Facade of the old Canada Dry bottling plant in Silver Spring, MD.

Canada Dry built the plant in 1946, shortly after the Second World War. Other manufacturers built as well. As a result, Silver Spring became an economically important part of the Washington, DC, area. Since then, it has followed the rest of the country. So now, most businesses are about providing services. Everything from television to government to small mom and pop shops.

As part of the shift, the bottling plant closed around 2000. So a fence surrounded the lot. Weeds took over. The block was typical of urban blight. Now, high rise apartment buildings surround it. The warehouse and plant are gone. Only the administrative offices are left. A small park leads to the entrance.

Because the Silver Spring Historical Society lead the effort to keep the administrative offices, we can enjoy the bright lights of years gone by. We can imagine what people must have thought walking along the street with these giant letters looking down on them. Since many buildings in the area at the time weren’t more than a story or two high, folks could probably see the words, “Canada Dry,” for a ways.

Some information in this post comes from the Library of CongressAmerican Memorycollection and the on-site narrative.



James Smith