11. Marconi opens the world’s first radio factory in Chelmsford, England in 1898. The first item advertised on the first radio station in Cincinnati is Wiedemann’s Fine Beer of Newport, KY. Radio introduces countless unforgettable characters: Bob & Ray, the voice of Bert & Harry Piel; Rege Cordic bringing us Olde Frothingslosh, “the brew guaranteed to fit any shape of glass.”
12. Georges Claude invents the first neon sign in1902. In a bent sort of a way, the red light district was born. Although neon is used to advertise many items, its use is almost synonymous with beer advertising.
13. The standard bottle is put into use, 1905. This allows breweries to use one universal bottle and do away with the expensive task of retrieving bottles from distant markets. Bottling equipment becomes standardized and improves the way beer is bottled.
14. 1919: The Volstead Act approves National Prohibition, and not until 1933 do we see the return of legal brewed beer. What a sad 13 years for breweriana collectors. “Nearbeeriana” just does not have the same ring.
15. 1928: The Federal Radio Commission issues the first television license (W3XK) to Charles Jenkins. Wow, can you imagine what the Super Bowl would be like without all of those beer commercials?
16. 1933: Ralph Wiley discovers plastic. With this invention, not only did beer advertising take on new shapes, sizes and weights but plastic also ushers in items like coolers, refrigerators, and, yes, eventually beer in plastic bottles.
17. January 24, 1935. That’s the day cans of Krueger’s Finest Beer and Krueger’s Cream Ale first go on sale in Richmond, VA, in a joint venture between American Can Company and the Krueger brewery. This event is viewed as risky, but is an overnight success.
18. Other events that changed the way beer was packaged in can—1935: Schlitz introduced the cone top can. It looks like brake fluid cans but can be filled on existing bottling equipment. This saved money and allowed many breweries to can that would otherwise not have been able to make the capital investment. 1954: Schlitz introduces the 16-ounce can. Tall Boys turned 50 this past year. 1959: Coors introduces the aluminum can. This was also the beginning of the recycling programs we see today.
19. 1962: Iron City issues the first Easy Open can. Invented by Ermal Fraze of Dayton, OH, this new No-Opener-Needed package put a lot of the mothers of invention to bed early. Never again on a fishing or camping trip would roughing it involve opening your cans of beer with the bumper of the car, a rusty nail or another threatening sharp object.
20. In the 1970s, The East Coast Breweriana Association (ECBA) and Beer Can Collectors Club of America (BCCA) clubs are formed. After years of most collectors thinking they were the only nuts gathering these items, there were now organizations with meetings, dues and newsletters.