Patent No. 2124565A: Liquid Container

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Today in 1938, US Patent 2124565 A was issued, an invention of Frank D. Goll and James K. Wareham, assigned to the Aluminum Co. Of America, for their “Liquid Container,” essentially a keg. There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to metal vessels for storing and shipping liquids. It relates especially to the construction of metal barrels and similar vessels for the storage and transportation of liquids, such as beer and the like.

The primary object of the invention is to provide an improved metal barrel. Another object is to provide a strong but light metal barrel which may be used either with or without an insulating cover of rubber or other material. A further object of this invention is to provide improved fittings for metal barrels of the type specified.

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Patent No. 3332779A: Neutral Tasting Alcoholic Malt Beverage

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Today in 1967, US Patent 3332779 A was issued, an invention of Erik Krabbe, Webster Groves, and Cavit Akin, assigned to the Falstaff Brewing Corp., for their “Neutral Tasting Alcoholic Malt Beverage.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The preparation of a neutral tasting alcoholic substrate by yeast fermentation of unboiled, unhopped wort containing fermentable sugar.

This invention relates to alcoholic malt beverage and more particularly to formation of an alcoholic malt beverage or substrate or base. which has a relatively neutral taste. More specifically the invention relates to the formation of a neutral alcoholic substrate from malt and cereal products and thereafter flavoring the neutral substrate with various flavoring substances.

Recently, various proposals have been made to provide flavored alcoholic beverages of various descriptions such as Tom Collins, coffee, mint, cherry, etc. The technique of trying to achieve such flavored alcoholic products by the use of fermented liquor have resulted in a rather. undesired feature of having the undesired normal beer or malt liquor flavor superimposed with a second desired flavor as those heretofore mentioned. So tar one proposal is to ferment the normal beer and then eliminate the flavor of the beer by charcoal filtration. Another technique is to add the flavor agent into boiling wort at which time activated carbon is added to the kettle to remove color from the wort. When sufficient time has been allowed for extracting the flavor, the wort was filtered and then fermented.

In contrast to previous techniques, the present invention briefly contemplates preparing a neutral fermented substrate for an alcoholic malt beverage which does not require the step of attempting to remove the’malt liquor or beer taste. Such an ideal neutral substrate or base alcoholic liquor is achieved by fermenting an extract of 10 to 35 weight percent unboiled, unhopped wort and 90 to 65 weight percent fermentable sugar (cerelose for example), based on the extract being water free. On a volumetric basis, one volume of unboiled, unhopped wort at 10 percent solids is added to three volumes of cerelose solution at 10 percent solids. Four grams of yeast (wet cake) per liter is suitable. The yeast may be the normal brewery yeast which has been washed to prevent carry over of hop bitter substances. The wort and cerelose are fermented preferably at a constant temperature of 13 C. After the fermentation is complete, the fermented extract is cooled to 3 C. and remains at that temperature for two or three days to end fermentation. Thereafter, the fermented extract is centrifuged and/.or filtered to obtain the neutral base which then is ready for carbonation and flavoring. At this stage of processing the flavor of the fermented substrate is substantially neutral with no organoleptic impression of malt liquor.

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Patent No. 1919665A: Bottle Filling Machine And Method

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Today in 1933, US Patent 1919665 A was issued, an invention of Frederick W. Muller, for his “Bottle Filling Machine and Method.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to bottle filling machines and methods and relates particularly to bottle filling machines of the type wherein a plurality of bottles continuously fed to the machine are automatically and successively filled with a beverage such as beer.

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Patent No. 3679431A: Wort Production

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Today in 1972, US Patent 3679431 A was issued, an invention of David Henry Clayton and John Karkalas, for their “Wort Production.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention is concerned with improvements in or relating to wort production.

– Wort contains in addition to fermentable carbohydrates, soluble nitrogeneous compounds. Barley malt is the traditional raw material for the production of wort since it provides a source of carbohydrates and “nitrogen com pounds and in addition provides the enzymes capable of degrading the carbohydrates and nitrogen compounds to the soluble components of wort.

