No Food or Drink in the Archive! Unless it’s beer on St. Patrick’s Day.
Part of a series: Diamonds In The Rough
Through a grant-funded project awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the Autry sets out to process approximately 2,000 linear feet of archival material over the next two years. Every third week of the month, the Autry Libraries blog will feature collection gems brought to light by NHPRC Processing Archivist Holly Larson.
Although St. Patrick is never pictured in icons with a stein of lager or a pint of ale, the holiday held in his honor is usually celebrated with beer. So in honor of the holiday and the spirits, here are a few gems from the library, archive, and museum celebrating breweriana.
While St. Patrick does not make an appearance in this illuminated beverage tray, there is definitely something divine happening here with all the cherubs lugging around bottles as big as themselves. An inscription on this tray says, “America’s largest and favorite brewery,” but it also appears to be the favorite of certain celestial neighborhoods.
Another other-worldly land populated with little spirits was imagined by Maier Brewing Company, this one promoted by “funny little folk called the Tonic Land Kids.” Also, note the delightful argument for the health benefits of Maier’s Malt Tonic, especially for when Mother Nature is too tired to do her work of keeping the body healthy.
And Charles Fletcher Lummis has something to add to beer advertising with his contest-winning entry for the Tonic Land Jingles. You can almost hear the pride and incredulity in his voice from his note at the top of his page.
Another collection that will soon be getting some special attention from the NHPRC grant-funded work is the Frances E. Watkins Papers collection, circa 1930- late 1900s. Although Watkins is well-known for being one of America’s first female archeologists, her collection includes a wonderful selection of clippings, including these Alice In Wonderland themed Guinness advertisements from the 1950s.
And as we raise a glass to all those who’ve passed, let Anheuser-Busch give us a history lesson. One hopes that their 1996 pamphlet Authentic history of the Indian campaign which culminated in “Custer’s last battle,” June 25, 1876 (call number E83.876 .A98 1996, available at the Autry Library) is a little more informative than their ad campaign:
Remember to drink responsibly, and if you feel that Mother Nature needs a little boost, “Guinness is Good For You.”