Heiner & Schmitt No. 73 &. 75 St. John St Philada
Heiner & Schmitt
No 73 & 75 St. John St.
Jacob Heimer & Louis Schmitt, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Provenance: Tod von Mechow Collection
Our graceful green glass Heiner & Schmitt example is considered America’s second-oldest lager beer bottle. Both German immigrants, Jacob Heiner (also spelled Heimer) and Louis Schmitt were Philadelphia brewers.
Dating to about 1849-1850, this exceptional 8 3/8 by 2 7/8-inch bottle is very rare, has an applied double-tapered collar, an iron pontil and is full of small bubbles. The bottle is embossed on one face in four lines, ‘HEINER & SCHMITT’ (1st line arched. The ampersand is crooked), ‘No. 73 & 75’ (2nd line horizontal. The “o” of “No” is smaller and raised). ‘ST. JOHN ST.’ is on the 3rd line. The “T” in “ST for Saint” is smaller and raised as with the “T” in “ST for Street.” ‘PHILADA’ is embossed on the fourth line. The second “A” is smaller and raised. All type is centered and is set in a transitional bulbous serif alphabet. The glass manufacturer is unknown.
Jacob Heiner and Louis Schmitt were Philadelphia brewers who partnered briefly from late 1849 to September 1850. On September 12, 1850, a Dissolution of Copartnership notice was posted in the Philadelphia Public Ledger—“The partnership heretofore existing between Jacob Heiner and Louis Schmitt, Brewers, is this day dissolved, by mutual consent. The business of the late firm will be settled by Louis Schmitt, at the old stand, No. 73 and 75 St. John St., who is fully authorized to settle the same, and to whom all payments will be made. Jacob Heiner. Louis Schmidt. Louis Schmidt would inform his friends and customers and the public generally, that he has purchased the interest of Jacob Heiner and the late Copartnership of Heiner & Schmitt and intends to continue the business of Brewing Lager Beer, at the Old Stand, 73 and 75 St. John St., where he will be happy to serve those who want a good article of his line. Louis Schmitt.”
It’s interesting that Philadelphia city directories from 1846 to 1852 use an “m” and spell Jacob Heiner’s last name as “Heimer.” Which version is correct is undetermined. It is quite possible that the spelling on the bottle is an error.
After Heiner & Schmitt split in September 1850, Louis Schmitt would continue brewing at 73 and 75 St. John Street until 1857. The 1858 through 1860 directories note his address at 421 St. John. From there, Jacob Schmitt’s brewing listings stop. After the split, Jacob Heiner continued brewing and was located at 245 North 3rd Street. Neither had new bottles made with their names.
Primary Image: “Heiner & Schmitt No 73 & 75 St John St Philada” early lager bottle imaged on location by Alan DeMaison, FOHBC Virtual Museum Midwest Studio.
Support: Reference to Soda & Beer Bottles of North America, Tod von Mechow
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