Merkt confectionery in the Birkbeck Block

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History of Freeland, Pa.

What's new on this page:
  • Ka-Do Soap Works
  • Freeland Stove Enamel
  • All-Plus - H. J. Chemical Co.
  • S & S Bottling Co.
  • Beginning of Carr's Bottling Works
Other recent site updates are listed on the WHAT'S NEW / News & announcements page (link at left).

Featured photos: Freeland products

For some time Ive been wanting to make a web page about products that were developed in Freeland or in the nearby Freeland area. How to define this category -- such products range from the items shown here that were packaged and labeled as coming from Freeland but likely sold beyond the Freeland area, to items created in Freeland and sold directly in Freeland but not necessarily packaged/labeled to be sold from store shelves (Andy Hasara's kielbasa, Barb Haraschak's custom clothing, etc.).

I dont have much information for such a page yet, but I thought that maybe people would be interested to see these few items. Im looking for more information about these products, and for suggestions of more local products. If you can help, please let me know. Thanks!

Ka-Do Soap, Freeland, Pa. Ka-Do Soap, Freeland, Pa. Ka-Do Soap, Freeland, Pa. Ka-Do Soap, Freeland, Pa.


"KA-DO Soap (Knocks All Dirt Out). For All Washing And Cleaning Purposes. Keeps The Hands Velvety. Ka-Do Soap Works. Freeland, Pa." Probably made in 1930s-1940s, but I don't really know. At present, a mystery can anyone tell me who made this soap, where it was made, and when? Ive got an empty Ka-Do box but it just doesnt answer those questions!


Freeland Stove Enamel can Freeland Stove Enamel can Freeland Stove Enamel can

This item comes from Jim Etheredge, who kindly allowed me to photograph it. Another mystery can anyone tell me who made this product, where it was made, and when?

From the can label: For All Kinds of Machinery, Fences, Fire Escapes, Smoke Stacks, Tanks, Farm Machinery & All Kinds of Iron Work. Freeland Stove Enamel will absolutely prevent corrosion due to atmospheric or gaseous conditions. Will stand any acid test known. Directions Apply with Ordinary Paint Brush.

From Jim Etheredge: I will say that I believed the can to be 1930s maybe, but Im no expert in those types of containers.

Thank you to Jim Etheredge for this interesting example of Freeland enterprise.


All-Plus can, H. J. Chemical Co. All-Plus can, H. J. Chemical Co. Tom Yaruso sent these photos.

From the can label: ALL-PLUS. The Scientific Sure Solder for Leaky Radiators & Cracked Blocks. H. J. Chemical Company, Freeland, Pa.
[from back of the can] All-Plus is a special preparation of _____ metals and non-metals. It stops and [repairs?] leaks in radiators, engine blocks, ______. There is no clogging and will neither crack nor corrode metal or rubber _____.
It functions successfully with all anti-freeze solutions.

From Tom Yaruso: I worked for "Pappy" Halko he was our science teacher at Foster Township high school; I worked for him 2 to 3 nights a week at the H.J. CHEMICAL COMPANY, it was in his big shed in his yard on Center Street going north, a few houses before M.M.I. I have in front of me a can of his ALL-PLUS, THE SCIENTIFIC SURE SOLDER FOR LEAKES IN RADIATORS AND CRACKED BLOCKS. His other product was RUBBER BUFF for patching tires; its been almost 50 years and I can remember filling 1 qt. cans of rubber buff by hand pumping out of 55 gal. drums. I am sure some of the oldtimers will remember him.

From Kathleen Halko Gallagher: I was surfing the net looking for information on my father, John J. Halko, Sr. He taught school at Foster Township High School, we lived at 117 Centre Street, Freeland, PA and owned and operated H. J. Chemical Company, producing automotive associated products, which products were manufactured in the family garage located on the property.

We moved to Delaware about 1955 and my father started a business around 1960 called, Freeland Chemical Company, 1605 McArthur Drive, Greater Wilmington Airport, New Castle, DE, where we sold automotive associated products. He had an exclusive contract with Technical Rubber Company, Johnstown, OH, were he sold his patented product, named Rubber Buffer, a solution that you would wipe on a tire before applying a patch to the tire, instead of using a buffing stick to make the patch adhere. Dad went on to create another patented product called Rubber Lube which was used to mount and de-mount automotive, tractor and airplane tires. He had testimonials to prove that a person could remove a tire from its rim simply by swabbing the solution on the edge of the rim. He continued to manufacture the radiator stop leak, he also invented another product called Pen-O which was an excellent general purpose penetrating oil for mechanics and also as household lubricant. I had worked for my father for 17 years at Freeland Chemical Company, prior to his retirement at the age of 91. Daddy passed on July 7, 1986.