Malt is manufactured from e.g. barley by the process of malting. This consists of first germinating and then drying barley grain under controlled conditions.

The manufacture of malt is expensive because (1) large capital investments are necessary for the malting machinery, (2) a skilled labour force is required to operate the malting machines, (3) malt can only be made successfully from the higher qualities of barley which are expensive and (4) during the malting process a physical loss in dry matter occurs; this is known as the malting loss.

It is an object of the invention to provide an improved method of producing a wort in which the use of barley malt is reduced or virtually eliminated.

We have found that wort may be produced by treating an aqueous slurry of starch and protein-containing plant material for example unmalted cereal grain e.g. It appears that said hydrodynamic conditions result in the formation of a homogeneous mass very suitable for the action of the starch liquefying enzyme. Examples of starch and protein-containing plant materials other than cereals include roots, fungi material and by-products of processes to which ‘cereals have been subjected.

Examples of suitable materials include tapioca and rice, as well as wheat, barley and maize.

The invention provides a method of producing wort from an aqueous slurry of starch and protein-containing plant material comprising the steps of liquefying starch by treating the slurry with a commercial starch liquefying enzyme subjecting the slurry to hydrodynamic conditions such that a substantial thixotropic reduction of viscosity is produced by shearing forces in the slurry to facilitate the action of the starch liquefying enzyme prior to any substantial reduction of viscosity resulting from the enzymatic liquefaction converting starch to sugar by treatment with a saccharifying enzyme and converting protein to soluble nitrogen-containing compounds by treatment with a proteolytic enzyme.

The invention also provides wort when produced by a method as set out in the last preceding paragraph.

The invention also provides a process for brewing beer including such a method.

The invention also provides beer when produced by such a process.

The invention also provides a process of producing a concentrated wort syrup by concentrating wort produced by such a method.

The invention also provides a concentrated wort syrup when produced by such a process.

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Patent No. 3045679A: Hop Picker

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Today in 1962, US Patent 3045679 A was issued, an invention of Fritz Kibinger and Hans Eder, for his “Hop Picker.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The present invention relates to a device for the harvesting of hops.

In order to sever the strobiles of hops from the branches carried by the bines, a picking device has been proposed having driven shafts on the periphery of a rotary disc, perpendicular to the plane faces thereof, with revolving cutter tools, to which tools gratings were associated fixed to the said disc as supporting means for the material to be separated and as deflectors for the strobiles, the material to be separated being thrown into the space enclosed by the gratings.

Each of the gratings associated with such a rotating cutter tool consisted of two wires, bars or the like, partly curved in the shape of circular arcs, arranged one above the other, the lower being below the plane of the cutter tools. The radius of curvature of each wire, bar or the like in its arcuate range was smaller than the largest radius of the cutter tool, and both wires, bars or the like were connected to one another by deflector bars, preferably of V-shape, extending substantially radially to the axes of the cutter tools. The bends of the deflector bar-s had a distance from the axis of rotation of the associated cutter tool which exceeded the radius of the cutter tool. The spacing between the wires, bars or the like forming the grating, which are to be considered as fixed relative to the axes of rotation of the cutter tools, was so dimensioned that even the smallest strobile could not pass between these wires, bars or the like. A second disc was also associated with the rotary disc above which deflector means and severing means were arranged. Both of these discs were rigidly connected to one another by stays and were mounted on an axle. Between these two discs driving means were provided for the shafts of the cutter tools. Each rotating shaft was provided with several cutter tools arranged one above the others and having associated gratings, and provision was made for varying the spacing of the cutter tools arranged one above the others from one another. Additionally, bars taking part in the rotation may be arranged between any two adjacent cutter tools, which bars move the out material outward.

