 bottling Lines running everyday and as I said before Line F was able to crank out 20,000 Quarts a day by itself per What Sandy told me and She knows how the bottle house worked better then any person that is still living that worked in there as She was in charge of many things with the bottling part of it all!

I would be very surprised if The 1966 Bottling house was not the biggest of its time and the most productive one too! I will be posting more pictures tomorrow I took 106 of them on Sunday as the guys let me take my time. I also hope to go back in again some time for a few more in the bottle house! Great Question Jeff!

Here is something for you to enjoy a picture of the post card I just got of times Square in the 1940's with Kinsey Blended Whiskey just below Chevrolet on the building the Ball drops on at New years Not to many Distillers have gotten their brand on there. Four Roses did at one time and so did Kinsey Blended
Kinsey Worker
Kinsey Blended Whiskey The Unhurried Whiskey for Unhurried Moments
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A Post card I bought of Times Square in the 1940's with Kinsey Blended right under the chevrolet sign
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:46 pm

Well here are 12 more pictures from those I took on Sunday inside the 1966 State of the Art then Bottling House. I have posted a little of everything I have taken. I counted and I have a total of 99 pictures so I will slowly post the best ones.

Every time I go there I feel first of all blessed that I worked for Publicker and So Sad to see it like it is now. From the most modern Bottling House in the world to a nightmare mess such a sad thing. And something that would never have happen if Mr Si Neuman would not have died so suddenly.
Kinsey Worker
Join The Swing To Kinsey
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One of the paper Disc meters in the Honeywell Machine with Pilot Lights above it
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Honeywell Ink Disc process check machine with disc's put in for the next day a day that never came
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End of Line M-11 one of the 11 lines coming into Room C cases would be put on a pallet and taken to the back warehouse storage area
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another of the 11 lines coming through Bulkhead wall from line start Room A into Room B
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Lines coming out of start at room A through Bulkhead wall to Room B
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walking along the Platform to take pictures this platform sits againest the wall to the next room there were 3 Large rooms one at Incoming area one in the middle lines ran through and end of Line shipping and warehousing for Cased Whiskey area
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Picture of Tank Platform that sits right behind Room B wall in the Bottle house next to where the Lines start
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1940's style Explosion Proof phone in the incoming Spirits area of the 1966 Bottling House front plate missing I have it phone has had it
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Inside the Bottling Lab
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Inside the Bottling Lab
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door to Bottling House Laboratory
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two old Bottling Machines and Line in Room B of the 1966 bottle House Found out from Sandie that the line in this picture is Line A--F and is the one that was computer driven! Box Panals in background contained the computer control system. This bottling Machine even packed the Bottles into the cases.
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:46 am

Well here we go again with some more of the pictures I took on Sunday in the 1966 Continental Bottling house in Linfield Pa. These like all the shots in the 1966 Bottling house were taken in total darkness with my new Nikon Digital P-80 Camera and 97% of them did not need any computer brightening.

It is always a sad thing seeing the Giant 1966 Bottling House in such ruin but if I do not get these pictures no one will ever see what a place it used to be when it opened. Having 11 Lines and Line F- able to fill and label 20,000 quarts a day! It was run by a very old and early Computerized system and was really something in its day. It is always a sad thing to see that young people have come in the plant and destroyed stuff and as long as I live I will get pictures and share them for people to see for History it is a passion for me to let people Know what a great place Kinsey was and what a great company Continental Distilling and Publicker were!
I learned from my friends that keep the place locked up the best they can that some young people set fire to an old Trailer that still had a few brand new packs of Skol Vodka Labels and some NOS fold together 10 per pack mini Airline cases.

What a stupid thing to do if they would have had any brains they would have taken some for History sake but it seems they would rather destroy then enjoy things. Every time I took someone through there on a walking tour I would climb up and get them some Labels for a soveiner of the Plant.

They told me that at 8:00-AM Tuesday they saw smoke over there they called the Police and the Police called the Fire company and trailer burned up completely ruining what was left there in it of History.

