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  1. #31

    Re: IW Harper =IW Bernheim; Old Harper =?

    Here's a link to a bit of history about the "Old Harper" whiskey (apparently not bourbon) brand:
    Old Harper, Bernheim Bros. Distillery

    It was apparently and early-20th Century precursor to the I.W. Harper brand.

  2. #32
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    Re: IW Harper =IW Bernheim; Old Harper =?

    Wow! Thanks for the link! I was particularly intrigued by the "Old IW Harper" brand name. Obviously, whiskey marketing and branding is complex.

    So, the "Old Harper" brands appear...well, old (early 20th century). How did it wind up in "American Graffiti," a 1960 period piece actually made in 1971 (or thereabouts)?

  3. #33
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: IW Harper =IW Bernheim; Old Harper =?

    What's peculiar here is the reference, on the shot glass itself, to Nelson County and the reference in the description to Clear Springs. The Bernheim Brothers facilities were in Paducah, Kentucky, then Louisville, but never in Nelson County. Clear Springs Distillery was the name of the Beam family distillery in Nelson County prior to Prohibition. It's possible the Beams sold something called "Old Harper" completely separate from the Bernheim's I.W. Harper.

    I don't think this mystery is quite solved yet.

  4. #34
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Re: IW Harper =IW Bernheim; Old Harper =?

    Well look at that Chuck,They credit the Coyte papers as the source of that info.

  5. #35
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    Re: IW Harper =IW Bernheim; Old Harper =?

    Chuck,
    As you know, Bernheim Bros. started as rectifier in Paducah in the 1870's. They did not own a distillery until the late 1890's after they moved to Louisville. Before they built the distillery they were buying their whiskey in Nelson County and rectifying it into I W Harper and several other brands. They even had a brand they called "Kenessee" which was a marrying of Kentucky Bourbon and Tenessee Whiskey.
    In the trademark files at the U.D. Archive there are several applications for trademarks for advertising materials for I W Harper. This material uses "I W Harper" and "Old Harper" as interchangable terms for the same product in the advertising. I would say what the item shown is simply a pre-1898 shot glass for I W Harper because of the Nelson County reference.

    Mike Veach

  6. #36
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: IW Harper =IW Bernheim; Old Harper =?

    I wonder how the reference to Clear Springs got in there? Possibly that is the Nelson County distillery the Bernheim Brothers were buying from?

    Anyway, it certainly makes more sense that the Bernheims used "Old Harper" and "I.W. Harper" interchangeably. There are lots of examples of that, e.g., "John E. Fitzgerald" evolving the other way, into "Old Fitzgerald."

  7. #37
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    Re: IW Harper =IW Bernheim; Old Harper =?

    Chuck,
    I think that I W Harper was a "rectified" version of a couple of Nelson County whiskies. I think this is one reason Bernheim fought so hard against the Bottled in Bond Act. He would loose his taste profile if he had to use only one distillery's product to make I W Harper as a Bonded whiskey.

    Mike Veach

 

 

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