Emil Schlicher was the successor to the Farmingdale, Long Island mineral water and bottling business of Schnaderbeck and Runge. A nephew of Richard Runge, Schlicher likely took over the business sometime in 1908. That year he’s included on a New York State listing of liquor tax certificate holders with an address of Fulton and Main, the former address of Schnaderbeck and Runge. More information on Schnaderbeck and Runge can be found in another post on this site. Schnaderbeck & Runge
Referring to the business as the “Enterprise Bottling Works” during 1909 and much of 1910 Schlicher ran this advertisement on an almost weekly basis in Belmore, Long Island’s local newspaper, the”South Side Messenger.”
In 1920, census records continued to list Schlicher’s occupation as “soda water manufacturer,” so it’s reasonable to assume that he was still in business during the early 1920’s. Then, on January 16, 1925, a legal notice published in the “Farmingdale Post” announced that the business, now located on Elizabeth Street in Farmingdale, was up for sale.
This dates Schlicher’s proprietorship to the 17 year period from 1908 to 1925. That being said the Enterprise Bottling Company survived the sale and was still active in the Spring of 1928 when this advertisement appeared in several editions of the “Farmingdale Post.”
I haven’t been able to find any record of the business in the 1930’s.
The bottle I found is mouth blown with a blob finish. It’s a shade under 11-inches tall and roughly 3-1/2 inches in diameter. It likely dates to the early Schlicher years, say 1908 to 1912.
I’ve also found the lower portion of a smaller bottle that would have been approximately 7 – 8 inches tall and likely had a crown finish.
The name Mimnaugh in Far Rockaway dates back to at least 1867 when Curtin’s Long Island directory named James Mimnaugh as the proprietor of a “country store.” He’s not listed in the 1865 directory suggesting that the Mimnaugh business got its start sometime in the mid-1860’s.
At some point in the early to mid 1870’s it appears that his son, also named James, joined the business at which time it operated under the name “J & J Mimnaugh”until 1887 when James Mimnaugh, Sr. left and turned complete control of the store over to his son. An announcement to this effect, dated June 3, 1877, appeared in several editions of Freeport Long Island’s “South Side Signal.”
JAMES MIMNAUGH, JR., would inform the public that he has assumed entire control of the store business conducted under the firm name of J. & J. Mimnaugh.
The announcement referred to the business as:
…and went on to say:
A year later Mimnaugh still owned the business when it was burglarized on a Sunday morning. The burglary was reported in the March 13, 1878 edition of the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle.”
At one 0’clock on Sunday morning thieves effected an entrance to the store of James Mimnaugh, in Far Rockaway. They bored holes around the lock, knocked the wood out and thus were enabled to unlock the door. The hand of one of the men was cut in the operation. They had a wagon and one horse, and carried off dry goods, boots and shoes and groceries to the amount of $680. The burglary was not discovered until seven o’clock the next morning.
Up to this point it’s clear that the business was still operating as a general or country store, so it’s possible that Mimnaugh was selling bottled beer and soda, however, if he was it certainly wasn’t apparent in his advertising. In fact, I can’t connect the Mimnaugh name with bottling until 1889 when this item appeared in the July 13th edition of the “South Side Signal.”
On complaint of Charles L. Looker, agent of the Bottler’s Association, Henry Lotz, of Rockville Centre, and James E Mimnaugh of Far Rockaway, were arrested on the charge of using and trafficking in bottles belonging to Pflug and Ackley and E. Matthews, bottlers , of Hempstead. They were tried before Justice B. V. Clowes and found guilty. Lotz was fined $65 and Mimnaugh $10. Lotz had 198 bottles in his possession and Mimnaugh 20.
Subsequently, in the 1890’s, I’ve been able to find three Far Rockaway business listings for James Mimnaugh all of which suggest bottling. In 1890, he’s listed with the occupation “liquors” with an address of Central Avenue, near Cornaga Avenue. Later, in 1898 and 1899, he’s listed as a “bottler of lager beer” at the corner of Carleton Avenue and R.R. Avenue. During the same 1890’s period there’s no listing I can find that associated Mimnaugh with a general store, dry goods or groceries. By 1900, census records list Mimnaugh’s occupation as a day laborer and business directories in the early 1900’s don’t associate him with any bottling related categories.
This all suggests that Mimnaugh got out of the country store and established a bottling business sometime in the 1880’s and continued it until 1900 at the latest.
The bottle I found is a mouth blown champagne style with a blob finish. It fits the late 1880’s to 1890’s time frame when Mimnaugh was certainly in the bottling business.
Established on November 29, 1897, the Consumers’Park Brewing Company was a syndicate of saloon owners that operated Brooklyn’s Consumers’ Park Brewery from 1900 until 1913. This early 1900’s photograph of the brewery recently appeared on an internet sale site.
The circumstances that lead up to the formation of the company were laid out in a December 23, 1897 story published in Brooklyn’s “The Standard Union.”
The production of beer and ale by the large breweries during the past few years has reached an output that hardly seems possible. The output has become centered in the hands of a few large brewers, who by combination have put the output in their own control. A number of the heavy consumers, including a class of dealers who use from 1,000 to 5,000 barrels annually, conceived of an idea of forming a syndicate to manufacture for their own use beer and ale, thus accruing to themselves the profit that heretofore went to the large brewers. It was this proposition that first gave life to what has now become a regularly incorporated company since November 29, 1897, under the name of “The Consumers’ Park Brewing Company…”
The company’s plan, which included much more than just the manufacture and distribution of their own beer, was detailed in a January 13, 1898 “Brooklyn Daily Eagle” story.
The block bounded by Franklin and Washington Avenues, and Montgomery Street, is owned by the company. It is in one of the best parts of the city and adjoins Institute Park and the Botanical Gardens. It is but a stones throw from the Willink entrance of Prospect Park. On this site an immense brewery will be erected, but its promoters say there will be nothing about it in appearance that will not be in keeping with the location. Architecturally the brewery will be an ornament. The grounds around it will be beautifully laid out in walks and drives and here and there a fountain. A hotel will be built with broad verandas running around it and a band will give concerts twice a day. The cuisine will be of a high order, it is promised.
There will be a beer garden with tables under small trees, where Brooklynites can drink beer and listen to the music in the hotel. For those who care to dance there will be built a large ballroom, and there, too, an orchestra will be stationed. There will be a bicycle ring and bowling alleys. Particular attention will be paid to the class of people admitted.
Two years later, with the brewery scheduled to open in the first week of January, the company had assembled over 200 stockholders. The upcoming opening was announced in the December 31, 1899 edition of the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle.”
The new plant of the Consumers’ Park Brewing Company, the stockholders of which number more than 200 saloon keepers in this city and vicinity, and which was organized to fight the trust is to open its doors for business on January 6. On that date the first beer made by the new brewery will be delivered, and it is expected that the saloon men interested in the concern will substitute beer of their own manufacture for that of other brewers.
Advertisements for the “opening” that also included an invitation to inspect the new brewery appeared in several local New York and New Jersey newspapers that week.
Herman Raub, a restaurant owner and hotel keeper, was serving as president of the Consumers Park Brewing Company at the time the brewery opened its doors that January.
That being said, he almost didn’t make it through the opening day festivities when the temporary platform he was seated on collapsed. The January 5, 1900 edition of “The Times Union” told the story.
A bad accident marked the formal opening and inspection of the Consumers’Park Brewery at 946-973 Franklin Avenue, yesterday. The company entertained guests on Wednesday and the festivities continued yesterday afternoon. During the afternoon for the amusement of those assembled the heavy truck horses were put through their paces in the brewery yard and the trucks loaded with kegs. The guests were seated on a temporary platform where they could see. Right in the midst of the performance the platform collapsed and the occupants were thrown heavily to the ground.
Raub survived the event with a broken foot and went on to serve as president until 1907. This photograph of Raub, along with the company’s entire board of Directors appeared in the July 1, 1900 edition of the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle.”
Shortly after the brewery opened, the promised hotel, cafe and concerts were all up and running on the brewery grounds, as evidenced by announcements that began appearing in the Brooklyn newspapers in the Fall of 1901. The following, touting a concert by the “Tyrolean Zither and Warbler Sextet,” appeared in The December 22, 1901 edition of the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle.”
