Thursday’s ad is entitled Quiet Evening at Home, and the illustration was done in 1956 by Douglass Crockwell. It’s #117 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, a couple is enjoying a Quiet Evening at Home. He’s reading a book, she’s working some needlework, while their kitten plays with a ball of yarn on the sofa next to her. Full pilsner glasses of beer sit on the end table between them. Seems like a pretty good way to spend an evening.
Today in 1942, US Patent 2291367 A was issued, an invention of Albert A. Bezosky, for his “Device For Warming and Reconditioning Beer.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:
This invention relates to a device designed for reconditioning stale beer, or beer which has become flat or too cold for immediate consumption.
An important object of the invention is to provide a device of this character which may be used primarily by bartenders, and one which is of the electrical portable type which may be readily and easily immersed in a glass of beer, by the bartender, thereby replacing the head on the beer, or tempering it to render the beer exceptionally palatable.
An apparatus for treating liquid by submersion, comprising a body of pistol-like construction, electric wires extending through the body and terminating in a socket at one end of the body, said body including a handle extended at right angles with respect to the body, an electric plug adapted to be fitted in the socket, resistance wires extending from the plug and disposed in parallel relation with the handle, said resistance wires being in circuit with the wires extending through the body, and said resistance wires being formed into a loop at the free end thereof.
If that headline surprised you, it really shouldn’t have. But like the beer made from John’s beard, or the chicha Dogfish Head made using human spit, it just sounds unappetizing. Until you remember that it’s all sterilized and boiled so the finished product is as sanitary as any other beer.
So when I saw the headline from Reuters, “Belgian scientists make novel water-from-urine machine,” and another, First We Feast, “Scientists Have Finally Discovered a Way to Turn Human Urine Into Beer,” my first thought was “sure, why not.” The story, it turns out, is about a team of researchers at Ghent University who have invented a “machine that turns urine into drinkable water and fertilizer using solar energy, a technique which could be applied in rural areas and developing countries.” The explanation of how it works, from Reuters:
While there are other options for treating waste water, the system applied at the University of Ghent uses a special membrane, is said to be energy-efficient and to be applicable in areas off the electricity grid.
“We’re able to recover fertilizer and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy,” said University of Ghent researcher Sebastiaan Derese.
The urine is collected in a big tank, heated in a solar-powered boiler before passing through the membrane where the water is recovered and nutrients such as potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus are separated.
First We Feast added:
The scientists recently put their invention to the test during a 10-day festival in Ghent. Using the hashtag #PeeForScience, the team encouraged festival-goers to stop by their stand and donate to the cause by relieving themselves. The researchers ended up collecting a whopping 1,000 liters of pee from everyone who participated.
The team believe its machine will have its biggest impact in rural areas, wherever water is scarce and throughout the third world. But apparently as in other projects the Ghent team was involved in, they’ll use some of the water collected to make beer. Program director Derese called this part of the plan “from sewer to brewer.”
There’s many old jokes about American beer being horse piss, so maybe now it really can be. If it reduces costs even a little, you know the megabrewers would be willing to give it a try.
Today in 1891, US Patent 456872 A was issued, an invention of Frederick W. Wiesebrock, for his “Process of Manufacturing Malt.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:
It is the purpose of my invention to provide a novel process for the manufacture of malt to be used in the production of fermented liquors, said process being of such a character that it may be practiced at all seasons of the year. It is my purpose, also, to materially cheapen the production of malt, to render the same independent of skilled labor, and to produce more uniform and better results than have been attainable heretofore.
Wednesday’s ad is entitled Hi Fi, and the illustration was done in 1956 by Haddon Sundblom. It’s #116 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, some couples lounge in a pink room, drinking beer, and listening to those old-fashioned vinyl disks that used to hold music in grooves. One woman pages through a book of records, with another woman watching, as if they’re looking at a scrapbook. As usual, they got pretty dressed up to listen to some records at a listening party. Opera, sure. The den? Not so much.
Today is the birthday of Frederick J. Stegmaier (July 27, 1861-April 23, 1915). He was the son of Charles Stegmaier, who founded the Baer & Stegmaier Brewery with his father-in-law in 1857. It eventually became known as the Stegmaier Brewing Co., and ran it with his sons, Christian, Fred and George. Fred became president when his father passed away in 1906.
Here’s his obituary, published on Find a Grave:
The Stegmaier brewery in 1870.
And here’s another obituary, from the Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania Biography Illustrated, Volume 7:
Frederick J., son of Charles and Kathleen (Baer) Stegmaier, was born in Wilkes-Barre, July 27, 1861, and died at his home on South Franklin street, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, April 22, 1915. He was educated in the public schools, St. Nicholas Parochial School, and Wyoming Seminary, being a graduate of the last named institution. He then became actively associated with his father in business, and at the death of Charles Stegmaier, the father, Frederick J. Stegmaier succeeded him as president of the Stegmaier Brewing Company. It was through the foresighted planning and energy of the sons of Charles Stegmaier that the business founded by the father was developed until it became one of the largest and best equipped plants of its kind in the country. In addition to his responsibilities as head of the company, Frederick J. Stegmaier had other large and important interests. He was for many years president of the South Side Bank, a position ill health caused him to relinquish. He was a director of the First National Bank, director of the Fenwick Lumber Company, director of the Stegmaier Realty Company, and largely interested with his brothers and Abram Nesbitt in the Wales Adding Machine Company. When the last company was threatened with absorption by rivals, these men fought for a number of years to retain the company as a separate plant manufacturing an independent machine, and finally succeeded. Mr. Stegmaier was interested in many other projects, but failing health during his latter years compelled him to withdraw from active participation in many. For four years he lived under the constant care of his physician and knew that his days were numbered, but he neither lost courage nor became despondent. He passed the last winter of his life in the south, but after his return spent nearly every day in his office, literally “dying in the harness.”
