Trivial Pursuits

*Post written by Mona Meyer, Archives and Special Collections Metadata Librarian.

In the iconic TV series M*A*S*H, what was company clerk Walter “Radar” O’Reilly’s favorite drink?

Corporal Walter “Radar” O’Reilly, played by actor Gary Burghoff, loved Grape Nehi. (Image found here.)

In the undated photograph below, this fleet of delivery vehicles was outside the Royal Crown/Nehi bottling plant at 400 N. Main St. (The cross street shown here would be Michigan St.) This bottling plant no longer exists. Nehi was introduced in 1924 by Chero-Cola/Union Bottle Works. The “Nehi Corporation” name was adopted in 1928 after the Nehi fruit-flavored sodas became popular. In 1955, the company changed its name to Royal Crown Company, after the success of its RC Cola brand. In April 2008, Nehi became a brand of Dr Pepper Snapple Group in the United States.

MSS 283-011, the Double Cola Collection.

This decorative lintel now resides in the University Center. But where did it come from?

Photograph from USI Photography.

The Orr Iron Company was founded in 1835 by Samuel Orr (1810-1882), an Irish blacksmith.  In 1913 the growing company built a new facility at 1100 Pennsylvania St. (originally the address was 17-25 E. Pennsylvania St.  By mid-1988 the construction of the Lloyd Expressway was complete; part of the Lloyd followed the path of Pennsylvania St.  Thus, in 1988, the Orr Iron Company stood at the corner of Fulton Ave. and the Lloyd Expressway, complete with a traffic light.  As traffic increased, it became clear that this stoplight was hindered the flow of traffic and, in 2008, the stoplight was replaced by an interchange.  Unfortunately, the Orr Iron Company building had to be razed to make room for this.  The building on Sycamore St. was razed in the 1970s.  Before the Pennsylvania Ave./Lloyd Expressway building was completely razed, the lintel from the original doorway was saved and repurposed when USI remodeled its University Center.

Two locations of the same company: first, the Sycamore St. address, second and third the Pennsylvania St. address. (The second and third pictures are of the Pennsylvania St. address as first built, and after expansion. )           UASC MSS 157-0090, the Schlamp Meyer Family Collection

What do these buildings have in common?

Both are named for Evansville Mayor Benjamin Bosse (1874-1922, mayor 1914-1922).

Benjamin Bosse High School, 1300 Washington Ave. Photo circa 1933. MSS 157-1393, the Schlamp Meyer Family Collection
Bosse Field at 1701 N. Main St./23 Don Mattingly Way. Built in 1915, Bosse Field is the third oldest ballpark still used for professional baseball, with only the 1912 Fenway Park and the 1914 Wrigley Field outdating it. RH 033-173, the Evansville Postcard Collection

What campus building is this?

This is the original library building (1971-2005). In 1992, the University honored founding president David L. Rice by naming the building the David L. Rice Library. Parts of this building can still be seen today, particularly the first and third photographs below. The second photograph was the rear/staff entrance, now subsumed by the USI Performance Center.

UP 17793, the University Photographs Collection
UP 17788, the University Photographs Collection
UP 17800, the University Photographs Collection

This is the Berry Global/Berry Plastics headquarters at 101 Oakley St. in Evansville. Berry is a Fortune 500 corporation that manufactures plastic packaging materials. But what other business “hides” inside it?

Image found here.

Herrmann Fendrich was born in Germany in 1830 and immigrated to the United States as a child with his family in 1833, settling in Baltimore, MD.. In the 1840s he and his brothers opened a cigar factory and eventually moved to Evansville. In 1855 the factory moved to a location on Main St. In 1910 that location was destroyed by fire and the factory rebuilt on Oakley St. It ceased operation in 1969, became Imperial Plastics, and later was renamed Berry. Today’s building completely subsumes the cigar factory.

RH 033-056, the Evansville Postcard Collection. This image is circa 1913.
Workers at the Fendrich Cigar Factory, the Oakley St. location, circa 1912. MSS 216-008, the Maxine Akins Collection
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