February 6, 2007


And the man behind the brand is...
Clarence Birdseye

Clarence Birdseye had been coming to the Arctic north since vacation breaks from Amherst College, and later, as a naturalist for the United States Biological Survey. Now, in 1916, the 30-year old Birdseye returned to Labrador as a fur trader and medical missionary.

The house which the scientist and his young family occupied was but a tiny cottage perched on storm-gnawed rock above the Labrador Sea. Outside, the great grey wall of an Arctic winter pressed upon them. Here, amid the towering snowdrifts and biting Arctic wind, was born "the most revolutionary idea in the history of food."

Birdseye hunted and fished to provide food for his wife and weeks-old child. The deer carcasses he hung outside the cottage quickly froze into blocks of meat sliced only by axe. Fish drawn through a hole in the ice congealed in the middle of a flip.

Birdseye came to realize that his frozen meat and fish retained their fresh flavor. Cold storage meat, however, always lost much of its original flavor in the freezing process. What was it about the natural freezing process in Labrador that preserved the flavor of food?

Birdseye returned home to Gloucester, Massachusetts and began a series of experiments in the freezing of food. At the start he could afford to spend only $7 for equipment, including an electric fan, ice and salt. Eventually Birdseye came to realize it was the quick freezing that sealed in the flavor and freshness - and remained sealed in until the food was thawed and cooked.

Fresh, perishable food was cleaned and prepared and then wrapped in moisture-proof cellophane. The packages, with the food at the peak of freshness, were plunged into a patented Birdseye Quick-Freezing Machine at minus-50 degrees. Since the food was frozen in the package no flavor-enhancing juices escaped. Birdseye frozen foods cooked and handled just like fresh foods. He had perfected a new freezing process.

And the business failed. The process was a success but the manufacturing and distribution were not. Retailers were not ready to invest in specialized refrigeration equipment necessary to merchandise the frozen food. Birdseye hocked his life insurance and tried again. This time he got it right. In 1924 Birdseye and three partners formed the General Seafoods Company and a year later quick-frozen fish filets fresh off the Gloucester wharfs were available. Soon Birdseye Foods included more than 100 varieties of meats, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables. Housewives quickly adjusted to the cooking directions on the new frozen food packages.

In 1929 Birdseye sold the business for $22,000,000, including 168 patents on quick-freezing. A $50,000 yearly stipend was thrown into the package. It was the largest sum ever paid for a patent up to that time. The name of the company was immediately changed to General Foods Corporations, which made back their investment hundreds of times over.

Clarence “Bob” Birdseye later invented a reflector and infra-red heat lamp. One of his hobbies was whale tracking, leading to his perfection of a kickless harpoon gun. In 1949 he devised a method for dehydrating food. He continued working in the frozen food field and was single-handedly responsible for every important development in the young industry. All told he received nearly 300 patents before his death in 1956. "I like to go around asking a lot of damn fool questions," he always said.


And the man behind the brand is...
James Baker

It is known that the Aztec Indians of Central America used chocolate as many as 3,000 years ago, mixing cultivated cacao beans into a frothy drink. Columbus was served the drink on a voyage in 1502 and other explorers started trading in the exotic flavor, which rapidly gained popularity in fashionable European chocolate houses.

The American chocolate business did not begin, however, until 1755 when Massachusetts sea captains sailed to the West Indies to trade cargoes of fish for the precious cocoa beans. The beans were sold to apothecaries who would grind the beans into a medicine. This is how James Baker, a Dorchester, Massachusetts physician came to know chocolate.

In 1764 Baker provided the capital for John Hannon, an Irish immigrant, to mill the first chocolate in North America. The water-powered mill opened on the banks of the Neponset River in the center of Dorchester. It sold ground chocolate and also milled beans brought in by others. By the time of the American Revolution Hannon’s chocolate business was flourishing.

Meanwhile Baker was experimenting with other recipes for chocolate. He leased space in a local paper mill and in 1772 sold his first chocolate. In 1779 Hannon sailed for the West Indies in search of greater supplies of cocoa beans. His fate is uncertain but he was never heard from again. The original mill came under Baker’s full control and in 1780 he began producing the first chocolate under the brand name Baker’s.

James Baker retired in 1804 and the chocolate business remained in family hands for nearly another 100 years. Other chocolate factories ground beans throughout the United States but none seemed as efficient as the Baker mills. And today, over 200 years later, the Baker name remains synonymous with unsweetened and semi-sweet baking chocolate in America. It is the oldest American concern manufacturing the same product in the same location.


And the man behind the brand is...
Philip Armour

Philip Danforth Armour, "Phil" until he died, grew up on a farm in Stockbridge, New York with, as one biographer dutifully noted, "no tradition of zeal for scholarship." He was discharged over a matter of discipline from the Cazenovia Academy in 1849 at the age of 17 and thrust into the working world.

Armour clerked in a store for two years until he could no longer resist the romantic tales coming east from the California Gold Rush. He set out for the West Coast on foot and by rail. When he arrived in California Armour quickly noticed that most miners never struck it rich and those that did lost their fortunes more often than not.

Rather than grab a pick and axe Armour went to work building sluiceways so the miners could have water in which to pan their gold. In five years he had saved $8000 and headed home to New York to buy a good farm. On the way home Armour stopped to visit his brother Herman in Milwaukee. He would stay for another 19 years.

Armour was impressed by the thriving community he found in Milwaukee. He established a produce and commission business and in 1863 Armour entered into a partnership with John Plankinton, a pioneer packer in the Midwest. In the winter of 1864-1865 Armour travelled to New York, then the center of the pork packing industry.

At the time pork was selling for $40 a barrel and spiraling upward. The consensus among veteran New York commodity traders was that the price was going nowhere but up. Armour saw things differently. He believed with the end of the Civil War in sight the price of pork would fall when the Confederacy did. The New York traders were eager to buy as much pork as the brash young man from Milwaukee could sell at $40 a barrel.

As Armour gambled it would, pork collapsed as Richmond fell. He filled all his eastern orders with pork he purchased for $18 a barrel. As many brokers tried to repudiate their contracts with Armour he stayed in New York for 90 days forcing his debtors to settle. Thereafter Armour's business grew with unprecedented rapidity.

In 1867 Armour and Plankinton set up a packing plant in Chicago as Armour & Company. In 1867 Chicago was a city renowned for its muddy, unpaved streets but with a bustling railroad business it began looking like the midwestern city of the future.

In the first year Armour's pork business outgrew the compay’s Bell House plant and the partners acquired the Griffith House plant. Beef and lamb were quickly added to the line. Armour's four brothers joined the business as Armour's influence spread to Kansas City and New York.

At the time meat processing was a seasonal business limited to cold weather months. There was no system other than salt cure to preserve perishable meat. In 1872 a method using natural ice in large scale coolers was devised and Armour & Company built the world's first large chill room with temperatures cooled by large blocks of ice cut in the winter and stored under sawdust through the summer.

Armour had converted the meat business into a year-round industry. He not only now offered Americans fresh meat daily but he created an ice industry and stimulated the transport of live hogs for slaughter in Chicago rather than on the farms where they were raised. He built the massive Union Stock Yards in 1872. For the first time more hogs than pork carcasses arrived in Chicago.

In 1878 the first crude refrigerator railroad cars and ships, known as reefers, began to appear and Armour's markets spread across the globe. He created an oval-shaped label bearing the legend "Armour Star Ham" which became one of the best known trademarks in the history of the American food business. The star appeared in yellow on a dark blue background and told buyers they were getting the very best ham on the market. It was the first of nearly 1000 Armour trademarks.

In 1882 Plankinton retired from the business and in 1884 Armour finally retired from his business in Milwaukee, where he had lived until 1875, to devote himself to the bustling Chicago empire. By this time Armour & Company was involved in every facet of the meat packing industry. The Armours controlled vast grain and feed interests, owned their own railroad cars, and had distribution plants across the country.

In the 1880s Armour & Company became a leader in converting by-products into useful products like buttons, combs and glue. Armour added a department to sell pepsin - a digestive aid - which became the forerunner of the Armour Pharmaceutical Company. Other industries included oleomargarine (1880), ammonia (1891), fertilizer (1894), curled hair for cushions (1895), laundry soap (1896), glycerine (1896), brushes (1897) and sandpaper (1900).

