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History    > 1848-1873    History21873-1881     History3 >   1881-1907    History4 >   1907-1933    History5 >   1933-1969 History6 >   1969-1982   History7 >   Post-1982  JSBC History Index


Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. : A Chronological History

1881-1907

edited and written by Michael R. Reilly, copyright 1995

Date of Last Revision 03/24/2013

    One of the most nostalgically remembered of all that the Germans brought to Milwaukee was the Biergarten. The beer garden was an important gathering place for family groups, politicians, artists, and celebrities as early as the late 1840's. The most pretentious beer gardens were extensive groves, selected for natural beauty and often enhanced by landscaping. Some featured exotic plants, artificial ponds, fountains, and rustic stairways descending into picturesque ravines. Conveniently placed benches and tables served by nimble footed waiters invited rest , quiet conversation and leisurely imbibing.

    Schlitz Park, at 8th and Walnut, ( today the site of Carver Park) was the most popular beer garden in the city in the 1880's and nineties. At the north end was a large pavilion, open on three sides, where concerts and grand opera were given. Several hundred listeners could be seated inside, while as many others sat at tables "under the stars" and sipped their beer as they listened. In the center of the park was a hill topped by a three story lookout pagoda, from which most of the city could be seen, it was possible to look across the city all the way to Lake Michigan. At the south end of the park was a winter dance hall, bowling alley and a refreshment parlor. A big schooner of beer was 5 cents, and a quarter would buy the kiddies a long strip of tickets good for pink lemonade, soda water, wieners and popcorn. Some days there were special thrills for the youngsters, as when a tightrope walker teetered at dizzy heights among the trees, or a balloonist ascended. The park was ornamented by two large fountains, and the terraces of the hill were illuminated at night by 250 gas globes. The arched entranceway to the park was "ablaze with 32 electric lights".

    The Musikverein von Milwaukee - the Milwaukee Musical society - gave its concerts here. Eugene Luening conducted the society's orchestra. Christopher Bach and his orchestra played other nights, and the Liederkranz - choral society - sang under his direction. Some nights, out of town orchestras or opera companies performed : Theodore Thomas conducted the Chicago orchestra, or a Gilbert and Sullivan company from Boston put on the Pirates of Penzance or Pinafore. Political rallies were also in the big pavilion : Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and William Jennings Bryan spoke there. 7-143

In 1882, Milwaukee's population was reported to be 135,000 people and 873 saloons.

    1882, National Brewers' and Distillers' Association formed.

    Schlitz's employment level in the mid-1880s was reported to be over 500. 10-21

To the right is an early lithograph of the brewery in the 1880's, note the horse-drawn wagons - taken from an early letterhead.------------>

    Bottling beer in Cleveland, Ohio began as early as 1883. The first bottling works at 20 Merwin St. was managed by John Schlitz, nephew of the late Joseph Schlitz. After managing the bottling operation for a time, John owned and operated a saloon/restaurant with others for a number of years. By circa 1900, bottling at East 55th St. near Chester Ave. was managed by W. Marshall. 24-85

wpe2.jpg (16375 bytes)Uihlein family photo taken in the early 1880's - They are [bottom row, from left]; Charles, superintendent of the bottling works; Edward, vice president in charge of developing the Chicago markets; Henry, president. Top row [from left]; William J., assistant superintendent of the brewery; Alfred, superintendent and brewmaster; August, secretary and chief operating officer

 In 1885 (possibly as early as 1883),William J. Uihlein brought back the first pure yeast culture apparatus from Denmark to the United States after having studied the importance and significance of cultivating yeast from one individual cell and growing and multiplying this cell under sterile conditions thus insuring purity and uniformity in fermentation. Emil Christian Hansen developed the yeast for the Carlsberg Breweries in Copenhagen.

 Christian Voechting became president of the Joseph Schlitz Bottling Works in 1885. 1-93. See below.

    "A postcard measuring 3" x 5" and bearing a printed, pre-paid one-cent stamp and a postmark reading July 9, 1885, Milwaukee, Wis. The address side of the postcard reads " Postal Card US - Nothing but the address can be placed on this side." It is addressed to Messrs Lormore & Tompkins, Elmira N.Y. The reverse reads " Milwaukee, Wis., July 8, 1885. Dear Sir: We received from you, per C.M. & St. P. (Chicago, Minneapolis and St. Paul) 39 cases - - - $9.75, 92 pint bottles - - - $44.16 (total) $53.91, on which we paid for freight - - - And have placed to your credit - - - Very respectfully, The Joseph Schlitz Bottling Works Limited." It's funny because the name of the company is stamped over the original name on the card which read VOECHTING, SHAPE & CO. This whole side of the card is printed in italics, but the date, C.M. & St. P., numbers and figures are hand-written in a beautiful script". Note: Description from an eBay auction.

