O.Berk KOLS Containers, Inc

O.Berk KOLS Containers, Inc


AboutO.Berk KOLS Containers, Inc

Our Beginnings

In 1910, Osias Berk founded the company that still bears his name. The company was located in Newark, NJ and its customer base consisted mostly of chemical plants along the Passaic River and ethnic food suppliers, such as pickle packers, in the city’s Iron Bound section.

At that time, automatic bottle-making machinery hadn’t even been invented. O.Berk’s main operation consisted of redistributing second-hand bottles and jars (there were no plastic containers at the time), which were collected, washed, resold and distributed by horse-drawn wagons. Because bottles and jars weren’t yet threaded, closures were corks and paper disks, instead of screw tops, pumps and sprays. O.Berk’s competition at the time came from a number of Brooklyn, NY distributors, many of whom O.Berk® acquired in successive years.

THE 1920’S


…the decade of jazz music, flappers and finally the start of the great depression in 1929 saw some monumental changes in the O.Berk® Company. The automatic glass bottle manufacturing machine, patented on August 2, 1904 by Michael J. Owens, came into wide use, replacing the semi-automatic, mouth-blown glass production methods that relied on heavy child labor practices in glass manufacturing facilities. The advent of automatic glass bottle production revolutionized the glass industry and O.Berk® took a giant leap forward.

In 1923, the Owens Bottle Company (the name of Mike Owen’s company until 1929 when the name was changed to Owens Illinois Glass Co., following the acquisition of the Illinois Glass Company), added screw threads to its automatic bottle machine – and the metal screw cap was born!

Isaac Goldstein, great grandfather of current O.Berk® President, Marc Gaelen, purchased O.Berk® from founder Osias Berk, ushering in a new era of family-based ownership, which now runs four generations deep.