I am so glad that a year and a 1/2 ago I got a bunch of what was in there walking it out a mile and a 1/2 to my car.
Well I hope these pictures as I post them give you a feeling of what it was like to work there back in the day!
Kinsey Worker

Kinsey Oh Kinsey You are Forever gone your story is like an old sad Song
Kinsey The Genial Gin
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Old Candy Machine I closed it and took this picture
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Old Candy Machine in Bottling house lunch room remains of food never eaten in it
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start of one of the lines in Room A. Note the Emergecy Escape Light high on the right side wall. The safety Expert where I work now says that is amazing that they had them for safety Back then as most companys did not go that far in being safe
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This sign on tank says Ethyl Rubbing Alcohol 10-10-84 the very last date on the Paper
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Sign says bottling dump or reduction on tank on tank platform at wall to Room B
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More lines coming from Black incoming tanks
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Lines coming in from the black outside tanks
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another line coming through the bulkhead wall from Room A into Room B
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upper and lower bottling lines coming into Room B from Room A incoming spirits area
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another line starting in Room A
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Line coming down in Room A
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Old Eye wash safety setup
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby gillmang » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:55 pm

One of the things that fascinates me about this plant is the era of technology it represents, e.g., that Honeywell machine Dave showed the other day. Do they still use those, or a version of those? What was in that tape or other thing (disc I think) Dave mentioned that was inserted for the day's work?

If you were to build a distillery today, would it look very much like this (when it was new and functioning of course)?

If it would look different, how would it look different?

I imagine the expertise to build such plants resides with engineers and architects who have a specialized practice in the field. Perhaps there are sizable professional firms who do this since I would think you would need different branches of engineering represented (mechanical, electrical, structural, chemical, etc).

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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:44 am

Hi Gary I spoke to my Engineer Friend John last night and He is a process engineer and the Machines are called Chart recorders and they are still used in many operations.
They record Various Electrical Signals and other process's.
John told me that they are used allot as a charting tool for each days process and give you a way to compare one days output with the next to keep at an even consistancy in the Process here being used for flow of incoming spirits in the bottling of Spirits.
I found a site that sells them and John said all types including the Ink pen paper disc type are still widely used.
the web site is

The site shows some of the types.
Also I well remember seeing an older version of this type of Ink Pen Chart recorder in Old Dsp-pa-12 still when I swept floors upstairs working in the yard gang. There was a very large Honey well Chart recorder with even bigger paper graph disc's in it marked for a day in the year 1951. It like the one in the bottle house had never ran again but was ready with disc loaded like a faithful friend.
John said, what they would do is run the charts 24 hrs and then compare different days for varations in Consistancy for one day to the next. I think, Gary, and it is just from what John as a process engineer has said; that many types from the Paper disc, to an ink pen Paper roll, to a digital type are still around...and it well could be...that these are still used in The Distilling process and the bottling process as Continental did, today.

Also a note on one of the pictures I posted on the set of Sundays pictures posted tuesday this week. Picture # Dscn4221 Sandie has told me that it is what is left of Line A -- F the early Computer control generated line she told me about.
I Was told by Sandie who worked in the bottle house for 20 yrs that it could do 20,000 quarts a day and She told me that it even packed the Bottles in their case boxes. She said that it was built by a Company from the State of CT and a engineer from the company that built it stayed in Linfield in 1966 for a many months to make sure each group of Line operaters and the mechanic's knew how to trouble shoot problems and how to operate it to its best possible.
Sandie told me that each group of line people, they had 11 lines going every day two shifts a day would switch which Line they were on every day and everyone loved when they were on Line A -- F as it was for the most part trouble free the fastest one and all they had to do was supply it what it needed watch it and take out the full cases at the end. It handled everything from Top to bottom. The big gray color cabinets on the back side housed computer controls. Once again I have learned more about How state of the Art the 1966 Bottling house was!

