White Rock “Fairy” Psyche – Whitestone, NY

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The White Rock “Fairy” Psyche (pronounced “SYKEE”) is the corporate logo and symbol of purity for the White Rock Beverage Company located in Whitestone, New York.

White Rock Beverages (White Rock Products Corporation), the nation’s oldest beverage company, was established in 1871, by pharmacist H.M. Colver after he purchased the White Rock natural spring and its surrounding 60 acres in Waukesha, Wisconsin (aka, “Saratoga of the West”) where he built a pavilion and hotel.

Colver’s sparkling water product was inspired by tales of the Potawatomi Indians and settlers who believed that the nearby White Rock natural spring had special medicinal powers.

Soon the White Rock elixir attracted vacationers and health enthusiasts who sought the curative qualities of the pure water derived from a spring where the water bubbled up through 1,400 feet of white magnesium rock. By 1876, the company was bottling and distributing the natural spring water throughout the country.

The Psyche corporate logo was based on a painting named “Psyche at Nature’s Mirror” by the German artist Paul Thumann.

When the execs at White Rock saw the painting on display at the Chicago’s World Fair in 1893, they thought the image of the kneeling, topless nymph would perfectly symbolize the concept of purity and so they procured the trademark rights and made Psyche the White Rock mascot (“The girl on the rock”).

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Psyche (Greek word for “butterfly” or “soul”) has appeared on millions of bottles and cans of White Rock sparkling water, tonic water and ginger ale for decades. Psyche made her debut on the White Rock mineral-water bottle in 1894. American women adopted Psyche’s hairstyle, calling it “Psyche’s Knot.”

In reality, what appears to be a woodland nymph or fairy gazing in a crystal clear pool of water at her reflection is actually the image of the Greek “goddess” Psyche.

According to Greek mythology, Psyche was the beautiful daughter of an ancient king. Much like the Disney story of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” where the wicked queen was jealous of one who was fairer than herself, Venus the goddess of love sent her son Eros (aka, Cupid, the god of love) down to earth to handle her rival, but instead, Eros fell in love with Psyche and carried her back to Paradise.

Of course, Venus was not very happy about their relationship. To eliminate her rival, Venus gave Psyche four tests, seemingly impossible to accomplish. In the end, Psyche survived the trials. Her life being saved by drinking a cup of magical ambrosia given by Jupiter, chief of the gods. Psyche then became a goddess and Venus gave Eros and Psyche her blessings for a happy life together.

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NOTE: In 1902, White Rock was featured at the coronation of England’s King Edward VII.

In 1915, the company used Santa in holiday spots to advertise its sparkling water and later in 1923 to sell its ginger ale products. Coca Cola had claimed they were the first to use Santa in advertisements, but White Rock beat them to it.

In 1924, White Rock was used at the christening/baptism of Gloria Vanderbilt.

In 1927, before his historic flight from New York to Paris in 1927, Charles Lindbergh christened his plane The Spirit of St. Louis with a bottle of White Rock Sparkling Water.

By the 1940’s, Psyche was depicted as a bit thinner and taller and sporting a blondish hairdo. She appeared in print ads telling people about the fine quality and purity of White Rock’s Mineral water products. Click on these examples: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7].

In the 1970s, fashion photographer Ton Andron interviewed more than 100 girls to find the perfect Psyche to reflect freshness, spirit and quality of the White Rock Sparkling Water products.

In 2001, White Rock unveiled a new Psyche logo for a unique 33-oz cobalt blue bottle.

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The new design was crafted by Eduardo Pires, a 21-year-old art student from the Parsons School of Design in Manhattan. The White Rock Collectors Association, a private organization for collectors and fans of White Rock, objected to the new Psyche logo. But don’t worry, you can still see the classic image of Psyche on currently produced bottles of White Rock’s Sparkling Seltzer.

White Rock Products Corporation
141-07 20th Avenue, Suite 403
Whitestone, NY 11357

White Rock Beverages (Website)
White Rock Collectors (Article)
NPR Interview (Radio Spot)

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About

Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Advertising Mascots, Beverages & Beer

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