Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Crossing Pike Street

More from the fabulous Hellman archives of KV West. These appear to be from around 1950. The first show Neal's mom, Molly with his older brother Bill, in front of the family Sewing Machine repair shop at 19 Pike Street. The second gives us a view of the eastern, even numbered side. Today that side is dominated by Chinese produce markets. Visible is a button on Mrs. Hellman's pocketbook. I wonder what it says. Also visible is a calendar from Trommers' Beer in the grocery store at 21 Pike.Trommers was located in Brooklyn and Orange, New Jersey. From rustycans
Immediately after the war Trommer's marketed their all-malt beer as "Trommer's White Label" which appeared in bottles but not in cans. The brand appeared before the war as well, but, judging from the advertisements, the brewery pushed this brand more after the war. The brewery seemed to be doing well, they even added a three-stoy stock house to the Orange facility in 1948. However, late that same year a 29 day brewery driver's strike hit New York. Drivers demanded a shorter workday and two man teams for each truck, rather than the then prevailing single-man units. Unfortunately for Trommer's strikers took over some of the plant facilities. Each brewery has its own strain of yeast that they use in producing their beer. The strikers did not properly take care of the yeast while they occupied the brewery and Trommer's strain died. As a result, when the brewery reopened they had to use a completely different strain and the beer tasted radically different. Sales began to drop. In 1950 George Trommer sold the Orange, New Jersey brewery to Leibmann and in 1951 the original Brooklyn facility went to to Piel's. Piel's continued making Trommer's until 1962 but the brand was then discontinued. The Brooklyn brewery was closed in about 1955 and the Orange facility in 1977

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