He was kind and considerate, very generous, charitable organizations having in him a liberal friend, and when his will was read it was found that Wilkes-Barre City Hospital, Mercy Hospital, United Charities, Nanticoke Hospital, Wilkes-Barre Home for Friendless Children, the Florence Crittenden Shelter and Day Nursery, and the Ladies’ Aid Society had been generously remembered, as had the Home of the Good Shepherd, St. Patrick’s Orphanage, and St. Patrick’s Foundling Home, of Scranton. During his life he served as a director of the City Hospital, knew its needs, and did his full share there as elsewhere in relieving suffering. He was a member of St. Nicholas Church (Roman Catholic) and was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, who after a solemn high mass of requiem in the church conducted final services at the Stegmaier mausoleum in Hollenback Cemetery. He was also a member of the Franklin Club and the Concordia Singing Society.
Stegmaier Brewery workers c. 1894.
And here’s one more from American Brewers’ Review from 1915:
Today in 1943, US Patent 2325309 A was issued, an invention of Jan De Swart, for his “Process of Capping Bottles.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:
This invention has to do with sealing caps for bottles and the like, as well as bottle sealing methods.
In its more particular contemplates a hard and substantially non-flexible plastic cap which is so constructed, of a plastic capable of being rendered temporarily pliable and remolded, as to be applied in sealing relationship to a bottle without injury to the cap and which not only is capable of sealing the bottle against substantial pressures but which also compensates for the cold flow characteristics prevalent in most plastics.
I am aware that attempts have been made to produce a successful thermoplastic bottle cap but so far as I am aware, no such cap has been produced which is capable of general use to cap bottles containing fluids such as carbonated beverages, beer or the like. Such prior caps have been incapable of maintaining an effective seal where substantial pressures are generated in the bottle; and have been incapable of withstanding the temperatures incident to pasteurization processes. For instance, pasteurization processes commonly utilize temperatures of the order of 160 produced do not maintain a seal under such conditions. Another shortcoming of prior caps has been the fact that they fail to maintain an effective seal after the plastics of which the caps are made have undergone the normal cold flow.
It is among the aims of my invention to overcome those shortcomings and, generally speaking, I accomplish this by providing a cap preformed of a cold-setting plastic capable of being rendered temporarily pliable and then reformed and re-hardened about the neck of a bottle. An important characteristic of my improved cap resides in the fact that its side Wall presents a peripheral bead of relatively thick cross-section and having a. relatively low setting rate which, after being temporarily softened, is remolded to aspects, my invention the contour of the external marginal bead forming a part of the conventional beer or carbonated beverage bottle. This bead portion undergoes cap into sealing relationship with the neck or more and thermoplastic caps heretofore l the provision of a plastic cap having a construction which provides a double seal.
Another object is the provision of a cap having a guiding formation to guide it onto a bottle during capping.
Today is John Mallett’s 52nd birthday, John is the production manager at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a post he’s held since 2001. John has a great sense of humor and I recall a particularly side-splitting kvetching evening-long conversation with him and Fal Allen at CBC in San Diego a number of years ago (not the most recent one) and a couple of years we judged together in Japan, which was great fun. In addition, John also recently published the Brewers’ Publications book on Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse. John me in wishing John a very happy birthday.
If you’d like to see John wearing lederhosen, click here.
Today in 1920, US Patent 1348139 A was issued, an invention of Horst Emil Clemens, for his “Stem Picker.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:
This invention relates to a stem picker and especially to a machine for separating stems from hops and the like.
Picking of hops by machinery is resorted to at the present time in several of the larger hop; growing districts and is becoming more and more a necessity due to the scarcity of labor and troubles connected therewith. Hops picked in this manner contain a considerable quantity of leaves and stems and other foreign matter, the major portion of which are removed by separators of various types. It happens however that while the leaves are comparatively easily removed that there still remains a considerable quantity of stems and it is the purpose of the present invention to provide a machine which is particularly adapted for removing the stems. The invention briefly stated involves a longitudinally extending inclined draper belt from the surface of which projects the hops, from which it is series of pins are delivered desired to remove the stems, to one end of this draper belt and will, during the travel of said belt, tend to roll off the belt and to a conveyer which removes them from the stem picking machine, stems` and other similar material being hung up on the pins and later removed as will hereinafter be described.
The invention also involves a mechanism for maintaining the draper in a state of continuous vibration thereby insuring a perfect removal of the hops deposited thereon While in no way impairing the action of the stem separating mechanism.
Tuesday’s ad is entitled Weekend In The Ski Country, and the illustration was done in 1955 by Haddon Sundblom. It’s #115 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. This is another duplicate, and it was used the previous year as #90 with only a slightly different title, Weekend in Ski Country, everything else is exactly the same. The only difference is that extra “the.” As I wrote about it the last time, a new couple is arriving at the cabin at the ski resort for the weekend. They must be younger, because in my experience older women do not rush up and hug one another, grinning like cheshire cats, and touching cheeks. The rest of the party is already settled in, drinking beer and eating popcorn by the fire. Out the window, the sun is going down, and skis and poles lean against the cabin, ready for tomorrow’s adventures.