Category Archives: Breweriana

Apparition of sign doesn’t return when you paint a new one – News Tribune – Peter Callaghan

Apparition of sign doesn’t return when you paint a new one– PETER CALLAGHAN; STAFF WRITER – THE NEWS TRIBUNE

It seems like such a simple response to a careless mistake.

Rather than lament the loss of the 77-year-old hand-painted Alt Heidelberg sign on the side of the Joy Building, just repaint it.

“Do we want to preserve the sign or the paint?” wrote one reader of my column on the screw-up by the architects and contractor charged with renovating the building AND preserving historic artifacts such as the sign.

Others pointed to the “New York and Washington Outfitting Co.” sign on the exposed wall of the Knights of Pythias Temple on Broadway as an example of repainting.

© Frank H. Jump

I’m not a fan of that sign but I was having trouble articulating why. It not only looks new, which it is, it covered the actual-though-faded sign underneath. It is so bright it detracts from the real ghost signs on the walls that were exposed when the Colonial Theater was demolished in 1988.

But paint is paint. Besides, most of the prime sign locations downtown were repainted repeatedly as new products, new businesses and new fads came along.

The Alt Heidelberg sign featuring the Student Prince from the 1920s operetta and the slogan “Everybody Knows It’s Better” was itself painted over other signs now partially exposed. (And the stein he raises in a toast was originally a bottle, according to Doug McDonnell, a local historian and descendent of the brewery’s founder.)

© Vincenzo Aiosa

So I asked a few people with a special affection for ghost signs, such as New Yorker Frank H. Jump, who features the Student Prince sign on his website Fading Ad Blog (fadingad.wordpress.com/).

“I tend to abhor repaints,” Jump wrote back. “It is the decay of a sign I find beautiful. It is a living process in a way.

“But just like all living processes, all things must die,” he wrote. “Although preservation attempts are good for historical and tourist reasons, they can’t always be realized since buildings are at risk if they become porous.”

He [Jump] included a poem he’d written that touched on the question:

“Signs and vines weather and grow.
Brick, pigment, plant and lime-
Tenuously intertwined through time.
As paint degrades and image fades,
Soft tones evolve
From salmon pinks and jades-
Into sand and grime.”

Reuben McKnight, Tacoma’s historic preservation officer, said city policy is for ghost signs on protected buildings to be preserved. But it has no policy on repainting faded or destroyed signs.

“One issue is that for multi-layered ghost signs, restoring one layer necessarily means losing or destroying another,” McKnight wrote. “As you know, multiple shadows of signs are usually visible in the unrestored signs.”

The University of Washington Tacoma, owner of the Joy Building, will report to the city landmarks commission June 9 about the loss of the Alt Heidelberg sign. The commission may discuss the idea of repainting at that meeting, McKnight said.

Michael Sullivan, a preservation consultant and former city landmarks officer, said he thinks repainting is a bad idea.

“You can’t wind back the clock,” he said, adding that repainted signs look “hokey.”

I agree. The beauty of ghost signs is that they are an apparition. The same image that you can’t see or overlook in certain light appears when the conditions are right. To come upon them is to discover an artifact of a city’s history. And to be able to see multiple layers of advertising is a sort of visual archeological dig.

Repainting, therefore, is contrary to all that makes these signs fascinating. Acknowledging that the Student Prince is lost forever makes it an even bigger debacle. But putting an inferior reproduction on the wall would be very cold comfort.

One commenter suggested a compromise of sorts. Billyizme said a recent photograph of the sign could be projected onto the wall in the evenings. It would be clear that it isn’t original. But it would be an homage to what was the last stand of an iconic Tacoma brand and mascot.

Peter Callaghan: 253-597-8657
peter.callaghan@thenewstribune.com
blog.thenewstribune.com/politics
Read more: www.thenewstribune.com

Here I'm not making a statement about preservation, but the lack thereof. - © Vincenzo Aiosa

This wall above is opposite the New York – Washington repaint in Tacoma, Washington – a treasure trove of fading ads that now has one less gem.

UW Tacoma work erases historic icon – Peter Callaghan – The News Tribune

© Vincenzo Aiosa

The Student Prince loved his beer.

And beer lovers in Tacoma loved the Student Prince.

I say loved – past tense – because the Student Prince is dead. The last large image of the iconic advertising symbol of local brew Alt Heidelberg was washed away from the side of the University of Washington Tacoma’s Joy Building during renovation.

“We’re deeply saddened and dismayed and heartsick over this,” said UWT spokesman Mike Wark. He said the UWT strives to preserve the historic painted signs it inherited but was told by a subcontractor that the condition of this one was too fragile to withstand brick cleaning and tuck pointing.

