Friday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1906. In the first decade of the 20th century, Schlitz Brewing, then one of the largest breweries in the U.S. after the industry had shrunk from over 4,000 to around 1,500 in just 25 or so years, did a series of primarily text ads, with various themes. In this ad, Schlitz is suggesting that you ask your doctor about which beer to choose. I know my doctor prefers dark beer, he doesn’t like overly hoppy beers. But I still have a hard time believing the conversation would go anything like the ad suggests. But who knows, just a few years later, when prohibition began, doctors were writing prescriptions for medicinal beer.
Today is the birthday of George Schmitt (April 14, 1869-July 31, 1898). There’s very little about him that I could find, though I suspect the fact that he died when he was only 29 might have something to do with that. He was trained as a brewer at his father’s brewery, worked at a malt house, and became the manager of Schmitt & Schwanenfluegel Brewery, which was in New York City, near Central Park at 1065 Avenue A, between 56th & 57th.
This short obituary was printed in the American Brewers’ Review:
The brewery was originally known as the Henry Elias Brewery, who founded it near 15th Street & Broadway in 1855. Elias, in 1865, partnered with George Schmitt, this George’s father, and became known as Henry Elias & George Schmitt Brewery, a.k.a. the Central Park Brewery (and was readdressed to 1065 Avenue A, between 56th & 57th). In 1868, Schmitt partnered with Christian Koehne to keep it going and it became the Schmitt & Christian Koehne Brewery. Then in 1885, Koehne left and Louis Von Schwanenfluegel came to the business and it became known as Schmitt & Schwanenfluegel Brewery, which it remained until it closed in 1906. During that time it was also known as Consumers Park Brewing Co. and also Central Park Brewery.
According to 100 Years of Brewing, the chronology is slightly different: