Ketchup bottle for sale

Yesterday I took a picture of what seemed like a relatively nice looking water tower:
IMG_1673Well that’s nice and all but it’s child’s play my friends.

Today the internet informed me that an elevated, 170 ft tall ketchup bottle is for sale in Collinsville Illinois, and I thought as a public service announcement, which is what we’re all about here, I’d pass it along. It’s only $200,000 and the Belleville News-Democrat has an ongoing series of reports on the matter, starting here, including an editorial piece in which they (rightly!) condemn the use of government funds for large ketchup bottle restoration efforts. In the interest of full disclosure, I note that this is in fact something of a theoretical ketchup bottle only, in that it has never contained any actual ketchup. Its ability to store water, at least up to the 1960s, is well documented however. Sadly, some are suggesting a final resting place in a ketchup museum, given that ketchup is a “global condiment”, which although true, is I think, a shame.
Collinsville ketchup bottle 3
Collinsville ketchup bottle 5
It should also be noted that the bottle made the list of the “10 Coolest Water Towers“, clocking it at #2 on the list, right behind the “Peachoid” in Gaffney SC, and just ahead of the “Big Corn Ear” in Rochester MN. Note that all three are way ahead of the #10 Wasserturm Nord in Germany, where they clearly just don’t have any idea of what a really cool water tower is all about.

8 thoughts on “Ketchup bottle for sale

  1. Jim:
    I grew up about 20 miles from the ketchup water tower. Never climbed it, but am quite certain you can see downtown St Louis from up there (I’m guessing the Arch is about 15 miles west of it).

    The Cardinals are hosting your Reds from the 18th to the 20th of this month. I’m headed to the game on the 18th with my brother. If St Louis is on your bucket list… you could spend a couple minutes to drive out to Collinsville to see (and photograph) the ketchup bottle for yourself.

    • Awesome, although I’m really disappointed in you not climbing that sucker Clem. You must have been one of those high-schoolers who didn’t do stupid stunts–I heard about them 🙂

      As it turns out I am not a Reds fan, and in fact disliked them as a kid. I do like Billy Hamilton though–best thing to happen to baseball in a while IMO. I would greatly enjoy seeing them play the Cards, or really any chance to see a game in the new park for that matter. Of course getting a ticket would likely be a big problem given that there are probably no better fans than Cardinal fans. [Uh oh, Harold’s not going to like that!]

      I’ll leave you guessing as to which team I’m a fan of.

  2. Yeah, didn’t do stupid stunts… that’s me. At least none I’m willing to discuss in public. 🙂

    Cards fans are top notch in my opinion – though I can’t pretend to be objective in the matter. It does surprise me though that you weren’t a Reds fan back in the day. I would have figured Johnny Bench and others might have struck a cord.

    So now I’m scratching my head wondering which club does merit your attention. Any hints? (West Coast team perhaps?)

    • Ha ha, yeah, some stunts are not for public broadcast…I’ve heard the stories 🙂

      Never cared for the Big Red Machine really, even rooted against them in a World Series game at Riverfront!

      OK here’s the hint: my hometown made big national news last weekend.

  3. Of course… a Mud Hens fan!… That’s fantastic on many levels.

    One of my favorite things about baseball is that it SO accessible. The minor leagues are an excellent example. When we lived near Indianapolis we’d go to Indians games, here close to Columbus we’ll occasionally get to a Clippers game. The Mud Hens have a great history (and the name alone is too cool).

    And BTW, Toledo made International news with the water quality issue. Heard a BBC story about it on the radio here. The whole issue is a blooming mess (sorry, just hadta…) but we’ve actually been making some real efforts to reduce the agricultural impacts side of the equation for a couple of years. Several of the larger surface lakes in NW Ohio have had similar problems now for a couple years (and these are in the same watershed… as you know). Apparently we aren’t doing enough. When comparisons get made to Cleveland’s burning river fiasco you have to wonder.

    • Wow, somebody who knows about the Toledo Mud Hens! They do have a long history, especially with the Tigers. And one of the best minor league parks you’ll find as well. I used to go to some Clippers games when I was at OSU, back when they were the Yankee AAA farm team.

      Yeah I guess that story did go international. The whole thing was fairly overblown in my opinion, but better safe than sorry when it comes to the public water supply of that many people. The “microcystis season” is a long ways from over–at least two months. In fact the winds have been steady out of the east again the last day or two, and that blows everything into the western basin and bays, which is what happened last weekend. Everybody’s watching it now and it could get worse.

      I’d like to post about the whole issue because there’s lots of confusion as usual on this kind of thing. But there was some real good journalism on this too; the Toledo Blade in particular. What people don’t generally realize is that the nature of the problem is now a fair degree worse than it was in the 1960s, due to the invasive species influx and the largely non-point source of the nutrients causing the blooms, which are much harder to control than the industrial sources that caused most of the problems back then. This is not going to be an easy fix, partly because of Erie’s unique nature, and partly because of the power of the ag lobby. Very fortunately, the fish are not affected by the toxin; that could wreak some big time havoc.

  4. Am not convinced the ag lobby will get in the way of making matters better. I work closely with the Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) so I get to see first hand what sorts of efforts are underway – at least from the perspective of ag commodity groups.

    Most everyone I talk to who has any clue is genuinely concerned and seems ready to roll up sleeves or open a wallet. So some of this is coming a bit late to the party, but many hands make light work.

    Gotta run at the moment, but if you do want to go further on the subject let me know, I can lend a hand and plenty of resources that might not be readily available at long distance over the web.

    • Thanks Clem, that is encouraging to hear. Most definitely interested in any and all perspectives, insights and information sources you may have, especially from the ag side of things.

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