Read more: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/05/27/1202505/uw-tacoma-work-erases-historic.html#ixzz0pAzk2tKK

I wrote the piece today about the destruction of the alt Heidelberg ghostsign in Tacoma. I’m now wrestling with people who say it isn’t that big a deal because it can just be repainted. I’m trying to explain why that just isn’t the same (and would be a bad idea to try). Can you give me some help? What is the beauty of ghost signs that demands that they be original, that they be apparitions that we discover? As bad as this mistake is, I think it would be made worse by some attempt to repaint the Student Prince.

Thanks. Enjoy your page.
Peter Callaghan
The News Tribune
Tacoma, WA

Previously posted:
  • Alt Heidelberg – Columbia Brewing Co – Tacoma, WAFading Ad Blog

Narragansett Beer – Ralph’s Bar – Worcester, MA

© LB Worm

© LB Worm

© LB Worm

Hello – Love your blog, a fan here in Worcester, MA. My favorite drinking establishment recently had an ad for Narragansett Beer, which is making a comeback in New England, painted on the outside of the bar. I also included a shot of the front. The place features an authentic 1950’s diner and two bars, upstairs and down. The mural would be on the right side. – Thanks, LB Worm

Thank you LB. Great mural!

The Ritual Billboard – Stella Artois – Middletown, NY

© Frank H. Jump

Previous Stella Artois postings.

Trommer’s Genuine Ale – Fletcher’s Castoria – Astoria, Queens

© Frank H. Jump

Astoria Blvd © Frank H. Jump

Castoria is clearly written on the bottom © Frank H. Jump

Close-up on Trommer's Ale ad © Frank H. Jump

Active Collectibles dot com

Distributed by John F. Trommer Inc - 1632 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn NY - US Beer Labels dot com

Trayman dot net

Trayman dot net

circa 1937 - Tavern Trove dot com

circa 1937 - Tavern Trove dot com

Old Beer Stuff dot com

Tavern Trove dot com

John F. Trommer’s Evergreen Brewery
[Bushwick Ave at Conway Street, Brooklyn]

The Brooklyn brewery was founded by John F. Trommer, who had emigrated from Germany. He settled first in Maine, then worked in Boston, and finally settled in New York City. After working in a number of breweries, he purchased the recently built plant of Stehlin and Breitkopf in 1896. Know as the Evergreen Brewery, it grew gradually during the next two decades. Trommer died in 1898, but his son, George, continued the business. Somewhat atypically, George Trommer managed to expand business during the 1920s by lending money and giving support to potential owners of hot dog restaurants-which, of course, featured Trommer’s White Label Near Beer. By 1930 he supplied more than 950 such places.

In 1933, a second plant was opened in Orange, New Jersey, and both breweries proved very successful well into the late 1940s. [Furthermore, Trommer’s housed one of Brooklyn’s most popular beer gardens called the Maple Garden.] The New York City strike of 1949 and loss of sales thereafter hurt the company, however, and the New Jersey plant was sold to Rheingold in 1950. In 1951 Trommer announced the sale of the Brooklyn plant to Piel Brothers. George Trommer died on November 16, 1956, at the age of 83.

In Bushwick, the presence of the brewing industry encouraged the dairy industry. Farmers collected spent grain and hops for cow feed. Milk, with close to 4% butterfat, was sold fresh, made into cream, butter, cheese or ice-cream, or thinned for drinking. The milk business supported blacksmiths, wheelrights and feed stores along Flushing Ave. The Bedford section of Brooklyn (now part of Bedford-Stuyvesant) was agricultural until the 1920s, hosting substantial dairy activity. – New York Food Museum (Brooklyn Beer)

The Lincoln Hotel – Butte Special Beer – Butte, MT

© Frank H. Jump

Montana's Finest Beer © Frank H. Jump

Flickr images

Budweiser – Beale Street – Memphis, TN

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

Alt Heidelberg – Columbia Brewing Co – Tacoma, WA

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

Columbia Brewing Co. history.

