Pre Prohibition 1896 - 1916

What does pre pro mean? Simply stated it means any advertising done before the advent of prohibition. Washington like it's northwest neighbors voted in prohibition a full four years earlier than the rest of the nation which helps to make pre pro breweriana that much harder to obtain.  Given that Olympia did not even start till late 1896 that is just shy of twenty years not a lot of time to have much of an impact on advertising. Consequently pre pro breweriana is quite sought after and usualy expensive to buy. The following items are from my collection or when noted someone elses.

Olympia Beer tin match holder 6" tall by 3" wide inscription on the front reads "Yes! It's the Water" then underneath Better be safe than sorry I can't make the manufacture other than it is in Newton Iowa ****+
How do you tell a pre pro stein from a cheep 70s remake? Easy look at the bottom of the stein the first pre pro steins have a concave bottom to start with. Then look at the detail of the logo it is very intricate and definitely hand painted These steins are very much harder to find then the pre pro mugs ***
Olympia collapsible drinking cup embosed on the bottom is "It's the Water" hard to find complete cup and pouch ***+

Beautiful reverse glass sign obtained from the Mugrage collection by Bryan Anderson.  A few things on this piece are intersting to note. First like the match holder the term Yes! before It's the Water is used. This callout only seems to be used in pre pro advertising.  Also note the billing to bottled beer. Olympia was one of the first brewers on the west coast to exclusivly use the new bottle cap for beer and this seems to play prominently in their advertisg all the way up to the late 30's ****+

Giant 19" tall Olympia Chalk Stein a definte backbar saloon piece. I know of two others beside mine including the one in the lower picture that appears to have been painted a myriad of colors. I would say that the unoainted one is the way it was originally A very ugly yet rare piece ****+
Pre pro Olympia corkscrew from Honolulu Hawaii Jugger. Not uncommon for Olympia Beer to be shipped in barrells on barges from as close as San Francisco to the Phillipine Islands.  Then the Olympia agent would put the beer in jugs embossed bottles etc... and either put a bottle cap enclosure or in this case a cork stopper. Very unusual piece ****

One of the most rare of pre prohibition pieces this tin over cardboard sign touts the availability of Olympia Beer in bottles. Also incorpareted in this sign is the image of the Dutch cavilier holding a bottle of Olympia almost an excat size and shape of the tip tray with the same image. From the Mugrare collection Courtesy Bryan Anderson ****+

Prohibition era piece advertising Olympia Lemonade. This is the only piece I have seen for this and have never seen Olympia Lemonade in any other form no bottles openers etc... ***+
In the days before effecient transportaton many brewers used a variety of branch plants offiices etc.. to push their product. In this case Portland Oregon this beautiful stock tray advertises Olympia Golden brew. Other artifacts such as bottles glasses and labels have shown up from the Portland brach ***
This reverse glass lense continues to be a mystery to me. If you compare it to the one on the top of the page they have the same gold painted letters. But would they put out a black plane lense like this or is this just a case of an unfinished lense that never got made before prohibition. A number of these lenses showed up about twenty years ago at the Portland antique expo this leading me to the idea they were leftover blanks from the manufacure ***
Large pre pro Olympia beer charger though not uncommon these are increasingly hard to come by in good condition ***
Olympia tip trays above the cavilier tip tray which is just as common as the serving tray ** Below is one of the tough ones a Potlatch tip tray celebbrating a early Seattle potlach ****

Shown below Portland Rose festival tip tray with a very subliminal horseshoe on the vase. For some reason they are fairly eay to find** Shown below are two other fairly rare oly pre pro tip trays one from the Seattle Branch ***and the other showing the label **+

Shown below is a paper flower fan from the Seattle branch of  Olympia Beer this is the only one I have ever seen (scarce) ***+
Three pre pro Olympia Beer mugs the middle one being a giveaway at the Elks club and the bottom one being a Tumwater Falls gift shop giveaway
pre pro bottles the first being an extremly early example of the breweries first bottling. In Bob Kays Washington label catalog this label is given the most rare rating that of being an exotic. The next bottle is the second generation label that is very rare to find in good condition. Both of these bottles would have been packed with a bottle shade a coragated paper cover designed to keep light from damaging the beer. These shades often have the horseshoe logo on them

Here is a look at how pre pro bottles were carefully Packed for shipping carefully placed in cardboard boxes then crated up in a wood box with a paper label both bottles and boxes are hard to find


Two of the most common pre pro etched glasses

Four pre pro poster stamps extremly rare