Patent No. 1065666A: Cooler For Liquid-Dispensing Apparatus

Today in 1913, US Patent 1065666 A was issued, an invention of Albert Dade, for his “Cooler For Liquid-Dispensing Apparatus.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to liquid dispensing apparatus, and it more particularly relates to apparatus for dispensing beverages.

An object of the invention is to provide an improved cooler for beverage dispensing apparatus ada ted to be secured onto a beer reg or barre for drawing beer therefrom.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a device of this character which may be quickly and easily knocked down and set up and thereby made especially adaptable dispensing beverages at picnics and the like.


Patent No. 562414A: Bung For Beer Barrels

Today in 1896, US Patent 562414A was issued, an invention of Jeremiah J. O’Leary and Patrick T. O’Leary, for their “Bung For Beer Barrels.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

Our invention relates to bungs in the heads of beer barrels or hogsheads, which are adapted to receive a coupling fora pipe, through which the beer passes to one or more faucets, from whence it is drawn.

Our invention consists in the improved construction of the bung proper, and also of the coupling which enters said bung for the purpose of making a pipe connection, as will be hereinafter fully described, and the nature thereof indicated by the claims.


Patent No. 3670929A: Beverage Dispensing Keg

Today in 1972, US Patent 3670929 A was issued, an invention of Harry E. Berry, for his “Beverage Dispensing Keg.” Here’s the Abstract:

A beer keg construction having only a single access aperture opening midway between the top and bottom of the side wall of the keg with first and second male component quick-connect connectors being mounted inwardly of the aperture in the keg on an endwall of a cylindrical cup-like support member which can be removed from the aperture to enable cleaning and filling of the interior of the keg and with two female component quick-connect connectors on a pressure hose and lager hose being connectable to the male component connector members to enable liquid dispensing and keg pressurization with a minimum of difficulty.


Patent No. 28799A: Ventilation Of Casks Containing Liquids

Today in 1860, US Patent 28799 A was issued, an invention of Louis Wilhelm, for his “Ventilation of Casks Containing Liquids” or “Cock.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

The nature of my invention consist-s in the arrangement of a ventilator in the top of the cask and the connection of the same by means of a cord or chain to the tap or faucet so that when the plug of the faucet is turned to allow the liquor to escape from the cask the ventilator will be opened and admit air in at the top of the cask and when the plug is turned to stop the flow of the liquor the ventilator will close itself by the action of a spring.


Patent No. 139976A: Improvement In Apparatus For Pitching Barrels

Today in 1873, US Patent 139976 A was issued, an invention of George Sichler, for his “Improvement in Apparatus For Pitching Barrels.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

My invention has for its object to furnish an improved apparatus for rolling beer-kegs after they have been pitched to keep the pitch spread over the inner surface of the kegs until they have become so cool that the pitch will not flow. The invention consists in the three cross-bars, the six-posts grooved upon their inner sides, the two adjustable crossbars, the two skids, the adjustable blocks, their connecting-round, and the tilting and weighted skid, constructed and operating in connection with each other as hereinafter fully described.


Patent No. 2443550A: Beer Control And Pipe-Cleaning Apparatus

Today in 1948, US Patent 2443550 A was issued, an invention of Michael J. Zwosta, for his “Beer Control and Pipe-Cleaning Apparatus.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

This invention relates to beverage dispensing apparatus in which pipe connections extend from the beverage containers to the dispensing faucets and :air or carbonic gas pipes extend from a pump or tank to the beverage containers for supplying the pressure needed to raise the beverage from the containers to the dispensing faucets. More especially, this invention relates to arrangements for cleaning the beverage piping.

The pipe cleaning operation in such dispensing apparatus in general use today, is performed with special portable apparatus which necessitates disconnecting the pipe system from the beverage containers for cleaning and flushing. The operation is usually performed when the beverage dispensing apparatus is not in use and when it is performed during service hours service is necessarily discontinued during the pendency of the operation. This method is poor at best; it does not encourage or permit of sufficiently frequent and sufficiently thorough cleaning operations to insure at all times the best sanitary and palatable conditions. It also causes a serious loss of beverage contained in the pipe lines extending from the containers to the dispensing faucets. In addition to these serious shortcomings, this method is inconvenient and costly.

To overcome these objections, methods and apparatus have been invented for cleaning the pipe lines without causing loss of beverage and without disconnecting the pipe lines from the beverage containers. Invariably, however, these new methods and apparatus are complicated and impractical. In most cases the beverage in the pipe lines is saved by driving it back into the containers before the cleaning operation is started. This is an undesirable practice for the reason, among others, that the beverage from the unclean pipes would have a deleterious effect upon the beverage in the containers. Thus, despite the great shortcomings of the first mentioned method, the last mentioned methods and apparatus have not been generally accepted.

