Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | September 20, 2013

Artifact of the Week – Foam scraper, Cornwall’s St. Lawrence Brewery.

breweryFoam scraper circa 1910. You may have seen bartenders making a big deal about scraping foam off of your favourite glass of draft beer, and act as if they had invented it.  They obviously don’t know their beer history as barkeeps have been removing excess foam for centuries.

brewery canalA World War I era postcard showing the St. Lawrence Brewery on the right, the Augustus Street swing bridge in the centre, and the Stormont Mill on the left.  Cornwall Town Council believed that Cornwall’s waterfront location on Canada’s main transportation route linked with a thirsty industrial population made it an ideal place to subsidize a brewery through tax breaks.  They may have had their “mugs” in the right place, but the times were not right, as National Prohibition was passed in 1916, as a War Measure, eight years after the brewery opened, making it the first municipally sponsored business to go under.  The brewery struggled into the 1920s making near beer.  The artificial refrigeration plant, however, proved attractive to ice makers and Gordon’s Refrigeration took over the site.  The brewery was demolished in 1975.

brewery cornwallWorld War I era poster for St. Lawrence Brewery’s 2 1/2 per cent near beer.  The two holes in the poster are from a hammer’s claws.  This poster was being used as house insulation, and found during renovation.  The person doing the work thought he had something special so he called the Cornwall Community Museum and donated it.  He was right, this is a very rare advertising piece from the brewery.

milly readMilly Read, the girl on the 1940’s Coca-Cola tray was the daughter of Cornwall brewer George Schnaufer and Bertha Legault.  Raised in Lancaster, Milly worked for a photographer in Montreal where she was photographed for this famous tray.

The history of St. Lawrence Brewery is just one of the numerous photographic essays in the Cornwall Community Museum’s new history the CORNWALL SCRAPBOOK to be published this October for $25.

Images ©Cornwall Community Museum

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