Friday, July 9, 2010

Made in Oregon - Beer for the Home Team - a Final Toast

Back in the fall of 1912, "Made in Oregon" was perhaps then as strong a message - indeed, brand - as it is today. This full-page newspaper ad got lots of play, appearing regularly. "Patronize the home industries," it said.

In the bottom half of the grid (slightly cut off here), Henry Weinhard and Salem Beer had ads. Weinhard's "Columbia" brand was "the beer without a peer" and was "brewed scientifically in just the right way." The ad said to "mail us your orders." Could beer be sent through the mail? (Have to find out!)

At this time Portland had Bull Run water, but after Mayor Lachmund had torpedoed the purchase of the Water Company, Salem was stuck with polluted Willamette water, likely sometimes foul rather than "sweet mountain water" from the Santiam or from Bull Run. As we've seen time and time again, beer here was often cleaner and safer than tap water, so it's not surprising the ad copy read, "Why drink water when you can get Salem Beer?"

You might notice the swastika in the center under "Made in Oregon." This is the brand of the Pacific Coast Biscuit Company. In the Pearl District in Portland, its building still stands, and traces of the swastika are still visible. The ghostly outline can also be seen in this photo from 1917.

Interestingly, in 1911 and perhaps for some time before or after, Pacific Coast Biscuit sponsored a series of baseball cards for the Pacific Coast League. This card is for Roger Peckinpaugh, who apparently played for the Portland Beavers and later, in 1925, was the American League MVP for the Washington Senators.

Baseball is also on our mind because the Mariners traded Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers today. Lee had struck out 89 and walked 6, and if sustained over the second half of the season, by a substantial margin this ratio would set a new Major League standard for control.

We'll miss Lee and his superlative craft. On this hot summer night, perfect for baseball, a tip of the cap, and a tip of the pint.

1 comment:

  1. Here's a much better bio of Peckinpaugh!

    "Roger Peckinpaugh was one of the finest defensive shortstops and on-field leaders of the Deadball Era...

    In 1910 the [Cleveland] Naps sent Peckinpaugh to the New Haven Prairie Hens of the Connecticut State League for some seasoning before calling him up to the big league club in September. Peckinpaugh hit only .200 over 15 games in his first major league trial, and was farmed out the Pacific Coast League's Portland Beavers for the entire 1911 season. Peck made the big club to stay in 1912, but the right hander only hit .212 in 70 games."

    (A predecessor to the Cleveland Indians, the club was briefly named the Naps after player-manager Napoleon "Nap" Lajoie.)