    1886's capacity exceeded 500,000 barrels annually, of which 1/16 (or 31,250 barrels) were sold locally. about 120,000 barrels were constantly kept on hand , along with 400,000 barrels of malt and barley. The plant was operated with a 150 hp steam engine plus 20 and 25 hp engines for other departments. The plant also boasted of its 150 hp., Linde patent ice machine - the first imported machine of its kind in America; purchased in 1885 in Switzerland. The brewery covered an area of 580,000 sq. ft. and the bottling house produced 15 million bottles. They had branches in principal cities of the United States- the employees numbered 25,000.

    1886, National Union of the Brewers of the United States established

    1886 -  "Annual capacity, 600,000 barrels, Harry Uihlein, Pres."  In 1886, a manager at Schlitz reported that each of his men drank an average of 40 "short glasses" of "free beer" a day; and that the "plant champion" managed to put down 100 or more than 3 gallons.

     In 1887 Charles Uihlein left the superintendent position at the bottling works and retired from the brewing business. His connection with the brewery remained peripheral from then on. He was a relatively young man yet and he spent the rest of his life traveling, collecting art, and otherwise enjoying himself. 9-1

    Anna Marie Schlitz (Krug) dies on January 20, 1887. See important new news about her will and that of her late husband.

    Schlitz was reported to own in 1887, something like fifty retail outlets (corner saloons) in Milwaukee. The corner saloon was one of the important economic props of the brewing industry before Prohibition but it was also a focal target later on of the temperance groups.

    The United States Brewmasters' Association Of America is formed in Chicago during 1887. Following Prohibition's repeal, it was renamed Master Brewers Association of America.

       100 Barrels of Schlitz Beer shipped from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Carter, Wyoming Territory Nov 1st, 1887 by the Union Pacific Railway Co. Freight cost:  $372.40

      For Schlitz to sell its' product from coast to coast, it was necessary to ship it over long distances that were both expensive and extremely bothersome, and often it proved detrimental to the beer's quality. 24-217/218.

    1888- Brewery employees strike in New York, Chicago, and Milwaukee.

    The Schlitz Hotel (shown with the Palm Garden, opened in 1896) in Milwaukee is built in 1889.-------------------->

    In 1889 the brewery carried several brands of beer and it is interesting to note the pieces of beer - Schlitz held 5 qt's to the gallon- and one box (case) of two dozen quart bottles of Extra Pale beer sold for $3.75 while the same amount of Stout brand sold for $1.45. at this time Christian Voechtens or Voechting was president, August Uihlein, vice-president, and Chas. E. Meyer, secretary-treasurer.

    In 1889, a British Brewery syndicate proposes a plan for the consolidation of the three leading Milwaukee brewers: Schlitz, Pabst, and Blatz for a purchase price of $16,500,000; only Blatz eventually sells a share in his brewery. (Later on ,1892-93, various British syndicates were responsible for a number of disagreeable and unprofitable price wars due to the fact that they were not recovering their investments as they had intended or thought).

    June, 1890 - Internal Revenue Act changed to allow the piping of beer from the storage cellars to the bottling house. A revenue officer had to be present at all times the beer was flowing; not changed until 1933.

    1890 - Charles Kirchhoff, Jr. designs a Schlitz tavern at 2249 N. Humboldt Ave, Milwaukee in the Romanesque Revival style that today (February, 2000) is one of many historic buildings that are threatened by  development. Mr. Kirchhoff was born in Milwaukee on July 22, 1856, and received his education in public and private schools of Milwaukee and the German-English Academy. After leaving school, he learned the trades of carpenter and mason. He then went to Boston and New York, where he spent two years in architectural school. After his partnership with Henry Messmer dissolved, he designed the Schlitz Hotels in Winona, MN and Omaha, NEB., along with the Globe Hotel, Palm Garden, the Schlitz Hotel and the Uihlein theater in Milwaukee. Ref: in part - "Wisconsin Men of Progress"

    In 1891, the brewery had an output of 547,196 barrels, more than doubling that of 1881.

    1892, William Painter patents the "crown" with a thin disk of cork..

    1892 - Wood pulp coaster invented by Robert Smith of Dresden, Germany.

    1892 - Richard Bock talking about his work for the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. [Very likely commissioned by Edward G. Uihlein] "It was almost a year before the opening of the World's Columbian Exposition, better known as the Chicago World's Fair. All the buildings were completed and ready for the exhibits to be put in place.
    The immense Manufacturers' Building was a wonderfully impressive structure, and, no doubt, deserved to stand next to the gem of all the buildings, Sullivan's Transportation Building, with its rainbow arch entrance. . . ."

