Stein of the
Month: June 2005
~ Der Bier Bagger ~
article and photo by
SCI Master Steinologist John McGregor
Germans of the late 19th century, particularly those from Munich, are often
depicted as prodigious eaters and drinkers, especially of sausages and beer.
This machine would appear to be the ultimate device to assist one in the
consumption of that golden brew.
As you can see on the stein, which is a 1/2 liter porcelain piece by an unknown
manufacturer, the picture is titled "Der Bier Bagger." In
German, a Bagger is an excavator, or a dredge. The Bagger extends
downward through an opening in the floor, presumably into an open vat of beer,
where each empty stein is refilled. The customer continues to turn the crank
until his thirst is quenched. There is a counter above the crank keeping track
of the number of steins the customer has consumed so the proprietor can tally
the bill and should the vat run dry before the customer has had his fill, there
is a bell above the counter to ring for service.
Years ago I had a postcard that showed a very similar gentleman being served
sausages on a conveyor belt.
This types of humor makes me wonder what the economic situation of the common
man was ca.1875-1900. Fantasies of over consumption are usually built on the
dreams of have-nots.
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