World’s Largest Ketchup Bottle – Weird Roadside Attraction

World's Largest Ketchup Bottle Sign

I have come across many weird roadside attractions on my road trips around the United States. This giant bottle of ketchup is one that I have seen many times since my family moved down to the area. But, I never made it over there to take its photograph until recently. Here is everything you need to know about the World’s Largest Ketchup Bottle.

History

World's Largest Catsup Bottle in Collinsville, Illinois

The World’s Largest Ketchup Bottle was built-in 1949 as a water tower for the G. S. Suppiger Company. They thought it would be great to have the water tower resemble their product, Brooks catsup. The water tower is 70-ft tall, sitting on a 100-ft tower. If you want to stop to get pictures, there is a large parking lot at the Black Friday Liquidations/Restaurant Supply next to the tower.

For 60 years, this catsup bottle has been a roadside attraction for people driving along Highway 159, just south of downtown Collinsville, Illinois. At one point, this landmark was up for sale and even marked for demolition. But, through the efforts of the Catsup Bottle Preservation Group, they have restored the bottle to its original appearance. In 2002, the bottle was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Did you know that this giant ketchup bottle was talked about in the Twilight movie, Eclipse?

Catsup vs. Ketchup

Close-up of the Largest Ketchup Bottle

What is the difference between catsup and ketchup? Absolutely nothing! They are both a tomato-based condiment with vinegar and spices added. The word catsup was used early in the 17th century.

When did catsup change to ketchup? It was due to the marketing efforts of the H. J. Heinz Company. The company didn’t produce tomato-based ketchup until 1876 and originally referred to their product as catsup. To stand out from the competition, Heinz changed the name to ketchup in the 1880s. Ketchup caught on and is the more popular version’s name of this condiment today.

Summary

How many weird roadside attractions have you found on your road trips through the United States? I always enjoy stopping and finding out more about them. How many of you take detours to find these off the beaten path oddities? On your next road trip, take the road less traveled, and you might come across one of these beauties. They are definitely conversation pieces for traveling. Happy Travels!

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Further Reading

If you would like to see more Weird Roadside Attractions or are planning a road trip, check out these posts:

 

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