            "Now that the Schiller theater was completed, I [ Richard Bock], still, had a considerable amount of work that needed attention. There was an exhibition piece [that] I was to do for the Manufacturers' Building, the Schlitz Brewery trademark of a huge globe, with a buckled belt around it. This globe was supported by four female figures, in playful poses, representing the four hemispheres. At their feet were gnomes. Flanking this centerpiece were four pedestals constructed of beer kegs, three to a pedestal, and, on top of each, a herald blowing a trumpet. This work was in charge of an assistant named Franz Rugiska, with whom I had made a partnership agreement. He had come to me from Mr. Sullivan's sculptor, Mr. Boyle, who had worked on the Transportation Building, while I was doing the Schiller Theater." [Editor's note - it may very well be that future ornamentation for Schlitz buildings and literature evolved from this World's Columbian Exposition work.]

    In 1893, Baron Alfred von Cotzhausen, president of the Milwaukee Fine Arts Co. - a lithographing firm that made beer labels for Schlitz - thought Schlitz should capitalize on its Chicago goodwill gesture. He approached a Schlitz employee, Ernest Bielefeld. The two met with August Uihlein, and on May 15,1893, the slogan "The Beer that Made Milwaukee Famous" made its advertising debut. The slogan was purchased for $5,000 and brought millions to its purchasers.

    Can anyone identify the date this tray was made? Here's details since its hard to see: Above the globe in the hexagon is "Schlitz: The Brewer's Own Bottling, Milwaukee USA" Running the length of the "Schlitz" in the middle of the globe above the belt is a steam locomotive train. Large print on bottom is "The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous". To the right and left of the globe are etchings of hops, grain. Its a 12" pie, produced by F.E. Marsland, which operated pre-prohibition. Please contact Wayne Vrona or this editor. I know that it is after 1893 because of the slogan use. Another example of this pre prohibition silver Schlitz beer tray is also 12" in diameter and was made by the Carpathian Silver Tray Co in New York; though it appears NOT to have the globe in the hexagon  "Schlitz: The Brewer's Own Bottling, Milwaukee USA"

   While among the brothers, August was the master salesman; Alfred who was the brew master and superintendent and later president, was mild, gentle mannered, most modest and best liked. He did his best by delving deeper into the idiosyncrasies of yeast fermentation. For sixty years he personally supervised the buying and testing of all the barley and hops which were used.

    The JSBCo. brings suit against the Southern Pacific Railway in 1893 for price discrimination (Schlitz wins).

    In the 1880's George Pullman built Pullman Town to house his company's many workers; he never allowed liquor to be sold to his workers in town. In *October, 1904, the Pullman Land Association sold the Schlitz company a choice, ten-acre plot just across the Illinois Central tracks at 115th Street for about $45,000. "Schlitz Row" (now called Front Street between 113th and 115th) was almost immediately built along two blocks with saloons, stables (11314-18 Front Street) and apartments.
    Schlitz also built houses and more apartments for the use of branch managers and for rent to the general public. page 42-43 The stables were used for the Schlitz delivery wagons and horses (near the top of the building are two horse heads). The manager's homes are along present day Martin Luther King Dr. , from 115th to 113th. There is an apartment house at 11429-31 king Dr. and houses at 11419 King Dr., 11347 King Dr., and 11337-39 King Dr. You can spot them by the distinctive brick colors and German architectural style.
    Sources: The Saloon: Public Drinking in Chicago and Boston, 1880-1920, by Perry R. Duis, first written in 1943, this edition published by the University of Illinois Press, 1999. American Heritage: A Magazine of History, pages 35-36.

    *(Editor's Note: An excerpt from the American Heritage magazine says " During the (Pullman) strike Chairman Thomas Heathcote and the Strike Committee decided that the strikers should not frequent these saloons nor should the workers come here to pick up beer and bring it back to their homes in Pullman. The Strike Committee felt that drinking might cause trouble, which would bring an unfavorable public reaction and damage the cause of the union. Newspapers still print stories about the fights in the saloons of "Schlitz Row", but they fail to point out that the union had boycotted the saloons and that those men who were fighting were not the union strikers." Now the Pullman Strike occurred from May to July of 1894; ten years before the so-called "Schlitz Row" was even built [from the paragraph above]. If you look at history, the Pullman operation was in trouble during the depression years, as early as 1893 or before. It would make more sense if the Land Association sold the parcel of land to the Schlitz company sometime around 1893, rather than 1904. The Schlitz company probably had saloons in the nearby towns of Kensington, Roseland ,and Gano already in the early 1880's to help satisfy the Pullman workers' thirsts.)