The use of such a picking device is based on the assumption that the branches severed from the bines are cut into pieces so that the branches had to be cut into pieces either by hand or by a special cutting device before being inserted into the device. This picking device has proved successful as such, but has the disadvantage that the danger of jamming exists when too much of the mate rial is thrown into the picking device.

The present invention has the main object of providing a device for the harvesting of hops which can be used not only for the dividing of branches into pieces, but also for the picking, depending on how its associated components are arranged relative to one another. It is also an object of the present invention to use in a pure severing device the same components as in a picking device. It is yet another object of the invention to effect an improved, and particularly a quicker supply of the material.

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Patent No. 654369A: Apparatus For Pasteurizing Beer

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Today in 1900, US Patent 654369 A was issued, an invention of Edward Wagner, assigned to the Model Bottling Machinery Company, for his “Apparatus For Pasteurizing Beer.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to an improved apparatus for pasteurizing beer, the’object being to provide a simple, cheap, and convenient apparatus for treating the bottled beer to destroy the yeast molecules and germs contained therein, whereby further fermentation is prevented.

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Patent No. 860936A: Bottle Carrier For Bottling Establishments

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Today in 1907, US Patent 860936 A was issued, an invention of Max W. Norkewitz, for his “Bottle Carrier For Bottling Establishments.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates particularly to machinery for bottling establishments and it is’ intended primarily to dispose of the bottles expeditiously from a gang of labeling machines and facilitate the operation of packing them in cases.

My invention is intended for use principally in those bottling establishments where a number of brands of beer or other liquid are bottled and labeled at the same time and its object is to provide means for carrying the bottles away from a gang of labeling machines to the packing tables and without mixing them.

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Patent No. 860746A: Frame For Hop-Scoops

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Today in 1907, US Patent 860746 A was issued, an invention of John N. Hoffman, for his “Frame For Hop-Scoops.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

My invention relates to improvements in scoops for picking up and conveying hops, or the like, and it consists in the features of novelty hereinafter described and claimed.

The object of the invention is to provide a hop scoop of simple, strong and durable construction and one which may be conveniently operated.

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Patent No. 3895478A: Roll On Capping Head

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Today in 1975, US Patent 3895478 A was issued, an invention of Kenneth F.M. Friendship, assigned to Continental Can Co., for his “Roll On Capping Head.” Here’s the Abstract:

A roll on type capping head for applying closure cap blanks to the mouths of containers, such as bottles, jars or cans, which is characterized by a non-rotatable inner spindle member supporting a cylindrical outer spindle assembly which is rotatable about the axis of the inner spindle member and which carries cap skirt-engaging rollers adapted to be cammed into engagement with portions of the skirt on the cap blank so as to shape it to the contour of the threads on the container neck and to form a pilfer-proof ring thereon. The head is mounted for vertical reciprocation between operative and inoperative positions and the operation of the head and rollers is effected by a pneumatic spring arrangement with a no-cap no-roll operation feature.

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Historic Birthday: George Crum

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Today is the date that George Crum died in 1914, and the closest anyone knows about when he was born is July 1832, although some accounts say as early as 1822 and at least one more gives 1831. But he was born George Speck, but changed his name to “Crum” (July 1832-July 22, 1914). He worked several jobs before finding his true calling as a chef in upstate New York, most notably at Moon’s Lake House near Saratoga Springs, New York, and later at his own “Crum’s Place.” But his true fame came from the invention of the potato chip in 1853. There is some controversy about whether he is the true inventor, although there are other candidates, and some evidence that either way he may have been involved at some level, he remains the likeliest person to be credited with inventing the potato chip, which makes him a hero in my book.

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Here’s a short account of his life from Ancestory.com:

When George W. Speck-Crum was born in July 1828 in Malta, New York, his father, Abraham, was 39 and his mother, Catherine, was 42. He had three sons and one daughter with Elizabeth J. He then married Hester Esther Bennett in 1860. He died on July 22, 1914, in his hometown, having lived a long life of 86 years, and was buried in Saratoga County, New York.

