Wisconsin antique bottle and advertising club
Have you seen these photo galleries?  If not, you need to.

Have you seen these photo galleries? If not, you need to.

Put on a seat belt because some of these photos will blow you away.

The photo galleries on this site contain pics of some of the best examples of super-rare and beautiful old bottles, early Wisconsin Pottery and Advertising items from top private collections. Many are so rare that you will probably never see any of them in person in your lifetime. Each gallery has a small number of great pieces. Topics include:

Soda Bottles
Bitters Bottles
Blob Soda Bottles
Advertising Signs
Colored Hutch Soda Bottles
Colored Quart Soda Bottles
Stoneware Bottles
Advertising Shot Glasses (Pre-Pro)
Beer & Ale Bottles
Whitewater Earthenware
W.D. Mosier Pottery
Charles Hermann & Co Stoneware
O.F. Baker Stoneware
Whiskey Backbar bottles
and more

Click the photo to see them all.
Author: Peter Maas
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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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Simon Jung Co. - Milwaukee Liquor Dealer

Simon Jung Co. - Milwaukee Liquor Dealer

Simon Jung Gave Milwaukee His Best Shots by Jack Sullivan

S. Jung Co.

Simon Jung was a wholesale liquor dealer in Milwaukee that operated from 1889 until prohibition in 1918. He partnered with his father-in-law Abraham Breslauser for his first year of business. A Breslauer was a large and well-known Milwaukee liquor dealership. Simon later also partnered with M. Wiener for a year. His business was initially located at 425 Chestnut St but later moved several times. From 1908 to 1918 his business was located at 244-246 E Water Street. That building still stands.
S. Jung brands include Mountain King Rye, Homer Club Whiskey, Ole Bull Bourbon and Underhill Whiskey. Some of the advertising items known today include several varieties of shot glasses and backbar bottles. There are probably many other S. Jung advertising items not yet known to collectors.
Jack Sullivan posted an article on his “Those Pre-Pro Whiskey Men!” blog entitled “Simon Jung Gave Milwaukee His Best Shots”. Click here to read the full article.

Author: Peter Maas
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Heaven City Mukwonago, WI

Heaven City Mukwonago, WI

By Linda Hoffman

Country Springs Hotel on February 12th, 2017. Ralph was selling a Girl in the Moon charger in fair condition at the show. (Fig. 1) The pre-Pro stone lithograph charger was displayed on an easel. Ralph’s charger
was in fair condition. The night sky was badly faded from midnight blue to a daytime hue. The stars were transformed to smudges. These large chargers remind me of the snow coasters for sledding from childhood . . . Ralph’s asking price “as is” was $2200 Firm.
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Proof of Earl

Proof of Earl

By Linda Hoffman

Thomas Wallace Holmes used his nephew, Earl Shopen, the son of Olga Strauss as the model for several 1940’s-1950’s Miller High Life Beer advertisements. Tom’s colorful artworks captured the American spirit for Miller beer designs of two men fishing in a boat, the same two men relaxing on a porch and again at a gentlemen’s barbeque party. (There is no doubt more works) Thomas Holmes, a Chicago artist and illustrator from the turn of the 20th century worked in lithography and photography in the boom of advertising spanning a successful sixty year career. Tom’s wife was Carrie Strauss. He chose Carrie’s family members to model for his illustrations as illustrators were known to do. There were 10 Strauss sisters and their children to choose from. In Thomas Holmes’ spare time and on trips, he painted landscapes including streams and barns in Wisconsin.
Click on the photo to read the full article.
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MABAC Members Go to MOWA Exhibit of Early Wisconsin Advertising

MABAC Members Go to MOWA Exhibit of Early Wisconsin Advertising

On Saturday, September 17th several members of the club made an excursion to West Bend to view the display of early Wisconsin beer and liquor advertising at the Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA.) Sid Hatch, Peter Maas, Erik Hecker and Henry Hecker made the trip and enjoyed seeing some of the finest examples of beer, whiskey, and bitters advertising still in existence in the form of trays, signs, posters, labels, calendars and broadsides. 

 

The exhibit includes some of the best examples known of early advertising from Wisconsin breweries.  The centerpiece of the exhibit is an astounding Pabst Blue Ribbon print  with a turn of the century gaff rigged racing sailboat.  It is made up of 12 panels and stands over 20' tall.  MOWA was the perfect venue to display such a massive sign fully assembled and is perhaps the first time this particular sign has been on display.
The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) explores the art and culture of Wisconsin. Founded in 1961, MOWA is one of the top museums of regional art in the United States, with almost 5,000 works of contemporary and historic art by more than 350 artists.


Click on the photo to read the full article.
Author: Henry Hecker
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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.
Click on the photo to read the article.
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Proof of Tom

Proof of Tom

by Linda Hoffman

In my first article, “Proof of Ruth” ABA Journal #182 March/ April from one year ago, I wrote about my family’s history with the iconic Miller High Life ‘standing girl’ and 1933 Miller Christmas Special Beer label which depict my mother Joanne sitting on her father’s lap in a cozy holiday scene with the Girl in the Moon placed in the night sky. My great uncle, Thomas Wallace Holmes designed these images and used his wife Carrie’s family as models. In this article I am going to share the wonderful events that have happened since. Click on the photo to read the full article.
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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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Berliner Magen Bitters – The Zien Bothers Co.

Berliner Magen Bitters – The Zien Bothers Co.

The flagship product for the Zien brothers Co. was their Berliner Magen Bitters brand which was marketed mainly in the Midwest.   They bottled the product in amber square bottles embossed BERLINER MAGAN BITTERS on one panel.  They also promoted the brand with advertising shot glasses with at least 9 varieties known.  There is an advertising meerschaum pipe with a detailed image of the bottle which is a very unusual advertising item.  They are quite rare and another Milwaukee whiskey bottler, Joseph Dudenhoefer also used this type of advertising pipe.

Author: Peter Maas
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From The Bottom to Fame - One Beer Bottle's Story

From The Bottom to Fame - One Beer Bottle's Story

This is the story of how an antique bottle from the Fred Miller Brewing Company became the centerpiece of a national advertising campaign in 2007. When club member Sid Hatch showed all of his Miller blob beer bottles to the marketing group they selected one bottle because of the similarity of the embossing to the modern branding. It just happened to be a very rare mold variety.
Author: Sid Hatch
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