Armour was a robust man with sandy hair and red whiskers. He conducted conferences every day with one department head or another to keep reign on his wide-reaching ventures which employed 20,000 people. But one manager he made certain to meet with every day was the Reverend Dr. Frank Gunsauius, who advised Armour regarding all his charities.

The man who built one of the most splendid enterprises of the 19th century began to fade away with the end of the epoch. He became sick in 1899 and died early in 1901. He had enough time to carefully plan for the future of Armour & Company in the interim. "There's no such thing as luck," Armour said, "Brains always have and always will command the highest market value."


And the man behind the brand is...
David Yuengling

There is no documentation to verify what the Yuengling family business was in Germany but when David G. Yuengling, an immigrant from Wurtemburg, Germany arrived in America in 1828 at the age of 21 he immediately looked for a place to start a brewery. It is not unreasonable to deduce that the Yuengling brewing tradition stretches back past America.

Yuengling headed for the eastern Pennsylvania coal country and in 1829 opened the Eagle Brewery on North Centre Street in the rolling Appalachian foothills. The new brewhouse was not two years old before fire consumed it. In 1831 Yuengling rebuilt the brewery a few blocks away on a mountainside where tunnels gouged from the rock provided natural cold temperatures necessary for aging and fermentation. That brewery stands today, and Yuengling is officially recognized in the National Register of Historic Places as America’s oldest brewery.

David Yuengling was among the first to brew lager beer and that first year he produced 600 barrels of beer and ale. The malt was transported from Philadelphia by way of the Schuylkill Canal and the final brew delivered throughout the region by horse-drawn wagons. David Yuengling’s reputation was such that many noted 19th century brewers learned their art in the Mahantongo Street brewhouse.

By the time his son joined him in 1873 David Yuengling was brewing 23,000 barrels a year. He died in 1873 at the age of 70, having started a family business that would stretch continuously into the fifth generation.


And the man behind the brand is...
Bernhard Stroh

In Kirn, Germany in the late 1700s a small brewery began operation. Six generations later the Stroh family is still brewing beer. In 1850 Bernhard Stroh, then 28, emigrated to the United States to start a brewery. He was headed for St. Louis but was much impressed by Detroit on the way. There he stayed.

Stroh was brewing a new Bohemian-style beer which had been developed at a municipal brewery in Pilsen, Bohemia only ten years earlier. Bernhard Stroh personally delivered his distinctive light lager beer which earned a niche in the Detroit region. Stroh purchased additional land to expand his brewery in 1865.

In 1870 Stroh named his brewery Lion’s Head, after the lion’s crest adopted from the Kyrburg Castle in Germany. The crest remains the company symbol today, however, the name of the brewery was changed to B. Stroh Brewery on the founder’s death as the next generation took over.


And the man behind the brands is...
Peter Smirnoff

Peter Smirnoff distilled his first vodka in Russia in 1864, continuously filtering his pure grain alcohol through hardwood charcoal for eight full hours. By 1877 Smirnoff’s vodka had won him his first double eagle, Russia’s highest commercial honor, as the best product in his industry. Two more double eagles quickly followed and in 1886 Peter Smirnoff became the purveyor to the Court of His Imperial Majesty, Czar Alexander III.

As the royal distiller Smirnoff’s sales soared; he was rumored to be producing one million bottles of vodka a day by 1900. But as his affiliation with the Imperial Court made Smirnoff wealthy it also doomed the firm when the government was overthrown in the Revolution of 1917. Vladimir Smirnoff was one of the few family members to escape the carnage and he settled in France where he attempted to recreate the secret family distilling process.

Meanwhile, a Smirnoff supplier, Rudolph Kunett, had sought refuge in America. Upon learning of Vladimir Smirnoff’s efforts he purchased the American rights to the product for $2500 and introduced the first vodka to the United States in 1934. Five years later it seemed he had struck a poor bargain. No one in America was buying vodka, not even displaced Russians. It was considered a lethal potion which delivered particuarly bad hangovers.

When Vladimir Smirnoff, a fourth generation family member in the vodka business, died in 1939 Kunett unloaded the vodka rights to G.F. Hublein and Company for $14,000 and a job. The deal included Kunett’s last 2,000 bottles in his Connecticut distillery. The bottles were filled and labeled but there were no vodka corks left in stock. To clear the bottles out of the closing distillery Hublein president John Martin corked them with Smirnoff’s whiskey corks, left over from a failed attempt to market Smirnoff’s whiskey. It was no wonder the purchase of Smirnoff’s was routinely referred to as “Martin’s folly.”

Martin shipped the remaining vodka to a salesman in the South, assuming that would be the last he heard of the name Smirnoff. The salesman sampled the delivery and found the “whiskey” to be colorless and tasteless. He advertised it on his route as “Smirnoff’s White Whiskey. No Taste. No Smell.” And sold out. As John Martin later said about the sales ploy, “It was rather ingenious, but totally illegal.”

What Martin discovered through his salesman was that people weren’t drinking the vodka straight and chilled as it was traditionally consumed in Russia, but mixed with other drinks. Martin quickly repositioned vodka to Americans as a drink mixer. Today Smirnoff’s is the biggest selling liquor in the United States.


And the man behind the brand is...
Joseph Schlitz

Joseph Schlitz, like many of the legendary brewmeisters, was born in Germany, emigrating to America with his parents. His father was a successful businessman who knew the art of brewing. The family settled in Milwaukee, then emerging as a malt-making center.

In 1855, at the age of 24, Joseph Schlitz worked as a bookkeeper in the August Krug brewery. When August Krug died in 1856 Schlitz managed the company for his widow and two years later he married Anna Krug. The brewery became the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company.

Schlitz worked on his product and eventually established his brew throughout the region. In 1871 the Great Chicago Fire crippled much of the city's industry. There was a tremendous scarcity of water and local breweries that escaped the inferno scaled back production.

Milwaukee brewers stepped into the void, shipping their beer 90 miles south. Schlitz sales jumped 50% and in 1872 Joseph Schlitz adopted the slogan "The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous." His success in Chicago encouraged Schlitz to expand nationally.

Schlitz quickly rose to 10th position in national beer sales but Joseph Schlitz did not live to reap the rewards of prosperity. In 1875 on a trip to visit his homeland Anna and Joseph Schlitz perished when the steamer Schiller wrecked in the Irish Sea. Control of the business passed to his nephews.

Paul Masson

And the man behind the brand is...
Paul Masson

In 1878 a Phylloxera plague attacked European vineyards, decimating the grape harvests. All cures were ineffective. The remedy was in America where the toughness of the root-bark of wild vines withstood parasitic infestations.

19-year old Paul Masson, from the Burgundy wine-growing region of France, staked his future on California. Many of his countrymen were already there. After a drought in 1863 many California cattle ranges were planted in grape vines. Masson reasoned he could get part-time work and finish his education.

Which is exactly what happened. He joined the vineyard of Charles LeFranc who, with two daughters and no sons, no doubt welcomed a husky, broad-shouldered man bred of vintners. Masson enrolled in nearby Santa Clara College.

By the 1880s California was on the verge of overproduction. A grower needed only the best wine to stay in business. The best wine required the best grapes. And the best equipment. Masson decided early on to be a Champagne master.

Masson sailed to France to buy the finest equipment available. He returned for a splendid harvest - 10,000 bottles in 1884. The output doubled in 1885 and trebled in 1886. Their first champagne was a hit in 1887. From then on no wine left a Paul Masson cellar for at least three years while it aged.

Masson married one of the LeFranc sisters and the winery became the LeFranc Masson Wine Company. In 1892 his father-in-law died and he introduced the first "Paul Masson Champagne ... 'Special Dry' and 'Extra Dry.'" It was a champagne in the great French tradition from dark pinot grapes.

Masson, with an inventory of millions of bottles undergoing natural in-bottle fermentation claimed a large share of the American luxury market with the famous names of France. In 1900 he returned to his homeland for the first time in 12 years to enter his Pinot Champagne in open competition and won. In 1905 Masson began dynamiting the foothills around Los Gatos to plant the first full Pinot Vineyard in America.

