Thursday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1950. This ad was made for the Rheingold Brewery, which was founded by the Liebmann family in 1883 in New York, New York. At its peak, it sold 35% of all the beer in New York state. In 1963, the family sold the brewery and in was shut down in 1976. In 1940, Philip Liebmann, great-grandson of the founder, Samuel Liebmann, started the “Miss Rheingold” pageant as the centerpiece of its marketing campaign. Beer drinkers voted each year on the young lady who would be featured as Miss Rheingold in advertisements. In the 1940s and 1950s in New York, “the selection of Miss Rheingold was as highly anticipated as the race for the White House.” The winning model was then featured in at least twelve monthly advertisements for the brewery, beginning in 1940 and ending in 1965. Beginning in 1941, the selection of next year’s Miss Rheingold was instituted and became wildly popular in the New York Area. Pat Burrage was Miss Rheingold 1950. Patricia “Patsy” Joy Burrage was born in 1922 and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, and attended Texas Christian University before moving to New York City to pursue a modeling career. In March of 1950 she married Hastings-on-Hudson New Yorker Robert Francis Young in a whirlwind, fairy tale romance, since she’d met him seven years before in Texas. She continued to model and later relocated to Boston and passed away in 2005. In this ad, from January, she’s on the ski slopes carrying her poles and skis.
Archives for July 14, 2022
Historic Beer Birthday: John Oland
Today is the birthday of John James Dunn Oland (July 14, 1819-October 28, 1870). He most likely not be remembered had it not been for his talented wife, Susannah Woodhouse Culverwell Oland, who was a brewer and responsible for the October Ale that launched what would become Moosehead Breweries. John was born in Somerset England and married Susannah in Bristol, in 1842. Oland tried a variety of jobs, all of them unsuccessful, and even filed bankruptcy in 1844. Hoping to turn his fortune, he emigrated to Canada in 1862, and his wife and family followed in 1865. The family settled in Nova Scotia, and in 1867 Susannah’s October Ale won her enough renown that friends encouraged her to make it on a commercial scale.
So they opened the Turtle Grove Brewery, named for the area where it was situated in Halifax Harbour. Because of the prevailing gender inequality of the era, the business was incorporated with John as the manager, but despite having no official ownership, Susannah oversaw all aspects of running the business. Three years later, John died in a riding accident, although the death certificate lists “liver complaint” as the cause of death.
After his death, Susannah lost control of the brewery, which was renamed the Army & Navy Brewery, but continued to work there. After eight years, she bought the brewery and renamed it S. Oland, Sons and Company, and trained her sons to take over, but she continued to work at the brewery until her death in 1885. The brewery is still owned by the Oland family. You can read the rest of the brewery’s story at the Canadian Encyclopedia.
Historic Beer Birthday: Joseph Schmid
Today is the birthday of Joseph Schmid (July 14, 1814-December 18, 1881). He was born in Hausen, Hohenzollern, but grew up in Constantz, where he learned to brew. He started a brewery in Germany, but sold it and came to American when he was 42, in 1856.
He initially settled in Illinois where he started the Atlantic Brewery in Rock Island, but a decade later when he joined the Lion Brewery, which was also known as the Bernheimer & Schmid Brewery. There was also an August Schmid involved in that business, and it’s unclear the relationship between the two Schmids. The brewery survived prohibition but closed for good in 1941.
This short biography of Joseph Schmid is from the Western Brewer reprinting his obituary 25 years after the fact. The piece mentions the “Lim Brewery” but I’m convinced that’s a typo and should read “Lion Brewery.”
Another account appears to clear up some of the confusion regarding Joseph and August, from the Columbia University Libraries:
A locus for both business and pleasure in Morningside Heights, the Lion Brewery began operations in 1850 and continued until its demolition in 1944. During that time, especially in the late 19th-century, it rose to be a community focal point. It originated with a farm—stretching from Tenth Avenue to Central Park, and 106th Street to 110th Street—belonging to Joseph Schmid (sometimes spelled “Schmidt”) on which he built a brewery in the 1820s, operating as Schmidt & Speyer. Soon, a change of partners brought a change in name to Bernheimer & Schmidt, for Schmid’s new partner, former brewery worker Emanuel Bernheimer. The two renamed it the Lion Brewery in 1850; within thirty years it was generating profits estimated between $1,500,00 and $2,225,000. Real estate speculation doomed the partners, however, and by May 1879, the year after the newspapers’ estimate of their wealth, their combined net worth had fallen to $500,000. They dissolved their partnership and each man transferred his share of the business to his better-educated son: Joseph Schmid transferred his holdings to his son August, and Emanuel Bernheimer to his son Simon. August and Simon applied their education to the management of the business, and by 1888 the plant alone was valued at $1,5000,000.
And this account of some litigation reported by the American Brewers’ Review shed further light on the ownership question of the Schmids.