Those Places Thursdays: Maxwell House Coffee – Good to the last drop!

Familiar with the old Maxwell House Coffee slogan  — Good to the last drop!? I’m sure you are! Well that slogan and the Maxwell House Coffee brand has been a major part of my paternal grandfather’s life the minute he began working at the coffee factory in Houston at age 21 in 1930!

Paternal Grandfather, Willie Taylor

My grandfather’s employee photo above, taken on 8 October 1968, is one of my favorites of him. By now he has been working for General Foods Maxwell House for 38 years and he’s only 59 years young!

Maxwell Houston Factory in Eastwood area of Houston, Texas

The Maxwell House building featured above with its giant neon cup of coffee, has been a major landmark visible from three of the major freeways – US 59, I-10, and I-45 – of this city for many years! I recently came upon a very interesting history lesson about the Maxwell House Coffee Factory where my grandfather worked on the popular Houston Architecture Info Forum (HAIF). According to one of the forum members, [1]

From the Houston Press, 8/5/46, p. 1 – General Foods Maxwell House Coffee buys the old Ford plant @ 3900 Harrisburg, will move from their current facility at 2107 Preston. Press says the plant was built by Ford ’25 years ago,’ ‘abandoned by Ford before the war.’ It was used as an assembly plant for aircraft parts during the war and briefly as a warehouse by Pepsi after the war. GF moved in the following spring.”

For starters, I never knew the Ford Company even had an assembly plant in Houston, and that the Maxwell House coffee factory you see in the picture above was that plant! But that’s not all!

In the 40s and 50s, most Fords on the road in Texas sported an oval sticker (the shape of the Ford logo) in the rear window or on the rear bumper or trunk lid which proclaimed ‘Made in Texas by Texans.'”

I tell you I learn something new and amazing about my family’s history and this city I’ve called home for over 50 years all the time!

Willie Taylor (left) working in the service area of Maxwell House Coffee Factory in Houston, Texas in 1968

Back in the day, you could ask anyone who lived in this town what was one of the best smells in Houston and their answer would be immediate — Maxwell House coffee factory of course!

If you have my paternal grandfather, Willie Taylor, who worked for Maxwell House Coffee in Houston, TX in your family research, let me hear from you because . . .
I’m claiming kin!

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Source Citation:

1. Williamson, B. (2008, October 6). Maxwell House History [Maxwell House History: post #9]. Retrieved August 8, 2013, from http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/17811-maxwell-house-history/?p=282573