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(May, 2010) The Leidig's brand was used by a chain of liquor stores mostly in the Salinas Valley of Calif., but the company also had stores in the Central Valley, such as two branches in Fresno per ads found by Ed. Scoglietti and Herman Oswald . This chain operated in the 1930's, 1940's until (?), and more information is awaited on its history. Unusual for a private label, there are four different Leidig's cans known, and each is from a different San Francisco brewery.
| -----The Leidig's Deluxe by Rainier Brewing Company, San Francisco, Calif. is a rare cone - maybe (?) just 3 "inside" examples are known so far?
Some of the "On-grade" examples known:
---The "Mercier Collection" example was part of 55 cone group reportedly from a "Lake Tahoe find" around 1977 by Jim Mercier of Wisconsin. Around 1978, he sold all the beers to Dave Stark who held this "Deluxe" example in his collection until sold in 2007. The Mercier example was the first time the brand was discovered by cone collectors active at the time, such as Dave Peck and wasn't pictured in BCU and Martell's books.
---Another example (pictured) was turned up in the later 1970's, oddly due to the location found: by New Jersey breweriana collector Peter Lyndell (spelling?). He had gotten a group of about 12 cones from the daughter of a Horton Brewing Co. employee. Back in the 1930's and '40's, occasionally mis-sent brands of cones would appear in pallets of new Horton Brewing cones and fortunately the employee saved a number of these. A collector has a picture of just these cones, which show a number of mostly rarer "low profile" brands: Leidig's Deluxe, Dawson Beer (w/card); National Beer; London Tavern Ale; brown ABC; and an Ambassador cone that was sold to Bob Gamer of NYC. Dick Caughey bought a number of the remaining cones, including the Deluxe cone pictured.
---A 3rd example was passed to Gene DiCicco in the early 1990's by one of his many sources in Calif., who apparently found it in the Bay Area. Gene held this "Deluxe" example until around 1996 when he sold many of the cans in his collection.
-----"Outside" examples have appeared, but very infrequently - including one by Gene DiCicco gotten from a source in Arizona. More recently in 2006 a good dumper with colors was dug by Ed Scoglietti - both these "dumpers" are important as confirms the brand very likely had been filled with beer.
----Leidig's Dutch Mill cone by El Rey Brewing-------------
"On-grade" examples: A top shape example was in the "Mercier Collection". After learning about the label in 1977, Bob Myers advertised specifically for the label in several Calif. towns, and located three more in 1/1+ condition. The cans had been found by a Calif. Highway Patrolman who flew a plane over Interstate 5. The pilot had seen them sitting on the inside of a wall in a half-basement of a "workshop" building that was behind a relative's pre-1920's home, left by some unknown person. When getting the cans, Bob was shown the building to search it again, but no more cans were seen. The Dutch Mill cone pictured is on of those from that "find".
A few other "inside" examples have appeared, such as a 1+ example Gene DiCicco found in a Sacramento antique shop, but not many others for maybe a total of 5-8 examples around?
"Outside" examples: have been found around Central Calif., such as two locations in the Santa Cruz mountains where Gene DiCicco found 6 Dutch Mill cones; and at another location, 3-4 Dutch Mill cones found in the "Leidig's dump" among the redwoods as described by Ed Scoglietti and others.
----Leidig's flat top, two variations "Pilsener Style" and "German Style" ---------------
"On-grade", around 8-10 examples known?:
The "Pilsener Style" by San Francisco Brewing was only rarely seen until 1977 when Ken Ostrow, now an active breweriana collector in the Boston area, located around 6, 1/1+ examples that Ken remembers well as they were unusually all opened with a knife.
(Before that time, Bob Myers had seen two ("1-ish") examples: one in a collection taken from the Golden West Bar in San Luis Obispo; and another at a now torn-down antique shop by the 101 freeway south of San Miguel.)
While attending glass blowing school in Oakland, Calif., Ken was searching throughout the Bay Area for beer cans, making a number of "finds" with the Leidig's flats being only one highlight. He was set up with a table at the Cow Palace and another seller there, Don Schmitz who then mostly collected Coca Cola items, said he had 6 Leidig's flats, plus a few cones from San Diego. These cones turned out to be the graphic Old Dutch Ale brand in what would now be called "grade 1-ish to 1+" - tarnish free, but scratched. Ken picked up 4 of the Leidig's flats and called Bob Myers who had just recently gotten 3 Leidig's Dutch Mill cans.
At that time around May, 1977, an unusual coincidence had occurred: within a short interval two collectors in the same town had located 9 on-grade examples of two of the Leidig's brand's four variations. The Leidig's flat pictured is from Ken Ostrow's "find".
Ken generously passed on Don Schmitz's name to Bob Myers, who then bought the two remaining Leidigs flats and the Old Dutch Ale cones. Don said he had gotten the cans from a flea market source, who thought the cans had been connected with a railroad worker, which might explain how Old Dutch Ale cones from San Diego were found far north in San Jose, since that city is on the coastal railroad route from San Diego.
The "German Style": this is the rarer variation of the Liedig's flat top and was by Regal Amber Brewing. Gene DiCicco through his network found an approx. grade 1 example. He has said he got a call on the can, made an appointment to see it, and drove to the person's address. However no one was home, so Gene wondered what was going on? With this uncertainty, Gene looked in the window and there on a table was the can - confirmation the caller actually did have the can. The seller's delay returning home added suspense for Gene wanting to close the deal, which he did, ending up with what may be the best shape example of the "German Style" variation.
"Outside" examples of both variations of the flat top have been found by Gene DiCicco and others, but mostly of the "Pilsener Style" variety including several cases in the "Leidig's dump" described by Ed Scoglietti and others.
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