In case you’re interested, the show was reviewed in the January 19, 1902 edition of the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle”
The Tyrolean Zither and Warbler Sextet had made quite a hit in their Sunday concerts at the Consumers’ Park Brewery, opposite the Willing entrance to Prospect Park. They appear in national costume and the snap and sparkle of their music are very pleasing.
The above advertisement finished up with the phrase::
Always on Draught, the adjacent Consumers’ Park Brewing Co.’s AMERICAN STANDARD BEER.
A lager, according to their January, 1900 grand opening announcements, that brand was being produced at the brewery from day one.
The “American Standard” Beer, light and dark, one of the best brews in the market, will be on draught at all our customers’, on and after Saturday, January 6, 1900.
Four months later, in the Spring of 1900, the company introduced a Bock Beer as well. This advertisement inviting the retail trade to their “First Bock Beer Festival” appeared in the April 1, 1900 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.”
Their Bock Beer Festival ultimately went on to become an annual spring time event, however, it was their “American Standard” that was the brewery’s number one seller. A story commemorating the company’s one year anniversary provided some details. It appeared in the January 5, 1901 issue of the “Standard Union.”
The Consumers’ Park Brewing Company’s opening a year ago will be recollected by many. Since that time the officers, headed by the president, Herman Raub, have made the company one of the leading breweries in Brooklyn. A few days ago the company published a statement which shows that the sales for the first year nearly reached 72,000 barrels, and that a dividend of 7 percent, was payable Jan. 15, 1901. This is a remarkable showing, considering that a year ago the company was a novice, and credit is due to the management for its ability and intelligence in obtaining such satisfactory results.
While the above advertisement mentioned a first year production of 72,000 barrels, an advertisement included in the same edition of “The Times Union” strove to be more accurate. It was, in fact, only 71,953 11/12 barrels.
“American Standard’s” main clientele was the company’s 200 or so stockholders, however, they did have at least one unique customer and from a marketing perspective they certainly made the most of it. Consider the following story that appeared in the February 24, 1902 edition of “The Brooklyn Citizen..”
BROOKLYN BEER FOR PRINCE HENRY
It Was Ordered from the Consumers’ Park Brewing Company and Delivered in Style.
All the beer used on board of the Kaiser’s yacht Hohenzollern is supplied by the Consumers’ Park Brewing Company, of Brooklyn. It is certainly a recognition of the progress of American industry if these German sailors select a strictly American beer to quench their thirst and the brewing company can justly be proud of this fact.
The Consumers’ Brewing Company had a wagon built specially for the purpose of sending the beer on board. The special delivery wagon attracted considerable attention going through the streets of New York and Brooklyn. Being decorated in white and gold, showing the imperial crown and the German colors on each side, it certainly presented a most impressive appearance. The brewery had no difficulty in selecting four beautiful horses from its large stable, as all the horses are first class in every respect. The horses’ harnesses are richly ornamented with silk ribbons and rosettes. In order to promptly deliver the beer the managers of the brewery had two of its best drivers, dressed in tasteful uniform, placed in charge of this fine team.
Versions of this story appeared in several Brooklyn newspapers that day each of which was followed up with this advertisement.
At some point the brewery even added a “Hohenzollern Brau,” to their beer menu, as evidenced by this October 5, 1907 advertisement found in the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle.” By that time they were also making a “Double Stout” and “India Pale Ale” as well.
In 1907, Herman Raub was forced out as president by the company’s Board of Directors, replaced by August Ludeman. Raub’s August 6, 1915 obituary in the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle” suggested that the reasoning behind his removal was never revealed:
Mr. Raub lost out in the Consumers’ Park Brewery venture. After he had organized it and had long been its president and general manager he was forced out for a reason that has never become public by the board of directors in 1907. He took the case to court at the time in an attempt to prevent his removal but was removed before he could serve an injunction he had obtained.
Six years later, in 1913, the Consumers’ Park Brewing Company merged with the New York and Brooklyn Brewing Company. The merger was reported in the January 3, 1913 edition of the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle.”
Another step toward the consolidation of the breweries of Brooklyn has been taken by the directors of the Consumers’ Park Brewing Company and of the New York and Brooklyn Brewing Company, who have drawn up an agreement for the merger of the two concerns into what will be styled as the Interboro Brewing Company.
The stockholder vote held on January 15, 1913 was unanimous and the plan moving forward was summarized in a January 23, 1913 “Brooklyn Daily Eagle” story.
The plant of the New York and Brooklyn, which in itself, represents a merger of several minor brewing companies. will eventually be shut down, all of the output henceforth to be manufactured at the Consumers plant, which is said to be one of the finest in Brooklyn. While no definite plans have yet been formulated as to the ultimate disposition of the New York and Brooklyn’s plant, it is probable that a new company may be formed and the plant converted into an artificial ice plant,
The new Interboro Brewing Company is now the third largest brewery in the borough.
Over the next several years, the brewery operated under the Interboro (sometimes Interborough) Brewing Company name. During this time, newspaper stories suggest that the former Consumers Park facility was noted more for their safety violations than for their product. The one receiving the most attention involved a smoke condition that continuously impacted nearby Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The situation was described in a March 16, 1916 “Times Union” story.
The Interborough Brewing Company of 964 Franklin Avenue, was fined $250 today in the Court of Special Sessions for violating the Sanitary Law. Frank H. Schmitz, of 99 Hawthorne Street, engineer of the concern, pleaded guilty.
Charles Ebbett, Jr., claimed that the dense smoke coming from the plant of this company had caused $40,000 damage to Ebbetts Field.
“We had to paint all the fences and the stands,” said Mr. Ebbetts. “Because of the coating on them caused by the black smoke from this brewing company. We lost a lot of patronage too, because people got tired of having their hats and cloths ruined and getting cinders in their eyes.
Schmitz told Justices Salmon, Gavin and Edwards that he has ordered a better grade of coal, but that as yet he had been unable to have it delivered to him.
Whether the better grade of coal helped is not clear however the situation likely resolved itself when the brewery shut down sometime in 1917 or 1918. At that time the rationing of fuel as a result of World War I, not to mention looming Prohibition, was taking its toll on the brewing industry. A September 7, 1918 story in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle made it clear that the Interboro Brewing Company had been extremely hard hit.
An official of the Interborough Brewing Company, formerly the Consumers’ Park Brewing Company, said:
“The situation is very hard on us. Of course we are closed now and have been for some time. We closed because of high taxes and the lack of fuel and material. We were among the first to comply with the suggestion of the Breweries Board of Trade to consolidate and the Ebling plant has been making our beer.”
An advertisement in the May 6, 1919 edition of the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle,” signaled the official end of the plant that had opened on January 6, 1900.
Several of the original brewery buildings remain to this day. This is evident by comparing the early 1900’s photograph of the brewery with a similar view from today, courtesy of Google Maps.
The two buildings in the foreground of todays view are clearly visible as the third and fourth buildings in the older photo. The larger building is also visible in both photos however it appears that the original pitched roof has been removed.
The bottle I found is a champagne style, approximately 12-ounces in size. Machine made, it likely dates to the latter half of the 1900 to 1913 time frame when the brewery operated under that name.
The embossing on the bottle includes the company’s trademark, described like this in the November 20, 1899 edition of the “American Brewer’s Review:”
Essential Features: The representation of a broken triangular feature, composed of three diamond shaped figures, arranged with their adjacent points or apices touching.
The trademark (no. 33,658) was dated October 31, 1899 in the U.S. patent records; several months prior to the brewery’s grand opening.
Three generations of the Hupfel family owned and operated two breweries located in and around New York from the mid-1800’s up through the start of Prohibition. One was situated in New York City’s Borough of Manhattan and the other in the Westchester County town of Morrisania, that later became part of the Bronx.
The Manhattan location got its start in 1854 when a German immigrant named Anton Hupfel along with several partners established a brewery on East 38th Street. The founding of the brewery along with its early history was described in a publication entitled “One Hundred Years of Brewing,” published in 1903.
