Stein of the Month: June 2005

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~ 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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