PEI Museum & Heritage Foundation
G.H. Simmons

During a hot summer day on Prince Edward Island, nothing could hit the spot like a beverage from G.H. Simmons. A company passed down from father to son for three generations, it provided Islanders a sweet way to cool down and quench their thirst for nearly a century.

The first Simmons factory was purchased by George Simmonds Sr. (the “d” in Simmonds was eventually dropped) in 1855 from Elizabeth Seldon, a local ginger beer and lemon syrup manufacturer. The building was located in Charlottetown on Prince Street, near the corner of Grafton Street.

Simmonds eventually passed it onto his son George H. Simmons, who passed it onto his son George L. Simmons III, who then passed it onto his son Louis H. Simmons.

A second Simmons factory was purchased on Euston Street in the 1860s, and a third factory was purchased in the late 1870s on Spring Park Road.

What began as a ginger beer business soon became a company offering a wide range of carbonated beverages. Old Island newspapers reveal G.H. Simmons ads, many of which were run in the summer months. One in particular from August 1911, stated “You can drink our carbonated beverages with perfect confidence. Only the finest materials are used in their manufacture.” A list of flavours was provided, including Ginger Ale, Vino, Lemon Sour, Cola Champagne, Dry Ginger Ale, Cream Soda, Sarsaparilla, Orange Phosphate, Raspberry Soda, and Stone Ginger Beer.

The company produced beverages for almost 100 years. This particular bottle’s white maple leaf design dates back to the 1930s, when they began using applied colour labels.

About Molly Pendergast

As a self-proclaimed "broke bon vivant," Molly spends a lot of time thinking about food, talking about food, and trying new food. She is a recent graduate of Carleton University's Journalism School and loves nothing more than telling/listening to a good story. If you ever need to chat with her, the topic of baked goods is usually a great place to start.

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