The flamboyant Masson, famous for his sybaritic lifestyle, was known around San Francisco as "Duc de Cognac." His continued honors for Paul Masson Champagne brought California wines respect around the world. Masson never missed an opportunity to entertain and serve his wines. Even if it wasn't his party.

In 1918 wineries began to disintegrate with the advent of Prohibition. Only six wineries in the United States were licensed to make wine for sacramental and medicinal purposes. Paul Masson was one of the six. The price of grapes, however, soared as millions of European immigrants bought them to make legal home wines. Since grapes didn't ship well cheaper grapes were planted.

After his wife's death in 1932 Masson began to lighten his administrative burden by selling the original LeFranc property. In 1936 he sold his prized LaCresta hillside vineyard to Martin Ray, a young stockbroker who carried on Masson's zealous operations under the Paul Masson name. The new ownership was still presenting Masson with gold medals until he died in 1940 at the age of 81.


And the man behind the brand is...
John Molson

John Molson was born in Lincolnshire, England in 1763 and orphaned in 1772 at the age of eight. His share of his parents’ estate was placed in receivership and young Molson was sent to live under the strict guardianship of his grandfather. At the age of 17 he suffered a debilitating illness that doctors could neither diagnose nor treat. A sea voyage was prescribed.

Molson chose Canada as an exciting destination of opportunity but the sea journey to Montreal was anything but therapeutical. England was simultaneously at war with France and their colonies in America and the seas were awash in warships. Several times the ship was swamped and the captain often spent entire days in his cabin drunk. In mid-voyage Molson and his party were forced to transfer to another ship.

Montreal in the 1780s was a frontier town of 8000, mostly French and mainly involved in the fur trade. Molson scouted the community for possible enterprises and became intrigued with a malting house started by a friend, Thomas Loyd. There had been other breweries tried in Montreal but the French drank only wine and spirits. All had closed.

Still, starting up a brewery was inexpensive, there was little labor involved and the profit margins were substantial. And locally brewed beer was not subject to duties and taxes. When Loyd brewed and sold 50 hogshead of ale late in 1782 Molson decided to join him in January of 1783.

The circumstances are unclear but by January 1785 Molson was sole owner of the brewery. He had purchased 400 acres of land north of Lake Champlain which became Vermont after the Treaty of Paris ended the American Revolution. At some point Molson apparently traded his land for Loyd's share of the brewery.

Molson closed the brewery and sailed home to England to settle his inheritance and study English breweries. He returned to Montreal with brewing equipment and a supply of high quality barley seed he distributed free to local farmers. He also brought with him a small book, Theoretical Hints on an Improved Practice of Brewing.

Molson's first output that winter was 80 hogsheads, or 4300 gallons. In 1787 Molson said, "My beer has been almost universally well liked beyond my most sanguine expectations." It was also the only beer available. By 1791, when the Constitutional Act separating Quebec into Upper Canada and Lower Canada was effected, Molson was a leading member of the Montreal business community.

Molson, despite being English in the French-dominated Lower Canada, gradually expanded his brewery through the end of the century. Output grew to more than 50,000 gallons annually. In 1797 Molson entered the lumber business. He sold two million board feet in two years but made little profit.

Molson's next venture outside brewing took place in 1809 when he entered a partnership to finance the building of a steamship. For years Molson had watched sailing ships fight the swift current of the St. Lawrence River from his brewery on the banks. He set out to commission a steamship.

The Accommodation took ten passengers on its maiden voyage on November 1, 1809 as Canada's first steamer, and the third commercial, trip in the world. The venture lost money but pioneered the waterway for Molson's future fleet.

In 1814 Molson signed a partnership with his three sons ensuring the brewery would remain in family control. With his time freed from the everyday duties of running the brewery Molson eagerly diversified his interests. He was elected to represent Montreal East in the Canadian Parliament, serving from 1816 to 1820 and advancing the establishment of the Montreal General Hospital.

Molson built the Mansion House, Montreal's finest hotel which included a public library and post office. It burned down but he quickly rebuilt it adding Montreal's first theater next to the hotel. He invested heavily in Canada's railways and served as President of the Bank of Montreal from 1826 to 1830.

Molson died in 1836 at the age of 72 while a member of Canada's Legislative Council. In his will he stipulated that his portrait, painted in 1811, should hang in the brewery for as long as the Molson family retains control but if "the brewery ever pass into the hands of strangers" the portrait must be removed. It still hangs in the Molson brewery today.


And the man behind the brand is...
Frederick Miller

Frederick Miller arrived in the United States as an experienced brewer of modest means. He toured America in search of the ideal site to establish a new brewery, eventually choosing Milwaukee for its abundant supply of water, fine grain and skilled craftsmen. He bought a tiny, wooden brewery in the Menomonee River Valley in 1855 and it became Fred Miller’s Plank Road Brewery.

Miller set to work applying the methods he had learned as a brewmaster in Riedlingen, Germany. His first year the Plank Road Brewery produced 300 barrels of beer. Miller’s beer was popular enough to stand out among the many other Wisconsin breweries.

With every opportunity Miller modernized his operations. He established one of the first bottling lines. By 1883 the now named Menomonee Valley Brewery was selling 80,000 barrels a year and unable to keep up with demand. Five thousand of those barrels were going into bottles. Miller’s bottling operation was bigger than many breweries.

In 1888 Frederick Miller died. He was 63 years old. His sons and a son-in-law took control of the brewery. Their first act was to change the name of the brewery to the Frederick Miller Brewing Company in honor of the efforts of the founder.

Johnnie Walker

And the man behind the brand is...
John Walker

Like so many other shopkeepers in Scotland in 1820 John Walker devised a method where a lady could obtain liquor without being seen patronizing a bar. Walker built his trade in the district around his King Street shop in Kilmarnock in Ayrshire. When the railway out of Glasgow built through Kilmarnock on its way to England Walker’s business grew further.

Walker survived a ruinous flood in 1852, maintaining his trade until his son Alexander returned from school in Glasgow to join the firm. Alexander sold his whisky to ship captains who re-sold it in ports around the world. He blended as many as 40 single malt whiskys to such acclaim that the Walkers were selling 100,000 gallons of scotch whisky a year by the mid-1860s. In Scotland it sold as Walker’s Kilmarnock Whisky; when exported it was Old Highland.

The world learned the name Johnnie Walker in 1908. A poster painted by artist Tom Brown depicted a striding man with top hat and cane was adopted as a logo by John Walker & Sons. To accompany the dapper man on the label the company adopted the name of the founder, Johnnie Walker. His name, along with the slogan “Born 1820, still going strong,” still identifies the scotch whisky in the rectangular bottles.

Jack Daniels

And the man behind the brand is...
Jasper Daniels

Jasper Newton Daniel was called Jack around his house, when he was called anything at all. The last of ten children, the runt of the family never standing more than 5’5” tall and weighing more than 120 pounds, young Daniel felt snubbed in the busy family and left home at an early age to live with a Tennessee neighbor. Later he moved to live and work on the farm of Dan Call. On the farm Call blended whiskey distilling with maintaining a Lutheran ministry. In 1862, Call chose the church over his moonshine business and sold his still to 13-year old Daniel.

Daniel peddled whiskey to both sides throughout the Civil War, hiding his cargo under bales of hay on dangerous 50-mile excursions to Huntsville, Alabama. After the truce Daniel bought a tract of land in 1866 to build a distillery. He located his new plant about four miles from Lynchburg, Tennessee at Cave Spring in "the Hollow", known for its pure limestone water. The water was free from iron and a constant 56 degrees. His process of mellowing the liquor and filtering it through charcoal quickly proved popular.

Daniel was a shrewd businessman who created an image for his distillery based on his personality. He wore a mustache and goatee and sported a planter's hat and knee-length frock coat, evidently even while performing manual labor around the distillery. He never appeared in public unless in full regalia.

As liquor laws changed in the post-war period Daniel registered his business as the first registered distillery in the country, hence Jack Daniel Distillery No. 1. "Belle of Lincoln" and "Old Fashioned" were early brands but his greatest sales came from "Old Time No. 7", an esteemed "Tennessee sippin' whiskey." “No. 7” took first place in an international taste test during the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. In the 1880s Daniel's nephew encouraged him to market in bottles as well as wholesale barrels. Daniel developed his distinctive square bottles. After all, legend has it, he was a “square shooter.”