Nothing about his life seems particularly settled, not his birthday, where he was born, his exact ethnicity, or almost anything else, but here’s what Wikipedia claims:

George Speck (also called George Crum) was a man of mixed ancestry, including St. Regis (Akwesasne) Mohawk Indian, African-American, and possibly German. He worked as a hunter, guide, and cook in the Adirondacks, who became renowned for his culinary skills after being hired at Moon’s Lake House on Saratoga Lake, near Saratoga Springs, New York.

Speck’s specialities included wild game, especially venison and duck, and he often experimented in the kitchen. During the 1850s, while working at Moon’s Lake House in the midst of a dinner rush, Speck tried slicing the potatoes extra thin and dropping it into the deep hot fat of the frying pan. Thus was born the potato chip.

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George and his wife Kate.

Biography

George Speck (also called George Crum) was born on July 15, 1824 (or 1825) [maybe, but possibly other years or dates] in Saratoga County in upstate New York. Some sources suggest that the family lived in Ballston Spa or Malta; others suggest they came from the Adirondacks. Depending upon the source, his father, Abraham, and mother Diana, were variously identified as African American, Oneida, Stockbridge, and/or Mohawk Indians. Some sources associate the family with the St. Regis (Akwesasne) Mohawk reservation that straddles the US/Canadian border. Speck and his sister Kate Wicks, like other Native American or mixed-race people of that era, were variously described as “Indian,” “Mulatto,” “Black,” or just “Colored,” depending on the snap judgement of the census taker.

Speck developed his culinary skills at Cary Moon’s Lake House on Saratoga Lake, noted as an expensive restaurant at a time when wealthy families from Manhattan and other areas were building summer “camps” in the area. Speck and his sister, Wicks, also cooked at the Sans Souci in Ballston Spa, alongside another St. Regis Mohawk Indian known for his skills as a guide and cook, Pete Francis. One of the regular customers at Moon’s was Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who, although he savored the food, could never seem to remember Speck’s name. On one occasion, he called a waiter over to ask “Crum,” “How long before we shall eat?” Rather than take offense, Speck decided to embrace the nickname, figuring that, “A crumb is bigger than a speck.”

Wicks later recalled the invention of the potato chip as an accident: she had “chipped off a piece of the potato which, by the merest accident, fell into the pan of fat. She fished it out with a fork and set it down upon a plate beside her on the table.” Her brother tasted it, declared it good, and said, “We’ll have plenty of these.” In a 1932 interview with the Saratogian newspaper, her grandson, John Gilbert Freeman, asserted Wick’s role as the true inventor of the potato chip.

Speck, however, was the one who popularized the potato chip, first as a cook at Moon’s and then in his own place. By 1860, Speck had opened his own restaurant, called Crum’s, on Storey Hill in nearby Malta, New York. His cuisine was in high demand among Saratoga Springs’ tourists and elites: “His prices were…those of the fashionable New York restaurants, but his food and service were worth it…Everything possible was raised on his own small farm, and that, too, got his personal attention whenever he could arrange it.” According to popular accounts, he was said to include a basket of chips on every table. One contemporaneous source recalls that in his restaurant, Speck was unquestionably the man in charge: “His rules of procedure were his own. They were very strict, and being an Indian, he never departed from them. In the slang of the racecourse, he “played no favorites.” Guests were obliged to wait their turn, the millionaire as well as the wage-earner. Mr. Vanderbilt once was obliged to wait an hour and a half for a meal…With none but rich pleasure-seekers as his guests, Crum kept his tables laden with the best of everything, and for it all charged Delmonico prices.”

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Potato Chip Legend

Recipes for frying potato slices were published in several cookbooks in the 19th century. In 1832, a recipe for fried potato “shavings” was included in a United States cookbook derived from an earlier English collection. William Kitchiner’s The Cook’s Oracle (1822), also included techniques for such a dish. Similarly, N.K.M. Lee’s cookbook, The Cook’s Own Book (1832), has a recipe that is very similar to Kitchiner’s.

