1947 Ford Nesbitt’s Beverage Truck
Original price: $2,500.00 (estimated)
On loan from: Jerry and Barb Preissler, Giltner, NE
Number made: Unknown
Engine, etc.: 2-ton; flat head, 59AB, V-8, 80 hp
This truck was purchased in 1950 by Jerry Preissler’s father, Joe Preissler, who owned it until his death in 1987. Jerry used it to haul water tanks for sprayers on the farm. He began restoring it in 2003. The beverage body was rescued from a pasture where it had been used as a cattle shelter. Two beds were combined to form one during the restoration process.
Beverage trucks had four open floors or levels to carry cases of Nesbitt’s Orange soda. Wooden cases with individual compartments six deep and four across held 24 glass bottles of pop.
The Nesbitt Fruit Products Company was founded in 1924 by Hugh S. Nesbitt. They made syrups for use in soda fountains and, over time, a full line of fountain products including soda water, toppings for ice cream, and marketed branded dispensers and other fountain supplies.
The company produced Nesbitt’s Orange for soda fountains where it was mixed with five parts water. In 1938 – 39, they started bottling it and made it with 10% California orange juice. The brand was franchised to independent bottlers across the U. S. and the world. In addition to orange, other flavors were crème soda, strawberry, root beer, lemon-lime, and others. In 1948 there were 297 franchise bottlers in the U. S. and elsewhere.
The Nesbitt Fruit Products Company was sold to Clorox in 1972. In April, 1975 the Nesbitt franchise bottling operation was sold to Moxie Industries, Inc., of Atlanta. The Nesbitt bottling plant in Los Angeles closed in July, 1975.
In March, 1976 the plant, land, machinery and equipment of Nesbitt Food Products, Inc. were sold and in June, 1976 the company was merged into the Clorox Company and ceased to exist as a separate company. In 1999, Big Red Ltd. of Waco, TX acquired the Nesbitt brands.
Nesbitt’s Orange was the “Official Orange Drink” for Disneyland from its opening in 1955 into the 1960’s and was the only orange drink sold in the park. Marilyn Monroe was a model for the company in 1946.
Sources: “Antique Ford beverage truck read to roll”, Aurora News Register, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008 (special insert), pgs. 3 and 10.
http://www.theindependent.com/news/local/car-hobbyists-share-their-creations/article_c36e65a5-e1f0-520d-b764-4926e2bd4985.html (Scroll down)