    In *1893, the fledgling  Louis Glunz company became the first bottler for Schlitz in Chicago at 1204 North Wells Street just north of Division. Special Exposition bottles were produced and are on display today in the Glunz museum. "This Business was riding high on Schlitz." said Barbara Glunz Donovan, granddaughter of the founder Louis Glunz. With its' Schlitz distributorship plus a growing wine, beer and spirits trade, the business prospered until Prohibition. Retailers throughout the city came in horse-drawn wagons to pick up their orders until the Glunz company purchased its' own mule teams and dapple-gray horses.  After Prohibition, the bottling of non-pasteurized draft Schlitz in half-gallon bottles burgeoned at the new (Glunz or Schlitz?) facility at Hill and Franklin. The ultra-modern (for its day) plant had gravity-powered conveyors and a mechanically refrigerated cooling room. Louis Glunz continued as a bottler and distributor of Schlitz beer until Schlitz built its' own bottling plant in Milwaukee. Sources: Chicago Sun-Times, Thursday, August 11, 1988, article by Dee Coutelle, " Lift a glass to Glunz' 100 years in business". The Schlitz Rhomboid, Winter 1951-52.

    *Note: Christian Voechting became president of the Joseph Schlitz Bottling Works in 1885. If this is true then the date that Glunz became first involved with Schlitz must have been much sooner - perhaps soon after the Chicago Fire or ?. Also the Schlitz Rhomboid says that Glunz was with Schlitz since 1888.

    A note about Chicago Schlitz saloons:  were plain in appearance, with the saloon and rear quarters for the proprietor and his family on the first floor and an upstairs divided into small flats. In others, the second floor was devoted to halls and meeting rooms. One building at Ninety-fourth and Ewing Avenues, in South Chicago, was topped with two floors of small sleeping rooms for workers. On the fronts of its' buildings, Schlitz installed large stained glass windows and roof-line ornaments, both depicting the company's global trademark. Page 42

     Late 1880's poster; 31 inches high by 21-1/2 inches wide.  Each picture surrounding Globe has sayings on them, ex. "Old Friend, A Charmer, Above Par". produced by The Beck & Pauli Lith. Co. Milwaukee.


    In order to avoid such headaches, the large national brewers sought control of the railroad facilities they used. Joseph Uihlein, a JSBCo. officer, was the real owner of the Union Refrigerator Transit Corporation with Emanuel Lorenz Philipp as president (later governor of Wisconsin).

    By 1895 its main plant was relocated from Walnut St. to Cherry St.; the larger plant covering seven acres and the buildings, six stones in height, comprised cooper shops, repair shops, ice houses and railroad tracks. Its malt house at that time was one of the largest in the city. Great cellars and vaults extended 25 ft underground

    It was reported in the American Brewer (v.28, p.20) that in 1895, the Pabst and JSBCo. of Milwaukee "have just completed the organization of the Mississippi and Northern Railroad Co. The officers are Gustav G. Pabst, president; Alfred Uihlein, vice-president; E.L. Phillips (formerly connected with the Chicago and North Western Railroad Co.), secretary.

    In 1895 a female delegation visited the Daily (Milwaukee) Journal and suggested that it turn over its publication to them for a day to raise funds to help the poor affected by that year's depression; one of the delegation was Paula Uihlein. the issue they printed was on February 22, 1895 (some issues were printed on silk) 6-0

    November, 1895, Extensive improvements were being made on the stock farm of the Schlitz Brewing Co. near Lannon (Mill Road hill). The 200 acres were fenced and three horse barns, 180 feet long, were constructed (The barns were to support a horse farm that would be used to haul the brewery's beer wagons.). Outbuildings and two homes were also planned, at a cost of over $18,000. Schlitz planned to breed and keep horses at the farm, as well as other stock. 18-11/21/1995.

    According to Sussex Historian, Fred Keller, in an article "Old Mill Road runs from Whiskey Corners to Tower Hill" (Sussex Sun, Tuesday, June 25,2002, page 32), the Uihleins were busy purchasing most of the land east of Lannon Road on Mill Road. This area today is known as "Tower Hill", whether the term came about from the tower later built on the property or the fact that the hill is very high and steep is unknown. Fred reports that a single barn (reportedly 400 feet in length) was built in 1899 on the north side of Mill Road, and on the south side, an observation tower over four stories high. From the tower, they could oversee the horse-operation barns and the vast pastures in the valleys. According to records, the tower had a main floor octagon dance floor, a wine cellar, and the observation deck above; towering above all was the crow's nest observation topping.

