Historic Beer Birthday: Philip Jacob Ebling Jr.

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Today is the birthday of Philip Jacob Ebling Jr. (April 29, 1861-September 26, 1896). He was the son of Philip Ebling, who along with his brother William Ebling founded the Ebling Brewing Co., which was known by several different names during its life from 1868 to 1950, including the Philip Ebling & Bro. Wm., Aurora Park Brewery, Ph. & Wm. Ebling Brewing Co. and Ebling Brewing Co., which was its name almost the entirety of the 20th century, both before and after prohibition.

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Here’s a short biography from Find a Grave:

Philip Jacob Ebling, son of Philip and Catherine (Baum)Ebling, was president of the Ebling Brewery when his father Philip Ebling died in 1895. He Then directed all of its affairs until death called him in 1896. Philip Jr. was a member of Wieland Lodge No. 714, Free and Accepted Masons; he was also a member of the Schnorer Club and the K.O.S. Bowling Club. Philip Jacob Ebling married at Union Hill, New Jersey, April 12, 1894, Amanda Anna Peter, born March 01, 1872, daughter of William and Caroline (Aeppli) (Ohlenschlager) Peter. He had one child her name was Priscilla Katherine Philipine Ebling.

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The brewery apparently aged some of their beer in Bronx caves, and for some of their beers, like Special Brew, whose label boasts that the beer was “aged in natural rock caves.” Which sounds crazy, but in 2009, road construction crews in the Melrose section of the Bronx found the old caves, which was detailed by Edible Geography in Bronx Beer Caves.

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An Ebling beer truck on 61st Street in New York in 1938.

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A 1908 calendar from the brewery.

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Beer In Ads #1896: Television Party


Friday’s ad is entitled Television Party, and the illustration was done in 1949 by Douglass Crockwell. It’s #27 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 group of people watch a basketball game on one of those newfangled tee-vees. The ad ran in March of 1949, early in the NBA’s fourth season. The champions that season were the Minneapolis Lakers, who beat the Syracuse Nationals in the finals. Unless, of course, they’re watching March Madness. That year, the NCAA champion was Kentucky, who beat Oklahoma A&M 46-36 on March 26, 1949.

027. Television Party by Douglass Crockwell, 1949

Historic Beer Birthday: Matthew Vassar

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Today is the birthday of Matthew Vassar (April 29, 1792-June 23, 1868). Vassar was born in England, specifically in East Dereham, Norfolk. While he’s best know for having founded one of the first women’s colleges in America, Vassar College, the money came from operating his brewery, M. Vassar & Co., which when he first built it in Poughkeepsie it was the largest brewery in the Americas.
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Here’s a short biography from Find a Grave:

Business Magnate. Self-made man with only a very basic formal education. When his father’s brewery burned in 1811 and he discontinued business, Matthew Vassar started his own brewery independently. As business increased he became involved in many things. Among others, in 1842 he became President of the Hudson River Railroad. In 1861, inspired by a niece, he endowed the first women’s college in the United States, with $408,000 and 200 acres of land east of Poughkeepsie which is where present-day Vassar College still stands. A lasting legacy for him which is also humorously embodied in an old song, “And so you see, to old V.C. Our love shall never fail. Full well we know that all we owe To Matthew Vassar’s ale.”

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For much more thorough biographies, there’s Wikipedia, the Vassar Encyclopedia, and the Vassar Quarterly has a long article about the brewery, The Brew that Built Vassar.

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There’s also another piece in a blog concentrating on the Hudson Valley, The Rise and Fall of M. Vassar and Co..

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This is the larger brick brewery on the waterfront Vassar built in 1836, just above the Main Street Landing. The waterfront facility had a brewing capacity of 60,000 barrels annually.

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Portrait of Matthew Vassar, by Charles Loring Elliott.

Patent No. 426965A: Beer-Filtering Apparatus

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Today in 1890, US Patent 426965 A was issued, an invention of Phillip Seibel, for his “Beer-Filtering Apparatus.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This filtering apparatus is intended especially for beer or other liquids liable to foam, and has means for the removal of the foam into a settling-chamber, from which the liquid is withdrawn as it subsides. The apparatus is composed of two or more similar filters connected with the same system of circulating pipes.