In 1854 John Roemmelt, Anton Hupfel and Dr. Assenheimer, under the firm name of John Roemmelt & Company, founded a brewery in New York City, in Thirty Eighth Street, between Second and Third Avenues. In 1856 Andrew Leicht, Charles K. Leicht and John M. Leicht purchased Dr. Assenheimer’s interest, and two years later (1858) Anton Hupfel bought out Messrs. Roemmelt and Leicht.
Much of this history is supported in the N.Y.C. directories where Roemmelt & Company was first listed in 1855/1856 as brewers with an address of 151 and 153 East 38th Street. By 1858/1859 Anton Hupfel was listed individually as a brewer on East 38th Street.
Later, in 1863, Hupfel acquired his Morrisania brewery. Its history prior to Hupfel’s acquisition is somewhat muddled. According to “One hundred Years of Brewing:”
About 1857 Xavier Gnant built a small brewery in New York City, which he operated until his death. His widow (Eliza) married a Mr. Schoemig, who in 1863, disposed of the business to Anton Hupfel.
Records associated with an 1868 Westchester County Supreme Court Case, “Xavier Gnant against Anton Hupfel,” tell a different story. They indicate that Xavier’s brother, George Gnant actually established the brewery and was the Gnant actually married to Eliza. In 1857 George deeded the brewery to Xavier in an effort to protect the property from the claims of an ex-wife. Though the property was deeded to Xavier, it was George who continued to run the business and it was his death in January, 1862, not Xavier’s, that resulted in Eliza’s marriage to Schoeming and the sale of the brewery to Hupfel; a sale that Xavier would go on to unsuccessfully contest.
A reference to the brewery found in the 1858/1859 N.Y.C Directory refers to the business as G. Gnant & Co. which serves to support this version of the brewery’s early history. Either way, it’s quite certain that by the end of 1863 Hupfel was running the brewery.
The Supreme Court records generally located the brewery in an area bounded by streets formerly named Carr Avenue, Cliff Street and Avenue A in the Town of Morrisania, with the 1858/1859 directory listing its address as 93 Avenue A. In 1874, Morrisania, along with much of the surrounding area west of the Bronx River, was annexed to New York City and ultimately became part of the Bronx. At that point N.Y.C directories were listing the brewery’s address on St. Ann’s Avenue (3rd Ave.).
Both breweries operated under Anton Hupfel’s name until 1873 when, according to “One Hundred Years of Brewing,” he disposed of his entire interest to his two sons, J. Christian. G. Hupfel and Adolph G. Hupfel. Over the next 10 years the sons continued to operate both breweries as a single business entity that was listed in the directories as A. Hupfel’s Sons. This advertisement that exhibits the address of both breweries under the A. Hupfel Sons’ name appeared in the December 31, 1878 edition of the “New York Times.”
In 1883 the Hupfel sons dissolved their partnership at which time Adolph Hupfel continued to operate the 161st Street brewery under the the A. Hupfel Sons’ name while J. Chr. G Hupfel retained possession of the Manhattan plant. Individual advertisements for each brewery published in late 1883 and early 1884 serve to confirm the new arrangement.This December 25, 1888 “New York Sun” advertisement located A. Hupfel’s Sons solely on 161st Street in Morrisania…
….and an April 27, 1884 advertisement, also in the “New York Sun”, put J. Chr. G. Hupfel on 38th Street in Manhattan.
A history of each entity moving forward continues below.
J. Christian G. Hupfel Brewery, 229 East 38th Street
In October, 1887 the business incorporated as the J. Chr. G. Brewing Company with capital of $500,000 and J. Christian G. Hupfel as president. The first listing for the new corporation that I can find appeared in the March, 1889 N.Y.C. Copartnership and Corporation Directory.
At some point during the 1890’s Hupfel’s three sons, Anton C. G., Adolph G. and Chr. G. Hupfel were appointed officers and/or trustees of the company, as evidenced by the March, 1900 N.Y.C. Copartnership and Corporation listing below.
A turn of the century depiction of their 38th Street facility appeared on this serving tray recently offered for sale on the internet.
In 1914 the company added a Brooklyn plant, acquiring the former brewery of Joseph Eppig. Joseph Eppig Brewery, Brooklyn, N.Y. The acquisition was announced in the August 8 edition of the Brooklyn “Times Union.”
The plant of the Joseph Eppig Brewing Company, which covers an extensive area at Central Avenue, Grove and Leonard Streets, has been sold by the estate of Joseph Eppig to the J. Chr. G. Hupfel Brewing Company, of 229 East 38th Street, Manhattan. The purchase price is not known, but the property is known to have brought a high figure.
The Eppig Brewing Company’s plant consists of two large brick and one frame structure covering an area of 200 x 500 feet.
Another story covering the sale, this one published in the “New York Times,” went on to say:
Both breweries will be operated in the future under the Hupfel Company’s name.
Five years later, with Prohibition becoming a reality, the Hupfel’s transitioned into the real estate business and in 1919 established the Hup Realty Company. The incorporation notice was published in the October 3, 1919 edition of the “New York Times.”
The address of the realty company, 229 East 38th Street, makes it clear that they were running the business out of their former brewery building. Another advertisement, this one found in the September 3, 1922 edition of the “New York Herald,” indicates that other portions of the 38th Street brewery (items 2 and 3 on the list) were being rented out to other businesses.
That being said, as Prohibition ended the Hupfels were back in the beer business serving as brewers for Canada Dry who at the time was attempting to expand into the domestic beer arena. The Boston Globe was one of many nationwide newspapers providing the details. They appeared in their August 31, 1933 issue.
CANADA DRY GINGER ALE, INC TO HANDLE HUPFEL’S BEER
P.D. Saylor, president of Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Inc., and Anton C.G. Hupfel, president of J. Chr. G Hupfel Company, Inc. announced yesterday that an agreement has been entered into between the two concerns, under the terms of which a company will be organized called the J. Chr. G. Hupfel Brewing Corporation, in which Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Inc., will have a financial interest. There will be no sale of stock to the public.
The new company will immediately install modern equipment in the Hupfel brewery on 38th and 39th Sts., between 2nd and 3rd Aves., Manhattan, New York City, established in 1854.
Brewing will begin about the first of next year, and distribution will start about April, 1934, when it has been properly aged.
Distribution of Hupfel’s beer will be undertaken by Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Inc. The initial capacity of the brewery will be about 350,000 barrels and may be increased as demand warrants it. A new bottling plant will be erected on the 39th St. side of the property.
The agreement marks the launching of Canada Dry’s domestic beer business.
Canada Dry newspaper advertisements for “Hupfel’s Beer” began appearing in June, 1934
Canada Dry’s venture into the beer business was short-lived with the end of the venture, as well as the end of the Hupfel brewery, coming less than four years after Hupfel Beer was introduced. An October 21, 1939 story in Toronto Canada’s “Financial Post” ultimately served as the final chapter in the brewery’s history.
In 1935, a former contract was revised and a new one signed, whereby Canada Dry was relieved of all financial responsibility with respect to the brewery and from any obligation to market draft beer.
Canada Dry gave back its 50% interest in the common stock of the brewing company in consideration for the cancellation of the original agreement. Canada Dry still had the $1 million first mortgage on the property and when in 1938 the Hupfel Corp. discontinued operation, foreclosure proceedings were started.
The story went on to say:
Canada Dry Ginger Ale acquired the property of the J. Chr. G. Hupfel Brewing Corp. at a mortgage sale recently. Canada Dry was the foreclosure plaintiff and bid in $500,000 for the brewery property. Amount of the mortgage debt involved was about $1.2 million.
A. Hupfel’s Sons Brewery, St. Ann’s Avenue (3rd Ave) and 161st Street
Meanwhile back in the Bronx, Adolph Hupfel continued to operate the 161st Street brewery under the A Hupfel Sons name and in 1889 joined a newly formed corporation called the United States Brewing Company. The terms of the deal were explained in the May 13th edition of “The Journal,” published in Meridian Connecticut.