Jack Daniel retired in 1907, turning ownership of the distillery over to a nephew. He never married and lived with his sister and a brother-in-law his entire adult life. He died in 1911 from complications owing to a 1905 toe injury when he angrily kicked a safe that refused to open. After the toe problem he had to have the leg amputated.


And the man behind the brand is...
Gerard Heineken

Gerard Adriaan Heineken was looking to get into the beer business. In 1863 he convinced his wealthy mother that there would be fewer problems with alcoholism in the Netherlands if the Dutch could be induced to drink beer instead of gin. His mother bought De Hooiberg (“The Haystack”), a brewery that had been operating since 1592. At the age of 22 Gerard Heineken was running the largest brewery in Amsterdam.

Heineken proved to be an astute brewer and businessman. Sales multiplied within a few years and in 1867 he started work on a sprawling new brewery. Six years later work was started on a brewery in Rotterdam. In 1873 Heineken developed a new cooling technique for wort that eliminated a brewer’s traditional dependence on seasonal ice. Heineken commenced year-round brewing.

Heineken traveled throughout Europe in search of better raw materials. In 1879 he hired a former student of Louis Pasteur, Dr. Elion, to work in the Heineken’s laboratory - unique in the brewing world at the time. Dr. Elion developed a specific yeast cell, which yields the alcohol in beer, which came to be known as the Heineken A yeast. Still the primary ingredient in Heineken today the new yeast gave Heineken excellent consistency in its expanding range of breweries.

The pinnacle of Gerard Heineken’s career came four years before his death when the gold medal of honor was awarded to his brewery during the Paris World Fair of 1889. At the time Heineken was selling 200,000 hectoliters of beer each year, while the average Dutch brewery sold only 3,000 hectoliters.

Heineken began exporting beer after just 12 years of operation, establishing a long tradition in the opening of new markets that led it to be the most widely exported beer in the world. In 1914 Dr. Henri P. Heineken, the founder’s son, took control of the brewery. Traveling by oceanliner to New York City he met Leo van Munching, the ship Dutch bartender. Impressed by his knowledge of beer Heineken offered him a position as the company’s importer in New York City, a relationship that endures to this day. In 1933 when Prohibition ended in America Heineken was the first foreign beer to be on sale. It remains America’s top-selling imported beer.


And the man behind the brand is...
Arthur Guinness

In 1722 a new, dark beer brewed with roasted barley began appearing in pubs around London. It was a heavy, sweet ale and was quickly popular among the laboring classes, particularly porters, hence its name. When 31-year old Arthur Guinness joined the ranks of Irishmen brewing beer in 1756 he wasn’t particuarly interested in dark beers.

He leased a brewery in Liexlip, just west of Dublin. The ambitious Guinness sold his brew locally but was thwarted in his attempts to sell his beer abroad by Ireland’s restrictive export tariffs on beer. He search across the Irish Sea in Wales but found no suitable existing brewery. Meanwhile Irish brewers were being squeezed out by English imports flooding the island under favorable English tax laws. There were some 70 breweries in Ireland when Arthur Guinness starting working in brewhouses in his late teens. Fewer than half that number were now operating.

Returning to Ireland Guinness settled just outside the walled city of Dublin in a small ale brewery at St. Jame’s Gate. He leased the brewery on December 31, 1759 for an extremely reasonable rate: “a dwelling house, a brewhouse, two malt houses, and stables” for 45 pounds sterling each year. The lease was to be honored for 9,000 years. The document was still in force more than two centuries later.

There had been a brewery on the site at least as far back as 1693. It lay on the main road to Dublin from the corn-growing districts of central Ireland and water from the river Poddle coursed through the property. For his first twenty years Guinness brewed ale and table-beer, all the while railing against the unfair trade situation with England. In 1777, partly assisted by testimony from Guinness, the Irish House of Commons repealed many of the restrictive regulations.

In 1778 Arthur Guinness brewed his first porter. By 1799, only four years before his death at the age of 78, Guinness was selling only porter. The St. James Gate brewery would grow to be the world’s largest without ever advertising, greatly assisted by thousands of physicians’ testimonials about the benefits of Guinness: as a cure for insomnia, debility, constipation, digestive disorders, nervousness and even as an aid to nursing mothers.


And the men behind the brand are...
Ernest and Julio Gallo

On a dusty day in Modesto, California in 1933 Joseph Gallo, Jr. became deranged and shot his wife. He turned and chased his sons through the fields of his small vineyard with a shotgun. The boys escaped and Joseph Gallo turned the gun on himself.

Ernest Gallo was 23 and Julio Gallo 22 at the time of the family tragedy. They decided to use their small inheritance of $6000 to produce their own bulk commercial wine. They faced enormous odds. The country was paralyzed by the Depression and 700 wineries were competing for the shrinking market.

And, they didn't know how to make wine.

Julio went to the Modesto Public Library and checked out several materials on winemaking. He would make the wine. Ernest would manage the business, sell the wine and keep the books. It was to be a dynamic pairing. Julio was an easygoing sort who loved good times and making wine. Ernest was a grim, tough businessman who would gain a reputation as the toughest client in advertising, at one point changing agencies 17 times in 30 years.

Making the wine themselves the Gallos were able to go to market at half the going rate of $1. Ernest travelled east signing up enough distributors to sell the entire first year's production. The Gallos pocketed $34,000 profit in their first year.

All the profits went back into the business as banks snubbed the brothers. Until 1938 the Gallos sold bulk wine to bottlers but that year they brought out their first wine under the Gallo label. This was far more profitable for Ernest and Julio.

Ernest Gallo was a pariah among Napa Valley vintners who carefully crafted high-quality, distinguished wines. Gallo considered them "wine snobs" and attacked the low end of the market with cheap sherries and muscatels. He built stainless steel vats which eliminated bacteria from the romantic old wooden vats and his winery took on the appearance of an oil factory.

In the 1950s Ernest noticed that ghetto blacks bought 40-proof port white wine and cut the sweet taste by mixing in lemon juice. He directed Julio to mix white port and citric acid to develop a wine he called "Thunderbird." Gallo directed a massive advertising campaign directly at ghetto blacks with a catchy jingle: "What's the word? Thunderbird. How's it sold? Good and cold. What's the jive? Bird's alive. What's the price? Thirty twice."

Thunderbird launched an entirely new wine business - mass marketing. Gallo sold 2.5 million cases in less than a year. But his success came at a price. Gallo was left with a tainted image as the paper-bag drink of choice for winos. He followed with "Ripple" and the Gallo image suffered more.

The Gallos continued to introduce new wines. They added carbonation to a sleepy old apple wine that barely registered on company books. Boone's Farm sales jumped from 30,000 cases a year to 720,000 cases a month. Gallo was soon controlling 88% of this new "pop wine" market. As competitors jumped in Gallo stopped all advertising at the height of the "pop wine craze." He made even more money on each case as the fad died away.

In the 1970s the Gallo brothers were selling one out of every three bottles of wine purchased in America. Ernest moved into premium wines for the first time. Experts praised the new wines but only heavy advertising could overcome the unsavory Gallo image. Case sales for premium wines tripled.

Ernest Gallo was totally unprepared for the explosion of wine coolers in the 1980s. This was his market - low-priced pop wines. But he missed it. The new California Coolers with wine and fruit juices tapped into many trendy markets: young, affluent, fitness and female. California Cooler had a five-year head start but really no chance against the Gallos.

Gallo introduced Americans to Frank Bartles and Ed Jaymes. In real life they were an Oregon farmer and a Santa Rosa building contractor. In commercials the actors pitching the wine coolers became so popular that when they "asked for your support" viewers sent donations to the company. In a year Gallo's Bartles & Jaymes were the market leaders.

Ernest and Julio Gallo guided America's most popular winery for nearly 60 years. The fortune that was built on family tragedy climbed over $700,000,000.


And the man behind the brand is...
John Dewar

For centuries whisky, a Gaelic word meaning “Water of Life,” was hardly the liquor of choice in Great Britain. First brewed by cloistered monks in the 11th century the grain alcohol was enjoyed mostly in tiny enclaves scattered across Scotland and Ireland. Early distilleries seldom marketed outside their little towns and most Englishmen continued to enjoy rum, gin and brandy and seldom, if ever, tasted whisky.

