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June 2012
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170-foot ketchup bottle for sale in Illinois

BELLEVILLE, Ill. - Would you relish having a towering ketchup bottle? That emblem of roadside Americana could be yours if you fork over enough money.

A "For Sale" sign is in front of what's billed as the "World's Largest Bottle of Catsup," the landmark that once served as a water tower in the city of Collinsville, east of St. Louis, the Belleville News-Democrat reported Tuesday.

The asking price for the 65-year-old, 170-foot-tall landmark is $200,000, with the warehouse adjacent to it listed at $300,000.

The landmark replicates a bottle of Brooks Old Original Rich and Tangy Catsup, which was produced in the buildings beneath the tower. The 100,000-gallon tower held water - never ketchup - and it hasn't been used since Brooks moved out in the early 1960s.

The plant later became a warehouse used for shipping and trucking operations of Bethel-Eckert, which for four decades serviced military commissaries before losing its contracts. Larry Eckert, the owner, initially considered selling the ketchup bottle and warehouse separately, then decided one can't go without the other.

"Whoever would be interested, you'd need the additional land anyway," he said.

Eckert said because the ketchup bottle is on the National Register of Historic Places, he expects the eventual buyer to preserve it.

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