Thursday, May 26, 2016

Kool Aid and Cracker Jack Factories

Chicago's Extinct Businesses updated their cover photo
Kool-Aid factory once located at 7400 S Rockwell St on the SW Side of Chicago.
When I was a kid, you would add their little packet of coloring to 2-quarts of water and then stir in one (or was it two?) cups of sugar. Given the sugar content of what you were drinking, I think this qualifies as a confection made in Chicago.

A history and several images for Cracker Jack

When I looked at the location on a satellite image, that location is now housing. But I was surprised how much land west of it is now vacant. It was already vacant in the birds-eye view. (No link to the birds-eye view because "There was a problem creating the link.") It was vacant in 1938 because Chicago growth had not yet reached that area. Looking at Historic Aerials, that area was cleared out between 2005 and 2007.

Sandi Zehner Growing up by Midway, we had Cracker Jack, Tootsie Roll, Nabisco and Kool Aid; depending on the way the wind blew. Is the Tootsie Roll factory still the only one in the US?

David Michalski Jr. Tootsie Roll is still there

Google Earth had quit working on my desktop, and then my laptop. So I fired up an old desktop computer and can access Google Earth images again. Today's vacant land was the Kool Aid Factory. Cars quit parking in the parking lot during November 2002.

 The building was torn down in Sep 2005.

(Satellite, it was on the northwest corner of Cicero Avenue and 67th Street)
Paula Pasqua posted
Who remembers the Cracker Jack factory on Cicero Avenue? Not far from Ford City Mall? I had a friend who worked there and she said that they made the carmel for the Cracker Jack in a secret room so no one would know the recipe. From what I understand, when Borden bought Cracker Jack they closed the factory and it's now only made in California?
Jim Slager NW corner of 67th and Cicero ; a Sleep Inn there now.

Jeffrey Lindmark posted a cropped version of this photo
Sandy Gold-Greco The little sailor boy and dog on box was the grandson and his dog of the man who invented Cracker Jack!
Kirk Saflarski Lived on 64th and lemont it was great smelling it every morning and also getting free boxes out the side door from the workers.
Wendy Tornberg they had a good prizes back then.

Steve Corless posted

The oldest image on Google Earth is 2000 and the Sleep Inn has already been built.
Was it this building or is this too old?
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP

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  1. Today is Labor day and thinking back to my youth when I couldnt wait to work. I was already working part time at a Zayres - Columbus HWY but wanted to make more money and applied at the 7400 Rockwell General Foods Kool Aid plant. I went in hoping i was good enough to be a factory worker and still remember the name of the gentleman that interviewd me.. 1968/69 His name was Mr. Fox. He asked me if I would like to be trained for a Lab Tech job! I will never forget this opportunity as I just graduated- it was a turning point in my life that someone had faith in me. To this day, I am thankful for Mr Fox hiring me & trusting I could do something I have never done. My eagerness to learn continued thru the yrs. and felt I could accomplish anything... and I did well.

    1. My dad worked at that same factory as a machinist for 30+ years!

  2. I loved the Kool-aid factory and Nabisco. I lived on 73rd and Campbell growing up. Great smells!!!