Message on a Bottle: Nanaimo’s Soda History

I’m excited to share that I’ve self-published a booklet, and that Message on a Bottle: Nanaimo’s Soda History by Dalys Barney is now for sale!

Available for $10 if I can connect with you locally near Nanaimo, or $12 if you need it mailed to you, the booklet will likely appeal to bottle collectors and to those interested in Vancouver Island history.

Starting as early as the 1870s, Nanaimo had entrepreneurs who were bottling and selling soda in the city. A small luxury that could be enjoyed by the young and old alike, bottled soda was especially welcomed at well-known Nanaimo summer events like the miners’ picnic. While independent local soda businesses have faded away with time and industry consolidation, what we’re left with today are the bottles, some of which feature iconic Nanaimo images like a crossed miner’s pick and shovel or the Bastion.

Not a pricing guide, but an attempt to tell the history of the city’s soda industry, the booklet focuses on single-serving glass soda bottles and Nanaimo manufacturers like William Rumming, John Mitchell, and Louis Lawrence.

Special thanks to the Nanaimo Historical Society and the Nanaimo Community Archives for helping to fund my printing costs.