    In 1902, the barn(s) was struck by lightening and burned killing a reported 100 of the 104 horses housed within. The tower remained but the main horse barn was never rebuilt. The Uihleins would occasionally visit, climbing the tower to view Holy Hill to the northwest, Milwaukee to the east, and Waukesha to the south. The Uihleins eventually sold the land to the Becker, Schmitz, and other families. The tower suffered from neglect and was torn down in 1920. Today (June 2002), the land on which the tower stood is owned by Bob Becker (N64 W19783 Mill Rd.)

    The Uihlein Theater, modeled after an English music hall 9-1, opens in 1896 but a few months later changes it name to the Alhambra . It had a check room for bicycles on the second floor, served tea to patrons and had four (or was it two bars?) bars that sold Schlitz. The combining of beer with the theater had some mixed blessings when customers started bouncing the beer bottles down the stairs if they didn't like the show. A local gal, Theodosia Goodman ,later know as Theda Bara or "Hell's Handmaiden" became quite well known at the theater later on for her daring costumes and racy dialogue. The Alhambra later showed movies until it was replaced by a parking lot in 1959. 11-162

    The year the theater opened, August ordered a large evergreen installed there for Christmas and invited hundreds of local urchins to a party. This raised his status considerably among younger Milwaukeeans. They would wave merrily but respectfully at him as he sped along the streets in his carriage, and he waved back unless he was having a drag race with another horseman. 9-1
    The Alhambra Theater property was a good example of the multiple ownership going on in Milwaukee. In 1959, City Hall records showed it belonged to 21 individuals and two trusts. One trust, established for Meta Kopmeier, represented 5.88235294 percent of the Alhambra's ownership; the other trust , for Minnie G. Uihlein, owned 0.7843137 of one percent of the property. The 21 individuals were members of the Uihlein, Brumder, Elser, Donnelly, Pabst, Kasten, Tallmadge, Schroeder, Flint, and Snell families. 11-248

    In the late 1890's a type of indoor beer garden known as the palm garden came into vogue. The most famous of these was the Schlitz Palm Garden, opening in 1896 just south of the southeast corner of Grand Ave. (W. Wisconsin Ave..) and N. 3rd St.. The Schlitz hotel stood on the corner. The Palm Garden gave an impression of great spaciousness, with its high arched ceiling festooned with lights, its pipe organ, and its stained glass windows heightening the glow of color from the rich oil paintings along the walls. The garden had its own red coated company of musicians, but nationally known orchestras often played engagements there. Beer was the main refreshment served - up to 40 barrels a day - but family groups often brought a bag of sandwiches. The Palm Garden closed when Prohibition came, and was converted to a short lived motion picture theater, the Garden. 7-145 (postcard by E.C. Kropp, Milwaukee.) --->

   

<--- Closeup of interior of Schlitz Palm Garden

In 1897, Edward G. Uihlein and Schlitz erected a $40,000 building near the busy corner intersection of Milwaukee, North, and Robey (now Damen) avenues. Over the next eight years Schlitz constructed fifty-seven saloons worth some $328,800. Source: The Saloon: Public Drinking in Chicago and Boston, 1880-1920, by Perry R. Duis, first written in 1943, this edition published by the University of Illinois Press, 1999.


    When Commodore Dewey and his men captured Manila during the Spanish American War in 1898, the Schlitz brewery sent several thousands of bottles of Schlitz beer to the victorious sailors much to their delight. Dewey immediately ordered a trainload (67 cars) to be sent. Seeing an opportunity to widely advertise their product, the Uihleins shipped the beer over three different railroads, posting the cars with Schlitz banners and posters. Over the course of the war, 700,000 barrels of beer were shipped (an 1899 ad reveals 219 carloads were sent) to the Philippines much to the consternation of the National Women's Christian Temperance Union who made their protest in a letter to Dewey. A Mr. Wuesthoff, then manager of the Schlitz Brewery, countered by stating that any sensible person would know that beer was very healthful for any person who was subjected to malarial diseases and that Dr. Senn of the U.S. Army had given his opinion that beer was beneficial. At any rate, despite the hopes of the Temperance Union to intercept the flow of alcoholic beverages, the beer did arrive and was safely stowed away by the servicemen.

    Promotion was the key note of Pabst's great period of expansion from 1873 to 1893; and by the close of the period, the company was expanding as much as $69,000 annually on this newly developing marketing technique. Schlitz advertising men were equally resourceful. A reward of 3,600 bottles (see above) of Schlitz to Admiral Dewey and his men for the capture of Manila led to an order of sixty-seven carloads of the brew for the Philippines.

