Patent No. 197744A: Improvement In Hop-Vine Stripper And Separator

Today in 1877, US Patent 197744 A was issued, an invention of Moses C. Smith, for his “Improvement in Hop-Vine Stripper and Separator.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention is in the nature of an improvement in machinery for picking or stripping hops from their vines for separating the hops from the vine-leaves; for separating or breaking up bunches or clusters, and for delivering the hops into bags ready for the kiln, the said machinery being portable, and designed for use in the field.

The invention consists in rolls of soft yielding material for feeding the vines to the stripping mechanism; of moving stripping-teeth disengaging the hops from the vines as they are fed forward, and carrying said vines forward; of a table beneath said moving teeth for receiving the vines from the feed-rolls, and made yielding, so as to avoid choking by accumulation of the vines; of a toothed revolving apron, operating in connection with a toothed bar, for delivering said hops into a chute, from which they are discharged into bags in condition for the drying-kiln, these several elements being combined as hereinafter claimed.

The invention further consists, in connection with the above-described or equivalent mechanism, in a fan located in the forward end of the machine; a fan-hood, the throat of which is guarded by a number of tongues depending from the yielding table before described, to prevent the escape of hops and leaves into the fan-casing; a perforated apron moving over rollers, and. a shaker or sieve placed beneath the said apron, and over the and the perforated apron, over which the vines pass, and between which the hops fall onto the toothed apron.

The invention also consists in arms or rests secured to the frame of the machine, and projecting laterally therefrom at either side of the feed-opening, for the purpose of permitting the stacking of the hop-poles, with the vines thereon, in convenient reach of those feeding the machine.


Patent No. 1046298A: Beer Cooler

Today in 1912, US Patent 1046298 A was issued, an invention of John W. Hurley, for his “Beer Cooler.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to beer coolers.

The ordinary beer cooler coil which is usually made of block tin is subject to numerous objections, among which may be mentioned its short life, difficulty in cleaning, tendency to accumulate impurities which contaminate the beer passing there-through, difficulty in detaching and removing it from its place in the cooler box, and its pitting and disintegration by the ammonia in the ice water. Among its other defects is its relatively great expense and necessity for comparatively frequent renewal, aside from being insanitary.

My invention has for its object the provision of a beer cooler of simple, strong and durable construction which may be inexpensively manufactured and installed, either originally when the beer dispensing apparatus is put in, or subsequently to supplant a coil cooler. A further object is to provide an improved beer cooler which can be readily taken apart and quickly washed and cleaned, will not be liable to injury, as is the case with cooler coils, will not be subject to disintegration by the action of ammonia, will at all times afford a free and easy circulation for the beer and the ready disposal of the ice about the beer cooler and the flow or circulation of the ice water therethrough.


Patent No. 416157A: Apparatus For Drying Hops

Today in 1889, US Patent 416157 A was issued, an invention of Samuel Cleland Davidson, for his “Apparatus For Drying Tea, Hops, SLiced Fruit, &c.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The object of this invention is the construction of an apparatus in which a very strong current of heated air or cool desiccated air can be used for rapidly drying tea, coffee, cocoa, cinchona, hops, sliced fruits, seeds, meal, or other such substances, on sieves or perforated trays arranged in a drying-chamber one above the other on a vertical column, and movable in successive order of rotation from bottom to top of the column without the martial being whirled by the strength of the current into heaps on the trays while in the drying-chamber, or blown away off them by it when the trays are being put into or taken out of the apparatus.


Patent No. 3923897A: Production Of Hoplike Beverage Bittering Materials

Today in 1975, US Patent 3923897 A was issued, an invention of Leonard R. Worden, assigned to the Kalamazoo Spice Extract Co., for his “Production of Hoplike Beverage Bittering Materials.” If the Kalamazoo Spice Extract Co. sounds familiar, that’s where Firestone Walker brewmaster Matt Brynildson worked as in intern in college and then as his first job afterwards, as a hop chemist. Here’s the Abstract:

Production of hoplike beverage bittering materials by the peracid oxidation of 3′,5′-dialkyl-2′,4′,6′-trihydroxyacylphenones to 6-acyl-2,4-dialkyl-2-hydroxycyclohexane-1,3,5-triones (tetrahydrohumulones or tetrahydro-alpha acids) and isomerization thereof to 2,4-diacyl-5-alkyl-4-hydroxycyclopentane-1,3-diones (tetrahydroisohumulones or tetrahydroiso-alpha acids).


Patent No. 572257A: Hermetically Closing Jug

Today in 1896, US Patent 572257 A was issued, an invention of Albert Heinemann, for his “Hermetically Closing Jug.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to a jug, pitcher, or like receptacle having a slightly conical neck and a correspondingly-shaped lid, such lid being tightly closed by means of a suitable locking device, which can be readily opened or closed by a suitably-shaped lever. A packing-ring of india-rubber or other suitable material is placed on the lid in such manner that it is tightly pressed against the conical neck of the receptacle when the lid is closed. This receptacle is particularly adapted for gaseous liquids, such as beer, as also for preserves, seeing that the packing-ring prevents any gases escaping, and also prevents atmospheric air gaining access tothe contents of the receptacle.



How did I not know about this before? Although it’s not about beer, it is about goats, which is close enough for me. Apparently for the last fifty years Sweden has had their own version of a burning man (sort of), although for them it’s a Gävlebocken, or “Gävle goat.” It’s essentially “a traditional Christmas display erected annually at Slottstorget in central Gävle, Sweden. It is a giant version of a traditional Swedish Yule Goat figure made of straw. It is erected each year at the beginning of Advent over a period of two days by local community groups.”


