The founders of Obermeyer & Liebmann were Joseph Liebmann and David Obermeyer, both of whom were sons-in- law of Samuel Liebmann, who founded the S Liebmann’s Sons brewery in 1855.
According to his April 5, 1895 obituary published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle:
Joseph Liebmann was born in Wurtemberg, Germany on September 8, 1938. He came to this country in 1859 and was engaged in the dry goods business in New York. In 1861 he married his cousin Fanny, the youngest daughter of Samuel Liebmann of Brooklyn.
Seven years later he came to Brooklyn and together with his brother-in-law incorporated the firm of Obermeyer & Liebmann, brewers, situated between Bushwick Avenue, Forrest and Bremen Streets. The plant has grown extensively and is now one of the largest breweries in the metropolis.
Joseph’s brother-in-law, David Obermeyer, according to his December 17, 1887 obituary in the Brooklyn Times Union, was born in Germany in 1825 and came to the United States in 1852.
In 1868 he associated himself with Mr. Liebmann in business and commenced the business as brewers and malters, which has since become so large.
The business was listed in the 1871 Brooklyn Directory with an address of Bremen, near Forest. Later directories would include the more formal address of 67 Bremen Street
After the deaths of the founding partners the business passed on to their sons Theodore Obermeyer and Henry Liebmann. The Copartnership and Corporation Directory of the Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens 1913-1914 named Theodore Obermeyer Pres and Henry Liebmann VP. The 1922 edition of the same directory listed the same officers but listed the address as 50 Stanwix. It should be noted that Bremen Street was renamed Stanwix Street so I assume that the actual location remained the same.
Obermeyer & Liebman incorporated in 1889. The NY Times reported on January 16, 1889:
The firm of Obermeyer and Liebmann was incorporated today with a capital of $300,000 to operate in New York and Brooklyn in the manufacture of malt and malt liquors. The trustees are Joseph Liebmann, Theodore Obermeyer and Henry Liebmann.
It appears that the company began bottling their beers at the brewery sometime in the mid to late 1890’s This legal notice dated February 8,1893 and found in the March 3, 1893 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle made no mention of bottles and stated:
Obermeyer and Liebmann do hereby certify that they are engaged in the manufacture of malt liquor for sale in butts, hogsheads, barrels, half barrels, casks, quarter casks, or kegs with their name or other private marks respectively branded or stamped thereon. That the following is a description of the name used and other private marks or marks branded and stamped or to be branded and stampedthereon, to wit:
OBERMEYER & LIEBMANN, BKLYN NY
That the county in which such malt liquor is manufactured is the County of Kings – Dated February 8, 1893.
Another notice, this one dated September 10, 1900 and published in the September 21 and September 28 editions of several Brooklyn newspapers, included their embossed markings on bottles:
On some of said bottles; OBERMEYER & LIEBMANNS BOTG. DEPT.” arranged in a circle, in the center whereof is a symbol representing the sun, and under said arrangement the words “NEW YORK CITY REGISTERED.” and on the opposite side of said bottles a monogram composed of the letters “OL”
Over the years I’ve have found several bottles with blob finishes that have included this exact embossing.
The bottling notice goes on to mention the embossing of several independent bottlers as well so it appears their beers were not bottled exclusively at the brewery.
Whether these bottlers were exclusive to Obermann & Liebmann or bottled the brands of other brewers as well is not clear.
A June 21, 1921 article in the “Beverage Journal” indicated that Obermeyer & Liebmann remained open at the start of Prohibition making cereal beverages, but apparently hit hard by National Prohibition, they auctioned off many if not all of their store front properties in 1923. A notice for one such auction was published in the May 8, 1923 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
Ultimately, in 1924, Obermeyer and Liebmann merged with Samuel Liebmann’s original company, S Liebmann’s Sons, and the combined business was renamed Liebmann Breweries, Inc. Liebman Breweries was the name listed in the NY Telephone Directory by 1924.
Information on Liebmann Breweries, Inc., after the merger, is included in the post on this site entitled “S. Liebmann Sons Brewing Co.”
S. Liebmann’s Sons Brewing Co.
Over the years I’ve found quite a few Obermeyer and Liebmann bottles embossed with a sunshine face. They are champagne style bottles with a tooled blob finish from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s and tooled crowns from the 1900’s to 1910’s. The tooled crowns lack the “OL” on the back.
I’ve also found a tooled crown with the company name embossed in a triangular form.
Finally, I actually found a machine made blob top (only one of two I’ve ever seen from this era).