    Schlitz beer went to Africa with Theodore Roosevelt (see below); nine bottles found in the stomach of a dead whale. From Europe to the Orient, advertising tricks and by-words caused the product to be known. it was perhaps only by inadvertence that two such slogans served to publicize Milwaukee, too; but the result was such as to make the association of the product with the city traditional. "The Beer that Made Milwaukee Famous" -the particularly effective advertising line which the Schlitz Company purchased for $5,000 from a smaller brewing concern, *Blatz; became the subject of a controversy between Schlitz and Pabst advertising men in 1898. As a result, the Pabst Company ultimately relinquished their original slogan because of its similarity to the more famous one to which Schlitz had a prior claim.

    *(It's interesting to note that in 1986 when the Heileman Brewing Company was unveiling its new automated Val Blatz plant in Milwaukee, that then CEO Russell Cleary made a statement that Heileman had uncovered some documentation that supported the sale of the slogan from Blatz to Schlitz. Mr. Cleary also mentioned that he would purchase the slogan back from Stroh Brewing Company, the current owners of Schlitz, if they had no intention of using it.)

    When the slogan was first publicized nation-wide, a brewery in Menomonee, MI. countered with "The Beer that made Milwaukee Jealous", and a western brewery with "The beer that made Milwaukee Furious."

    Editor's note - one or more Wisconsin breweries also took exception to Schlitz's slogan and promoted similar offending ones, sometimes ending up with the Schlitz brewery taking them to court.

    The slogan became the subject of a controversy between Schlitz and Pabst advertising men in 1898. As a result, the Pabst Company ultimately relinquished their original slogan ("Milwaukee Beer Is Famous - Pabst Has Made It So") because of its similarity to the more famous one to which Schlitz had a prior claim.

    The Spanish-American War in 1898 was the reason for a doubling of the beer tax from $1 to $2 a barrel (a war-tax); lasted until 1901.

    While Teddy Roosevelt was hunting in the African wilds, August Uihlein sent him 80 cases of Schlitz beer at Mombassa. The photograph of Roosevelt receiving this consignment found its way to many prominent and not so prominent newspapers; Schlitz believed in advertising.

    In the Summer of 1898 the new Schlitz Waukesha Hotel opens in the City of Waukesha. Sometime before 1910 the Schlitz Hotel on 16th Street north of  Harney was built in Omaha, Nebraska. See a picture of a Schlitz Restaurant in Port Richmond, NY that offered its' patrons billiards.

    There was a story of how August Uihlein gave prize canaries to his favorite customers, who took them whether they enjoyed bird songs or not, or how in the brewery's early days, he would hurry down to the brewery early in the morning because there was no time clock for the employees to punch. 11-108

A 1900 newspaper article describes the brewery's plans to manufacture bottles:

    "As the manufacturers of glass bottles in the United States have been steadily advancing prices of their output for the past year, the Schlitz Brewing Company has determined to make its own bottles hereafter. The company's bottling plant on South Bay St. will be remodeled for this purpose after April and a glass factory will be erected which will give employment to 100 expert hands.
    This step will be something of a new departure as there are but a few brewing companies in the country which manufacture their own bottles. For this reason, it will be much enlarged and its superfluous product will be put on the market.
    'We are negotiating now with an expert glass blower,' said Eugene Wuesthoff of the Schlitz Brewing Company, who will superintend the necessary alterations. We have nine acres of ground on South Bay Street intersected by two railroads and since 1886, the old plant has been used for bottling works. We are planning for a ten shop continuous tank furnace capable of making 15,000 quart and an equal number of pint bottles during each season of ten months. We will make all our own bottles, and if the experiment is a success, will also make them for other concerns."

    Around 1900, the bottling industry started getting away from the center-embossed bottles because of the beginning wide use of paper labels.

    In July, 1901, the beer tax is reduced from $2 to $1.60; in July of 1902 it was further reduced to the pre-1898 level of $1 per barrel.

wpe3.jpg (10718 bytes)

Tivoli Palm Garden
729 S. 5th St.
1901
With the entrance still decorated with the Schlitz Brewery saloon globe, this was a companion to the Schlitz Palm Garden downtown. It originally housed a barroom, cafe, bowling alleys and barbershop. It is built of tan brick and Bedford limestone. http://www.msoe.edu/~reyer/mke/1901e.html

    Schlitz began construction of a $100,000 ,two-story, brick bottle house in 1902 on west Galena Street. It covered an area of 177 by 174 feet and contained air space of 1,064,300 cubic feet. The plans were drawn by Louis Lehle of Chicago and the construction was done by S.H. Stueve, a local masonry contractor.

