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Master Distiller, Joseph L. Beam...

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My cousin, Mary Jane, gave me this old magazine ad not long ago :grin: :grin: :grin:

Kinda cool...The man in the picture is my great gandfather, Joseph L. Beam :grin: :grin: :grin:

Wanted to share it with some of the history buffs around here :grin:

Bettye Jo


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Very cool, and it makes a good point too. Back in the day, distillers were often described as "distiller and yeast maker." The ability to propagate a good whiskey yeast, back in the days before yeast became just another manufactured product, probably was a distiller's most important skill. Each one had his own special recipe for the medium and the rest of it was instinct and experience, seeing how it smelled, how active it was.

I asked Craig Beam once if there was anybody left who could still do it the old-fashioned way. The best he could come up with was maybe.

This isn't a problem as there are many yeasts that have been proven to work well for whiskey. Seagram's developed and patented hundreds of them. Still, it's just one more thing that has passed from the scene.

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  • 1 month later...

I like the directness and technical detail in this old advertisement.

We often see the same today, in an updated form. Of course advertising has gotten more sophisticated.

In many of the old ads, there is an endearing earnest quality. This particular one seems to have a generic character. Periodically, all industries engage in this, it is being done for beer in parts of Canada at the moment. But maybe the ad related to a specific brand, possibly Beam whiskey.

This reminds me that promotion, which is inseparable from business, can be a good thing. Often it gets a bad rap, sometimes deservedly. This is especially so when advertising is "empty" or a kind of bafflegab. But the same thing occurred way back when, there was much talk then of "finest grains", "old time methods", and so forth.

But useful, informative ads existed then and they do today.


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