Guide to the Edward Byrnes Collection 1869-1961

Senator John Heinz History Center

Summary Information

Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center
Edward Byrnes Collection
Byrnes, Edward
Collection Number
MSS 0676
Date [inclusive]
1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)
Language of Materials
The material in this collection is in English.
Reymer Brothers was established in 1846 by Philip Reymer and R. J. Anderson as the first confectionary store in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Reymer's sold candy and chocolates before acquiring the rights to produce Lemon Blennd from E.J.W. Keagy. The Edward Byrnes Collection contains ledger books, photographs, and advertisements documenting the history of Reymer Brothers’ products.
Sponsor Note
This collection has been made accessible as part of an NHPRC-funded Basic Processing grant.

Preferred Citation

Edward Byrnes Collection, 1869-1961, MSS 0676, Library and Archives Division, Senator John Heinz History Center

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Reymer Brothers (originally named Reymer and Anderson) was established in 1846 by Philip Reymer and R. J. Anderson as the first confectionary store in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. R.J. Anderson left the business in 1861 whereupon Philip’s brothers, Jacob and Harmar D. Reymer, developed the business into Reymer Brothers. In 1928 Reymer’s opened their Clark Building Store and Tea Room, the largest of their seven stores with tea rooms, and served full-course meals and provided complete candy service. Reymer Brothers was bought out by the H.J. Heinz Company in 1960 who also acquired the rights to their signature beverage, Lemon Blennd.

Lemon Blennd (also known as Lemn Blend or Lem-N-Blennd) was created in 1914 by E. J. W. Keagy, a druggist from the North Side of Pittsburgh, and was first sold as a frozen ice slush drink at his drugstore. Keagy distributed Blennd to neighboring drugstores until 1928 when he closed the store and established stands along the Atlantic City Boardwalk in New Jersey. In 1932 Reymer Brothers bought the rights to make the drink in hopes of boosting their summer sales. Initially, Blennd was only served in the Reymer tea rooms but because of demand it was soon introduced to the retail market as 12 and 24 oz concentrate cans. In 1953 Blennd was sold in 46 oz cans as a ready-to-serve drink. The name of the product also changed to “Blennd Orange-Lemon Flavored Drink” in order to meet government ingredient requirements. The H.J. Heinz Company bought out Reymer Brothers in 1960 and began producing the drink for sale in grocery stores. Heinz sold Lemon Blennd for twenty years before selling the rights to the drink to the Byrnes and Kiefer Company. B&K was established in 1902 in Pittsburgh as a manufacturer of food products and ingredients for the bakery industry. Upon acquiring the rights to Lemon Blennd, B&K returned the Reymer’s label to the product.

Edward G. Byrnes Jr. became president of Byrnes and Kiefer in 1977 and made the decision in 1979 to acquire Reymer’s Blennd from the H.J. Heinz Co. in order to diversify his business. He is the third generation in his family to run the company, succeeding his father, E.G. Byrnes, Sr., and his grandfather, E.C. Byrnes.

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Scope and Content Notes

The Edward Byrnes Collection consists of three boxes and two oversized items and documents the history of the Reymer Brothers candy company with speciic focus on the development and production of Lemon Blennd. Three scrapbooks (1869-1958) contain annotated and dated newspaper articles about the history of the company and its employees and associates, advertisements for Reymer Brothers’ candy and Blennd beverage, as well as photographs and death announcements of various business associates including the founders, presidents, and vice presidents of the company. The scrapbooks also contain shareholder reports (1941-1958), order forms (1941-1950), and invitations to new store openings (1903-1929).

There is also business correspondence, financial plans, and advertisements from after the Heinz acquisition of Reymer’s and the Lemon Blennd rights in 1960. Promotional materials include oversized product label designs, posters, audio advertisements, and an NBC video advertisement for the drink. There are also media and advertising studies on the profitability of Blennd conducted by the advertising company Ketchum MacLeod & Grove, Inc., between 1970 and 1980. Other photographs depict Reymer’s store fronts and candy selections and boxes from the early twentieth century.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Senator John Heinz History Center Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania , December 2011

Senator John Heinz History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Restrictions on Access


Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with the Senator John Heinz History Center. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Library and Archives of the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Acquisition Information

Gift from Edward Byrnes in 1995.

Archives accession # 1995.0254

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Sarah Ecklund on 12/15/2011.

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Related Materials

Related Materials

Schlereth-Berckmiller Family Papers and Photographs, c1910-c1940, acc# 2009.0255, Library and Archives Division, Senator John Heinz History Center

Separated Materials

To the museum: 95.154 - Lemon Blennd glass bottles, Reymer's Blennd metal container

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • H. J. Heinz Co. (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Reymer and Brothers, Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Byrnes and Kiefer Company (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Geographic Name(s)

  • Pittsburgh (Pa.)

Personal Name(s)

  • E.J.W Keagy
  • Edward G. Byrnes, Jr.
  • Harry N. Matchneer (d. 1936)
  • Philip Reymer (1824-1893)
  • Jacob Reymer (1832-1905)
  • Frederick Smitley (1868-1919)
  • John H. Smitley (d. 1917)


  • Advertising--Beverages--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh.
  • Advertising--Candy--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh.
  • Beverage industry--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh.
  • Beverages--Labeling--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh.
  • Candy industry--Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh.
  • Fruit drinks

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