New York, May 13. – Three big lager beer breweries in Newark, one in this city and one in Albany were combined last week in a great brewing corporation, with a capital stock of $4,750,000. The owners of the plants are Gottfried Krueger, the brewer king of Newark; Mrs. Christiana Trefz of Newark: Peter Hauck of East Newark, Adolph Hupfel of this city and the Albany Brewing Company…Krueger’s brewery is the largest in the scheme, and it is understood that it has been taken at a valuation of $2,000,000, and that he is to receive half in cash and the other half in stock. The valuation upon Hauck’s brewery is said to be $1,000,000, and he gets the same terms. Mrs. Trefz’s is valued at $600,000, Hupfel’s at $600,000 and the Albany Brewing Company’s at $500,000. The management of the breweries is to remain entirely in the hands of the former owners…
The brewery continued to operate under the A. Hupfel Sons’ name up through Prohibition.
This 1896 view of the brewery appeared on a post card recently offered for sale on the internet…
…and a May 23, 1908 feature published under the general heading “Industry and Commerce,” in the Staunton Va. “Leader,” provided this snapshot of the business in the first decade of the 20th Century. By this time, Adolph’s son, Adolph G. Hupfel, Jr. was serving as president.
Four different kinds of beer are brewed by A. Hupfel’s Sons – a light beer, in which rice is an ingredient; a dark German brew which, with the beer used for ordinary consumption, is a malt product and a special brew for bottling purposes.
Twice each day there is a brewing. Each adds 300 barrels to the output of the A. Hupfel’s Sons’ brewery, whose capacity is 600 barrels a day….
Started in 1854 by Anton Hupfel with an output of only a few thousand barrels a year, it now produces 120,000 barrels annually, and has branches at Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Peekskill, Ossining, Fishkill, Mamoroneck and Bridgeport Connecticut. A total of 100 hands is employed.
Between 1913 and 1915 the brewery transitioned from horse drawn delivery to motor trucks. A story found in the March 5, 1917 edition of the “Anaconda (Montana) Standard,” described the associated benefits of this transition in Adolph Hupfel’s own words. It also provides some insight into the issues associated with the operation of an early 20th century brewery.
Mr. Hupfel explained that the great gain affected by the trucks had been in the abolition of two service stations. These were located at Mount Vernon and Mamaroneck. Beer was shipped to the two points in car load lots under the old arrangement and then distributed by horse-drawn vehicles.
At both points it was necessary to maintain full-fledged stations with 10 horses each, 6 wagons, 3 drivers, watchmen, stablemen, superintendent, clerks, etc.
There was also the problem of the extra handlings. Beer had to be carted to the railroad station, taken off, loaded on the platform, thence into freight cars, taken off these at the end of the journey and then put on the horse-drawn vehicles that completed the journey.
Now all the delivery is made from the main garage. The stations have been rented for other purposes and now, in place of being a source of outlay to the company, have become a source of revenue.
The brewery survived prohibition in unique fashion, transitioning into, of all things, a mushroom plantation. A November 4, 1923 story in the “Tampa Tribune” tells the story.
Speaking of prohibition and the changes it has wrought, one of the most remarkable is to be seen from the windows of elevated trains that pass the old Hupfel brewery at Third Avenue and 161st Street. Above the lofty cornice of the big red brick building a sign rears itself: “Hupfel Mushroom Plantations.”
Inside those red walls, covering only a portion of a city block, ten acres of ground, a fair sized farm, is under cultivation, and is yielding daily something like half a ton of fresh picked mushrooms…
Mr Hupfel himself hardly knows why he selected mushrooms as an industry when he had to admit to himself back in 1918 that prohibition was practically sure to come. A brewery represents a very large investment, mostly in the shape of insulated store rooms which are but slightly adaptable to any other line of manufacture. Also as a brewer, one of his principal interests had been the growing of yeast, a very low form of fungus. So it didn’t seem wholly strange to contemplate growing a higher fungus, the mushroom…
Building specially designed racks in the cellars and store rooms he created a skyscraper garden precisely on the principle of the skyscraper office building or dwelling. Now in many rooms six tiers of beds are erected one above the other, which accounts for the existence of a ten acre “plantation” on a comparatively small ground space..
The end product was a paste marketed under the name “Champee,” a name he trademarked in 1922.
The following spring advertisements for “Champee” made their appearance in more than a few magazines and newspapers. The following appeared in the May, 1923 edition of the Chilton Hotel Supply Index.
“Champee” advertisements popped up in other forms as well. Look closely and you’ll see a “Champee’ billboard in this photograph of Yankee Stadium taken on opening day in 1923. The photo is courtesy of the Detroit Public Library.
After Prohibition the Hupfel Brewery resurfaced as a division of the Allied Brewing and Distilling Company called the Pilsner Brewing Company (Listed first below).
A stock offering for the Allied Brewing and Distilling Company, published in the June 28, 1933 edition of Louisville, Kentucky’s “Courier-Journal, clarified Allied’s relationship with the Pilser Brewing Company.
Allied Brewing and Distilling Company, Inc. represents a consolidation of a number of long established and profitable enterprises which have been developed and operated for many years under the present management. The company has acquired all of the assets, including plants, equipment, patents, trade-marks, inventories of merchandise and supplies as well as the organizations of the constituent companies…
This advertisement for Pilser’s “Special Draught” appeared in several Westchester County newspapers in the late summer of 1936.
Other Pilser brands included “Lion Beer,” “Koenig’s Special,” “Champ Ale” and “New Yorker Beer.” This advertisement for “New Yorker Beer” is the last one I’ve been able to find.
The ad appeared in the June 17, 1948 edition of Hackensack, New Jersey’s “The Record.” That year, The Pilser Brewing Company was still listed at 3rd Avenue and 161st Street, now 561 East 161st Street, in the New York City Telephone Directory. After that I lose track so it’s likely the company didn’t last into the 1950’s.
Today 561 East 161st Street certainly looks like it could have served as a brewery office back in the day.
The subject bottle is blown in a mold and roughly 12 oz. in size.. It’s embossed with the company name of A Hupfel’s Sons and an address of 161st St. and 3rd Ave. That associates it with the Bronx location and its tooled crown finish dates it well after the Hupfel brothers dissolved their partnership in 1883. Likely early 1900’s.
Born in 1860, Charles Mau was the proprietor of a New York City bottling business that was active in The Bronx during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
N.Y.C. directories first listed Mau in 1895 as a bottler of lager beer with an address of 561 East 156th Street. That address puts the business near the corner of St Ann’s Avenue and 156th Street, which was within or adjacent to the confines of the Ebling Brewery. This suggests, though I can’t confirm, that Mau may have started in business serving as a local bottler of the Ebling product.
In 1898 Mau moved to 687 East 159th Street but his relationship with Ebling may well have continued. Now located near the intersection of Eagle Avenue and 159th Street, it appears that the business was still within the same overall block as the brewery.
In 1907, things may have changed when the business moved again, this time several blocks away, to 429 East 159th Street. Around the same time directory references to beer were being replaced with “mineral waters.”
Thirteen years later, the 1920 “White-Orr Reference Register” continued to list Mau as a mineral water manufacturer with an address of 429 East 159th Street, however, census records that same year describe Mau as retired. This points to 1920 as the likely end date of the business.
The bottle I found is mouth blown, with a blob finish. It’s embossed with Mau’s initial address of 561 East 156th Street, dating the bottle sometime between 1895 and 1898 when he listed that address in the directories. It likely contained an Ebling brew.
The Lion Brewery, established in 1858, was located on the upper west side of New York City’s Borough of Manhattan in much of the area that would ultimately encompass 107th to 109th Streets between 9th (Columbus) and 10th (Amsterdam) Avenues. An advertisement for the brewery published years later, in 1914, made the point that the Lion and the city literally grew up together.
The Lion Brewery is geographically situated in the Heart of the City, where it was established sixty-five years ago. The first brewhouse was built in what was then known as a farming district, when Manhattan only had a population of 515,000. Within the sixty-five years the City of New York has been built around the brewery and has a population of more than 5,000,000 while the brewery has become one of the largest in the East.
This post-prohibition photograph of the brewery appeared in the January 8, 1934 edition of the Brooklyn “Times Union.”.
