Long Opener Krueger: Circa 1935-1936
This month I want to show a certain type of early can, the "long opener." When beer cans first appeared on the market in 1935 breweries had to instruct people how to open them, and to give them the openers, known as "churchkeys". (I discussed this in detail on my Opening Instruction cans page.) Some of the early companies to use cans from American Can, including Krueger, also included a large picture of the opener on the side of the can. It stretched along the entire side, thus these cans became known as "Long Opener" cans. This type of design feature did not last long, and the pictures of the churchkey openers shrunk or were done away with entirely. I put together a list that you'll find below of all the brewers that issued "Long Opener" cans.
Here's a better view of a Long Opener panel from a different can, in this case a Waldorf Ale.
Krueger's Instructional Pamphlet
Krueger also put out a pamphlet showcasing their new cans. Someone must have found a stack of these, as they were available at a lot of can shows over the past few years. Here is the main part of the pamphlet.
(Click on it to see a larger version) Note that the last part includes a picture of a churchkey opener and how to use it.
The pamphlet also had little color pop-up versions of both their Beer and Ale cans. You can't see them in the copy I posted above because I pieced together several pictures, but here they are. FYI, these early Krueger cans are known as "Baldies" because the little K-man holding the tray looks bald. Fairly quickly Krueger changed the logo so the K-man wore a bellboy or waiter's cap.
The Long Opener Cans
Here is the list of cans with a "Long Opener" panel on the side, and the breweries that used them.
|Eigenbrots’ Ale||Globe Brewery||Baltimore, MD||1935|
|Eigenbrots’ Beer||Globe Brewery||Baltimore, MD||1935|
|Feigenspan P.O.N. Ale||Feigenspan||Newark, NJ||1935-1936|
|Feigenspan P.O.N. Beer||Feigenspan||Newark, NJ||1935-1936|
|Feigenspan Bock Beer||Feigenspan||Newark, NJ||1936|
|Fort Pitt Ale||Fort Pitt Brewing||Pittsburgh, PA||1935-1936|
|Fort Pitt Beer||Fort Pitt Brewing||Pittsburgh, PA||1935-1936|
|Genesee 12 Horse Ale||Genesee Brewing||Rochester, NY||1935|
|Genesee All Malt Beer||Genesee Brewing||Rochester, NY||1935|
|Gunther’s Ale||Gunther Brewing||Baltimore, NY||1935-1936|
|Gunther’s Beer||Gunther Brewing||Baltimore, NY||1935-1936|
|Hopfheiser Beer||Hopfheiser (Globe Brewing)||Baltimore, MD||1936|
|Kent Ale||Krueger Brewing||Newark, NJ||1935|
|Krueger Cream Ale||Krueger Brewing||Newark, NJ||1935-1936|
|Krueger’s Finest Beer||Krueger Brewing||Newark, NJ||1935-1936|
|Krueger’s Bock Beer||Krueger Brewing||Newark, NJ||1936|
|Mule Head Wehle Stock Ale||Wehle Brewing||New Haven, CT||1935-1936|
|Neuweiler’s Cream Ale||Neuweiler’s||Allentown, PA||1935-1936|
|Neuweiler’s Pilsener Beer||Neuweiler’s||Allentown, PA||1935-1936|
|Old Bohemian Old Style Lager||Forest City||Cleveland, OH||1937-1938|
|Ox Head Beer||Wehle Brewing||New Haven, CT||1935-1936|
|Pabst Export Beer||Pabst Brewing||Milwaukee, WI||1935|
|Waldorf Ale||Forest City||Cleveland, OH||1935-1938|
|Waldorf Samson Ale||Forest City||Cleveland, OH||1937-1938|
|Waldorf Lager||Forest City||Cleveland, OH||1935-1938|
|Waldorf Golden Bock||Forest City||Cleveland, OH||1936|
|Colonial Wehle Ale||Wehle||New Haven, CT||1935-1936|
A few observations: There are twenty-seven (27) brands here, made by ten (10) breweries. Most of them seemed to have moved away from the Long Opener some time in 1936, except for Forest City, which used them into 1938. Only one national brewery, Pabst, used them, but they were the first big national brewery to use flat-top cans. (Schlitz used cone tops).
They are also all breweries in the north-east part of the US except for Pabst in Wisconsin. I am not sure what to make of that as there were breweries elsewhere in the US introducing cans at the same time.
I did not include the Krueger Special Beer that Krueger Brewing tested in 1933 to see if the public would accept beer cans. I do not trust the provenance of the photos of the can I have seen, so I cannot confirm that it was a long opener, although I strongly suspect that it was.
Please note that there are numerous variations of each of these cans. This list just shows the brands and breweries.
I find it interesting that Globe Brewing did not use the long opener on their Arrow Ale or their main brand, Arrow Beer. However, they began canning those brands in 1937 or so, after they’d dropped the long opener design.
Other Krueger Pages on This Site
I like Krueger cans, so here are links to my other Krueger pages.
April 2006: Shows the 1951 designs and includes a short history of the brewery.
November 2008: Shows the different beer variations used from 1947-1950.
August 2011: Kent Ale, another brand made by Krueger.
November 2014: Shows a chronology of the 1950s Krueger Beer variations.