The principal object of the present invention is to provide a practical method and means for encouraging and permitting the frequent cleaning of the pipe system at any time during as well as outside of service hours, without loss of beverage, without the necessity for returning the containers, without the necessity for disconnecting the pipe lines from the beverage containers and without the employment of special portable apparatus.

Another object is to provide apparatus of the character described, having easily accessible controls located in the immediate vicinity of the dispensing faucets.

A further object is the provision of safety control means which function automatically to prevent accidental fouling of the cleaning and flushing system, as for example, the passage of cleaning fluid into the beverage containers.


Historical Beer Birthday: John Lofting

Today is as good a day as any to celebrate the birthday of John Lofting (1659–June 15, 1742). Like many people born centuries ago who weren’t royal or otherwise well-born, we don’t know the exact day he was born, but we do know that he died today. Lofting was a Dutchman who lived in London as an adult, and patented several devices, the most famous of which was the fire engine, but he may also have been responsible for the beer engine.


Here’s his Wikipedia entry:

Originally Jan Loftingh, John Lofting was an engineer and entrepreneur from the Netherlands. His parents were Herman and Johanna. He moved to London, England, before 1686. He patented two inventions being the “sucking worm engine” (a fire engine) and a horse-powered thimble knurling machine. His mill was set up in Islington, where Lofting Road is named after him. However, in or about 1700, he moved his main operation to Great Marlow in Buckinghamshire to take advantage of the River Thames’ ability to turn a water wheel which improved productivity, enabling the production of over 2 million thimbles per year.

The Sucking Worm Engine, from the British Museum.

And while Joseph Bramah patented the first practical beer engine, Lofting’s design made it possible for Bramah to build on and create his. Although there’s little I could find specific about Lofting’s invention, it is mentioned in the Wikipedia entry for the beer engine:

A beer engine is a device for pumping beer from a cask in a pub’s cellar.

The beer engine was invented by John Lofting, a Dutch inventor, merchant and manufacturer who moved from Amsterdam to London in about 1688 and patented a number of inventions including a fire hose and engine for extinguishing fires and a thimble knurling machine as well as a device for pumping beer. The London Gazette of 17 March 1691 stated “the patentee hath also projected a very useful engine for starting of beers and other liquors which will deliver from 20 to 30 barrels an hour which are completely fixed with brass joints and screws at reasonable rates.”

The locksmith and hydraulic engineer Joseph Bramah developed beer pumping further in 1797.

The beer engine is normally manually operated, although electrically powered and gas powered pumps are occasionally used; when manually powered, the term handpump is often used to refer to both the pump and the associated handle.

The beer engine is normally located below the bar with the visible handle being used to draw the beer through a flexible tube to the spout, below which the glass is placed. Modern hand pumps may clamp onto the edge of the bar or be mounted on the top of the bar.

A pump clip is usually attached to the handle by a spring clip giving the name and sometimes the brewery, beer type and alcoholic strength of the beer being served through that handpump.

The handle of a handpump is often used as a symbol of cask ale. Keg beer dispensers usually feature illuminated countertop fittings behind which a handle opens a valve that allows the gas pressure in the keg to force beer to the attached spout.

A modern beer engine.

Patent No. 2084200A: Barrel Tap

Today in 1937, US Patent 2084200 A was issued, an invention of Albert Karlson, for his “Barrel Tap.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

This invention relates to new and useful improvements in appliances pertaining to barrels, especially beer barrels, and to the methods of opening and drawing the contents from the latv ter; andit has” for its object to provide means, whereby said latter barrels may be opened and the beer drawn from these in a manner that will eliminate the comparatively great waste and spill of the contents, which now usually occurs in the opening of such barrels, while my device at the same time incidentally secures the retention in the barrels of the gases and fumes so essential to good and palatable beer.


Patent No. 1143243A: Keg Refrigerator

Today in 1915, US Patent 1143243 A was issued, an invention of Leopold H. Vogel and John Burrows, for their beer or keg “Refrigerator.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

This invention relates to an improved refrigerator to he used in connection with a bar for serving liquors and the like.


Patent No. 4094445A: High Speed Beer Dispensing Method

Today in 1978, US Patent 4094445 A was issued, an invention of James Bevan, for his “High Speed Beer Dispensing Method.” Here’s the Abstract:

A method is provided for dispensing beer rapidly into a series of containers for mass distribution to consumers at public gatherings such as stadiums, race tracks, etc. The beer is contained in kegs and is supplied to a multi-tap dispenser through a refrigerated supply line. A coolant is circulated around the beer in the supply line and in the dispenser for cooling the beer. The temperature of the beer is maintained sufficiently close to its freezing temperature as to permit pouring from the taps while preventing excessive foam from being generated in the containers as the beer is poured. Preferably, the beer is maintained at less than 34° F and preferably within about 1/2°-2° F of its freezing temperature which is approximately 28° F for most beer. The pressure drop in the beer supply line is also controlled in order to avoid excessive agitation of the beer.