The business was established by brothers Albert and James Speyer, and was originally listed as Speyers & Co. in New York City’s 1859 business directory. The Speyer name appears above the main entrance in this early depiction of the brewery found in the April 2, 1859 edition of a German publication called “The Illustrated World.”
In addition to the brewery, the Speyer’s also maintained a depot in lower Manhattan at 257 Bowery where, according to this December 23, 1858 advertisement published in New York’s “Daily Herald,” their beer was available in stone bottles.
The following advertisement in the Brooklyn “Daily Eagle” made it clear that the Speyers’ had established a Brooklyn depot as well.
Shortly after the brewery opened, the Speyer’s touted the quality of their product in the February 9, 1859 edition of the “Daily Herald.”
THE SPERYERS LION BREWERY
Office 257 Bowery , New York
The notice of dealers and consumers of lager beer is called to the under analysis of the product of the above brewery, made by Dr. Chilton, the well known analytical chemist. The object in view is not alone to show the unrivaled superiority in purity and salubrity of this beer, but likewise to prove that no prejudicial additions (for purposes of communicating fallacious lustre, etc.) of resin, alkalies, tannin, etc., are introduced, the finest qualities of barley, malted at the brewery, and best hops to be procured in the United States, Canada or Europe being solely used in the Speyers Brewery.
The notice went on to publish this chemical; analysis of their beer.
All this was short-lived however, when less than two years after opening their doors, the October 3, 1859 edition of the “Daily Herald” reported that the brewery had been destroyed by fire.
At 10 o’clock last night a fire broke out in the extensive lager beer brewery of Albert Speyers, called the Lion Brewery, situated between 107th and 109th Streets and Eighth and Tenth Avenues. The whole of the buildings were destroyed, together with their contents. The estimated loss amounts to about $250,000 – insured for $145,000 in city companies. The origin of the fire is at present unknown.
It was at this point that a German immigrant named Emanuel Bernheimer took an interest in the Lion Brewery. The 1894 “National Cyclopedia of American Biography,” included this description of his background as well as the details leading up to his connection with the Lion.
He associated himself in 1850 with August Schmid and established the brewery known at the time as the Constanz Brewery which was located in East Fourth Street near Avenue B, New York City. This was one of the first lager beer breweries in New York. The business prospered, and two years later, the Fourth Street buildings not being large enough to supply the demand, the firm built another brewery having the same name, at Four Corners, Staten Island. The firm conducted this brewery until 1856, when Mr. Bernheimer sold his interest to his partner, Mr. Schmid. After a lapse of four years, during which he engaged in different manufacturing enterprises, Mr. Bernheimer resolved to again engage in the manufacture of lager beer. It was about this time that the Lion Brewery was consumed by fire…
The two brothers not wishing to continue the business, Mr. Bernheimer formed a co-partnership with James Speyers and rebuilt, in 1860, the present Lion Brewery, under the name Speyer & Bernheimer.
The rebuilding process had begun as early as the spring of 1860 as evidenced by this item that appeared in the April 12th edition of the “Daily Herald” under the heading “New Buildings in the City.”
A new building for the “Lion Brewery,” which was burned sometime since. It will be situated on the corner of Ninth Avenue and 108th Street, size 150 x 147, height, four stories; cost $30,000. Will be finished by the 1st of October.
By 1862, New York City’s Copartnership and Corporation Directory listed Speyer & Bernheimer with an address of West 108th Street, near 10th Ave. The directory also listed a lower Manhattan address of 274 Grand Street, which I assume was their office/depot.
The rebuilt brewery included a beer garden and park described like this in a story featuring the Lion that was published years later in the July 23, 1934 edition of the “Brooklyn Citizen:”
In the old days when One Hundred and Eighth Street was a somnolent suburban district, city dwellers in search of pleasure and refreshment would head for Lion Park which then stood across the street from the present location of the brewery. There they found a fine hotel and restaurant, a monster beer garden and picnic grounds which stretched their cooling green shade for blocks.
One summer evening in the park was described like this in the July 8, 1866 edition of the “Daily Herald.”
THE CONCERTS AT THE LION PARK YESTERDAY
The Saturday concerts at the Lion Brewery Park during the season thus far have been very successful.They are always attended by an attractive and select audience , representing the musical portion of the New York public. The Lion Park yesterday was full of visitors, notwithstanding the excessive heat. The orchestral performances were conducted by Mr. Bergmann, and the program on the occasion embraced selections of the choicest compositions of Flotow, Strauss, Ricci, Rossini, Halevy, Meyerbeer and others. The program also included a march of Mr. W. Candidus, a well known composer of this city, a composition which has gained a good deal of popularity among the musicians of this benighted town …
…The Lion Brewery concerts are some of the most appropriate musical enterprises during the hot season.
Bernheimer’s March 29,1890 obituary in the “New York Times” went on to say that he was also one of the first to lease out beer saloons that he had established in various parts of the city. A practice that was soon adopted by many of the city’s other breweries.
Over the course of the next several years, Bernheimer’s partner in the business would change several times. According to The 1894 “National Cyclopedia of American Biography:”
Speyer & Bernheimer continued together two years, when Mr Speyer disposed of his share to August Schmid, the former partner of Mr. Bernheimer.
At this point both the Lion Brewery and Schmid’s Constanz Brewery were both managed under the Bernheimer and Schmid name as evidenced by this listing in New York City’s 1865 Commercial Directory.
Sometime in 1865 Emanuel Bernheimer and August Schmid parted ways when, according to the 1894 “National Cyclopedia of American Biography:”
August Schmid disposed of his interest to his brother, Joseph, from Rock Island, Ill. Emanuel Bernheimer and Joseph Schmid remained together until December 1, 1878, when they retired, the business being continued by their sons, Simon E. Bernheimer and August Schmid.
The two son’s partnership continued until Schmid’s untimely death in 1889. According to the June 5th edition of the The “Evening World” Schmid and another New York brewer, George Ringler, passed away within hours of each other.
Two of Our Big Brewers Dead
Two prominent brewers, well known in this city, will be buried tomorrow, and by a strange coincidence both died within three hours of each other. One was George Ringler, who died suddenly at 10 o’clock Monday night at his residence, 131 East Ninety-second Street. He was forty-seven years old and had been in the brewery business twenty-six years. His companion in death is August Schmid of the Lion Brewery who died at 2 A.M. yesterday at the Hotel Royal.
At that point, Schmid’s wife, Josephine, assumed his role in the partnership and the business continued to be called Bernhemer & Schmid. Several years after Schmid’s death, a February 12, 1894 story in New York’s “The World” provided the following snapshot of the brewery’s worth.
The plant alone is worth $1,500,000 today. Annual income, $250,000; daily income, $684; income tax, $5,000.
The brewery included among other things a stable that housed over 200 horses. During the 1890’s the stable endured at least three separate fires; in 1890, 1895 and 1898. The 1895 fire was described in the April 3rd edition of the “New York Times.”
The hayloft of the Lion Brewery stables was burned early yesterday morning causing $10,000 damage. The Lion Brewery occupies the entire block between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues and One Hundred and Seventh and One Hundred and Eighth Streets. The stables are near Amsterdam Avenue.
The stables are a three-story stone building. There were 200 horses in the stalls of the first and second floors. The hayloft occupied one of the rooms on the third floor. The horses were untied as soon as the fire was discovered and driven out hurriedly into an open lot nearby, where most of them were cororraled. Thirty of the horses, being panic-stricken, got away, and continued their flight uptown. They are Percherons and very valuable. Twenty or more men were sent out at once after the horses and most of them had been recovered when night came..
The fire in the hay was a stubborn one, and a great many engines were called out. It took nearly two hours to get the fire under control. All the hay in the loft was ruined, either by fire or water. There was enough to have lasted until Autumn.
The Lion Brewery stables were burned four years ago, and a number of horses were killed. Bernheimer & Schmid are the proprietors of the brewery.
Around the turn of the century, disagreements arose between Simon Bernheimer and Josephine Schmid that resulted in Bernheimer appealing to the courts to have the partnership dissolved. The details were laid out in a June 22, 1900 story in the “New York Times.”
