Saturday, February 15, 2020

Sepia Saturday: Clicquot Club

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

The bottles lined up on the tables in this week’s Sepia Saturday prompt reminded me how I misunderstood this photo of my mother and her friends:
High school sweethearts at the Palomar:  Tommy Watson and
Betsy Ward, Mary Eleanor Davis and Dickie Blanks
at the Spring Dance, Apr 23, 1945.
For years I thought the photo was taken during her college days and that she was drinking beer. However, when I took a closer look, I realized the bottles were nothing more than 7-Up.

I wish I could tell what THIS bottle is.
August 17-18, 1946  12:30 a.m. Ocean Club
George Savage, Margaret Wall, Mary Eleanor Davis,
Tuff Brown, Betsy Ward, Ralph Joynes
Maybe it is the same drink as these guys might have enjoyed during a camping trip with friends in 1919.
From Aunt Helen Killeen Parker
camping trip about 1919
Let me start by saying I have no idea what the joke was. The paper conversation bubble was glued on, probably by my grandaunt Helen Killeen Parker.

For this blog post, it is the case of bottles under the table that catches my eye. Clicquot Club? What is that?

Pronounced “Klee-Ko” (not “click kwat”), the company began in Massachusetts in the 1880s producing sparkling cider and ginger ale. Early producers of ginger ale sold solely to hotels, restaurants and clubs, but the Clicquot Beverage Company pioneered marketing ginger ale to families. Clicquot revolutionized the soda industry and soon became the largest manufacturer of ginger ale in the world.

The company was the first to put a metal cap on a bottle and the first to sell soft drinks in a can.

Part of the marketing plan besides advertising on billboards and in magazines was radio advertising. THIS IS FOR YOU, MR MIKE! The ginger ale company sponsored a banjo orchestra under the direction of Harry F. Reser called the Clicquot Club Eskimos, based on Clicquot’s most recognizable symbol: the Eskimo Boy.

The company itself went through several owners, eventually being absorbed by Canada Dry. Today the Clicquot Club wooden crate is a collectible. On Etsy and on Ebay the wooden boxes sell anywhere from $25 to $275.
image from Etsy

The various versions of bottles also have attracted collectors. Clicquot Club Eskimo dolls and figurines, sheet music and ads are also desirable finds.

Ebay has 2 vintage bottles of Clicquot Club ginger ale UNOPENED. I can’t offer you a taste of Cliquot Club, but here is a taste of the Clicquot Club Eskimos’ radio show.

Raise your glass or bottle to the many fine bloggers at Sepia Saturday.

© 2020, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.


  1. What a great find, a back story from under the table! Of course they might just have been using one of the boxes to carry stuff. Better than most picnic baskets! I've probably enjoyed the ginger ale of many makers, but am not sure I remember this brand.

  2. What a great take on the prompt! And some interesting information about ginger ale - of which I am a fan. Loved the video. Typical 1920s music but I have to say, even in my younger days, I would have been exhausted after doing the fox trot for that entire rendition. Whew!

  3. Wendy this was interesting, good topic, and your photos are just perfect. Fun times for them all, great seeing how they gathered.

  4. Interesting stuff. We are fans of Veuve Clicquot champagne - wonder if they are related in any way to the ginger ale company.

    1. Ding Ding Ding - you win! I wish I had a prize to offer. But YES - the company named it after the French champagne.

    2. Well you COULD send a bottle of said champagne as a prize :-)

    3. Uhhh howsabout 2 vintage bottles of UNOPENED Clicquot Club ginger ale?

  5. Wow, I learned some things today here reading this! How interesting!! Now when I see Canada Dry, I'll remember Clicquot Club!


  6. For goodness sake, Wendy, you don't have to SHOUT! :–}
    A super post. And don't you feel better to discover it was just 7-Up? The Cliquot Eskimo Banjo Band may be ultimate novelty band. I'll keep an eye out for them now.

  7. Wonderful post I really enjoyed finding out about the ginger ale. When I was young my mother used to like making ginger beer but the lids of the bottles always popped off - a grand mess by all accounts

  8. I also thought of the champagne when reading your post. A great take on the bottles in the theme picture

  9. Great post! There is just something about soft drinks that sparks memories. My grandmother was a huge ginger ale fan -- perhaps having listened to these ads. One of her other favorites was Quevic Vichy, a sugarless seltzer-like drink with champagne-like bubbles made, I believe, from the healthful waters Saratoga Springs, N.Y., not far from where she lived.