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Beer In Ads #1895: An Evening Of Bowling


Thursday’s ad is entitled An Evening of Bowling, and the illustration was done in 1949 by Douglass Crockwell. It’s #26 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, at least three couples, maybe more, are enjoying some beers during an evening of bowling. Surprisingly, beer and bowling do go together well, and it was a hugely popular game in the late forties. But even so, they seem to be throwing back quite a few.

026. An Evening of Bowling by Douglass Crockwell, 1949

Historic Beer Birthday: Ernst F. Baruth

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Today is the birthday of Ernst F. Baruth (April 28, 1842-February 1906). While what would become Anchor Brewing began during the California Gold Rush when Gottlieb Brekle arrived from Germany and began brewing in San Francisco at what he called the Golden City Brewery, it didn’t become known as Anchor Brewing until 1896, when “Ernst F. Baruth and his son-in-law, Otto Schinkel, Jr., bought the old brewery on Pacific Avenue and named it Anchor. The brewery burned down in the fires that followed the 1906 earthquake, but was rebuilt at a different location in 1907.” Baruth had passed away the same year as the earthquake, shortly before it.

According to Anchor Brewery’s website:

[In 1896] German brewer Ernst Frederick Baruth and his son-in-law, Otto Schinkel, Jr., bought the old brewery on Pacific (the first of six Anchor locations around the City over the years) and named it Anchor. No one knows why Baruth and Schinkel chose the name Anchor, except, perhaps, for its indirect but powerful allusion to the booming Port of San Francisco.

Surprisingly, there isn’t much biographical information about Baruth. He was born somewhere in Germany, and arrived in New York City on August 13, 1875, on a ship named the “SS Neckar” that departed from Bremen, Germany and then sailed to Southampton, England, before heading west to America.

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The Anchor Brewery in the early 1900s.

Patent No. 2883999A: Tapping Device

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Today in 1959, US Patent 2883999 A was issued, an invention of Sandor Frankfurt, assigned to the Champion Safe Tap Company, for his “Tapping Device.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to the tapping of kegs of beer or like beverage and more particularly to a novel form of draft tube, tap rod or conduit means.

Broadly the invention comprehends the provision of a tap rod, or liquid conduit means, for use in the siphoning of beer or the like from containers, such as beer keg, having valve means incorporated therein for inhibiting the retrograde flow of beer from the rod or conduit to the keg, said valve means being movable axially to open or closed position by the flow of beer in the rod.

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Patent No. 2281457A: Aeration Of Fermenting Wort In The Manufacture Of Yeast

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Today in 1942, US Patent 2281457 A was issued, an invention of Sven Olof Rosenqvist, for his “Aeration of Fermenting Wort in the Manufacture of Yeast.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

In the manufacture of pressed yeast it is known to blow air into the worts to increase the yeast yields; As a rule the fermentations are now performed with the use of the running-in method, the level of the wort in the vat being considerably lower at the commencement than at the termination of the fermentation. As a rule, it is desired during the start and at the termination of the process to supply less air to the wort than during the main portion of the fermentation. During the main portion of the fermentation it may also be of interest sometimes to be able to supply air quantities of different magnitudes.

Generally, one or more compressors of the same or of different types would operate on a ‘common pressure conduit branched off to the various vats’. By employing large compressor units, the air of which would be distributed to a plurality of vats, a rather low installation cost would be obtained for the compressor system. At the same time, however, the disadvantage would be incurred that the pressure on the air piping always would have to be maintained at a value corresponding to the highest back pressure prevailing in any vat.

Air taken out from the pipe system for a vat with a lower back pressure thus would have to be reduced by a valve from the higher to the lower pressure, which obviously would involve losses of energy.

With large compressor units, the losses in idle running would also be considerable at a low load.

Any control of the air quantity for the various fermentation vats could only take place manually with the arrangements described and with loss of energy. A control of the air quantity to a fermentation vat from the common conduit would entail disturbances in the air supply to the remaining vats and in order to limit such disturbances the pressure above atmospheric in the main conduit would have to be maintained at. an unnecessary high value. The arrangements as hitherto used consequently could not, owing to the fact that the control would be less accurate or too expensive, ensure the proper air supply to each of the fermentation processes proceeding in the various fermentation vats at an energy cost as low as possible. By reason of the fact that the supply of the quantities of air undertaken at the fermentations could not be properly adapted with respect to the process otherwise carried out in connection with these fermentations, the lowest cost for the aeration work, the best yield of the raw materials and the best quality of the finished product consequently could not be obtained.

