Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Local Museums Hold old Beer Paraphernalia

Two collections of Salem breweriana appeared on the CT radar earlier this year. One of them is being archived, and the other is in a out-of-the way museum. Both are pretty cool!

Over at the Oregon State Hospital Museum project, archivists and historians found a cache of old beer bottles and cans! This can of Sick's Select comes from it. There's also an old bottle of Gambrinus from Portland. At some point we hope to get a list the find!

Meanwhile, over in Rickreall, there's a large number of old beer bottles and coasters already on display. The collection is kinda tucked away, but it's there - so go check it out!

It turns out that back in January 2008, Capi Lynn wrote in the Statesman about it. Worth Mathewson had lent or donated a chunk of his collection of bottles, labels, mugs, and other breweriana to the Polk County Historical Society.

Lynn's focus was less on what the existing artifacts tell us, and more about them as collectibles and the missing "holy grail."
There are no bottles representing the earliest known breweries, from around 1870 to 1900.

"We had three breweries in Salem, and nothing’s been found," Mathewson said. "It’s a mystery."

Nothing from breweries owned by Samuel Adolph, Louis Westacott, or Maurice Klinger and Seraphin Beck.

"There’s a bunch of us looking out there," Coburn Grabenhorst Jr. of Salem said. "Like Worth, we wonder why there’s not more out there."

Grabenhorst said he heard a couple of Adolph bottles were found intact 15 to 20 years ago under a downtown sidewalk and each fetched about $8,000.
(Like these perhaps?)

Lynn continues Grabenhorst's thought:
If a bottle were discovered today, he figures, it would be worth at least that.

Mathewson refers to such a find as the Holy Grail of Northwest breweriana.
Here's Dale Mlasko on finding these Adolph flasks. Mlasko got them from the Adolph family, not from under a sidewalk, so these aren't the exact same ones. And perhaps these flasks for whiskey are distinct from beer bottles Adolph might have had made at the same time. Still, they're still a great connection to old Salem!

At some point maybe we can get some photos and a more detailed list of the Mathewson/PCHS collection. If any CT correspondent should visit, send us your report!

1 comment:

  1. Personally, as a collector of brewery items who not only is active in the national-world brewery collector organizations but has a graduate degree in history and museum conservation, the Salem Brewery collection in Rickreall was highly disappointing and should not be advertised as a "collection" by anyone who wishes to remain credible. (this blog, Polk County Museum, the donor) A bunch of real brewery items mixed with a bunch of fakes that are NOT labeled as such was dubious at best and purposefully misleading at the worst. Simply slapping computer printed labels pirated from the internet on incorrect bottles is not a "collection" that should be displayed by any museum. Not even bothering to label items that were faked/copied/counterfeited as being faked is a big no-no in the museum and collector world. It was even worse that the "museum" in Polk County would keep displaying the unlabeled counterfeits once notified that is what they are. Making things even worse is that when the "Donor" was notified he should at least label all the fakes he donated, he basically replied "He did not care" and stormed out of our conversation. (social skills anyone?) Don't waste your time visiting this if you are a serious collector, serious historian or believer in integrity of what is presented to the public.