CHICAGO, Dec. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The iconic Smith Brothers brand, which had remained relevant since its conception in 1847, finally closed its factory doors for good on September 28, 2015. Producers of the first retail cough drops in the United States, the entire contents of the Smith Brothers Brighton Park, IL production facility will be sold at an open cry public auction on January 20, 2016. For those interested, a full listing with pictures of all items to be sold can be viewed online at www.rabin.com.
Dating back to 1850's, the company stayed within the Smith family for nearly 75 years, when it was sold to the Warner Lambert Company in 1926. Over the decades, the once-prevalent Smith cough drop fell into obscurity with the younger generation, though the name and image of the bearded brothers – as featured prominently on the packaging—remained a familiar one to those who remembered the brand's popularity before it was met with declining sales in the 1970's. Nowadays, cough drops represent a $688 million market, largely dominated by Halls and Ricola.
In an attempt to revitalize the brand, in November 2014, a Chicago based investment group launched a $3 million advertising campaign to promote the Smith Bros brand which had been around for over 165 years. While the campaign brought about such innovations as caffeine- and serotonin-infused drops, the effort came too late and failed to produce the necessary sales.
Starting promptly on Wednesday, January 20, at 10 a.m. CST, the one-day auction will include over 800 items, from vintage candy making machines dating back to the late 1900's, to high speed packaging lines installed as late as 2014. Richard Reese, CEO of Rabin, noted, "in addition to the production of cough drops, a good portion of the equipment can be utilized by manufacturers of hard and soft candies, as well as food and snack processors and packagers." Reese believes the history of the brand will draw attention from confectionery and snack food producers around the globe.
This past October, the contents of the factory were purchased by a group of industrial plant auctioneers, which included Chicago based PPL, Boston based Gordon Brothers, and Rabin Worldwide, Mr. Reese's firm which specializes in the sale of confectionery production and packaging machinery.
SOURCE Rabin Worldwide