The Casper Company was incorporated in 1905 by John L. Casper, a third generation North Carolina distiller. His grandfather produced liquor for family use, and his father grew the operation to serve the local community. John L. had a knack for business, and used his skills to increase their customer base through inventive marketing and eventually evolve into a mail order liquor company. This jug would have been one of the many ways the Casper Co. advertised – the bottle reads: “The Casper Co., Inc. Roanoke, VA. Lowest Priced Whiskey House. Send for Confidential List. Our Plant Covers 14 Acres.” Whiskey could be ordered in a number of different sizes, which determined the appearance/shape of the bottles they were housed in.
“According to A History of Roanoke by Raymond P. Barnes, the Casper Distillery was erected in 1906 when J. L. Casper purchased some of the old stockyard property on a hill later known as Casper’s Hill. Mr. Casper and Associates constructed the Casper Distillery on the site of the former Stockyard Hotel on the north side of Route 460 just east of the Shenandoah Valley Railroad. A big pipe passed over Old Hollins Road to carry slop from the distillery to feed cattle. The pure corn whiskey that was manufactured sold for $1.00 per quart, guaranteed five years old. If one cut an advertisement from the newspaper, an extra quart was given free with each purchase. The sweet mash whiskey sold for $.75 per quart and the distillery did a good business, particularly in West Virginia.” – Historical Society of Western Virginia