contributed by R. Ron Heiligenstein
SCI Master Steinologist
This month's stein is a regimental beer stein named to the Kraftfahr-Abteilung der Verkehrstruppen, Transport Versuch 1907 (in English, the Motorized Detachment of the Transport and Communication Troops, Transportation Testing (unit) 1907). The stein was originally owned by motorized vehicle driver Johann Osmers, who was garrisoned with his testing detachment in Berlin-Schöneberg. His unit was attached to the Imperial German Army Guard Corps, which was headquartered in Berlin.
This exceptionally rare and unusual regimental stein has a winged wheel thumblift, which is often found on steins named to transportation and communication units. The finial is a crowned, spread winged eagle that is holding a "Guard Star" in its beak. On the face of this stein (lower center) is a large red shoulder strap with the symbol of the Transportation and Communication Troops thereon, next to a standing motorized vehicle driver. The side scenes include transfers of the vehicles being tested by this unit, specifically automobiles, motorcycles, a truck pulling a trailer and numerous trucks with trailers attached, lined up in the unit's motor pool.
The reason this regimental stein is significant is the date, 1907. After all, it was in 1894 that Gottlieb Benz invented the automobile and 1894 when he invented the truck, so it was only thirteen years later that this "technology" had advanced to such a level that the German Army was experimenting with motorized vehicles for the military. The stein's original owner, Johann Osmers, obviously was quite proud to have been involved in this cutting edge "technology" and he manifested that pride with his purchase of this beautiful regimental beer stein.