Thank you to Tom Yaruso and Kathleen Halko Gallagher for sharing memories, information and photos.


818 Front street, former site of several businesses S & S Bottling Co. bottle mark S. & S. Bottling Co. was founded in 1938 by Stephen Shimko & Stephen Saylor, at which time it was the only soft drink company in Freeland. In the 1940 Freeland directory their bottling works is listed at rear 412 Washington Street. In July 1940 they moved to 818 Front Street, the old Washington Silk mill (behind the First National Bank), where they installed complete new washing and filling equipment, and planned to install a large refrigeration unit. I don't know whether they also bottled beverages from other companies or if they only made their own soda.

On May 31, 1944 the Standard Speaker reported that George Woodring bought the S. & S. bottling plant from Shimko, noting that Woodring was one of the first mail carriers in Freeland, having begun work with the post office when delivery service was first instituted in town. Six months later on December 14, 1944 the Standard Speaker reported that Russell Feist, who a few years before took over operation of the Freeland Cigar company at Cunnius and Foster streets, had moved his machinery and equipment from that factory building "to the former Washington Silk Mill property on Front street, which he purchased several months ago." The same article noted that "The S. & S. Bottling Co., which was formerly located in the mill building, moved several weeks ago to the bake shop property formerly operated by the Fox bakery at the rear of Centre street, between Main and Front streets."

former Fox Bakery at 612 Centre street former Fox bakery at 612 Centre street S. & S. might have moved to that Fox Bakery building at 612 Centre next to Seitzinger's Drug Store (side of the Fox building shown here soon after demolition of Seitzinger's building, and shown on the 1923 Sanborn map), but it doesn't sound like it stayed there. S. & S. was listed at 818 Front street in the 1941, 1948 and 1949 phone books. In the 1948 phone book George Woodring was listed as bottling there at 818 Front.

S & S Bottling Co. ad, 1948 S & S Bottling Co. soda label Carr's Bottling Works ad, 1950 Carr's Bottling Works soda label

However, this June 12, 1948 ad shows S. & S. newly under F. Carr's management, and the 1950 ad shows Carr's Bottling Works at 818 Front. Carr's was also listed there in the 1952 and 1957 phone books, before they moved out to the 940 crossroads toward White Haven and Sandy Run. So it's been interesting to see how S & S Bottling Co. came into being, changed along the way, and was eventually succeeded by Carr's Bottling Works.

Thanks to Charlie Gallagher for the photo of the former Fox Bakery building at 612 Centre, and to Tim Matushoneck for the photo of an S. and S. bottle with red and white label.

About this website: Businesses section reorganization / expansion

De Pierro Brothers' Restaurant Genetti's, Feissner's, Fairchild's between the banks Genetti's, 1966

These three photos all show parts of the same block on Centre street, from the Front and Centre intersection, west side of the block and looking southwest. The photo at left shows, left to right: A. A. Bachman's, Joseph Neuberger's department store in Freeland Hall, De Pierro's restaurant, circa early 1890s, photo from John Zubach.

The center postcard shows the whole block, including (right to left): First National Bank, Fairchild's Luncheonette (sold to Elwood Whitehead in 1950 to become Woodie's), Feissner's Hardware, Genetti's, Citizen's Bank ... at far left you can see the intersection of Main and Centre and Dan Gallagher's lunchroom sign painted on the side of what was later Bertha's and is now Adam's antique store.

The right photo was taken by Ed Merrick in 1966 and again shows from right: First National Bank, Woodie's, Feissner's Hardware, Genetti's, Citizen's Bank ...

The number of businesses that have operated in Freeland is amazing. The Cottage Hotel might be the oldest remaining Freeland business, but please let me know of other contenders! In the new Businesses section you can find a huge array of many kinds of businesses. Additions and corrections are always welcome. Please visit and enjoy!


Gubi from St. Mary's
              Church Past Featured Photos: Here are links to three pages containing previously posted photos and information from the Featured Photos section of the home page: earliest postings, more recent ones, and the most recent ones. They are credited to the sources. Some of these have also been integrated into other parts of the site, while others are still waiting for that. Meanwhile, these past Featured Photos are always available via these links.

Merkt Market in
                the Birkbeck Block Note: Photo at top left of this page came from J. Zubach; identification from Gretchen Collins says that the business on the right in that photo was Merkt Confectionery, run by Charles and Lena Merkt. It was located in the Birkbeck Block on Centre and Main streets, and reputedly sold fabulous ice cream.

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Site contructed by C. Tancin, and last updated August 22, 2021.
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