As part of its 150th anniversary celebration, Bermuda-based Bacardi Limited shares a glimpse into the heritage safeguarded in the Bacardi Archive of more than 150 years of documents and authentic historical assets.
This rare look showcases the Bacardi rum brand’s creation and international expansion to more than 150 markets, as well as the history of the Company’s survival through adversities and critical success to become the world’s largest privately-held spirits company.
“The Bacardi Archive started with a shoe box of slides in 1998. The task to reconstruct our history was monumental because 98 years of assets were destroyed, scattered around the world with family members, or left when the Company’s Cuban assets were confiscated in 1960 by revolutionary forces,” says Bacardi Archivist Patty Suau.
“In a little more than a decade, we have been able to re-acquire some of the most interesting pieces of our past. We have a remarkable heritage highlighted with creative marketing campaigns during the U.S. Prohibition era, a starring role in the ‘golden age of cocktails,’ and international growth while in exile after the Cuban Revolution — all under seven generations of family ownership.”
Fourteen years later and hundreds of thousands of hours of meticulous documentation, The Bacardi Archive houses more than 30,000 catalogued assets that date back as far as the 1850s – original documents from the founding of the Company, replicas of the original distillery and first Alembic still, early representations of the Bacardi bat logo, medals awarded since the 1870s for taste and quality, more than a century of newspaper articles, bat-themed jewelry from cuff links to necklaces, decades of broadcast and print ads, one-of-a-kind promotional items including pins and coasters, Prohibition-era branded glassware, antique BACARDI rum bottles, a collection of limited-edition blends for special occasions such as the turn of the millennium, and an extensive Latin American art collection, among other precious items.
“We have an amazing heritage that tells the story of a pioneering spirit that not only defines, but helped create a cocktail culture that began with my great-great grandfather in 1862 in Santiago de Cuba,” says Facundo L. Bacardi, Chairman of Bacardi Limited and a fifth generation Bacardi family member.
“The Bacardi Archive captures our heritage and offers a connection to the resilient spirit of the Bacardí family, the Company, and the world-favorite Bacardi rum.”