It was extremely unlikely that John Dewar would be the man to change all that. Born in 1806, Dewar’s early life was distinguished chiefly by a succession of failures in whatever venture he tried around his native Perthshire, Scotland. He moved to Perth and took a position with a firm or wine merchants called Macdonalds. Here Dewar blossomed and he was soon promoted to partner.

In 1846 Dewar took his liquor-selling experience and staked his future on the fledgling scotch whisky trade. At the time the only way scotch was sold was in kegs and bottles. Dewar not only put his whisky in accessible labeled bottles but he brashly pledged the quality of every bottle of scotch he sold with an unconditional guarantee printed right above his signature on the bottle.

The people of Perth quickly took to Dewar’s scotch in small glass bottles. Before long he hired a salesman and Dewar secured a national reputation for his whisky and when he died in 1860 he was a legendary figure in Scotland. Under his sons John, in management, and Thomas, in marketing, Dewar’s scotch spread around the world. It reached America in 1894 where it gained the endorsement of President Benjamin Harrison, virtually ensuring its success. Today, Dewar’s sells two bottles of scotch whisky for every one its top rival sells.


And the man behind the brand is...
Adolph Coors

Adolph Coors, born in 1847 to poor working parents, was charting his future as an apprentice brewer when the Prussian War tore apart his homeland. Rather than serve King William I he stowed away on a ship bound for America in 1868. Caught in mid-journey Coors was permitted to work off the cost of the journey in Baltimore. He labored as a brick layer, stone-cutter and fireman for a year before making his way west to Naperville, Illinois, hiring on as a brewery foreman for the Stenger Brewery.

He saved his money and worked his way to Denver on the railroad in April of 1872. While surveying the economic climate he toiled through the summer as a gardener and then purchased a partnership in the bottling company of John Straderman. By the end of 1872 he was the sole owner bottling beer, ale, porter, cider and seltzer water.

Still, his dreams were in brewing a quality beer. On Sundays, his only day off, he walked through the town of Golden, to which he was attracted by the rich Clear Creek Valley with abundant clear cool streams, formulating his brewing plans. He discovered an abandoned tannery on the banks of the river - the ideal site for his brewery with many clear springs on the property. Coors knew that water is the most basic ingredient in beer.

One of his customers, Jacob Schueler, raised $18,000 to invest in the "Golden Brewery" in 1873. In less than a year the tannery turned brewery was returning a profit. By 1880 Coors was brewing enough premium beer to buy out Schueler.

Now Coors concentrated on solidifying his business. He traveled widely, studying the competition. Coors maintained an overwhelming concern for the high quality of his beer, constantly expanding the brewery and improving the product. By 1900 the Golden Brewery had survived a national Depression, devastating flood and the growing threat of Prohibition.

Prohibition hit Colorado in 1914. Coors dumped 17,000 gallons of beer into Clear Creek. The brewing equipment turned out several food products including a near-beer called Mannah. Malted milk became a sideline business which lasted until 1955. Coors shifted much of the factory to the production of cement and high-quality porcelain products.

Adolph Coors did not live to see the end of Prohibition, dying in 1929 but the business foundation he laid allowed the Adolph Coors Company to survive. Of the 1568 breweries operating in 1910 Coors was one of only 750 to re-open in 1933.


And the man behind the brand is...
Don Facundo Bacardi

Don Facundo Bacardi was a prosperous wine importer and merchant in Cuba. He had emigrated from Spain, where he was born in Stiges in 1816, at the age of 14 and married a daughter of a French Bonapartist fighter in 1843. They raised four children as Bacardi built his influence in Santiago de Cuba.

But rather than relax in comfort Bacardi became intrigued with improving the harsh rum favored by buccaneers and Spanish adventurers in the area.

Rum is created by fermenting a drop of yeast in molasses, a by-product of sugarcane processing, and continually transferring the culture to larger vats as it grows. As a major supplier of sugarcane Cuba provided Bacardi with tons of cheap molasses with which Bacardi could experiment. For many years he toiled in search of a smoother, mellower rum.

Bacardi perfected his rum, augmenting his personal stock of liquor. But the distinctive taste of Bacardi’s rum did not stay sequestered under his roof for long. Friends persuaded Don Facundo to undertake the laborious task of producing his rum commercially. He invested $3,500 in a dilapidated tin-roof distillery, better suited as a home to its colony of fruit bats than distilling rum. On February 4, 1862 Bacardi began selling rum from his ancient stills and fermenting tanks.

Bacardi’s rum went to market in bottles dressed in labels bearing a bat insignia, a suggestion of Don Facundo’s wife. That bat trademark remains on Bacardi bottles today. Bacardi’s rum was awarded a gold medal of recognition at the Philadelphia Centennial in 1876 and a few years later Don Facundo stepped down from the business. Assisted by his three sons and a son-in-law, Bacardi was able to keep his production process a family secret and even today Bacardi, which is the world’s most popular rum, is in the hands of the family.


And the men behind the brand are...
Eberhard Anheuser and Adolphus Busch

Georg Schneider, a German-born tavern owner, established the Bavarian Brewery in south St. Louis in 1852. The "Mound City" already had a rich history in beer going back 50 years and was clearly the leading malt city in the Midwest, ahead of Chicago and Milwaukee. The Bavarian Brewery was one of many neighborhood breweries.

From its inception Schneider struggled with the enterprise. In 1857 he brewed 500 barrels but was constantly on the lookout for a financial savior. In 1860 Eberhard Anheuser, a successful soap and candle manufacturer, bought the Bavarian Brewery with his friend William D'Oench.

Still the neighborhood brewery struggled. In 1864 D'Oench withdrew to return to his drug and chemical trade. Anheuser couldn't operate two diverse businesses like soap manufacturing and malt brewing by himself and sought help. He didn't have to look beyond his family.

In 1861 Lilly Anheuser married a 21-year old German immigrant who was working as a "mud clerk" checking cargo along the Mississippi River. Shortly after their marriage Adolphus Busch enlisted in the Union army as a corporal but served only three months before he learned he had been bequeathed a portion of his wealthy father's estate.

Busch returned to St. Louis to open a brewers' supply store, the same business the family had conducted in Germany. In 1865 Busch merged his business with his father-in-law's Bavarian Brewery as equal partners. Within a year the brewery's output of Anheuser beer doubled to 8000 barrels.

The trade grew steadily with the enthusiastic Busch often acting as his own sales force in the local saloons and beer gardens. Anheuser and Busch also employed "beer collectors" whose duty was to make monthly rounds to every restaurant and beer garden in St. Louis and buy Anheuser beer for the house.

Anheuser's participation in the enterprise declined through the 1870s as Adolphus Busch searched for the perfect brew. In 1876 Busch brewed a light Bohemian beer with rice as a supplemental grain. He called the new beer "Budweiser" after a Bohemian brewer named Budweis.

At the same time Busch became the first brewmeister to pasteurize his beer so it could withstand any climatic change. Busch was now able to bottle beer and "St. Louis Lager Beer" began appearing in saloons in Denver and elsewhere. In 1878 he undertook a major plant expansion for the newly named Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association.

In 1880 Eberhard Anheuser died after a two-year illness, having lived long enough to see his tiny brewery on the banks of the Mississippi grow into a national concern. Adolphus Busch always invested in new technologies to find the most economical and expeditious way to manufacture malt. In 1881 he purchased three massive 50-ton ice machines to turn his brewing operation into a year-round business.

He always bottled his own beer and soon wasn't able to buy enough bottles fast enough. He studied manufacturers on both sides of the Atlantic before founding the Busch Glass Company. Transportation was always a problem and Busch amassed a fleet of 850 railroad cars to move his beer.

By the 1890s Busch was advertising extensively. His favorite medium was freshly painted beer wagons, advertising Busch considered more dignified than large billboards. He used playing cards, calendars, corkscrews and knives as promotional materials for his 14 beers. He distributed thousands of historical lithographs advertising his products. The Anheuser-Busch brewery grew to occupy 40 acres at this time. It required more than 2200 men to operate. Busch was brewing over 3000 barrels a day. It was the world's largest brewery.

