The entrance to the Tampa Vernor’s Ginger Ale bottling plant at 211 E. Platt St. (today’s Channelside Drive) in downtown Tampa is shown in the 1949 “then” photo. A three-arch entryway stood beneath what then was touted as the largest animated sign board in the Southeast. Two of the company’s gnome mascots (named Woody, after the company’s process of aging the soft drink in oak barrels) teeter-tottered on the giant billboard, which measured 32 feet high by 70 feet wide. The Tampa Convention Center now is on the site where the bottling plant once stood.
Greg S. Carr