The New York Tribune ran a feature article on “Crum’s: The Famous Eating House on Saratoga Lake” in December 1891, but, curiously, mentioned nothing about potato chips.[13] Neither did Crum’s commissioned biography, published in 1893, nor did one 1914 obituary in a local paper.[14] Another obituary states “Crum is said to have been the actual inventor of “Saratoga chips.””[15] When Wicks died in 1924, however, her obituary authoritatively identified her as follows: “A sister of George Crum, Mrs. Catherine Wicks, died at the age of 102, and was the cook at Moon’s Lake House. She first invented and fried the famous Saratoga Chips.”

Hugh Bradley’s 1940 history of Saratoga contains some information about Speck, based on local folklore as much as on any specific historical primary sources. Fox and Banner said that Bradley had cited an 1885 article in the Hotel Gazette about Speck and the potato chips. Bradley repeated several myths that appear in that article, including that “Crum was born in 1828, the son of Abe Speck, a mulatto jockey who had come from Kentucky to Saratoga Springs and married a Stockbridge Indian woman,” and that, “Crum also claimed to have considerable German and Spanish blood.”

Cary Moon, owner of Moon’s Lake House, rushed to claim credit for the invention, and began mass-producing the chips, first served in paper cones, then packaged in boxes. They soon became wildly popular: “It was at Moon’s that Clio first tasted the famous Saratoga chips, said to have originated there, and it was she who first scandalized spa society be strolling along Broadway and about the paddock at the race track crunching the crisp circlets out of a paper sack as though they were candy or peanuts. She made it the fashion, and soon you saw all Saratoga dipping into cornucopias filled with golden-brown paper-thin potatoes; a gathered crowd was likely to create a sound like a scuffling through dried autumn leaves.” Visitors to Saratoga Springs were advised to take the 10-mile journey around the lake to Moon’s if only for the chips: “the hobby of the Lake House is Fried Potatoes, and these they serve in good style. They are sold in papers like confectionary.”

A 1973 advertising campaign by the St. Regis Paper Company, which manufactured packaging for chips, featured an ad for Crum (Speck) and his story, published in the national magazines, Fortune and Time. During the late 1970s, the variant of the story featuring Vanderbilt became popular because of the interest in his wealth and name, and evidence suggests the source was an advertising agency for the Potato Chip/Snack Food Association.

A 1983 article in Western Folklore identifies potato chips as having originated in Saratoga Springs, New York, while critiquing the variants of popular stories. In all versions, the chips became popular and subsequently known as “Saratoga chips” or “potato crunches”.

The 21st-century Snopes website writes that Crum’s customer, if he existed, was more likely an obscure one. Vanderbilt was a regular customer at Moon’s Lake House and at Crum’s Malta restaurant, but there is no evidence that he played any role in inventing (or demanding) potato chips.

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Potato chips on a white background.

And here’s yet another story about the origin of the potato chip, written by Jean McGregor in the Saratogian in 1940:

The authentic story of Saratoga chips is at long last revealed by the great nephew of George (Speck) Crum, their originator, Albert J. Stewart, now an employee of Mrs. Webster Curran Moriarta of North Broadway, with whom he has been employed for 24 years. Stewart told the story to Mrs. Moriarta many times as I relate it here: “Aunt Kate Wicks” so called by her friends, had something* to do with their Invention—worked for her brother, Crum. She related the true circumstances to Stewart many times before her death in 1914 at 68 William St., where she resided. Crum was born in Malta, the son of Abram Speck, a mulatto jockey who came from Kentucky in the early days of Saratoga and married an Indian woman of the Stockbridge tribe. It is related that a wealthy dinner guest had one time Jokingly referred to the name Speck, as Crura, and thereupon Speck took over the name of Crum. George Crum was more Indianin appearance. His younger days were spent in the Adirondack^ and he became a mighty hunter and a successful fisherman. His services as a guide in the Adirondack* were much sought after. His companion in the forests was a Frenchman from whom he learned to cook. Shortly after the Frenchman’s death, Cnrn took up his abode near the south end of the lake and prepared to serve ducks. He became known throughout the country for his unique and wonderful skill In cooking game, fish and camp fire dishes generally. While he was employed as a cook at Moon’s Place, opened by Carey B. Moon in 1853 at the Southend of Saratoga Lake, on the Ramsdill Road, the incident occurred which led to the making of Saratoga Chips. “Aunt Kate Wicks” who worked with her brother, Crum, making pastry, had a pan of fat on the stove, while making crullers and was peeling potatoes at the same time. She chipped off a piece of potato which by the merest accident fell into the pan of fat. She fished it out with a fork and set it down upon a plate beside her on the table. Crum came into the kitchen. “What’s this?”, he asked, as he picked up the chip and tasted it “Hm, Hm, that’s good. How did you make it?” “Aunt Kate” described the accident. “That’s a good accident,” said Crum. “We’ll have plenty of these.” HE TREED them out. Demand for them grew like wild fire and he sold them at 15 and ten cents a bag. Thus the Saratoga Chip came into existence. Other makes appeared on the market as time passed. For a long period of years, few prominent men in the world of finance, politics, art, the drama or sports, failed to eat one of Crum’s famous dinners.

The late Cornelius E. Durkee, who died at the age of 96, entertained many guests at Moon’s and was familiar with its history, related this interesting story of Crum’s genius as a cook for me one day while he was compiling his reminiscences: “William H. Vanderbilt, father of Governor William H. Vanderbilt of Rhode Island, a prominent visitor here in those days, was extremely fond of canvasback ducks, but could not get them cooked properly in the village. “He sent a couple to Crum to see what he could do with them. “Crum had never seen a canvasback but having boasted that he could cook anything, willingly undertook to prepare these. “I KEPT THEM over the coals 19 minutes.” Crum told Mr. Durkee, “the blood following the knife and sent them to the table hot. Mr. Vanderbilt said he had never eaten anything like them in his life”Mr. Vanderbilt,” continued Mr. Durkee, “was so pleased he sent Mr. Crum many customers. He prospered in the business. He kept his tables laden with the best of everything and did not neglect to charge Delmonico prices.” “His rules of procedure were his own. Guests were obliged to wait their turn, the millionaire as well as the wage earner. Mr. Vanderbilt was once obliged to wait an hour for a meal and Jay Gould and his party, also visitors here in the early days when this resort was the capital of fashionables of the country, waited as long another time. CRUM LEFT the kitchen to apologize to Mr. Gould, who told him he understood the rules of the establishment and would wait willingly another hour. Judge Hilton and a party of friends were turned away one day. “I can’t wait on you,” said Crum, directing them to a rival house for dinner. “George,” said Mr. Hilton, “you must wait on us if we have to remain in the front yard for two hours.” Mr. Durkee recalled for me that, among those who enjoyed Crum’s cooking and his potato chips were Presidents Chester A. Arthur and Grover Cleveland, and Governors Horatio Seymour, Alonzo B. Cornell, David P. Hill, Roswell P. Flower and such financiers as Vanderbilt, Pierre Lorillard, Berry Wall, William R. Travers, William M. Tweed and E. T. Stokes. Crum died in 1914. His brother, Abraham (Speck) Crum dug out an old Indian canoe for Jonathan Ramsdill of Saratoga Lake which is still on exhibit in the State Museum in Albany as one of the finest examples of Indian canoes and Indian days at Saratoga Lake, rich in Indian lore.

And Original Saratoga Chips in New York, also has their version of the story on their website. And The Great Idea Finder also has some info on Crum.

His own restaurant, Crum’s Place, was located at 793 Malta Avenue in Ballston Spa, New York. Today, a marker can be seen by the spot where it stood from 1860-1890.

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