Busch traveled extensively and took an interest in other matters besides brewery work. He served for a time as President of the South Side Bank and the Manufacturers' Railroad Company. Most of his business activities ceased after contracting dropsy in 1906.

In 1911 Busch celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary in a style the nation's papers trumpeted as "unprecedented in its elaborateness in the world's history." The value of the floral tributes alone exceeded $50,000. Busch presented his wife with a crown studded with gold, diamonds and pearls valued at $200,000.

Busch died in 1913 in his native Prussia on the eve of World War I. His son Augustus took over and the company patented the world's first diesel engine for the brewery which was quickly adapted for military use. Anheuser-Busch rode out of Prohibition with the introduction of the world-famous Clydesdales in 1933 to resume its position as the world's leading brewery.


And the man behind the brands is...
Jacob Schweppe

All his life it seemed like Jacob Schweppe had people deciding his career path for him. Now, stranded in England as his homeland dissolved in revolution, Schweppe would make the call himself.

In 1752, at the age of 12, his parents considered him too delicate for work on the family farm in Witzenhausen, Germany and allowed a travelling tinker to care for him. Schweppe showed such a proclivity for mending pots with his skilled hands that the tinker returned him to his parents with advice to send him to a silversmith. The same thing happened. The silversmith convinced his parents to turn him over to a jeweler. So Jacob Schweppe went to Geneva and became a jeweler.

An amateur scientist, Schweppe devoured all the news he could find on the experiments of Joseph Priestly who was working with gas and water. Schweppe's own efforts with carbonated water were not satisfactory to him so he offered his artificial mineral waters to doctors to give to poor patients.

Finally he perfected his carbonation system with a compression pump and demand for his mineral water spread. Schweppe continued giving away his water to rich and poor. He was, after all, a researcher.

Many people insisted that he take money for his water so he started charging a nominal fee in 1780. So Schweppe quit the jewelry business and became the first manufacturer of artificial mineral waters. The soft drink industry was born.

After ten years the little business was firmly established when a friend and sales employee wanted to also make mineral water and sell it along with Schweppe's. He had only seen the machine in operation so he described the apparatus for well-known engineer Nicolas Paul to build him one. Paul did so but built a better machine for himself to compete with Schweppe. Rather than engage the fight Schweppe became partners in 1790 in the firm of Schweppe, Paul & Gosse.

The range of mineral waters expanded and the partners decided to start a factory in London. His partners, both younger than himself, convinced the 52-year old Schweppe to leave his family and launch the product in London.

Schweppe met little success. He was forced by economics to set up in a particularly nasty quarter of London. In 1792 there were many inferior mineral waters on the market and Schweppes was no novelty. He was selling virtually nothing, not even to doctors who usually preferred his product.

Schweppe wanted to come home. Besides the desultory business climate revolutionary fervor was sweeping through Europe. His partners persuaded Schweppe to stay in England and at considerable personal expense he sent for his daughter Collette, the only survivor among his nine children.

Suddenly a letter arrived from the partners calling him back. The partners were bickering, sales were dropping. Schweppe had had enough. He dissolved the partnership, surrendering the business he had built for ten years in Geneva. Now, in 1793 Schweppe was free to run his artificial mineral water business as he wished.

He introduced an egg-shaped bottle to hold his aerated waters that remained in use for over 100 years. Its shape insured the bottle would be kept on its side so the cork would stay saturated, sealing in the precious gas. Each cork was tarred and held in place with a string.

Schweppe gained the endorsement of Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of Charles. He began referring to his product as "soda water" and recommended it for complaints of kidneys, bladders and indigestion. Schweppe's Seltzer was touted for its pleasant taste and as a mixer with liquor. It also helped fever and hangovers.

By 1798 Schweppe was clearing the handsome sum of 1200 pounds a year. His English fame had eclipsed his Geneva business, which collapsed among the bickering remaining partners shortly after the dissolution. He sold 3/4 of his company to three men from the island of Jersey for $2250 pounds, retaining 1/8 for himself and 1/8 for his daughter.

Schweppe retired the next year in 1799. Napoleon had annexed Geneva making Schweppe a French citizen. He travelled, dabbled in agriculture and tended bees until his death in 1821 at the age of 81. His daughter sold the last of the family's share of Schweppes in 1824.


And the man behind the brand is...
Louis Perrier

Dr. Louis Perrier was a French physician and entrepreneur. That his name should be recognizable across America is a fluke of commercial and social history. In 1903, Perrier and English aristocrat St. John Harnsworth joined forces to purchase the historic natural spring in Vergeze, France. Emperor Napoleon III stated in 1863 that the spring waters of Vergeze should be bottled “for the good of France.”

This the partners did, selling the sparkling waters in green 23-ounce bottles. Perrier advertised his drink as “the champagne of bottled waters” and sold it for nearly $1.00 a bottle. Accordingly Perrier was available only in gourmet and specialty-food shops for decades and decades.

Then fitness and health consciousness hit America in the late 1970s. From 1980 until 1989 the bottled water industry grew from an $80 million business to one accounting for almost three billion dollars in sales. Perrier spent the most money the earliest in the boom and became so popular many people assumed Perrier invented bottled water. Suddenly everyone knew Louis Perrier’s name, a doctor from France.


And the man behind the brand is...
Charles Hires

For Charles Hires a trifling matter like a honeymoon was no reason to stop his obsessive experimenting with root beer recipes. He spent the first days of his married life tinkering with an assortment of roots, herbs and berries, including juniper, spikenard, wintergreen, sasparilla, hops, vanilla beans, ginger, licorice, deer tongue, dog grass and birch bark.

Root beer traces its origins back to colonial times. For those who didn’t want to dig their own roots a few pharmacies began to market packets of roots in the early 1800s for brew-it-yourself beverages. Hires, a descendant of Martha Washington, became interested in root beer as a 16-year old pharmacy student at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia in 1866.

Two medical professors assisted him in developing a formula for a beverage he sold at the soda fountain of a drug store where he clerked. He dreamed of his own soft drink business but there didn’t seem much chance of that happening anytime soon.

One day Hires was walking down Spruce Street in Philadelphia and watched an excavating crew digging out a cellar. Thinking fast he told the contractor he could dispose of the troublesome soil in the basement of his drug store a few blocks away. Hires had recognized the soil being carted from the worksite as potter’s clay, valuable in removing grease stains from clothing.

He rolled out the soil, sliced it into cakes and wrapped it in tissue paper. Hires’ Potter’s Clay was soon for sale in stores throughout Philadelphia. Hires netted almost $7000 from this venture which he plowed into manufacturing his soft drinks.

He hit upon an especially tasty combination of 16 roots and berries and set out to market his “root tea” - so named in deference to Pennsylvania’s growing temperance movement. Friends scoffed at this plan, praising the drink but despairing the name. They convinced Charles Hires that “root beer” would project a more robust image.

The first Hires Root Beer came in packets and sold for 25¢. The packet was designed to be mixed in five gallons of water. Hires rented a booth at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. Response to his refreshing samples was so strong he started offering his powders by mail, using the beverage industry’s first advertising. “A delicious, sparkling and wholesome beverage,” he raved in Harper’s.

Hires knew the future of soda pop did not lie with home brewing and in 1893 he pioneered the bottling of soft drinks. Before the end of the century over three million bottles of Hires Root Beer were spewing from plants across the United States, Canada and Cuba. Hires ads proclaimed that the tasty beverage “gives children the strength to resist the enervating effects of the heat, bridges the convalescent over the trying part of a hot day and helps even a cynic see the brighter side of life.”

In 1898 Hires began the manufacture of condensed milk and built a chain of twenty-one factories scattered throughout the country. He sold the milk business to Nestle in 1917 and retreated from active participation in the day-to-day affairs of the root beer operation. Hires’ chief hobby in the latter part of his life was deep sea fishing. In 1937, as he packed to go on an extended fishing trip, Charles Hires was felled by a stroke and died at the age of 86.


And the man behind the brand is...
Charles Welch

As a minister with deep theological beliefs and an ardent prohibitionist it always seemed to Dr. Thomas Welch that the use of wine as a sacrament was a heretical contradiction. One Sunday in 1869 a visiting minister to the Welch family home in Vineland, New Jersey was "led astray" by the communion wine. Welch vowed to develop a non-alcoholic fruit juice that could be used as a communion wine.