The present invention refers to an arrangement for the supply of air to fermenting wort in the manufacture of pressed yeast, in the use ‘of which the above described disadvantages are avoided.

The arrangement according to the invention is principally distinguished by a compressor apparatus adapted to be controlled with respect to the delivery of air, the pressure conduit of which apparatus is connected to the plant of fermentation vats, and by an arrangement with a continuously driven member adapted to control the intensity of aeration in accordance with a previously determined aeration scheme, and which may actuate the air delivery of the compressor apparatus by influencing the compressor apparatus itself, its suction or pressure conduit or its driving machinery, or two or more of these arrangements, and which is so arranged as to adjust the compressor apparatus automatically and in accordance with an aeration scheme determined beforehand, to deliver air in a quantity and at a pressure required by the scheme at any moment. Preferably, a measuring device is provided to indicate the amount of air passing on its way to the fermentation vat, said measuring device being adapted to give impulses to the controlling doling device. According to an embodiment of the invention, the controlling doling device is adapted directly or indirectly to actuate a device, in ,order, in the case of double acting compressors, to convey a portion of the air to that part of the compressor which operates at a pressure below atmospheric. According to a further embodiment, a measuring device for the air in the inlet or outlet of the compressor “is arranged to transmit impulses for the control of the number of revolutions of the driving engine of the compressor.

Also. a measuring device for the air may be arranged to effect throttling in the inlet or outlet of the compressor so as to control the quantity of air in this way. If a compressor be used. a turbo-compressor adapted to be controlled with respect to the number of revolutions thereof is preferably made use of.

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America’s First Cookbook

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Today in 1796, American Cookery was published. It was the first cookbook published in America and written by an American, Amelia Simmons. Not much is known about her. She’s referred to as an “American Orphan” on the title page, which isn’t terribly helpful. The first edition was published in Hartford, Connecticut, so some speculate that Simmons may have been from the area. And it appears the very first edition may have been self-published. Feeding America explores many of the questions about Simmons, but has few answers.

It was printed and reprinted for 35 years, with several people stealing her work and putting their own name to it, with some adding additional material. If you read through her biography, it appears that was happening from the very beginning and over the course of its thirteen additions. It’s 220 years old today.

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It’s divided into six sections. First, there’s a Preface, followed by “Directions for Catering, or the procuring the best Viands, Fish, &c.” The chapters that follow include “2. Roots and Vegetables — Beans — Fruits,” “3. Receipts — [Meats] — [Pies],” “4. Puddings — Custards — Tarts,” “5. Cake,” and “6. Preserves — [Boiling], with a short “Errata” at the end. It’s in the public domain and you can get a copy for your eReader at Project Gutenberg.

Near the very end of the book, in Chapter “6. Preserves,” there’s a short recipe for Spruce Beer.

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And here it is reprinted in more modern English:

For brewing Spruce Beer.

Take four ounces of hops, let them boil half an hour in one gallon of water, strain the hop water then add sixteen gallons of warm water, two gallons of molasses, eight ounces of essence of spruce, dissolved in one quart of water, put it in a clean cask, then shake it well together, add half a pint of emptins, then let it stand and work one week, if very warm weather less time will do, when it is drawn off to bottle, add one spoonful of molasses to every bottle.

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Also, the very first recipe under Chapter “5. Cake” calls for a quart of “new ale yeast.”

Plumb Cake.

Mix one pound currants, one drachm nutmeg, mace and cinnamon each, a little salt, one pound of citron, orange peal candied, and almonds bleach’d, 6 pound of flour, (well dry’d) beat 21 eggs, and add with 1 quart new ale yeast, half pint of wine, 3 half pints of cream and raisins, q: s:

Patent No. 726427A: Beer Filter

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Today in 1903, US Patent 726427 A was issued, an invention of William Haussermann, for his “Beer Filter.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to improvements in filters, and particularly beer-filters.

The object of the invention is to provide a beer-filter which is simple of construction, comparatively inexpensive of production, efficient in operation, and adapted to be readily and conveniently cleansed of the retained impurities.

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