Suit was begun in the Supreme Court yesterday for a dissolution of the old established firm of Bernheimer & Schmid, proprietors of the Lion Brewery on Columbus Avenue, One Hundred and Seventh and One Hundred and Eighth Streets, on account of a disagreement between the partners as to the conduct of the business and the desire of Simon E. Bernheimer to retire from active management of the business which was started forty years ago…
…The suit for the dissolution of the partnership was filed by Wetmore & Jenner, attorneys for Mr. Bernheimer, against Mrs. Schmid with a request for the appointment of a receiver, the sale of the assets and property as a going concern and a division of the surplus to the partners.
The complaint recites that since the formation of the present firm in 1889 the partnership has been renewed to December 1, 1897, since which time it has been continued at will by mutual consent.
It is alleged that differences between the partners have recently arisen, and have threatened to diminish and impair the business. Among other matters which Mr. Bernheimer alleges is the insistence of Mrs. Schmid that the brewmaster and superintendent of the brewery, who has been connected with the brewery for many years, shall be summarily discharged, that the product of the brewery shall be materially diminished, and new methods of manufacture and sale to which the plant is not adapted, shall be made.
An attorney named John M. Bowers was appointed as receiver in December, 1901, and a year and a half later, a July 24, 1903 “New York Times” story announced that their issues were resolved when Schmid bought out Bernheimer’s share of the business:
Justice Bischoff in the Supreme Court yesterday granted the application made yesterday by Lawyer John M. Bowers, the temporary receiver of the Lion Brewery, for permission to transfer the property now in his hands to Mrs. Josephine Schmid, who has purchased the interest of Simon E Bernheimer, her partner in the Lion Brewery, and thereby dissolved the copartnership which existed between them.
A story published years later in the January 10, 1908 edition of the “New York Times” put the purchase price for Bernheimer’s share at $1,400,000.
On a side note: Shortly after relinquishing his share of the Lion, Bernheimer became Josephine’s neighbor when he, along with Max Bernheimer and Anton Schwartz, the Lion’s former brewmaster, purchased the J. F. Betz Brewery, located at Tenth Avenue and 128th Street in Manhattan.
Around the time that Schmid bought out Bernheimer, a July 2, 1903 feature published in the “Evening World” provided this description of the Lion’s operation.
A brewery, worth $5,000,000, producing half a million barrels of beer annually and yielding half a million dollars in profit, is to be owned and managed by a woman.
Think it possible?
Ask Mrs. Josephine Schmid, owner of more than 50 saloons and known as New York’s “Brewery Queen,” who is about to buy out the interests of her partners, Max E. and Simon E. Bernheimer and become sole proprietor of the Lion Brewery at One Hundred and Eighth Street and Columbus Avenue…
Besides her brewery interests, Mrs. Schmid is the sole owner of not less than fifty saloons, and when she acquires her partners’ interests she will be a part owner of thirty five more.
The feature included this turn of the century depiction of the brewery.
Shortly after she took full control of the business, Josephine Schmid incorporated it under the name of “The Lion Brewery of New York City.” This March 30, 1904 advertisement in the “Times Union” was one of the first to exhibit the newly minted corporate name.
By most accounts, Josephene had been active in the management of the brewery both before and after August Schmid’s death and according to a January 3, 1904 story in “The Sun,” her taking full control was a positive step for the brewery.
Free to carry out plans which had long been a subject of contention under the partnership agreement, she started in by reorganizing the entire working force – promoting here, discharging there, hiring new hands, etc.
Those who are well informed on the subject say that every change she made has proved to be for the best. That is saying a good deal. So far as can be learned there is no other case on record in which a woman has been the efficient active head of so large a business concern operated only by men.
Less than a year after assuming control of the business, Josephine bought the New York City brewery business of “Conrad Stein’s Sons.” This led to an odd story covered by several New York City newspapers on January 27, 1904. As reported by “The Sun:”
If the North River wasn’t drunk yesterday afternoon it ought to have been, for about 12,000 kegs of beer were dumped into it.
The beer came from Conrad Stein’s Sons’ Brewery, in Fifty-Seventh Street, near Eleventh Avenue. Some time ago the Lion Brewery got control of the Stein business, but the bill of sale did not include the building, machinery or the supply of beer on hand. What the Lion Brewery did get was its good will and outstanding accounts. The Steins have decided to retire from business, and the building and machinery are to be sold at auction on Thursday.
When the Lion Brewery got control there were some 3,072 barrels of lager in the Stein Brewery and to keep it in the brewery the Stein concern would have to renew a bond for $75,000 with the internal revenue authorities…
A representative of the Lion Brewery said they didn’t want the beer, because it wasn’t up to their standard. Moreover, if the beer were sold some $3,000 would have to be paid out in revenue stamps.
So it was decided to let all this good beer go to waste…All the barrels were carried into the cellar and the bungs were knocked out. There are pipe connections between the floor and the sewer and the beer flowed merrily through these into the river. The pipe connections were not big enough to carry off the beer as fast as it left the barrels, however, and soon the beer was a couple of feet deep on the cellar floor.
“It was a beautiful, pale sea,” said one of the inspectors, who gloomily watched the beer go to waste.
In 1908, according to a January 10th “New York Times” story, the Lion Brewery was valued at $5,000,000 and Josephine was drawing an annual salary of $500,000. That same year, a May 23rd feature published in the Staunton (Va.) “Daily Leader” provided this verbal tour of the Lion.
A tour of inspection through the big plant reveals many features of interest surrounding the production of the famous pilsener, lager and culmbacher beers there brewed. There are for instance, the large granaries where huge bins with a total capacity of 100,ooo bushels, stand filled with malt. Nearby are piled bags filled with the other cereals which enter into the composition of Lion Brewery beer, while bales on bales of choice hops, both from this country and from Europe, are stored.
Then come the huge caldrons in which first is boiled the mash and then is cooked the resultant liquid which eventually becomes beer. Thence the visitor passes through the fermenting cellars where vats of enormous capacity stand in what seem countless rows, each filled with beer in the first stage of fermentation.
From these vats the liquid is transferred to the cellars for aging. Some of these cellars are hewn out of solid rock, 35 feet below street level. Others are above ground. The combined capacity of these vats is for an output of 600,000 barrels, thus assuring the consumer of the proper aging of the Lion Brewery beers before they are put on the market.
The tour went on to describe the stable, now with a 300 horse capacity, that also included a veterinary hospital that could treat up to 12 equine patients, an equine ambulance and a veterinary surgeon on staff.
That being said, by the time the above feature was written, the brewery was already in the process of converting from horse and wagon to gasoline powered trucks. The conversion process was articulated in the February 1, 1913 edition of a publication called “The Power Wagon.”
The Lion Brewery New York, whose plant occupies more than a city block on Columbus Avenue between West 107th and 109th Streets, New York City, has been a user of gasoline trucks since 1906, when one 5-ton truck was put into service. A 3-ton Hewitt was purchased in 1907, and a 7-ton machine of the same make was purchased in 1909. These machines effected such a saving and opened so much territory that the services of three 3-ton and four 7-ton Hewitts and two 5-ton Macks were required during 1910. The 1912 deliveries consisted of four 5-ton G. V. electric machines.
Newspaper advertisements for their beers were few and far between however, in 1914 and 1915 they did run a series of ads that flashed the slogan:
The Lion Brewery of New York City
Makes Imported Unimportant
One ad went on to describe their Lion Pilsener as a wholesome, pure light beer which they claimed was “the first American Pilsener brew,” and “the beer that made the Lion Brewery famous.” Another described it like this:
Their medium dark Wuerzburger was described as:
Every spring during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the brewery advertised a Bock Beer as well.
In 1917 Josephine, now with the last name del Drago after she married an Italian Prince named Don Giovanni del Drago in 1909, was sued by her daughter, Pauline Schmid Murray, who demanded $3,000,000 in damages on the score that her mother injured her interests through mismanagement. Josephine’s response, issued by her attorney and published in the April 10, 1917 edition of “The Herald,” made it clear that as early as 1917, prohibition laws, coupled with the rising cost of doing business, were both having a serious negative effect on the business.
