Wisconsin antique bottle and advertising club
Baraboo Circus Meets Miller Girl on the Moon

Baraboo Circus Meets Miller Girl on the Moon

By Linda Hoffman

In August, I went to look at the Ringling Brothers Circus posters in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Upon entering the main circus museum building, my husband Brian spotted the enormous, framed, wall-size advertisement of the famous high-wire performer Bird Millman with parasol located between the men’s and women’s restrooms in the lobby hallway. (Figure 1) The star-filled night sky encircled in gold reminds me of my great uncle Thomas Holmes Miller High Life ‘Girl in the Moon’ beer tray rim. Bird Millman’s outstretched graceful arm and parasol grasped in the other to provide balance, also remind me of Tom’s previous photographs for illustration work with his wife and sisters-in-law Pearl and Ruth. Tom used a parasol as a prop with ‘Strolling Girl’ 1904, Pearl Strauss with parasol photo appeared on page 30 of the American Breweriana Journal issue #182 in my first article Proof of Ruth and another one with Ruth and Helen in 1906.

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The New 1943 Miller Girl

The New 1943 Miller Girl

By Linda Hoffman

The first full-faced Miller High Life ‘Girl in the Moon’ appeared in 1943. Her looks were updated to fit the current fashion trends depicting healthy, wholesome young women as ‘pin-up girls’. This European female characterization caught on here during World War II.

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Upside Down Hearts

Upside Down Hearts

By Linda Hoffman

I began to research my family’s ties to the iconic Miller ‘Girl in the Moon’ twenty years ago in 1998. She spectacularly appeared as Chicago commercial artist Thomas Holmes prototype pre-World War I era ‘Girl popping like Champagne’ from a Miller High Life bottle in 1905, standing on a beer crate by 1907 and flying to the moon as Prohibition took its place in the United States.

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In Pursuit of Tom

In Pursuit of Tom

By Linda Hoffman

Thomas Wallace Holmes used the Strauss Girls and their families as models for his Girl in the Moon original creations for Miller High Life brand beer His forerunner, ‘Strolling Girl’ 1904 was modeled after his wife, Carrie Strauss, with the fluid, waving lines of the Art Nouveau period. (Figure 1) Tom reversed the image in 1905 turning Carrie into a human rocket bursting from a bottle of Miller High Life Beer. He incorporated Symbolism in the artworks placing a single stylized rose in the Gibson hairstyle, placing a beer and a whip in her hands, and setting her on the crescent moon in a star-filled sky. (Figure 2) Furthermore, his graphic designs served as the inspiration for current GITM advertising for the Miller Brewing Company.

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Miller Girl in the Moon - Proof of Ruth

Miller Girl in the Moon - Proof of Ruth

by Linda Hoffman

A rumor exists among the Milwaukee brewery workers to this day:
the outlandishly clad lady sitting on a crescent moon was the inspired work of an unknown artist and the model, and not a relative of the brewer's family as commonly told. Many stories of her origin and mistaken identity prevail in local brewing history books but one relationship did hold true. The ancestors of the beer baron and of the artist’s models hailed from the same region of Germany.
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Coshocton, Ohio August 2014

Coshocton, Ohio August 2014

by Linda Hoffman - Published in November/December 2015 Issue #198 American Breweriana Journal

My sister Sue and I went on a journey from Milwaukee Wisconsin to view Advertising Art of Coshocton County exhibit at the Johnson -Humrickhouse Museum. We took Highway 16 for the last 15 miles of our trip to Coshocton, Ohio and exited the freeway at 541. We stopped for lunch at Bob Evans, an Ohio chain. Sue had pot roast with biscuits and I ate chicken salad. We then proceeded to the show located at 300 N. Whitewoman St. in the Roscoe Village of Coshocton, Ohio. (Note-my childhood home address in Oconomowoc Wisconsin was 540 West Wisconsin Avenue, AKA Highway 16). Click on the photo to read the full article.
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