Courtesy of Brewery Gems dot com

Courtesy of Brewery Gems dot com

Interboro Brewery Revisited – from Washington Avenue – Crown Heights, Brooklyn

© Frank H. Jump

February 5, 2009 © Frank H. Jump

Previous posting January 30th  2008

Edward B. Hittleman Brewery – Bushwick, Brooklyn

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

Trains Are Fun – Hittleman Pic -Courtesy of Forgotten-NY
NY Daily News article – April 23, 2008 – Joshua M. Bernstein & My Gut Instinct

Park Slope Beer – Fifth Avenue

Beer - Park Slope - Brooklyn - © Frank H. Jump

Beer - Park Slope - Brooklyn - © Frank H. Jump

Pocono Woodpeckers, Other Wildlife, Abandoned Ski Lift & More Fungus

Woodpecker

Woodpecker

Woodpecker

Trout Lily Leaf

Pocono Deer

Pocono Deer

No Outlet

Pocono Tree Fade

Briars

Briars

Turkey Feather

Abandoned Ski Lift

Abandoned Ski Lift

Abandoned Ski Lift

Abandoned Ski Lift

Abandoned Ski Lift

Abandoned Ski Lift

Tree Fungus

Tree Fungus

Tree Fungus

Woodpecker

Woodpecker

Woodpecker

Osmose

Chevy Parts Sign

Chevy Parts Sign

Chevy Parts Sign

Miller Beer

Miller Beer

Weekend Feature Fade: Heileman’s Old Style Lager – La Crosse, Wisconsin – Bob Kisken

Heileman's Old Style Lager - Lacrosse, Wisconsin - Bob Kisken

© Bob Kisken

Heileman's Old Style Lager - Lacrosse, Wisconsin - Bob Kisken

Heileman's Old Style Lager - Lacrosse, Wisconsin - Bob Kisken

Heileman's Old Style Lager - Lacrosse, Wisconsin - Bob Kisken
© Bob Kisken

“Ist das nicht eine fine – Heileman’s Old Style Lager– Beer Depot”

Bannons Café, Ruppert’s Beers – Astoria, Queens

Bannon's Café - Astoria, Queens

Bannon's Café - Astoria, Queens
© Frank H. Jump

Vintage Ruppert Beer ad
I found this photo on Waymarking.com posted by HaLiJuSaPa. Below is their description:

Long Description:
The ad is for Ruppert Beer, a major New York area brewery during the first half of the 20th century. It’s founder, Col. Jacob Ruppert, owned the New York Yankees during their 1920’s dynasty and is the person who bought Babe Ruth in 1919 from Harry Frazee’s Boston Red Sox and began “the curse of the Bambino”

Until the building in front of it was knocked down a few years ago, this ad was “covered up”.

Vintage Ruppert Beer ad

Ebay
Ebay

colorantshistory.org’s Robert Baptista Photographs Ads & Ephemera

Mail Pouch Tobacco - Dover, NJ 1991
Mail Pouch Tobacco – Dover, NJ 1991 © colorantshistory.org/Robert Baptista

Edgerton Photographer - Beaumont, TX 1994
Edgerton Photographer – Beaumont, TX 1994 © colorantshistory.org/Robert Baptista

Intercoastal Mercantile Co. 1918 - Vinton, LA 1996
Intercoastal Mercantile Co. 1918 – Vinton, LA 1996

Russo Auto Wreckers, Elizabeth, NJ 1994
Russo Auto Wreckers- Elizabeth, NJ 1994 © colorantshistory.org/Robert Baptista

Aroy Building 1930 - Pt. Arthur, TX 1999
Aroy Building 1930 – Pt. Arthur, TX 1999 © colorantshistory.org/Robert Baptista

Borne Chemical Co., Elizabeth, NJ 1997
Borne Chemical Co., Elizabeth, NJ 1997 © colorantshistory.org/Robert Baptista

Goodyear Tires - Myersville, NJ 1998
Goodyear Tires – Myersville, NJ 1998 © colorantshistory.org/Robert Baptista

Kolsch Beer - Leverkusen, Germany 1999
Kolsch Beer – Leverkusen, Germany 1999 © colorantshistory.org/Robert Baptista

Hi Frank,

Looking at your vast site reminded me of some photos of ads on buildings I have shot in the past. Attached are some that you are welcome to post at your site.

Best Regards,

Robert Baptista

Outstanding shots Robert! -FHJ

The Borne Chemical Co. depicted in the 1997 photo was located on a 9-acre site at 632 South Front St., Elizabeth, NJ. Chemical operations began at the site around 1917. Borne Chemical used the site for the processing and blending of various types of petroleum, dyes and chemical products. When oil prices skyrocketed in the 1970s, the company began to sell recycled motor oil and auto transmission fluid. But oil prices dropped in the 1980s so the company went bankrupt and abandoned the site. The property is now listed as a Superfund site which the City of Elizabeth hopes to redevelop it after the environmental cleanup.

Robert Baptista 2/9/2008

CLICK ON COMMENTS TO READ MORE OF ROBERT’S INVESTIGATIVE DETAILS!