     In August, 1901, a Schlitz Hotel was built at the corner of Main & Collins streets in Oconomowoc. Owned by the Schlitz company, the two-story building cost $7,000 and contained a large office, public dining room, 12 sleeping rooms, and a balcony. Maple was used for the flooring. The outside was primarily brick. It was later restored and still stands; you can still see the faded Schlitz Hotel sign painted on the rear side. The hotel featured a Palm Garden and Tap Room. (Information and ad to left from "Oconomowoc: Barons to Bootleggers" by Barbara and David Barquist, 1999.) Note: during Prohibition, c. 1924, a John Geitzen ran a rowdy "soft drink parlor" in the former Schlitz Hotel building. Such an establishment was often linked to selling moonshine, "spiked beer", "bathtub gin", etc.  Circa 1920, a R.E. McKensie applied for a license to run a "soft drink saloon" in the same building but was turned down, due to, either he had been known to sell illegal beverages, or the previous business in the building had a reputation for doing so.

    December, 1902 - Schlitz surpasses Pabst, making it the largest in Milwaukee and the world. 8-56 Over 1 million barrels of beer sold in a year, surpassing the next largest Milwaukee brewery by over 100,000 barrels.

A 1903 Schlitz ad tells of not only filtering the air used to cool the beer, but that the beer itself is filtered through masses of white wood pulp.

    A 1904 Schlitz ad reveals that the brewery gets their water supply from six artesian wells 1400 ft deep, not from the Milwaukee River or Lake Michigan.

    It's 1906 and August Uihlein gives up one of his many responsibilities and makes his first born, Joseph Sr. general manager of the brewery. 9-2

<----!906 Schlitz ad.



    The following are excerpts taken from the "Bucket Boy" by Ernest L. Meyer concerning his recollections of events concerning the Schlitz Brewery and Park. These recollections were written in 1947 and may or may not provide an accurate picture of what was actually there.
    Regarding the Schlitz Park: page 21, "This was Schlitz Park, a place of pavilions and picnics, of long open-air tables and benches where lusty Mannerchore roared drinking songs between rounds of steins, and children frolicked on the carousel. The merry-go-round was operated by an ancient brewery-wagon horse, once a tremendous Percheron in glittering harness, but now old and thin and half blind, ..., but needing no whip or spur to keep him jogging amiably in the round-and-round routine that was the life of horses and men. Just a little cluck of the tongue and they were off, obedient, and bearing no malice whatever".
    About the brewery location: page 45, "We bathed in beer's aroma. The house where we lived for some years was only two blocks away from the vast, sprawling Schlitz Brewery. The smell of hops blanketed the neighborhood. It was sweet and heady, a clean smell, but mostly-on account of its familiarity- we were unconscious of it. Often visitors from other parts of Milwaukee came to our house. They would raise their heads, snuff greedily, and murmur: "Ah!" Then, swelling suddenly with local pride, we would join in the "Ah!" and boast about the medicinal value of that laden air. Everybody knew, of course, that it was good for "lung-fever".
    " As a boy I found a never-failing delight in that brewery; in some ways it was quite like a circus. Every day the brewery wagons, dozens of them , would clatter, laden, past our house in the early morning and return in the late afternoon, with empty barrels. They were drawn by teams of magnificent Percherons whose great shod hooves struck sparks from cobbled street. The harness dazzled the eye with the gleam of sunlight on polished brass. Perched on the very high seat of the van were the driver and his helper, robust fellows in leather aprons and clean peaked caps, and so strong they could lift and roll full barrels of beer with the apparent ease of a child trundling a hoop. We boys of that district took parochial pride in the horses, the trappings and the drivers of the Schlitz Brewery. Sometimes visitors from a little farther west would prate about the superiority of the Pabst Brewery: how the horses, for example, were bigger and stronger and glossier because the Pabsts maintained a pure-bred Percheron stable at Lake Oconomowoc, raising their own stock on a tremendous farm. We would reply, with proper indignation, that such talk was nonsense, and we would wonder privately how anyone could be so blinded by neighborhood prejudice as to utter such fantastic fables".
    "The nearness of the Schlitz Brewery added to our loyalty for a quite selfish reason: we were able to get free beer there. Not that I or any of my friends was a toper. It was simply that on a stifling summer day we thought it would be a sensible idea to down a cool, foaming stein, especially if we could get it for nothing. So that in mid-afternoon we would sometimes walk to the brewery and wait for the strategic time, which was sight-seeing time. In those days, the Steamship Christopher Columbus, known affectionately as "The Whaleback", used to bring daily a great crowd of excursionists from Chicago. During their shore leave, most of them took a rubber-neck tour of Milwaukee, and Schlitz Brewery was a favorite stop-off both for reasons of history and of hospitality. If we maneuvered modestly and with proper discretion, we could attach ourselves to one of these conducted tours of the brewery. Always, of course, we would join in dutifully in the exclamations of surprise at the hugeness and cleanliness of the copper kettles, the cleverness of the bottling machinery, and so forth. This was really no surprise at all; with repetition it had become, for us, quite bore some. But at the end of the tour we were rewarded, in a large, cool brewery Gast-Schenke, with a large stein of chilled beer and a snack of lunch, all free. This was no surprise either, but it was very pleasant".
    "One of the departments of the brewery I liked best was the cooperage. In summers the doors were wide open and the sound of the hammers hitting empty barrels was cheerful. The floors were always wetted down, and a moist, woody fragrance wafted out into the street. The coopers drank a great deal of beer and were a singing, lusty lot. Some of them suffered from rheumatism, due to the dampness, and it was well known that beer was good for rheumatism. It sort of equalized the dampness, within and without".

