Today in 1894, US Patent 517400 A was issued, an invention of Louis Wagner, for his “Pitching Casks.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:
It is the object of my present invention to provide for heating the interior of casks, such as those used for the storage and transportation of beer, for the purpose either of applying new pitch to the same or for the purpose of melting and removing the old and impure pitch to allow of the reapplication of a fresh coating. By my improvements I provide for heating the casks interiorly in a rapid, thorough and economical manner, and at the same time enable the heat so applied to be accurately tempered in order that the heat and fuel may not be wasted or the interior of the cask or the pitch, injured. For this purpose I combine with a suitable heating chamber analogous in construction to a steam boiler and having an air inlet, a steam injecting apparatus adapted to force into the heating chamber such amount of air as will together with the steam when highly superheated produce the volume of vapor necessary for heating the cask. The steam jet forms the motive power for passing the vapor to be heated through the heating chamber and for applying it interiorly to the cask, and at the same time serves by the regulation of its amount to accurately determine the temperature of the vapor at the point where it performs its heating function. I further provide a stand of improved character to receive the Cask or keg while it is being operated upon.