Here’s the basic history, from Wikipedia:

The Gävle Goat is erected every year on the first day of Advent, which according to Western Christian tradition is in late November or early December, depending on the calendar year. In 1966, an advertising consultant, Stig Gavlén, came up with the idea of making a giant version of the traditional Swedish Yule Goat and placing it in the square. The design of the first goat was assigned to the then chief of the Gävle fire department, Gavlén’s brother Jörgen Gavlén. The construction of the goat was carried out by the fire department, and they erected the goat each year from 1966 to 1970 and from 1986 to 2002. The first goat was financed by Harry Ström. On 1 December 1966, a 13-metre (43 ft) tall, 7-metre (23 ft) long, 3-tonne goat was erected in the square. On New Year’s Eve, the goat was burnt down, and the perpetrator was found and convicted of vandalism. The goat was insured, and Ström got all of his money back.


And vandalism of the goat has also become part and parcel of the legend each year. Even the Wikipedia page includes a chart of how long the goat lasted each year. Some years, like 2014, it lasted throughout the holiday season and into January. But even then, there were three attempts by arsonists. It’s actually only made it all the way to January intact a dozen times, and one of those years with some damage. This year, it only made it one day, and was burned down on November 27.

This was this year’s Gävle goat.

A tourist website for the town of Gävle, VisitGävle, with facts about “the world’s largest straw goat.”

The peculiar story about the Gävle Goat started in 1966. A man named Stig Gavlén came up with the idea to design a giant version of the traditional Swedish Christmas straw goat. The objective was to attract customers to the shops and restaurants in the southern part of the city. On the first Sunday of Advent 1966, the huge goat was placed at the Castle Square. Since then, the Gävle Goat has been a Christmas symbol placed in the same spot every year. Today it’s world famous. The goat is the world’s largest straw goat and made it to the Guinness Book of Records for the first time in 1985.

Worth knowing about the Gavle Goat

  • The Gävle Goat is 13 metres (42.6 feet) high, seven metres long and weighs 3.6 tonnes.
  • It takes a whole truck full of straw from the local village of Mackmyra to create the goat.
  • 1600 meters of rope is used.
  • 12,000 knots are tied.
  • 56 five metre straw mats form the straw coat.
  • 1200 metres of Swedish pine create the wooden skeleton.
  • 1000 man-hours of work are needed to build the Gävle Goat.
  • The Gävle Goat is inaugurated on the first Sunday of Advent every year, in conjunction with the “skyltsöndagen”.
  • The Gävle Goat has friends in more than 120 countries around the world that follow it in social media.
  • In 2015, 420 000 people visited the Gävle Goat, dressed in a flower coat, when it was on tour in the Chinese twin town of Zhuhai.
  • The Gavle Goat has been hit by a cruising car and been subjected to fire and sabotage over the years.
  • Staged hacker attacks and kidnappings have also been planned.

You can also read more about it at Atlas Obscura and the BBC


Visit Gävle adds. “You can follow the Gävle Goat from the first Sunday of Advent until after New Year or until the sad day that it meets its notorious fate.” For that purpose, they’ve set up a webcam where anyone can keep an eye on the goat, although this year it’s already too late. On the plus side, that’s how they were able to capture it burning on film.

Patent No. D48217S: Design For A Drinking Glass

Today in 1915, US Patent D48217 S was issued, an invention of Frederick E. Anderson, for his “Design for a Drinking Glass.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

I have invented a certain new, original, and ornamental Design for a Drinking-Glass, of which the following is a specification, reference being had to the drawings forming a part thereof, wherein the side wall of the drinking glass is substantially straight from its lower end upwardly to a point near its top edge, at which point a pronounced outward curvature is developed in the form of a concavo convex bulge. This rounded or bulged formation is comparatively shallow vertically and terminates in the top edge, which edge is substantially in the plane of the straight side wall portion. It is thus characteristic of the design that the side of the glass presents a substantially straight line from its bottom to its top edge, save the outward bulge-which is adjacent to the top.


Patent No. WO2007113292A3: Mashing Process

Today in 2007, US Patent WO 2007113292 A3 was issued, an invention of Niels Elvig, for his “Mashing Process.” Here’s the Abstract:

The present invention provides processes for production of wort and beer from a granular starch adjunct grist mashed-in at a temperature below the gelatinization temperature of said starch.


Patent No. 637826A: Combined Corkscrew And Valve For Beer Pumps

Today in 1899, US Patent 637826 A was issued, an invention of Frank Preston, for his “Combined Corkscrew and Valve for Beer Pumps.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The invention relates to a combined corkscrew and valve for beer-pumps.

The object of the present invention is to improve the construction of beer-pumps and to provide a simple, inexpensive, and efficient device designed more especially for use at picnics and for private use and adapted to serve as a corkscrew and capable of enabling the proper pressure to be maintained on a keg or other receptacle of beer or other liquid to maintain the same in a fresh condition until it is entirely consumed.

A further object of the invention is to provide a device of this character adapted to be readily carried in the pocket and capable of being quickly applied to a receptacle.


Patent No. 184795A: Improvement In Vent-Valves For Casks

Today in 1876, US Patent 184795 A was issued, an invention of Herman F. Peter, William A. Klinge, Paul Assman, and George Schweikert, for their “Improvement in Vent-Valves For Casks.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

Our invention relates to an improved vent-valve for casks, &c.

The invention consists, first, in the combination, with a perforated valve seat, formed on the end of a screw-threaded stem, of an elastic valve and strap or holder, to admit air to a cask, barrel, or other receptacle; second, in the combination, with the valve seat and its stem, of a guard or cap, removably secured to the stem of the valve-seat by a set-screw, whereby the valve is protected and its displacement prevented third, in the combination, with the stem of the valve-seat, constructed. with a conical bearing, of a nut having a conical bearing and an interposed elastic ring, whereby the ring may be set out by forcing the conical bearings toward each other.