Welch began cooking grapes and straining them through cloth bags. He quickly immersed the remaining liquid into boiling water. It worked. Dr. Welch's Unfermented Wine would surely end the great contradiction of the ecumenical world. Proudly Welch began taking his non-alcoholic wine to local pastors. But he found that churchmen demanded only wine. By 1873, after four years of increasing futility, he abandoned plans to sell his grape juice.

Welch had an earnest desire to solve an important problem for his church and he did. And no one cared. A graduate of Syracuse Medical College, he returned full-time to the practice of dentistry. In his 800-word Autobiography Thomas Welch never even mentioned the achievement.

In 1872 his 20-year old son Charles left home to begin a dental career in Washington DC but grape juice flowed through his veins. In 1875 he returned to Vineland to revitalize the idea of commercial grape juice. His disillusioned father favored dentistry over juice so young Charles compromised and split his time with his dental practice in Washington and his fledgling grape juice business in Vineland.

In 1881 Thomas and Charles operated Welch's Dental Supply Company in Philadelphia while Charles sold an occasional gallon of grape juice. After returning to Vineland in 1886 the balance of Charles' activities began to tilt towards his fruit juice over dentistry. A new brick factory was constructed.

It was not an age of advertising and bold newspaper ads were a novelty. But Charles Welch had no choice; he had to educate the public about the uses for his new grape juice. FOR THE SACRAMENT AND FOR MEDICINAL USE Welch's headlines screamed.

Finally in 1893, 24 years after the first grape juice dripped through his father's cotton cloths, Charles Welch left dentistry and plunged into the grape juice business full time. He travelled to Chicago and gave away samples of "Welch's Grape Juice" from his booth at the Columbian Exposition.

His success at the Exposition convinced Welch to seek areas that attracted crowds. The Welch's stand became a staple of the Atlantic City boardwalk, America’s premier seaside resort at the time. He exhibited at medical and drug conventions. The Welch Palace dispensing pavilion at the San Francisco Exposition in 1912 was a big hit.

Welch was tireless in his promotion of his new drink. Like many beverages of the day Welch touted the medicinal benefits of his grape juice. "Juice makes rich red blood," claimed his ads. Welch always retained the family prohibitionist zeal for the non-alcoholic wine and he found several converts.

William Jennings Bryan, four-time loser for the Presidency and long-time teetotaler, served as Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson. He disliked the tradition of serving alcohol to his guests and used Welch's juice instead. It became known as Grape Juice Diplomacy. At the same time Secretary of Navy Josephus Daniels banned alcohol on ships and cartoonists dubbed his charges the "Grape Juice Navy."

By this time Welch had relocated his business to the wine-growing regions of New York. Black Rot disease decimated the Vineland grape vines in 1895 forcing the migration to Westfield, New York. His first year in Westfield Welch pressed 288 tons of Concord grapes to bottle 50,000 gallons of juice. In 1909 production reached one million gallons a year. Welch tried new products in 1912 and found success with jams and jellies. Others, like tomato juice and ketchup, failed.

Welch, still an ardent Prohibitionist, campaigned for governor of New York on the Dry Ticket in 1916. He died in 1926, in the midst of Prohibition, still in full authority of the company he founded on his father's non-alcoholic beverage.


And the men behind the brand are...
Joseph and Edward Tetley

The Tetley brothers, Joseph and Edward, scratched out a living in Yorkshire, England in 1837 selling salt from the back of a horsecart. To help scrape up a few extra pounds the Tetleys sold a little tea, then an expensive luxury item never found on the back of a horsecart. This did not make them rich.

They did however invest their small profits wisely in the new railroads which were beginning to spread across England. At the same time tea was becoming more popular and less expensive. Tea clippers raced each other from ports in the Far East to deliver their exotic cargos as fresh as possible. Some made the journey in as little as 100 days.

With the tea business perking up the Tetley brothers used profits from their railway investments to set up business in London in 1856 as Joseph Tetley and Company. Tetley blended teas from all over the world for their growing market. Their blend of orange pekoe and pekoe cut black tea remains England’s most popular and America’s second-best selling brand.

Through one of their partners the Tetleys began marketing tea in the United States in 1888., selling mostly through department stores. Tetley was one of the first to market its tea in individual bags in 1910.


And the man behind the brand is...
Thomas Lipton

Many of the fortunes made in the 19th century were by European immigrants who applied Old World skills in their adopted land of America. Thomas Lipton was different. He came to America, looked around for a while, and took what he learned in the New World back to Scotland to make one of the greatest fortunes of all.

Lipton began work at the age of 10 in 1860 to help his family. He toiled as a stationer’s apprentice, a hosier’s helper and a cabin boy before scraping together $18 for steerage to New York City in the spring of 1865. He arrived with a mere $8 in his pocket but struck a deal at dockside to round up a dozen lodgers in exchange for free room to himself.

The post-Civil War South needed labor to rebuild and Lipton headed there for the next 40 months. He showed up in the South Carolina rice fields, on the New Orleans streets as a carman, in Charleston fighting fires and keeping books on a plantation. He finally returned to New York as a grocery clerk where he became entranced by the American way of merchandising - attractive displays, salesman interested in customers, and especially flamboyant promotions.

At a time when ambitious young men were exploiting the unlimited potential of America Lipton took the $500 he had saved and returned to Scotland. He opened his first shop in Glasgow on May 10, 1871. He bought directly from farmers and crofters in cash, never borrowed and lived for his work. But so did many others. What set Lipton apart was his flair for advertising and showmanship - techniques he had learned in the United States.

Lipton hired one of Scotland’s leading cartoonists to produce a fresh poster for his shop window each week. He employed an Irishman in knee breeches, cutaway coat and a cocked hat to promote his Irish bacon by driving two scrubbed and polished pigs named “Lipton’s Orphans” through the Glasgow streets to his shop - always by a different route.

He erected a pair of mirrors on the walk in front of the shop. One was concave producing an elongated body with a haggard face. That was “Going to Lipton’s.” The other was convex which caused a paunchy look and an inevitable smile. That was “Coming from Lipton’s.” He provided entertainment for children to free mothers to shop.

In six months he set up another shop - the forerunner of the food chains of today. By 1880 Lipton operated 20 shops with the goal of a new one every week. Each opening was preceded by an elaborate street parade and a blitz of posters and newspaper ads. Lipton would be on hand, donned in white apron and overalls, offering a prize to the first purchaser.

For Christmas 1881 Lipton became determined to bring Glasgow the largest cheese ever made. For six days 800 cows and 200 dairymaids gave all for the behemoth cheese - to the delight of townsfolk who were kept informed of every detail by Lipton. When the steamer carrying the cheese chugged into port crowds were waiting. They lined the streets to cheer the progress of the cheese on its trip to the store.

When it arrived Lipton ostentatiously inserted gold sovereigns into the cheese. It was on display all December in the shop window and when it was finally sliced up on Christmas Eve police had to be called in to control the crowds. Lipton sold every ounce of cheese in two hours.

Monster cheeses became a Lipton Christmas trademark. When police advised that the public might choke themselves by innocently swallowing coins Lipton gleefully advertised the “POLICE WARNING” that anybody buying a portion of Lipton’s Giant Cheese was in danger of being choked by one of the many gold sovereigns concealed in it. Lipton couldn’t sell the cheese fast enough.

Thomas Lipton was 40 years old before he sold an ounce of tea. In 1890 he sailed to Australia, ostensibly for rest, but stopped in Ceylon to investigate some supplies of tea. The British had been drinking tea for 200 years but it was expensive, sold from ornate chests and carefully weighed out. Lipton reasoned that he could attract business by packaging tea in tiny packets and create one brand, rather than a commodity. He sent some tea home with the slogan “Direct from the tea gardens to teapot.” By the time he returned to Scotland his 300 shops couldn’t handle the demand.

He bought a tea plantation in Ceylon to supply his stores directly. As his teas became known around the world he bought more and more tea and coffee plantations. The man who once opened every one of his stores personally never saw all of his world-wide properties.