Mr. Bowers declared that from $500,000 earned in 1909, the net receipts of the brewery have fallen to a point where they are discouraging to the proprietor. Another drawback, he stated, was the increased cost of barley and hops.
“I suppose in that respect,” remarked Justice Erlanger, “you are in the same position as your competitors.”
“Exactly,” replied the attorney. “All are up against prohibition, the high cost of brewing and five cents as the absolute limit in the price for a glass of beer.
A year later the 1918-1919 N.Y.C. Copartnership and Corporation Directory listed Pauline’s husband, Hugh A Murray as the president of the “Lion Brewery of New York City,” with both Pauline and Hugh named as directors. There’s no mention of Josephine and I suspect, but can’t confirm, that Pauline’s 1917 law suit, along with the decline in business served as the catalyst for this change.
Murray continued to serve as president until both he and Pauline died in a 1931 automobile accident.
The brewery survived the prohibition years by producing near beer as well as other items whose manufacture was readily adaptable to the equipment on hand. According to a January 21, 1919 story in the “New York Tribune,” one such item was ice.
Breweries and liquor stores of New York are already being altered to meet the new conditions that will be brought about when the nation goes “dry” on June 30.
The Lion Brewery in Manhattan is going to make ice.
“We have a capacity of 200 tons a day at this time and we shall increase the output to 400 tons a day as soon as we can get to it,” said the manager of the brewery last night.
Another was the manufacture of dyes. A book entitled “Intemperate Spirits, Economic Adaptation During Prohibition,” by Alice Louise Kassens, explains the connection:
Brewery processing equipment was readily adaptable to synthetic chemicals. They had access to clean water, storage and fermentation tanks, filter presses, pumps, steam boilers, cooling capacity, warehouses, laboratories and chemists. Additionally, breweries were typically multi-storied which was ideal for using gravity to aid the production process of dyes.
The Lion facilitated the manufacture of dyes under a newly formed corporation called the Noil Chemical & Colors Works, Inc., a company that the August 24, 1923 edition of the “Wall Street Journal” included on a list of dye manufacturers. The Journal went on to say:
If one spells the first name of the company backwards it will be found to be “Lion.” As a matter of fact in the damp past the present dye factory was the Lion Brewing Co., situated at 108th Street and Columbus Avenue, New York City. Incidentally the new company is making one of the best dyes in the country.
The brewery survived another fire, this one on the Fourth of July, 1927 and ultimately welcomed the end of National Prohibition with this advertisement in the April 7, 1933 edition of New York’s “Daily News.”
Directly below the image the ad read:
To three generations of New Yorkers, the name “Lion Pilsener” awakens fond and pleasant memories. Broadway, when it was Broadway, Churchill’s, Rector’s, Shanley’s. Way back as far as 1850, Lion Pilsner was the compliment of good food, good music and good cheer throughout Manhattan Isle.
Today, Lion Pilsener returns. To greet old friends and win new ones…with the same old mellow, wholesome Pilsener Brew.
“It must be imported!” the old-timers used to say, “Such Pilsener is Old Country Magic.”
But how wrong they were! For every amber drop of Lion Pilsener has flowed from the crystal-lined pipes of Manhattan’s oldest and most historic brewery. And throughout New York today, good old Lion Pilsener is on tap again.
On a side note: The above advertisement, like most post-prohibition Lion advertisements, references the Lion’s start date as 1850 not 1858. 1850 was actually the year that the Constanz Brewery was established, an indication that by then, the histories of the Constanz and Lion Breweries had become commingled for marketing purposes.
A June 15, 1934 advertisement in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle made it clear that by then they had added an ale to their light and dark brews.
Later “Daily News” advertisements in 1939 and 1940 create confusion (at least in my mind) when they simply called their beer “Lion Beer,” without specifying a type.
With the Murray’s having passed away in 1931, the post-prohibition brewery was in the hands of their daughter (Josephine’s granddaughter), Mrs. Paula Murray Courdert. A January 8, 1934 story in the “Times Union” named her husband, Frederick R. Courdert, Jr., as vice president and assistant director, Byron Clark, Jr. as vice president and Pasquale Ferri as secretary and general manager. They operated it until the early 1940’s when it was acquired by the Greater New York Brewery, Inc.
When the “Lion” brand disappeared isn’t clear to me. The last “Lion Beer” newspaper advertisement I can find that exhibits their trademark was in the October 24, 1941 edition of the “Baltimore Sun.” By that time it was being sold in a can as well.
By August 0f 1943 their brewery building was certainly abandoned and the machinery and equipment were scheduled for auction. The auction notice was published in several east coast newspapers.
Less than one month later, on September 14, 1943, the “Daily News” reported that the main six-story brewery building caught fire one last time.
Smoke billowed over upper Manhattan last night and early today while firemen fought flames in the abandoned Lion Brewery on Columbus Avenue between 107th and 108th Sts. The fire was discovered at 8:40 P.M. on the fourth floor of the six-story building, which has stood almost a century. A second alarm was sounded an hour later. Nine firemen were overcome by smoke and treated at the scene.
Finally a March 5, 1944 story in the Daily News entitled “Look Out Below” might serve as the Brewery’s obituary.
Starting at the top. The workman slinging the sledge hammer got this job because he doesn’t get dizzy spells at high altitudes. He’s at work demolishing the 150 foot smokestack of the old Lion Brewery, brick by brick for a total of 901,624. The land is to be used as a playground by the Board of Education.
In case you’re curious, that lone figure at the top of the stack didn’t finish the job, the wrecking ball did.
The bottle I found is a machine made, 12 ounce champagne style bottle. The heel of the bottle is embossed with their corporate name, “The Lion Brewery of New York City,” dating it no earlier than 1903 when the business incorporated under that name. It pretty much resembles the bottles exhibited in this 1915 advertisement.
The shoulder of the bottle is embossed with their trade mark lion with its paws resting on a barrel.
The trademark was registered on September 5, 1905 and is described in detail on the patent notice below.
John J. Kane was a bottler in New York’s Far Rockaway during the first two decades of the 1900’s. During much of the same time he was also associated with hotels located in both Far Rockaway and nearby Arverne, Queens.
Kane’s bottling operation was first listed under the heading “Wine, Liquor and Lager Beer,” in the 1904 Trow Business Directory for the Borough of Queens. He was not listed in the 1903 directory, suggesting that the business was established at around that time. Up through 1907 he just bottled beer then, according to an item in the April 15, 1907 edition of the “American Bottler, he expanded his operation to include soda water as well.
John J. Kane, a beer bottler at Far Rockaway, is going to engage in the soda water and siphon trade as well.
Queens directories and New York State liquor tax records always listed the business with a White Street (now Beach 21st Street) address in Far Rockaway; typically “White Street 200 feet south of Mott.” Likely a saloon as well as a bottling operation, Queens telephone books between 1910 and 1920 described the business as both a “cafe” and bottling establishment. No longer listed in the early 1920’s, the business was likely a victim of prohibition.
New York State liquor tax records also name Kane’s wife, Minnie, the certificate holder for a Far Rockaway Hotel located at Remson and McNeil (now Redfern and McNeil) from 1911 to 1914.
In addition to his Far Rockaway business endeavors, a 1910 report prepared by the New York State Superintendent of Elections, named Kane as the proprietor of a hotel in nearby Arverne, located at the northwest corner of Bouker Place (now Beach 64th Street) and the Long Island Rail Road tracks.
Back in the day many hotels included a bottling operation so it wouldn’t surprise me if Kane was bottling beer in Arverne as part of his hotel operation there. At the very least, he was certainly supplying that location from Far Rockaway.
It’s possible (but I haven’t been able to confirm) that both the bottling and hotel businesses involved other members of the Kane family besides his wife. A bottle, similar in style to Kane’s, but embossed “Kane Brothers, Far Rockaway,” can be found in the collection of Mike AKA Chinchillaman1 at http://mikesbottleroom.weebly.com (no relation to this web site).
In further support of this supposition, liquor tax records for the Arverne hotel list other Kane’s as the certificate holders; namely James P. Kane in 1907 and later, Andrew Kane in 1913 through 1917.
