Historic Beer Birthday: Frederick J. Stegmaier

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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.

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Here’s his obituary, published on Find a Grave:

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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.

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Stegmaier Brewery workers c. 1894.

And here’s one more from American Brewers’ Review from 1915:

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Patent No. 2325309A: Process Of Capping Bottles

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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.

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Patent No. 1348139A: Stem Picker

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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.

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Beer In Ads #1984: Weekend In The Ski Country


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.

115. Weekend in the Ski Country by Haddon Sundblom, 1955

Patent No. 2124959A: Method Of Filling And Closing Cans

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Today in 1938, US Patent 2124959 A was issued, an invention of William Martin Vogel, for his “Method Of Filling And Closing Cans.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to cans and a method of making and filling the same, and has for its object the provision of means whereby a maximum quantity of air may be evacuated from the can prior to the sealing operation.

At the present time beer is being packed in cans and one of the greatest difficulties encountered is that of completely or at least nearly completely evacuating the maximum quantity of air from the can. The failure to uniformly evacuate the air results in lack of uniformity of the contents of the can. In some cases an opened can produces beer of a decidedly fiat appearance and taste; while in other cases, an extremely frothy, aerated fluid emanates. Experiments have shown that this lack of uniformity in canned beer is apparently due to the failure to eliminate or evacuate the greatest possible amount of air from the can during or after the filling operation, and prior to the sealing of the can.

The primary object therefore, of this invention, is to provide a can of such a construction, together with a method of filling and sealing such a can, which will eliminate the maximum quantity of air from the can, thereby completely, or nearly completely, filling the can with the liquid contents only. More particularly, the invention contemplates the provision of a can initially formed with an outwardly distended or dished bottom,

arranged to be reversely curved or distorted under pressure after the can is filled, thereby causing the liquid contents of the can to be bodily shifted toward the top of ‘the can, causing said contents to displace and eject the air out of the can just prior to the sealing of the top of the can.

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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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Beer In Ads #1983: We Won!


Monday’s ad is entitled We Won!, and the illustration was done in 1955 by Haddon Sundblom. It’s #114 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 #100 with a different title, After the Game, everything else is exactly the same. The only difference is, this time we know they won. As I wrote about it the last time, the kids are back from the football game, and Mom has the salad and jello mold ready for them. Thankfully, someone also set out beer, which is the only thing on the table they really want.

114. We Won! by Haddon Sundblom, 1955

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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