Copyright © 2004 the Brewery History Society
Ed's Trade Mark Series – No. 1 Beer by Edward Burns
Members will be familiar with the writings of Ed Burn in his role as editor of the superb Scottish Brewing Archive Journal, and if not I recommend that you consider joining this excellent organisation to do so. Having said that, there are few words in this booklet, which is full of fascinating illustrations of Victorian trademarks.
Ed explains in his introduction his fascination with the contents of the ‘Trade Marks Journal’ and this is the first of a series of planned booklets on different topics, with one on whisky in the pipeline. I was intrigued to learn of his experiments with lithographic printing from an illustration of labels found carved on a stone.
The trade marks illustrated vary from the very small and simple single E of Alfred Eadon's Plant Brewery to complex and sometimes beautiful engravings. Ed has clearly taken great delight in digging out a number of amusing, and sometimes downright ridiculous, illustrations, well worth seeing. Why should anyone think the flat of a foot would make customers rush out to buy their beer or, in this case, Tottenham lager?
Amongst a long list of those that caught my eye were a number of old friends from the label collection and many that were completely new to me. Early British lager is represented with Tennent's Pilsener of 1889, The Wrexham Lager Beer Co.'s Export Pilsener Beer, also of 1889 and, from Tottenham, The Austro-Bavarian Lager Beer Brewery and Crystal Ice Factory Ltd.'s earlier label of 1883.
A Nottingham chemist was clearly way ahead of his time in 1884 when registering Foamine, a chemical to produce foam on beer…. what a frightening thought.
A couple of queries for our experts – what is a heading mixture (perhaps it's that Foamine again) and what was ‘Saline Blend, an ingredient used in brewing’? Finally, I cannot finish without mentioning Arrol's 1898 ‘Lady & Bicycle Brand’ label. Well worth a look.