Beer In Ads #1860: Facts Versus Fallacies #48


Thursday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 48 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “48,” and this is another weird one, equating personal wealth with whether or not a state is wet or dry. Statistics at the time suggested that in wet states, people’s personal per capita wealth was much greater than people in dry states. I’m not sure about the causation question, or other factors, but it’s certainly an interesting strategy.

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Beer In Ads #1859: Facts Versus Fallacies #47


Wednesday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 47 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “47,” and details the failed efforts of a prohibition in neighboring Ohio. They quote several prominent citizens in Ohio, including a former U.S. president. Their conclusion. “The fallacy of Prohibition is best shown by the fact that whenever tried it has proven a failure, because it is neither just nor practical.”

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Beer In Ads #1858: Facts Versus Fallacies #42


Tuesday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 42 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “42,” and is an interesting tactic. It’s simply a reprint of a letter from a federal judge, D.E. Bryant, explaining why in his opinion the local option is a terrible idea and will not work. But here’s my favorite paragraph.

My experience is that prohibitory laws do not prohibit; that they do no good, but to the contrary they are extremely hurtful. There is but one answer to this, and it is that you cannot legislate successfully upon what men regard as a matter of taste. When legislation trenches upon taste the citizen will violate the law with impunity, and in so doing he does not regard himself as a criminal.

Sounds to me like he knew what he was talking about, as that’s pretty much exactly what happened during prohibition.

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Beer In Ads #1857: Facts Versus Fallacies #31

Monday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 31 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “31,” and again discusses the Brooks High License Law (no relation) and the fallacy of the local option where counties can choose to ban alcohol, even if the rest of the state doesn’t. It’s what became known, after prohibition ended, as dry counties and wet ones, a system that was as bad then as it is today.

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Beer In Ads #1856: Facts Versus Fallacies #28


Sunday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 28 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “28,” and discusses the Brooks High License Law (no relation) and in general how highly regulated the alcohol industry was even in 1915, and that it is the most “fortified in the law,” as one Congressman put it.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Frederick J. Poth

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Today is the birthday of Frederick J. Poth (March 20, 1869-October 14, 1942). Though he spent most of his brewing career with his family’s brewery that his father founded in 1870, F. A. Poth & Sons’ Brewery, he interned at the Reading Brewing Co., near where I grew up.

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Here’s a short biography from Find a Grave:

Brewer. He attended the Philadelphia public schools until fourteen years, after which he entered the Nazareth Hall Academy for two years. Lastly, he attended the Pierce Business College for two years. After his formal education, he worked for a year at the Reading Brewing Company in Reading, Pennsylvania. He next went to New York working in Ebling’s Brewing Company for a year. Returning to Philadelphia he began working for his father as foreman of the plant.

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The Poth brewery, from an illustration done in the early 1890s.

Here’s his obituary from the Chester Times, on October 19, 1942:

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The Poth & Sons Brewery around 1900.

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From a Poth family biography pamphlet:

He was born here March 20, i869, and is a son of Frederick A. and Helena M. Poth, whose sketch precedes this. Spending his youthful days in his parents’ home, Frederick J. Poth attended the public schools to the age of fourteen years, after which he entered the Nazareth Hall Academy, where he also spent two years. In further preparation for life’s practical and responsible duties he entered Pierce’s Business College, in which he remained as a student for two years, after which he went to Reading, Pennsylvania, where for one year he occupied a position with the Reading Brewing Company. He next went to New York and engaged with the Eblings Brewing Company for a year. Returning on the expiration of that period to Philadelphia he joined his father in the brewing business as foreman of the plant and also had charge of the office. After his father’s death he was elected president and has been very successful in the control and management of the business, which is now of large and profitable proportions, employment being furnished to one hundred and thirty-five men, while the capacity of the plant is five hundred thousand barrels per year. Mr. Poth was married in Philadelphia to Miss Mary C. Clarke, and they have two children. Frederick Clarke, two years of age; and Gilbert Leslie, who is in his first year. In his political views Mr. Poth is an earnest republican. He belongs to various German societies, in which he is popular, and he also holds membership with the Red Men and with the Masons. In the latter organization he has attained high rank, belonging to William G. Hamilton Lodge, A. F. & A. M.; Freeman Chapter, R. A. M.; Pennsylvania Commandery, K. T., and Lu Lu Temple of the Mystic Shrine. While he entered upon a business already established he has displayed an initiative spirit in further extending its interests and his life record proves that success is not a matter of genius, as held by some, but is rather the outcome of clear judgment, experience and indefatigable energy.

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Beer In Ads #1855: Facts Versus Fallacies #19


Saturday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1915, No. 19 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “19,” and is the earliest one I’ve found so far. The ad talks about the evidence that already existed proving that the enforcement of a prohibition would be impossible. Looking back to 1885 and up the previous thirty years, in southern states where alcohol had been made illegal, the number of illegal distilleries had nearly tripled from when it was legal. Not to mention, the loss of revenue and the additional government expenses for enforcement.

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Beer In Ads #1854: Facts Versus Fallacies #98


Friday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1917, No. 98 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “98,” is about what current science was saying about alcohol’s benefits in 1917. “Alcohol in not too large doses, taken by the mouth, is undoubtedly burned in the body, and in this burning gives off heat which replaces equivalent energy ordinarily derived from food or body substance.” They cite the habits of the French, who apparently “regularly receive in their daily diet somewhat more energy in the form of alcohol than they do in the form of protein.”

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Beer In Ads #1853: Facts Versus Fallacies #97


Thursday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1917, No. 97 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “97,” is about two things, the revenue lost from closing saloons and how it would lead to illegal speakeasys. There was already proof of that, as the few New England states that had already imposed a state prohibition have seen just that occur, and in fact a couple of them quickly repealed them as being “impracticable.” And in 1913, taxes on alcohol accounted for 48.68% of the “total revenue of the government.” And indeed, the industry honestly believed that politicians would not vote for a national prohibition because of how much money they paid into it, but income tax became permanent in 1913, and that balance began to shift, allowing the federal government to not worry too much about the loss of revenue from prohibition. At least not until the depression.

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Beer In Ads #1852: Facts Versus Fallacies #93


Wednesday’s ad is another one for the Pennsylvania State Brewers Association, from 1916, No. 93 in series they did from 1915-17 called “Facts Versus Fallacies.” I have no idea how many were done but some of the them are numbered into low triple digits, suggesting there were a lot of them, all in an effort to stop Prohibition from happening and win over support for beer. This ad, marked “93,” is about the prohibitionist claims that drunkenness is ruining marriages and the leading cause of divorce. Like almost everything they sue to promote their cause, it’s exaggerated to suit their aims, much like today’s anti-alcohol organizations. In the ad, statistics available for 1914 from the city of Chicago clearly show that while there are relationships ruined by one of the parties’ overindulging, it’s in far less numbers than the prohibitionists argue. In fact, for Chicago, of the four leading causes of divorce, drunkenness is last and is just 1.5% of the total.

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