His first recognition from the British Royal family came in 1898 when he was knighted for contributing $125,000 to supply the tea consumed by 300,000 poverty-stricken Londoners in the week of Queen Victoria’s jubilee. That same year Lipton sent his various businesses public; his fortune was estimated at $50,000,000.

For the final 33 years of his life Sir Thomas Lipton pursued yachting’s America’s Cup, which at that time had never left America. He made five challenges in all, building all contenders himself at a personal expense in excess of $5,000,000. Sir Thomas was never successful but gained an international reputation for sportsmanship.

He so endeared himself to Americans that on the occasion of the defeat of Shamrock V, his final challenger, money was raised to present Lipton with a golden loving cup, the symbol of his election by Americans as “the gamest loser in the world of sport.” Before he died the next year in 1931 at the age of 81 Sir Thomas stated, “My greatest regret is that I have never lifted the America’s Cup.”


And the man behind the brand is...
James Folger

The Folgers were an old Nantucket family who traced their roots to the founding of the island in the early 1600s. Generation after generation of Folger men worked in or around the whaling business as Nantucket grew into the greatest whaling center in the world. All that ended one morning in 1846 when a great fire destroyed the entire business district and waterfront - 33 acres in all. The townspeople set about rebuilding immediately but it was clear that a young man’s prospects in Nantucket would never be the same again.

Accordingly three of the five Folger brothers; 20-year old Edward, 16-year old Henry and 14-year old James, set sail for the Gold Rush taking place in California in 1849. They arrived in San Francisco on May 5, 1850 to find a town whose population had burst from 800 to 40,000 in two years. Most were ornately bearded males between 20 and 40 seeking the same fortune as the Folgers.

It was decided the two older brothers would head for the gold country while James remained in town, working as a carpenter. James had helped rebuild Nantucket and recognized the same building boom now embracing San Francisco. Work was plentiful and wages were high enough to temper some of his disappointment at not joining his brothers in the gold fields.

Folger signed on with William Bovee, then 27, to erect a spice-and-coffee mill. Bovee had tried his hand in the gold fields himself but soon decided to return to the coffee trade he had learned in New York. There was no roast coffee then available in northern California and ground coffee was unheard of in the mining camps.

Bovee called his new business the Pioneer Steam Coffee & Spice Mill although there was no steam engine and the mill was often powered by Jim Folger’s hands. From his time digging for gold Bovee knew that ground coffee, ready to brew, was what busy miners would want. He roasted, ground and packaged ready-to-brew coffee in labeled tins.

The business grew and after a year Folger left to finally seek his fortune in the northern California hills but just in case he took along a trunk loaded with coffee samples and spices to call on provision stores. In between gathering orders Folger actually made a strike and with a small bag of gold dust made his way deeper into gold country to Auburn. He found plenty of miners but no store so he opened his own in 1852.

His timing was perfect. A big strike hit near Auburn and he was able to sell his business for a handsome profit and return to San Francisco. He dallied for awhile as a hardware merchant before returning to Bovee’s and investing money in the coffee firm. In 1859 Bovee had still not shaken his own gold fever and sold all but a small interest in the coffee mill to Folger.

Now 24, Folger took on a partner and aggressively expanded the business of the newly named Marden & Folger. When the economy collapsed following the Civil War the partners found themselves badly overextended and went into bankruptcy. Folger’s first response was to buy out his partner after convincing creditors their best hope of recovering outstanding debts was to allow the mill to stay open.

It took until 1874 for J.A. Folger & Company to be thoroughly solvent but the business was thriving with the West. Folger bought into several mines and part of a newspaper. He moved across the bay to the oak-lined coast of Oakland, joining several prominent clubs. He was elected to the Oakland City Council and the Board of Education.

Folger died suddenly of a coronary occlusion in 1889 at the age of 54. Flags were lowered to half-mast throughout Oakland. James Folger III followed his father as company president, just as Folgers had continued the family business back in Nantucket for centuries.


And the man behind the brand is...
William Wrigley

There are several ways to build a successful product. One can improve upon an existing product or invent a totally new product. However, William Wrigley, Jr. chose the toughest route of all. He took a bad habit and converted it into a world-wide obsession.

Wrigley legitimatized chewing gum by advertising. He became the largest advertiser of any single product. "Advertising," he once said, "is like running a train. You've got to keep on shoveling coal into the engine. Once you stop stoking the fire goes out and the train will gradually slow down and come to a dead stop." By the time of his death at age 70 in 1932 Wrigley had spent $100,000,000 in advertising. The growth of his company never slowed down.

Wrigley was the eldest of eight children born to a Philadelphia soapmaker in 1861. At the age of 11 he fled home for New York to seek his fortune. He sold newspapers and slept on park benches and quickly lost his zeal for independence. He returned home to his parents and schooling.

A school prank backfired on the curly-haired Wrigley and he was expelled from school to work in his father's little soap factory. The labor was hard and Wrigley begged his father for a chance to peddle soap on the road. Selling soap across the countryside from his wagon Wrigley was successful but found the work dreary. In 1880 he set out for a new mining boom in Leadville, Colorado.

He made it as far as Kansas City when his money ran out. Working as a waiter and counterman in a doughnut shop Wrigley saved enough money to buy a supply of rubber stamps which he sold at enough profit to return home to the soap factory.

Now he stayed 11 years before wanderlust seized him again. This time with a wife of five years Wrigley left for Chicago, the new metropolis of the west in 1890. He had $32 and one carload of soap when he established William Wrigley Jr. and Company.

Competition was keen but Wrigley found some success with a shipment of umbrellas he gave away to retailers as a premium. He hired a salesman who had worked with baking powder. Wrigley added the baking powder to his line with good results.

No one knows how Wrigley became interested in chewing gum. He ordered his first batch in September 1892 as an inducement to buy his baking powder. Jobbers found they could sell the free gum better than the baking powder so Wrigley decided to sell chewing gum. His first product was the long-forgotten "Wrigley's Vassar."

The gum was mixed like dough, rolled, cut into sticks and packed by hand. Wrigley changed the product by making chicle, a juicy extract from tropical trees, his main ingredient. Growth was slow. He began advertising with trademark arrows and elves and gradually his gum gained acceptance. On two occasions he collected the names of every telephone subscriber in Chicago and sent each a package of chewing gum.

In 1902 Wrigley came to New York with $100,000 to attempt a large-scale advertising campaign, but failed. Another attempt failed until in 1907, despite a general economic recession, he broke through with a $250,000 national campaign. His name and products became firmly established in American culture.

Chewing gum factories were established in London, Berlin, Toronto, and Sydney as well as Brooklyn. Wrigley gum packages eventually bore wording in 37 languages as output reached 40,000,000 sticks a day, always selling for 5¢ a pack.

During World War I when Wrigley discovered some retailers were selling his gum for as much as a dime he took out extensive ads proclaiming his gum cost 5¢ and anyone selling it for more was a wartime profiteer. In 1919 Wrigley's ads proclaimed, "5¢ before the war, 5¢ during the war, 5¢ after the war."

In the 1920s the chewing gum business was less of a challenge for Wrigley. He became sole owner of Catalina Island, 25 miles off the California coast, and developed it into a sporting resort. He undertook development projects in Arizona as well. In Chicago he built the white terra cotta Wrigley Building, opening up Chicago to business north of the famed Loop.

Wrigley dabbled in coal mining, transportation, hotels, ranching and the motion picture industry but his great passion was baseball. He purchased the Chicago Cubs in 1924 and spent over $6,000,000 making the team one of the model franchises in the National League. His team won the National League pennant in 1929 but never a World Series Championship in his lifetime.

In 1925 Wrigley turned the presidency of the company over to his son Philip to spend more time with baseball. Wrigley's control over the gum empire did not wane until his death, however. As Chairman of the Board he was asked what would happen if his Board disapproved of one of his decisions. Wrigley replied, "Then we'll get a new Board of Directors." His son recalled that stockholder meetings rarely lasted beyond a reading of the last meeting's minutes and Wrigley's asking for a motion of adjournment which quickly came.

Wrigley's death came in the depths of the Depression, which he combatted by providing shelter in his Chicago buildings and feeding 500 jobless men daily through the Salvation Army. The hard times had little effect on his business, however. "People chew harder when they are sad," noted Wrigley shortly before his death.