Backyard History


ALEXANDRIA, VA – Every so often I type in “Alexandria, VA” to see what will pop up on eBay. Today it was this CRASS soda bottle.

I never knew we bottled a drink called CRASS here in the Port City though maybe it’s a good name to resurrect for one of the local brewing companies.

Apparently, the beverage was not given its name because of any opinions about Alexandrians, but was in fact, named for James E. Crass, one of the earliest franchisers of the Central Coca-Cola Company, Inc, who acquired his first Coca-Cola bottling plant in South Carolina back in 1899 and then very successfully spread his cola crassness throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

Unfortunately for Crass, his own name brand bottled at his Coca-Cola plant is found in the history books with other notable, but failed attempts to be the hip new pop, like Pepsi Blue, Tab Clear and who can forget, the floppiest of all flops, New Coke.

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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