Stein Collectors International
Featured Stein ~ October 2021

Dümler & Breiden #212 modified for the 1904 Saint Louis World's Fair

By Michael Finney
Pennsylvania Keysteiners

I saw this stein on eBay and liked its coloration. It looked so new I thought it was probably made in West Germany. I almost passed it by, but I clicked on it to take a closer look and I am glad I did. Almost invisible in the scene on the right side is the date 1904 and the words "Tyrolerdorf St. Louis."

The stein was made by Dümler & Breiden for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, informally known as the St. Louis World's Fair. This international exposition was held in St. Louis, Missouri, from April 30 to December 1, 1904. It spanned 1,200 acres, boasted 1,500 buildings and 75 miles of roads and walkways, and included 62 foreign nations and 43 states in exhibitions. Only a few of the original buildings are still standing, the rest were designed as temporary structures which were easier to construct and easier to dismantle.

The word Tyrolerdorf (Tyrolean village) refers to the Tyrolean Alps concession which had a large temporary mountain behind it. This was a special order 1/2L version of Dümler & Breiden model #212 produced for the Fair. Most of the right side of the original surrounding image was replaced with a scene depicting a Tyrolean Village with a mountain in the background. The stein was probability commissioned to be sold at the concession. The base is absent any mark except for the model number 212. This is also a bit of a curiosity to me, since I thought all exports made in Germany had to be marked with country of origin after 1887.

The words seen in panels on the left and right side of the stein are intriguing.

Haberfeldtreiben uralter Brauch, getrunken aber wird dabei auch.
Wir freuen uns drum weil's Habern geht um.


    Haberfeldtreiben is an age-old practice, which includes drinking as well.
    We are happy to engage in the Habern.

I recently became aware of an article in the September 2010 issue of Prosit which explains the term Haberfeldtreiben. This was an early 18th century practice of shaming someone who had committed an act which offended the local citizenry. A band of people would gather outside the perpetrator's house in costume, bearing guns and musical instruments. The ensuing ruckus drew attention to his poor behavior, causing him shame and embarrassment. The word Haberfeldtreiben is difficult to translate, but Habfereld is an oatfield, and treiben means "drive," so in a literal sense the person was "driven into the oat field." Although the original intent of this practice seems totally incongruous with the World's Fair, by the time this stein was made the tradition had apparently evolved to an excuse for raucous drinking! That sentiment we can understand!


Scenes from the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904 - The Tyrolean Village (left) and Festival Hall (right).

The Beer Stein Library lists eight different steins made by Dümler & Breiden for the Fair. Adolf Diesinger also made 4 lower quality steins for the Fair but not as fancy, and with just utilitarian style handles.