It was the most advanced Bottling House of Its time 1966 and another inovation From Publicker Industries While Si Neuman Lived these kind of amazing ideas and always happened.
Kinsey Worker -- Dave Z
Kinsey The Unhurried Whiskey For Unhurried Moments
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:10 pm

Here are five more pictures from Sunday twoo weeks ago i took in the 1966 Continental Distilling Bottling House. I hope to get back inagain for some more one day soon.
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Kinsey The Genial Gin
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Old Bottling Machine sitting partly on skid
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Tax strip cutting and numbering machine room A office 1966 Bottling house
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Government Tax strips laying on wet floor
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Front of Old Safety Sign in 1966 Bottling house note on bottom it is dated April 1976
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back side of Old Safety sign in 1966 Bottling house
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:27 pm

Well Just Like Kotter was welcomed back so the 1966 Bottling house welcomed me back today Sunday Oct 18!
I called my friends that watch Kinsey at 10:30 this morning after I got home from church and they were locking stuff up so I met them and they went into the 1966 Bottling house and let me take some more pictures about 100 of them!
But I will not be posting them tonight I am going to post a couple of Cool things they found for me.

1.The first thing is a very large Explosion Proof Light housing
2. A NOS Inver House Scotch desk Pen a early Promotional thing it was laying by itself on the floor when they found it for me.
3. Finally They found something amazing a 3/4 full bottle of Rittenhouse Rye with a very strange Label
--It says Rittenhouse Rye 10 years Old 80 Proof Bottled In Bond? The sticker says Export on the top I also posted before it one I found just like it I found in the bottle house empty 3 years ago before I got real sick in Jan of 2007.

The one picture of the 3/4 full bottle you will see the tax sticker on the one side blowing in the wind after that picture I took it in cleaned it a little glued the seal back on that side then cut the seal carefully to make sure it was sealed for sure on the other side it was and the cap was super tight. Once I got the cap off It was clean on the top and smelled fine so I poured out a shot of something that tasted wonderful!

It smelled of wood and caremel and a sort of fruit smell---- It tasted of sweet wood and caramel with a slight fruitiness to it
it went down very smooth and was just plain Delightful to drink I had 1/2 a shot more and put in on the shelf with my collectables to revisit some time soon.

It tasted so darn good I could have sat down and drank the whole bottle I was aamazed, now my question What is With The Bottled In Bond 80 Proof? Was this something done when Whiskey was exported? All I know is I Have two bottles with this label one 3/4 full one empty I never relised we made Rittenhouse like this but it is one of the most tasty Ryes I have ever drank. So there it sat for 30 years laying on its side on a low shelf in Maintaince evaporating out the cap waiting for them to find it for me to Drink what a great welcoming back to my favorite Place Kinsey Distillery, it is the Only Bottle with regular Whiskey I have found there after all these years of going there.
Kinsey Worker Dave Z
Kinsey The Unhurried Whiskey For Unhurried Moments
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Large Explosion Proof Light Housing my Friends found for me in the bottle house.
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Inver House Pen set found on floor by me friends after I took it out of the bag it was in. A Promotional thing for Inver House Scotch
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The first thing they found me was laying on the floor in a crumbled brown box a never used in the wraper Inver House Scotch Promotional Pen and base set
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Here is a bottle just like the one they found for me by dumb luck and I am posting it first so you can have a good look that they really do say 10 yr old 80 proof Bottled in Bond I found this one empty about 3 years ago in the bottle house never thought I would get one 3/4 full
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Well worn Label on Rittenhouse rye bottle bottle but if you look close says 10 yr old 80 proof BIB
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Top of tax sticker says Export
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Heres the bottle after I glued the tax sticker back on the one side it was louse it was found on a shelf in Maintaince laying on its side
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They found me a very strange Rittenhouse Rye bottle 3/4 full Label says 10 years Old 80 Proof Bottled in bond tax sticker says Export on it
DSCN4458 (Large).JPG (87.67 KiB) Viewed 8433 times
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby RobotAZ » Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:29 pm

Fascinating. That's one of the best threads I've ever read. Thanks very much for posting.

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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kendall » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:14 pm

RobotAZ wrote:Fascinating. That's one of the best threads I've ever read. Thanks very much for posting.

I agree with this statement.
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