It’s not clear exactly how long the Kane’s continued in the hotel business. Census records in 1920 named John J. Kane’s occupation as the: “Proprietor of Hotel,” but by 1930, census records indicate that he and his wife Minnie, were living in Miami Florida.
I’ve found two identical bottles, each with a blob finish and embossed with both a Far Rockaway and Arverne location. They could date as early as 1903 (when the bottling business began) but likely closer to 1907 (the date of the earliest liquor tax certificate I can find for the Arverne location). Anything much later and I would expect a crown finish.
Duhme & Meyer was a New York City mineral water manufacturer and a bottler of soda and beer that operated in lower Manhattan during much of the 1870’s and 1880’s. The proprietors were German immigrants Henry Duhme and Wiliam Meyer.
Census records indicate that Duhme arrived in the United States from Hanover, Germany in 1848. By the early 1850’s he had apparently joined his brother Martin in the grocery business under the name “Duhme & Brother.” The 1851 N.Y.C. directory listed the business in lower Manhattan with an address of 17 Grand Street. By the mid-1850’s the name “Duhme & Brother” had disappeared from the directories however, both Duhme’s continued to be listed as grocers at several lower Manhattan locations up through the mid-1860’s.
It was around this time that Henry Duhme opened a saloon at 198 Bleeker Street as evidenced by the occupation he listed in the 1870 census records: “Lagerbier Saloon.” This likely occurred in 1868 when his occupation in the directories changed from “grocer” to “liquor.”
Sometime in the early 1870’s Duhme partnered with William Meyer and together they established Duhme & Meyer. Meyer had immigrated to the United States from Prussia and I suspect he had recently arrived in New York City after first settling in New Jersey.
The business of Duhme and Meyer was initially listed in the 1871 N.Y.C directory at 112 Prince Street where they remained for over ten years. Early directories (1871 to 1875) referenced the company as a “soda” business while later directories called them “bottlers.” They were certainly bottling beer as well as soda in 1875 as evidenced by a Duhme & Meyer bottle found in a collection presented on brucemobley.com. The bottle is embossed “Lager Beer” on the front, with the year 1875 embossed on the back.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if the bottling business was actually an outgrowth of Duhme’s saloon business and they were bottling beer from the start but that’s entirely conjecture on my part.
Sometime in 1883 Duhme & Meyer moved to 115 Christopher Street where they were listed in the N.Y.C. directories until 1886 when Duhme apparently left the business. He ultimately moved to Brooklyn where 1900 census records listed his occupation as a real estate agent. He passed away in March 1909.
The bottling business continued to operate under the management of the Meyer family after Duhme’s departure. In 1887, both William Meyer and Henry W. Meyer, were listed with the occupation “waters,” at 115 Christopher Street. Henry was almost certainly William’s son, who, according to 1880 census records, was born in 1871.
The following year William Meyer was no longer listed, apparently leaving the business in the hands of his son who continued to operate it at 115 Christopher Street up until 1898.
A bottle embossed Henry W. Meyer exhibiting the 115 Christopher Street address was found in the collection of Mike AKA Chinchillaman1 at http://mikesbottleroom.weebly.com (no relation to this web site).
Sometime in 1898 Meyer moved the business to 218 West 22nd Street. The move was almost certainly associated with a reduction in business due to New York State’s enactment of their 1896 liquor tax law, popularly referred to as Raines Law. Among other things, the law included an $800 license fee making it difficult for much of Meyer’s small business clientele to remain in business.
Shortly after the move the business came to a tragic end when Henry W, Meyer committed suicide. A story in the May 21, 1899 edition of the New York Tribune provided the sad details.
Henry W. Meyer, head of the firm Henry W. Meyer & Co., manufacturers of soda water, committed suicide yesterday afternoon at his home, No. 215 Tenth Ave., by taking muriatic acid. The shrinking of his extensive business to a condition of poor trade by the closing up of many small dealers with whom he had a monopoly of trade is thought to have caused Myer’s act. Myer lived with his wife and four children on the second floor of the Tenth Ave. house. His factory is in Twenty second Street between Tenth and Eleventh Aves. The man had built up a large business among the small saloons in the city, especially on the East Side. The Raines Law license drove a great many of these dealers out of business, and Meyer’s trade suffered, as he found himself unable to compete with the larger dealers.
The bottle I found is a pony with an applied blob finish that includes the embossed Christopher Street address. The monogramed back includes the embossed year 1883, suggesting it was manufactured specifically to reflect Duhme & Meyer’s move to new quarters that year.
Streeteasy.com reports that today the building at 115 Christopher Street was built in 1904, so it does not date back to the time frame of the business.
Day & Brother was a New York City mineral water manufacturer and bottler that operated from the late 1860’s through the early 1890’s. Always located on the east side of Manhattan, the business was operated by several different members of the Day family over the course of their history.
Their story begins with an Irish immigrant named John W. Day who, as early as 1863 was listed in the New York City directories with the occupation “soda,” and a home address of 201 East 20th Street.
In the late 1860’s he apparently went into business with his brother, James P. Day, and by 1869 both were listed with the occupation “soda” at the 353 East 20th Street address embossed on the bottle. A year later, in 1870, the business of Day & Brother also appeared in the directories at that address.
Their advertisement appeared in the 1872 edition of Goulding’s Business Directory.
The business continued in this fashion until sometime in 1874 when James P. Day apparently left the company. Whether he passed away or simply moved on is not clear. John W. Day continued the business, ultimately moving it to 351 East 23rd Street sometime around 1877.
John W. Day passed away in November, 1878 after which his widow Catherine took over. She apparently served as the proprietor until 1886 after which management apparently transferred to her eldest son Peter S. who, according to census records turned the age of 21 that year. Peter served as proprietor from 1886 to 1891. In the early 1890’s, another son, James R. Day, was also listed with the occupation “waters,” at the East 23rd Street address.
Still listed in 1892, by 1894 Day & Brother was no longer mentioned in the directories.
The bottle I found is a six ounce pony with a blob finish. It’s embossed with the 353 East 20th Street address, dating it from approximately 1869 to 1877 when the business utilized that address.
Examples of Day & Brother bottles that exhibit their later address at 351 East 23rd Street have also appeared on the Internet. They date from 1877 to the early 1890’s
I’ve also seen a bottle for sale on the internet that’s simply embossed John W. Day, with the 353 East 20th Street address. This example also included the embossed year “1874,” which suggests that John W. used this style for a period of time in the mid-1870’s after James P. Day left the business but prior to their move to East 23rd Street, roughly 1874 to 1877.
H. Busch & Son were the proprietors of a turn of the century bottling business located in Union Hill, New Jersey. The business, by all appearances, was a small, local operation.
Herman Busch, a German immigrant, established the business, likely called H. Busch, sometime in the first decade of the 1900’s. Prior to that, 1900 census records listed Busch as a teamster living in West Hoboken.
In 1910 census records listed Busch’s occupation as the owner of a beer bottling business and his seventeen year old son, Herman Busch, Jr., was listed as a helper in the business. Digitized directories that include Union Hill are scarce, however, one I did find, the 1915 Hudson County Business Directory, listed H. Busch & Son as bottlers at the address listed on the bottle, 116 Blum Street. So, based on this listing, Herman, Jr. was viewed as a partner in the business no later than the mid-teens. In 1920, census records listed both father and son as bottlers of soda.
By 1930 Busch Sr. had retired and Busch Jr. was a truck driver living in Jersey City so the business apparently dissolved sometime in the 1920’s.
Union Hill merged with West Hoboken becoming Union City, New Jersey in 1924. Three years later, in 1927, Blum Street was renamed 36th Street. Shown below is 116 36th Street in Union City, courtesy of Google Earth. Assuming the street numbering system remained unchanged, this could be where the business operated. According to Trulia.com the el-shaped building includes office space, warehouse space, a loading dock and a parking area in front; everything you need to operate a bottling business. Sadly there’s no information on when it was built.
The bottle I found is a 28 oz., mouth blown tooled crown that fits with the early years of the business.