Located just south of downtown Collinsville, Illinois, stands the world’s largest Catsup bottle, a towering 170-foot structure that proudly advertises Brooks’ original rich and tangy ketchup. Originally built in 1949 as the water tower for a now-closed Brooks Foods plant at a cost of over $23,000, the bottle sits on top of a 100-foot stand and, if filled with ketchup, would hold up to 640,000 standard-sized bottles. Today, it holds 100,000 gallons of water.
Thanks to local preservation efforts, the tower was restored to its original glory in 1995 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. The restoration, which raised over $70,000 through the sale of shirts and donations from across the country, included sandblasting and painting the bottle, as well as installing lighting.
Each July, Collinsville celebrates the Catsup Bottle Festival, a charming event filled with fun and excitement, including eating and hula hoop contests, a car show, the Little Princess Tomato and Sir Catsup Contest, and live entertainment.
The giant bottle, which won Midwest Living’s Hometown Pride Awards Program in 1995, is a quirky representation of mid-20th century roadside Americana and a 20-minute drive from the more well-known tourist destinations in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, including the Gateway Arch.
To visit the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle, head south of downtown Collinsville on Illinois Hwy. 159 and take Collinsville Exit 159 off of I-55/70. The bottle is located just 20 minutes from the Gateway Arch and downtown St. Louis.
800 S. Morrison Ave.
Collinsville, Illinois, 62234
Photo by Rozenskip/depositphotos.com.