Union College and the Time of Schaefer. Part II.

Crying in Your Beer

Historical beer advertisements can disclose rich content at different levels including product attributes, styles of marketing, and societal trends.

In Part I we saw an ad for Schaefer beer headlined “For Whom the Belles Toil”. It lampooned (needless to say) the legendary author Ernest Hemingway.

In the same newspaper, Concordiensis of Union College in Schenectady, NY, F & M Schaefer, based in Brooklyn and Albany, NY, did another literary spoof, or send-up for British readers. Schenectady is only some 20 miles north of Albany.

Schaefer was pushing at the time its vaguely named Schaefer Real Beer, seemingly “the same old” dressed up a little.

Schaefer delved somewhat differently in the literary canon, relying again on the presumed literate qualities of the campus readership.

The ad below appeared in the November 7, 1958 issue. Any thoughts what was referenced? I think we’re on a different vector here than old Papa Hemingway.

At a minimum, do you agree the tone of some advertising then was more sophisticated than we see today?



Part III continues this study.

Note re image: Image drawn from the 1958 advertisement linked in the text, via New York State Historical Newspapers. All intellectual property in the source belongs solely to the lawful owner, as applicable. Used for educational and research purposes. All feedback welcomed.



5 thoughts on “Union College and the Time of Schaefer. Part II.”

  1. Clark, I did find it, in archive.org If you search the author’s name some publications come up, this story is included in a collection of the same name. You can borrow the text under their system for a few hours, and the story is not long.

    It has to do with a married man and his long-time mistress, set in Britain – author was British but often published in New Yorker as you noted. There is some similarity of tone, but the psychic states of the two women seem different at bottom. Still, there could be some influence on the Schaefer copywriter, certainly possible, maybe a case of mixed influences.

  2. As a wild guess, it was a parody of Molly Panter Downes, who had a famous short story Good Evening Mrs. Craven. The prose sort of sounds like her New Yorker short stories about vaguely unhappy, unfocused women.

  3. Gary,
    That’s a fairly inscrutable ad. However, I think Part I about the Hemingway parody might give a hint. I remember seeing a Hemingway Ballantine Ale ad from the era in a late lamented brew pub. It’s possible that this is Schaefer parodying a series of 13 Ballantine Ale print ads featuring endorsements from well known authors.
    I don’t think the link here has the full list, but the author in question might be on the Ballantine Ale list of authors.

    • Thanks Arnold, certainly possible. I have seen that Papa spot. With the one you linked all these share a certain deadpan style but the 1958 Schaefer has a notable despairing edge. Let’s see if any other ideas.


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