    More on Schlitz Park - page 163, "It was a little after eight o'clock; the arc lamps had just come on, and the leaves of the elms cast swaying shadows on the graveled paths. Most of the younger children had gone home, but the carousel was crowded with older boys and girls and even a number of women and men. The ancient brewery horse went round and round at a slow, thoughtful pace; she did not have to hurry, for she moved in her own circuit a little distance from the merry-go-round, and a clever system of cogs and a shaft attached to the carousel made it spin at really a breezy clip. The tootled melodies of the carousel pipes vied with the music from the distant bandstand. The benches around the tables under the trees were comfortably occupied by family groups, and on the outskirts at smaller tables young couples made decorous love. Weaving in and out among the tables like great moths in the semi-darkness were the waiters, stout fellows in billowing white aprons and so deft at their trade they could carry five big and brimful glass steins in each hand and hustle them from bar to customer without spilling a drop. A few of the more waggish and vigorous waiters carried on their shuttlings in time to the band music. This was easy enough in moments of an ordinary Sousa march, but when the band swung into something really galloping like a polka everyone would hold his breath, fearing catastrophic collisions and splashings".
    From page 165, "...., a platter of mixed cold cuts, and a heap of bread and butter". "... prepared himself a gargantuan sandwich of layers of metwurst, tongue, Swiss cheese, and ham, all topped by two halves of a hard-boiled egg. He consumed this pyramid with amazing dexterity and speed, and groaned, "Not nearly so tasty as the free lunch at the Pabst Buffet, and the villains here have the gall to charge forty cents for this platter of morsels. Ah, well ..."
    Note to you readers: On page 221 of the "Bucket Boy", the author confuses Captain Fred Pabst with Joseph Schlitz.

    Things weren't always as rosy as sometimes pictured for the common worker in Milwaukee. During the 1870s and 1880s, various workers were surveyed about their recreation time; most were too tired in the evening to go anywhere (for example the Schlitz Palm Garden). They didn't have much money to spend, practically the only recreation was the purchase of a so-called pint of beer for five cents. It was a two-quart pail, the inside rubbed with butter to keep down the foam. This was the evening's feast for the worker, his family, and possible guests. Those workers who frequented saloons were not going to get ahead in the world. Their nickel pint was a pint, and may explain how the "free lunch" was paid for. 14-541

     PARAGON PARK, Nantasket Beach (Mass.) souvenir paperweight, circa 1905. Sepia tone photo of the renowned Schlitz Beer Palm Garden--so exclusive that, according to Doc Bergan's OLD NANTASKET, the town selectmen weren't welcome.

     During 1907 the brewery reached its pre-prohibition peak of 1,500,000 barrels of beer, and the capital stock was valued at $12 million.

    Despite the Uihlein's wealth, the brothers (except for Edward) continued to live for some years within walking distance of the brewery. They had built Victorian mansions on what became known as Uihlein Hill. Later, several of them also had summer places in the unspoiled countryside along the river on North Humboldt Ave..
    August's house at 4th and Galena was typical; it had a large yard where the children rode their high wheeled bicycles. The stable held three carriages, four horses and a harness room on the first floor, six more horses and the family cow in the basement.
    Alfred's house at 1639 N. 5th had 13 rooms, including a third floor ballroom. It was not torn down until 1969. One of the ornamental fireplaces, sections of hand carved oak paneling and other mementos of its elegance were saved from the wreckers. They were preserved by the Milwaukee County Historical Society which is located, appropriately enough, in what used to be the Uihlein's bank.
    August remained in his house until after Erwin, the youngest , was born; but as the original brothers got older and richer, most of them moved away from congested Uihlein Hill.
    Henry did not move however; he liked to be within walking distance of Ma Heiser's, now (the former) John Ernst's Cafe, where he and Alfred often went to eat, drink Schlitz, and play poker dice. Besides, Henry preferred to put his money into investment real estate, not a new home. 9-1

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